Thursday, July 07, 2011

DADT Is History

This is unexpectedly cheerful news. A panel of judges ruled that the military must stop enforcing Don't Ask Don't Tell.

From Politico:
The military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on openly gay service members must be immediately lifted, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday, although it’s not clear whether the ruling will accelerate the Defense Department’s end of the policy.

A three-judge panel on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said in a brief opinion that because the Obama administration has said it’s unconstitutional to treat gay and lesbian people differently under the law, the ban on their open military service must end now.

The Pentagon and the branches of the armed forces are in the process of preparing for the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell,” but until the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and the defense secretary sign off, it does not go into effect. Fed court: End 'don't ask' now

I have never understood why it would take months, why you need extra training, to stop firing people. Just stop firing them. You don't need a team of counselors to soften the impact, you don't need to teach people to be civil to one another, nothing. Just stop firing them.

Sounds like that will finally happen.
The judges noted that Congress passed the repeal of the policy in December and that the Obama administration has made clear its support.

In a February letter cited by the judges, Attorney General Eric Holder told House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) that “there is, regrettably, a significant history of purposeful discrimination against gay and lesbian people, by governmental as well as private entities” and that it must end.

Because most members of the armed forces will be trained by mid-summer, the judges said in their ruling, they could not support the continuation of the ban.

I wish I could have heard what Boehner said back to Holder.

Now, this is weird. Republicans passed the marriage equality bill in New York, Republicans sued to overturn DADT. What's up with that? You'd think our courageous Democratic leaders in Washington would have taken up the fight they pledged to fight, wouldn't you?
Dan Woods, the lawyer representing the Republican gay rights group Log Cabin, which brought the suit, told The Associated Press after the ruling that unless the Obama administration appeals the case to the Supreme Court, “’don’t ask, don’t tell’ is over.”

The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, an organization founded to fight the ban on openly gay service members, said in a statement Wednesday afternoon that the decision “is most welcomed.”

Yes, it's about time.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

May DADT forever remain in the dustbin of history along with other repealed American laws that said minorities and women didn't deserve full equal rights.

Good riddance to white straight male priviledge.

Americans believe we are all created equal and we all are endowed with certain unalienable equal rights.

July 07, 2011 4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, we do

it doesn't follow that those rights include the right to hired despite one's personal qualities and behaviour

July 07, 2011 4:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DADT is history and so is Ruppert Murdock's first Fleet Street acquisition, News of the World.

July 07, 2011 4:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"it doesn't follow that those rights include the right to hired despite one's personal qualities and behaviour"

I wonder what this means and what it has to do with DADT?

July 07, 2011 6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

think hard, you imbecile

July 07, 2011 11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In America, we spell it "behavior" but certainly "personal qualities and behavior" can determine if an employer is willing to hire a person for a job or not. For example, an employer should not be forced to hire a counselor who refuses to counsel certain clients or a pharmacist who refuses to fill certain prescriptions. When the "personal qualities and behavior" render the job applicant unable or unwilling to do all the work they would be expected to do, the employer should not be forced to hire that applicant.

July 08, 2011 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This week House Republicans filed three anti-gay amendments to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2012.

The first amendment was filed by notoriously anti-gay Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), who previously called the horrific hate crime that led to Matthew Shepard’s death a “hoax." Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) joined her in introducing this amendment, which aims to deny same-sex couples equal benefits or treatment from the federal government. It reads:

"The proposed amendment would reaffirm Congress’ expectation that funds shall not be used for benefits, such as housing, education, medical services, transportation, etc., for same-sex couples on the same basis as opposite-sex married couples."

Foxx contends this amendment is necessary because currently there is no "Plan B" should those “radical lawyers and judges” follow the U.S. Constitution and overturn DOMA because it is unconstitutional.

"It is not enough for the Department of Defense to dismiss all concerns about this and many other issues involving marriage status and benefits by pointing to the existence of the DOMA. There is no contingency “Plan B” to deal with this issue if federal courts invalidate that law. Indeed, the administration is inviting that possibility. Possible court orders could suddenly overturn current policies of the Department of Defense, which is not likely to resist or oppose potential court orders or directives that disregard the intent of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Congress should establish policy guidance on this issue that covers numerous contingencies and unexpected situations in the future. Given the potentially enormous cost of extending marriage benefits to same-sex couples and their dependents, Congress can and should enact a policy making it clear that Defense Department funds should not be used in ways that violate federal law: the Defense of Marriage Act."

Foxx doesn’t want to have to pay for equality. How heartwarming. Her “Plan B,” should be known by its full title, the GOP's “Back up our Bigotry” plan.

Then there are two other amendments from Rep. Dan Burton introduced on Wednesday. One is designed to ban Defense Department funds being used to permit a civil union or marriage ceremony unless it complies with DOMA. and this amendment would prevent appropriated funds being used in any and all territories under the Defense Department’s jurisdiction per the DOMA test. The intent is to prevent the department from overseeing same-sex weddings in states where they are legal and this amandment starts to encroach on state sovereignty which has always been a vulnerability where DOMA is concerned.

Burton’s third amendment is to prevent the Defense Department from giving DADT repeal training to military personnel in combat zones. This comes even though DADT repeal training is over 70% complete. Apparently Rep. Burton feels he knows better than the military chiefs who have said that repeal implementation is going well and, so far, without a hitch.

Maybe Rep. Burton should seek advice from one top marine who recently told soldiers that DADT repeal is happening and it was time to “get over it.”

Regardless, the Senate will not retain such language nor will President Obama sign off on a bill with those amendments attached. So, this is an extraordinary exercise in time wasting by House GOP members and not a single job will be created as unemployment climbs again even with the so-called job-creating tax cuts for the rich still in effect.

July 08, 2011 11:19 AM  
Anonymous Another Republican gets it said...

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg summoned his chief policy adviser, John Feinblatt, to his desk at City Hall a few days ago for what seemed like a routine conversation with the boss. “Let’s get a cup of coffee,” the mayor told him, motioning to the office kitchen.

There, Mr. Bloomberg made an unusual offer. He did not know if Mr. Feinblatt and his longtime partner, Jonathan Mintz, the city’s commissioner for consumer affairs, wanted to marry. But if they did, and were looking for somebody to officiate, he knew just the man for the job. “If you’d like me to do it, I’d really love to,” Mr. Bloomberg said.

Mr. Feinblatt, thrilled by the offer but wary of unilateral decision-making in matters of the heart, said he needed to consult with Mr. Mintz, who quickly gave his approval.

City Hall’s first gay wedding was on.

“The mayor and John,” Mr. Mintz recalled, “popped the question.”

Mr. Bloomberg, who delivered speeches, held fund-raisers and lobbied lawmakers to legalize same-sex marriage in New York, is now punctuating his official advocacy with a personal gesture: hosting and presiding at a gay wedding on the first possible day, in one of the grandest possible settings.

On July 24, on the lawn of Gracie Mansion, under a tent packed with city officials and food from around New York State, Mr. Bloomberg will pronounce Mr. Mintz and Mr. Feinblatt husband and husband.

The mayor is a reluctant nuptials officiant who has presided over just two previous weddings — those of his daughter Emma and his predecessor, Rudolph W. Giuliani — and has pointedly forsworn performing weddings for anyone beyond his other daughter or another former mayor.

But he is now making an exception, he said, because of his close personal connection to Mr. Feinblatt and Mr. Mintz and the role they played in personalizing the issue of same-sex marriage for him.

“John and Jonathan are two of the smartest and hardest-working people in our administration,” Mr. Bloomberg said on Thursday. “This just felt like the best way for me to say thank you.”

July 08, 2011 2:01 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Hooray for the US Armed Forces!

July 11, 2011 6:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

they had no choice, you moron

if they, or the American people, or the current Congress, did, things would be different

this abomination is courtesy of the now discarded Pelosi Congress

never to be repeated

July 11, 2011 4:15 PM  
Anonymous Murdoch and Co are absolutely corrupt said...

NEW YORK -- News Corporation shareholders already suing Rupert Murdoch's media conglomerate over its $675 million purchase of daughter Elisabeth Murdoch's production company, have amended their earlier lawsuit given new revelations regarding how top executives handled the News of the World phone hacking scandal.

Jay Eisenhofer, co-managing director of the law firm Grant & Eisenhofer and co-lead counsel to shareholders, told The Huffington Post that the scandal "demonstrates the breakdown in the corporate governance at News Corp. in terms of the board of directors not having effective oversight of this company."

"You can see the board of directors is absent and silent," Eisenhofer said. "This is total deference to the Murdochs and what they want to do here."

So far, News Corp.'s board hasn't criticized the family's handling of a scandal that now threatens the media conglomerate Murdoch has built over the past half-century.

On Thursday, News International -- the conglomerate's British newspaper subsidiary -- abruptly shut down the profitable News of the World tabloid to try and squash the scandal that could derail News Corp.'s $12 billion deal for satellite broadcaster company BSkyB. And new details continue to emerge as the scandal widens. The Guardian reported Monday that other News International papers illegally obtained former Prime Minister Gordon Brown's legal records and medical records for him and his family. (See latest revelations here).

The scandal has reached the upper levels of Murdoch's empire. News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks is under pressure to resign, while News International chairman James Murdoch and Dow Jones chief executive Les Hinton -- who ran News International during the hacking -- face increasing scrutiny over their roles in investigating the matter over the past few years. Andy Coulson, a former News of the World editor and media chief for Prime Minister David Cameron, has already been arrested.

"These revelations should not have taken years to uncover and stop," reads the lawsuit, filed in Delaware Chancery Court. "These revelations show a culture run amuck within News Corp and a Board that provides no effective review or oversight."

July 11, 2011 4:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that's fascinating but not all that unusual for the media

if it was the NY Times doing it to Sarah Palin, TTFers would be all gaga

but they aren't hypocrites, they were just born that way

July 11, 2011 5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"this abomination is courtesy of the now discarded Pelosi Congress"

Somebody's in denial about the part the Log Cabin Republicans, the US judicial system, and the US Constitution played in what "Anony-moron-ous" calls "this abomination," but which the rest of us call "treating all American citizens equally."

"Anony-moron-ous" is not alone in his denial. His party, the GOP, is in denial many things, especially job creation. Why is Speaker Boehner asking Obama where the jobs are? The GOP won the House in 2010 because Americans want jobs to be created. So far, Boehner's House has not yet passed any legislation to create even one single job.

Recent history refresher course:

When Republicans took over the house this year, they came in talking about jobs, jobs, jobs, how Republicans and Republican policies were going to create jobs. They said they'd cut spending, regulation, taxes, deficit, shrink the debt, and that would make jobs grow. That's what they said in January when Republicans took over the House.

Then, a miracle, the economy did grow jobs, 192,000 jobs the very next month.

And what did John Boehner say about that uptick in job creation? "The improvement is credit to the hard working American people and their [by which I mean our] success in stopping tax hikes due to hit our economy on January 1st."

So what he said is when you look at job numbers, think Republican leadership, think Republican policies. When you see job numbers, think Republicans. That has been the line from the Republicans when we have had good jobs reports these last few months.

Friday we got a really astonishingly bad job's report. Magically, though, Republicans had nothing to do with this one. They are responsible for the good ones, but the bad ones are definitely some other guy's fault.

"A stinging reminder President Obama has failed," says head of the RNC, Priebus.

John Boehner himself said, "Americans are still asking the question: where are the jobs?

That *is* what American people are asking, but we are asking that of you, Mr. Boehner, six months after taking over House leadership. We're still waiting for those jobs you said Republican policies would create.

Where are the jobs you promised us, Mr. Boehner?

July 11, 2011 5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So far, Boehner's House has not yet passed any legislation to create even one single job."

hey, stooopid!

Dems still control the Senate and White House

our system won't allow true change until 2012

"We're still waiting for those jobs you said Republican policies would create."

hey stooooopid!

none have passed

Reid and Obama are blocking progress

"Friday we got a really astonishingly bad job's report."

hey stooooooopid

no incumbent President has ever been re-elected with anywhere near these unemployment numbers

Americans know where the buckaroo stops

they aren't as stoopid as TTFers!

it's the economy, stupid

July 11, 2011 6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

one thing's for dang sure:

they don't come much stoopider than a TTFer!

July 11, 2011 10:28 PM  
Anonymous I started a joke said...

this is turning into a real party!!:

"The New Hampshire Executive Council voted to cancel the state's contract with Planned Parenthood.

The Council, a constitutionally empowered group of elected officials, rejected up to $1.8 million in state funding for the family planning-provider -- about 20 percent of its total annual funding."

July 11, 2011 10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey stOOpid, the Boehner-led House passed the Ryan budget plan the Senate won't approve and the President won't sign. What's stopping them from passing some JOBS BILLS they think the Senate won't approve and the President won't sign?

The GOP's radical wing, the Tea Party, that's what's stopping the House GOP from creating jobs!

They think paying the LOWEST INCOME TAX RATES SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION means they are "taxed enough already," poor stOOpid babies!

I'll let Bill Maher explain it to you:

"Now here's Obama's thinking and it's a little counterintuitive, but try to follow it.

When Bill Clinton was President, the rich paid a little more taxes and the government had money. Then Bush cut all those taxes and now we don't.

I know it's hard to grasp -- it involves subtracting.

But in suggesting that in these times we slightly raise the tax on private jets, Obama was baiting Republicans to look like extremists by defending private jets.

But the gambit failed because half the people are not outraged.

Half of them say, "I'm with the party that cuts all these programs for real people, for the 99% - Planned parenthood, environmental protection, college, healthcare, infrastructure but holds the line on private jets."

Voting for them is as stOOpid as voting not guilty for the mom who lost her baby for a month and went looking at a wet tee shirt contest."

Watch it here

July 12, 2011 8:21 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Econ 101 tells us that drastically cutting budgets during a recession is not a jobs-creating activity, it's Hooverism.

July 12, 2011 8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you to stoopid to tell the whole truth, Anony-stoopid-mous?

"Until July 1, a low-income New Hampshire woman paid an average of $5 to fill a birth control pill prescription at any of the state's six Planned Parenthood clinics. She might have even gotten the birth control for free, depending on her poverty level.

But since the New Hampshire Executive Council voted to cancel the state's contract with Planned Parenthood, a woman now has to pay anywhere from $40 to over $100 for birth control pills at a regular pharmacy.

The Council, a constitutionally empowered group of elected officials, rejected up to $1.8 million in state funding for the family planning-provider -- about 20 percent of its total annual funding -- and stripped its authority to dispense low-cost birth control and antibiotics to uninsured patients.

"We can't even provide patients with antibiotics for urinary tract infections or STDs anymore," said Jennifer Frizzell, a spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. She said Planned Parenthood has had to turn away 20 to 30 patients a day who are showing up to refill their prescriptions.

"We have to send them away with a prescription knowing that without insurance, they have to pay the full cost of that at a local pharmacy, and many patients have told us they're not gonna have the money in their budget to afford to fill those prescriptions."

New Hampshire lawmakers rejected multiple attempts to defund Planned Parenthood during the 2011 legislative session, voting repeatedly in favor of continuing to fund PPNNE using the state's federal family planning money. But the Executive Council, which oversees state contracting and generally stays out of hot-button political issues, overturned the decisions of both the state legislature and the Department of Health and Human Services with its 3-2 vote against Planned Parenthood."

July 12, 2011 9:36 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

A true gem, courtesy the American Family Association.

"Bryan Fischer: whoops: homosexuals lose get out of jail free card

If a homosexual signs up now, he’s stuck with the whole magilla (sic). Go to your superior officer now and say, hey, I’m a flaming homosexual, I hate the army, let me out of here, the superior officer will say, tough darts, those days are gone. You’re stuck with us now, Nancy-boy.

Now, they will discover to their dismay, they’re back to having equal rights instead of special rights.

So, who’s sorry now?

Bottom line: be careful what you ask for. You just may get it."
Talk about going off the rails on a crazy train.

July 13, 2011 5:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Econ 101 tells us that drastically cutting budgets during a recession is not a jobs-creating activity, it's Hooverism."

Robert, you idiot, raising taxes will depress the economy more than anything. Obama has already admitted lower taxes will stimulate the economy by pushing to extend the 2% payroll tax deduction through next year. He just wants to tax the wealthy to pay for his vastly expanded entitlement state.

"When Bill Clinton was President, the rich paid a little more taxes and the government had money. Then Bush cut all those taxes and now we don't."

hey stoooooopid

the Bush tax cuts didn't cause the massive deficits we have now- they were in place during his entire presidency, during which the average deficit was perfectly reasonable

the cause of the outrageous deficit now is that Obama wants to permanently extend the masssive increase in spending he pushed through, which didn't stimulate the economy

meanwhile, he's already raised taxes on the wealthy

he just wants more:

"Mr. Obama has already signed the largest tax increase since 1993. While everyone focuses on the Bush tax rates that expire after 2012, other tax increases are already set to hit the economy thanks to Obama. Here's a non-exhaustive list of Obama's tax increases:

• Starting in 2013, he adds an additional 0.9% to the 2.9% Medicare tax for singles who earn more than $200,000 and couples making more than $250,000.

• For first time, the bill also applies Medicare's 2.9% payroll tax rate to investment income, including dividends, interest income and capital gains. Added to the 0.9% payroll surcharge, that means a 3.8-percentage point tax hike on "the rich." Oh, and these new taxes aren't indexed for inflation, so many middle-class families will soon be considered rich and pay the surcharge as their incomes rise past $250,000 due to tax-bracket creep. Remember how the Alternative Minimum Tax was supposed to apply only to a handful of millionaires?

.Taxpayer cost over 10 years: $210 billion.

• Another $15.2 billion will come from raising the floor on allowable medical deductions to 10% of adjusted gross income from 7.5%

• Starting in 2018, the bill imposes a whopping 40% "excise tax" on high-cost health insurance plans. Though it only applies to two years in the 2010-2019 window of ObamaCare's original budget score, this tax would still raise $32 billion—and much more in future years.

• And don't forget a new annual fee on health insurance providers starting in 2014 and estimated to raise $60 billion. This tax, like many others on this list, will be passed along to consumers in higher health-care costs.

.There are numerous other new taxes, all adding up to some $438 billion in new revenue over 10 years. But even that is understated because by 2019 the annual revenue increase is nearly $90 billion, or $900 billion in the 10 years after that. Yet Mr. Obama wants to add another $1 trillion in new taxes on top of this.

The economic ironies are also, well, rich. Mr. Obama is now pushing to reduce the payroll tax by two-percentage points for another year to boost the economy, but he's already built in a big increase in that same payroll tax for 2013. So if a payroll tax cut creates jobs this year, why doesn't a payroll tax increase destroy jobs after 2013?

Last November Republicans won the House and landslide gains in many states in large part because of the deep unpopularity of the stimulus and ObamaCare. Mr. Boehner has a mandate for spending cuts and repealing the Affordable Care Act. If Republicans instead agreed to raise taxes in return for future spending cuts that may or may not happen, they would simply be the tax collectors for Mr. Obama's much expanded entitlement society."

July 13, 2011 6:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"raising taxes will depress the economy more than anything."

You mean like the economy was "depressed" during the Clinton presidency? Oh that's right, it wasn't. Everybody paid slightly higher taxes and life was good. We nearly paid off the Reagan deficits and if we raise taxes slightly again, we can pay off the Bush deficits too.

"Last November Republicans won the House"

Cling to that moment of good news for your party's ability to fool the people into voting against themselves. Yesterday's election result show the American people are beginning to see through the GOP's smoke and mirrors way of getting themselves elected, like running "fake Democrats" in Democratic primaries.

How pathetic will the GOP election antics get?

"MADISON, Wis. (AP) — All six fake Democrats lost to Democrats supported by the party in primaries Tuesday that are the first in a series of recall elections targeting nine Wisconsin state senators for their positions on Republican Gov. Scott Walker's divisive union rights restrictions.

The state Republican Party orchestrated the placement of the fake Democrats on Tuesday's ballot, thereby delaying the general election for a month. That gave the Republican incumbents more time to campaign and distance themselves from the turmoil over the union law that they voted to support in March, spurring the recall efforts.

Also Tuesday, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin public policy director Chris Taylor emerged from a field of six Democrats to win a primary for a seat in the Assembly representing a portion of Dane County that was vacated by Joe Parisi when he left in April to serve as Dane County executive. Taylor has no opposition in the Aug. 9 general election."

And surprise, surprise:

"Democratic L.A. City Councilwoman Janice Hahn defeated Republican challenger Craig Huey by a comfortable margin, 54.6 percent to 45.4 percent in a special election for California's 36th congressional district seat."

Another surprise, surprise:

"Democrat Hudson Hallum has 51 percent of the vote and is the newest member of the Arkansas House of Representatives. Independent candidate D'James Rogers has 28 percent and Republican John Geelan has 21 percent. The victory gives the Democrats a 55-45 advantage over Republicans in the Arkansas House of Representatives."

Mr. Boehner's mandate from the American people last fall was to CREATE JOBS for unemployeed Americans and yet he has NOT PASSED A SINGLE JOBS BILL since becoming Speaker of the House.

Boehner keeps saying raising taxes would kill jobs and lowering taxes will create jobs, but the fact is that unemployment has gone up during Boehner's term as Speaker when the Bush tax cuts have been extended, again, and with Boehner's support. Everybody knows that paying slightly higher taxes under Clinton did good things to our economy -- paid off the Reagan deficts and put some money aside for a Katrina or 9/11 type disaster.

Yesterday's election results indicate it's becoming clear to the American people that Boehner and his party's unbelievable support for continuing the Bush tax cuts, which have created nothing but increased deficits, are the job killers.

July 13, 2011 8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only some criminal who writes for the corrupt News Corp's Wall Street Journal would think "many middle-class families will soon be considered rich and pay the surcharge as their incomes rise past $250,000 due to tax-bracket creep" !!!

The facts are that 98.3% of US families earn less than $250,000 a year and the median US family earns $44,389.

July 13, 2011 9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You mean like the economy was "depressed" during the Clinton presidency? Oh that's right, it wasn't. Everybody paid slightly higher taxes and life was good."

there were certain factors that ameliorated the drag on our economy:

elimination of welfare, slashing military spending because Reagan won the Cold War and the internet bubble

none of these were volutary initiatives of the Cliton administration and they aren't available now

when the government takes more money from its citizens than it needs to pay its bills, that's called stealing

I don't why anyone would exalt that

July 13, 2011 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What we’ve got is war — a war between the taxpayers and the tax-eaters. The tax-eaters can’t understand why the taxpayers won’t shovel out the swag, salute as usual, and shut up. This time the taxpayers are fed up and they’re not going to take it any more.

President Obama, the swag man for the tax-eaters, can’t understand why the Republicans won’t join his crusade to add trillions of dollars — that’s trillions with a “t,” not even billions with a “b” — to the burden of the taxpayers.

Mr. Obama has never met a tax he didn’t want to kiss and cuddle, and can’t give up his itch to cuddle these new trillions. He pouts that it’s the Republicans, not him, who hold the “my way or the highway” attitude. He won’t sign “a 30-day, or a 60-day or 90-day extension” of the debt limit, even to keep the economy from a crash.

Adding trillions of dollars in new taxes, an Associated Press analysis reveals, will fall hardest on small-business owners and low- and middle-income families trying to reach for more prosperity. The president does not speak of this, focusing instead on the very few of the very rich.

In his frantic push for more taxes — his latest attempt to apply his medicine to an economy with an unemployment rate of 9.2 percent and rising - the president channels Marie Antoinette. He berates “tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, oil companies, hedge-fund managers and corporate jet owners.” Like Mzz Antoinette puzzling over why poor Frenchmen hungry for bread couldn’t eat cake, the president can’t understand why a baron of Wall Street would settle for a little Grumman or Falcon, even with a tax credit. The president has a Boeing 747, equipped with all the gadgets Silicon Valley can dream up, standing ready to take him and Michelle to Gotham to shed tears for the poor over a $400 dinner.

He won’t talk about “taxes.” He speaks fluent euphemy. “What we need to do is to have a balanced approach where everything is on the table.” Hear this: “We need to take on spending in the tax code.” Or try this: “You can’t reduce the deficit to the levels that it needs to be reduced without having some revenue in the mix.” Who said anything about raising taxes? Who doesn’t like “balance” and “revenue”?

Mr. Obama, with his trillion-dollar “grand bargain,” is flailing about in frustration because the Republicans refuse to speak euphemy, the preferred tongue of Capitol Hill, and doggedly talk in the Harry Truman English the Tea Party irregulars employ to call a tax by its right name. (This has the added benefit of being kind to the language.) Mr. Obama came to Washington as the master of pulpit rhetoric and he’s choking on mixed metaphors: “Pull off the Band-Aid. Eat our peas. Now’s the time to do it.” But who wants icky peas that have spent several days under someone’s Band-Aid? Not even Maxim’s of Paris could make a tasty dish of “Petits Pois sous Band-Aid.”

Euphemism, however vague, cute or inexact, won’t work this time.

July 13, 2011 4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From David Brooks a few days ago:

"Staunch Republicans argue that taxes are central to determining economic growth. Tax cuts, they argue, have huge positive benefits and tax increases have disastrous negative effects.

In the middle of the current budget negotiations, these Republicans argue that the tax increases the Democrats are proposing — ending some deductions for the affluent, hitting oil and gas companies — would be terrible for the economy. These unacceptable increases would be worse than the threat of national default, worse than a decade of gigantic deficits.

Not many Americans have this expansive view on the power of tax policy. According to the Gallup Organization, only 20 percent of Americans believe the budget deal should consist of spending cuts only. Even among Republicans, a plurality believes there should be a mixture of tax increases and spending cuts.

Yet the G.O.P. is now oriented around this 20 percent. It is willing to alienate 80 percent of voters and commit political suicide because of its faith in the power of tax policy."

From WSJ editorial staff today:

"The hotter precincts of the blogosphere were calling this a sellout yesterday, though they might want to think before they shout. The debt ceiling is going to be increased one way or another, and the only question has been what if anything Republicans could get in return. If Mr. Obama insists on a tax increase, and Republicans won't vote for one, then what's the alternative to Mr. McConnell's maneuver?

Republicans who say they can use the debt limit to force Democrats to agree to a balanced budget amendment are dreaming. Such an amendment won't get the two-thirds vote to pass the Senate, but it would give every Democrat running for re-election next year a chance to vote for it and claim to be a fiscal conservative.

We agree with those who say that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner can cut other federal spending before he allows a technical default on U.S. debt. No doubt that is what he will do. We'd even support a showdown over technical default if we thought it might yield some major government reforms. But Mr. Obama clearly has no such intention.

Instead he and Mr. Geithner will gradually shut down government services, the more painful the better. The polls that now find that voters oppose a debt-limit increase will turn on a dime when Americans start learning that they won't get Social Security checks. Republicans will then run like they're fleeing the Pamplona bulls, and chaotic retreats are the ugliest kind. By then they might end up having to vote for a debt-limit increase and a tax increase.

The tea party/talk-radio expectations for what Republicans can accomplish over the debt-limit showdown have always been unrealistic. As former Senator Phil Gramm once told us, never take a hostage you're not prepared to shoot. Republicans aren't prepared to stop a debt-limit increase because the political costs are unbearable. Republicans might have played this game better, but the truth is that Mr. Obama has more cards to play.

July 13, 2011 8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham conceded Wednesday that he and his fellow Republicans are now eating their own words as they try to convince the country they are working to stave off a federal default.

“Our problem is we made a big deal about this for three months. How many Republicans have been on TV saying, ‘I’m not going to raise the debt limit.’ You know, Mitch [McConnell] says, ‘I’m not going to raise the debt limit unless we talk about Medicare.’ And I’ve said I’m not going to raise the debt limit until we do something about spending and entitlements.’ So we’ve got nobody to blame but ourselves,” Graham told reporters after a GOP caucus lunch.

“We shouldn’t have said that if we didn’t mean it.”

July 13, 2011 10:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Republicans are in great shape for the election

they tried to cut spending but Obama wouldn't cooperate

he owns the deficit

July 13, 2011 11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon, a better way to look at it is just what Graham says, they were saying a lot of BS they didn't really mean. Obama beat them in the negotiations because their stated position was bogus.

July 14, 2011 6:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

funny, Obama didn't act like a big winner when he stormed out of negotiations yesterday

he knows he's on a sinking ship

Republicans are in an infinitely better position than if they had automatically agreed to the debt ceiling increase

it's very clear in the public mind now who is interested in cutting spending and who prefers raising taxes and who was willing to compromise to protect the interest of the nation

and, come November 2012, the disastrous economy will be owned by Sir BO

Republicans will be able to say they couldn't do anything about it because they didn't control the Senate and the White House

I think we all know what the voters will do

July 14, 2011 7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has taken three decades, but Americans are finally living through Jimmy Carter’s second term.

Now we’ve got Jimmy Jr. barking at us from the White House about eating our peas and ripping off our Band-Aid. He might not even let us have our Social Security checks.

These are just the latest in a long line of nagging lectures. Already, we have been taught how we should sneeze into the crook of our arm. We need to drive less. And we need to caulk up those drafty houses of ours.

What ever happened to the soaring rhetoric and big bold ideas President Obama promised us in that historic election of his?

Is this what he meant by a new kind of politics? If so, no thanks. Oh, and it is not new. Jimmy already dragged us through all this once and we just barely survived it.

One of the most unpleasant things about Mr. Carter was the condescending disdain he could barely disguise for struggling Americans and their irritating malaise.

Increasingly, Jimmy Jr. is having difficulty concealing that very same disdain for us as the political winds around him turn hostile and all of his bright ideas lie fallow as nothing more than socialist hocus-pocus.

But even Mr. Carter never laid bare so baldly and plainly as Mr. Obama did earlier this week his deep-seated contempt for this whole annoying process we call “democracy.”

The problem with reaching a deal to raise the debt ceiling, he explained in a long sermon, is that there is this huge wave of Republicans who won control of the House in the last election by promising not to raise any more taxes and to cut the absurd overspending that has driven this town for decades.

He bemoaned - in public - that these Republicans are more concerned about the “next election” rather than doing “what’s right for the country.” In other words, he is saying the honorable thing would be for these Republicans to ignore the expressed wishes of voters, break their campaign promises and raise taxes. Wow.

As if the whole problem of Washington spending us into oblivion is the fault of stingy taxpayers and stupid voters. And what we really need is Jimmy Jr., who knows what is best for us despite what we may think.

Continuing his lecture, Mr. Obama then complained about America’s “political process, where folks are rewarded for saying irresponsible things to win elections.”

How did this man get past sixth-grade social studies, much less Iowa?

When Mr. Obama finished his sermon about the contemptible Republicans keeping faith with their voters like a bunch of chumps, he then turned to his own intentions - and revealed even more of his contempt for us.

All this talk about “raising revenue” - the deceitful line he uses to describe raising taxes - has been most unhelpful, he said. “I want to be crystal clear,” he said. “Nobody has talked about increasing taxes now. Nobody has talked about increasing taxes next year.”

So when would these tax hikes that he is demanding take effect?

In 2013, well after Mr. Obama must face voters for re-election.

Lucky for us, it appears more and more unlikely every day that we will have to suffer through a third term of Jimmy Carter‘s.

July 14, 2011 7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since being elected last November to bring job creation to the US, the GOP with its new Tea Party members, has done absolutely nothing, not one single thing to create jobs.

The GOP and its new Tea Party members own unemployment.

July 14, 2011 7:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And remember, according to Dick Cheney, "Reagan proved DEFICITS DON'T MATTER"

July 14, 2011 7:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charles Hurt seems to have forgotten that Jimmy Carter didn't raise $47 million dollars for his reelection campaign in a single quarter from over 550,000 contributors giving an average of $69 each.

The people who "might not even let us have our Social Security checks" are the members of the GOP, especially the Tea Party fringe, who, as Senator Lindsey Graham admitted yesterday, have been treatening for months to not vote to approve an increase in the debt ceiling so there would be no money on hand to pay our debts to our seniors. These are the very same people voted for the Ryan plan, which will force seniors on Medicare to pay more for their coverage so the Bush tax cuts and private jet exemptions can be paid out to their rich friends.

Hurt's editorial is ill-conceived garbage. No wonder the Moonies at the Washington Times published it.

July 14, 2011 8:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The GOP and its new Tea Party members own unemployment."

Americans can completely grasp the concept that you can't have responsibility without authority

the Tea Party controls one legislative House and has admirably pushed the rigght course

you might want to find us a historical example of an incumbent President not being held accountable for a bad economy

then an example of a TTFer with a lucid moment

July 14, 2011 8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The people who "might not even let us have our Social Security checks" are the members of the GOP,"

no, that's Obama

when the money is insufficient, he can priortize what to pay with the remaining funds

he's threatening not to send out Social Security checks just to scare people

July 14, 2011 10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey TTFers

how's that whole "hopey changey" thing goin'?

July 14, 2011 2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey moron, look at the title of this thread! The hopey changey thing is going great. Si se puede!

July 14, 2011 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"he's threatening not to send out Social Security checks just to scare people"

Ah, quoting Michele Bachmann are you? So you apparently enjoyed the Gomert, King, Bachmann looney tooney press conference yesterday to announce a new bill they just introduced.

What do they want Obama to pay first (while the money is still there) when they refuse to lift the debt ceiling on Aug. 2?

"Gohmert, along with Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) and Steve King (R-Iowa), introduced a bill on Wednesday that would require the president to pay off interest on the nation's debt first, if the debt limit is not increased by Aug. 2."

"Under the bill, military service members and veterans would still get their checks on time if debt negotiations went on past the Aug. 2 deadline.

But according to Gohmert, King and Bachmann, the government does not need to raise its debt ceiling by Aug. 2 to continue paying interests on its debts and prevent default, or to continue paying military service members and veterans."

"None of the three lawmakers responded to questions about who would not be paid should the debt ceiling not be raised by Aug. 2. A failure to raise the debt ceiling could cause a partial government shutdown in which Social Security checks might not be mailed."

Hmmmm, they say NOTHING about sending out Social Security checks to seniors, and then they turn around and accuse Obama of "threatening" to not send out Social Security checks?


And let's not forget these facts:

"Fox apparently wants to make sure that if the debt ceiling is not raised by August 2 and there is a disruption of Social Security benefits, President Obama gets the blame.

A headline on the Fox Nation today claimed "Obama Threatens to Withhold Social Security Checks from Seniors and Vets."

However, the article to which Fox Nation links -- a Reuters piece on the deficit reduction talks between President Obama and leaders from both parties -- quotes Obama as saying that he "cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if" the debt ceiling isn't raised, because "[t]here may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it." Obama's actual remarks make it clear that he was not threatening to withhold these checks, but simply explaining what might happen if Congress does not raise the debt ceiling by August 2.

There is, however, another serious problem with the Fox Nation post. The post ignores that Republicans have been unwilling to compromise on the debt talks, choosing instead to lay the sole blame for the crisis that would ensue on Obama. There is no mention, for instance, of the fact that while Obama has said he is "prepared to take on significant heat from my party to get something done," House Speaker John Boehner has said that any deal must curb future spending and include "no tax hikes."

Nor does the article mention that Republican leaders -- including Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Senator Jon Kyl -- have walked out of talks because they were unwilling to consider tax increases as part of a deal."

Let's hear it for the now bipartisan call for an investigation of Ruppert Murdock's US news outlets reporters criminal behavior. Roger Ailes misuse of FOX makes Rebeka Brooks look like a school girl!

"New York Rep. Peter T. King, a Republican, has asked FBI Director Robert Mueller to investigate the possibility that journalists working for Murdoch may have tapped into the phones of the victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks."

Kudos to Rep. Peter King, for joining Democratic Senators Lautenberg, Boxer, Rockefeller, and Menendez in making sure we get to the bottom of the misdeeds of this untrustworthy muckraker masquerading as a "journalist" and his minions.

July 14, 2011 2:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey FOX NEWS watchers. How's your belief in Murdock's muckrakers going?

July 14, 2011 2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the Washington has an app on their website today where you can plug in what you want to pay and it will subtract from revenues in August:

there will be about 145 billion in revenue

social security is 49, defense 31, interest 29, medicare 29, military salaries 3, veterans programs 3

while some of the rest is important, we can hold out until a budget is made

looks like plenty to pay social security and our debts

sorry, TTF

looks like your hero, BHO, is appealing to fear

don't you always accuse conservatives of that?

July 14, 2011 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... are such a BORE, "Anonymous" - "poor Johnny one-note"!

July 14, 2011 3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's so interesting how facts bore adherents of a blog called "Teach the Facts"

let see now....

145 billion in revenue

49 billion in Social Security payments

29 billion in interest

seems like Obama has plenty of money in August to keep us out of default and pay Social Security

it's all about priorities

Obama's is maintaining his lavish lifestyle while simultaneously attacking the wealthy

July 14, 2011 4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Country We Believe In

The George Washington University

Washington, D.C.

April 13, 2011

"Some will argue we shouldn’t even consider raising taxes, even if only on the wealthiest Americans. It’s just an article of faith for them. I say that at a time when the tax burden on the wealthy is at its lowest level in half a century, the most fortunate among us can afford to pay a little more. I don’t need another tax cut. Warren Buffett doesn’t need another tax cut. Not if we have to pay for it by making seniors pay more for Medicare. Or by cutting kids from Head Start. Or by taking away college scholarships that I wouldn’t be here without. That some of you wouldn’t be here without. And I believe that most wealthy Americans would agree with me. They want to give back to the country that’s done so much for them. Washington just hasn’t asked them to."

President Obama

July 15, 2011 10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look who's preaching that $49 billion for Social Security is a priority that should be paid first out of the money that will not cover all our bills next month.

What are you, some kind of "spend but don't tax socialist"?

July 15, 2011 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm simply saying that Obama is a liar if he says that he can't pay Social Security and interest on our debts because the debt limit isn't raised.

He simply has other priorities, like maintaining the huge increases in various departments that were so supposed to be stimulus spending rathyer than permanent boosts.

July 15, 2011 11:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Obama is a liar if he says that he can't pay Social Security and interest on our debts because the debt limit isn't raised"

Show us a reputable news source that reports he said he "can't pay Social Security and interest on our debts because the debt limit isn't raised."

You made that up just like the rest of your lies. He didn't say we "can't", he said "there ***may simply not be the money*** in the coffers to do it," which is very true.

Here's the interview with Scott Pelley:

"Pelley: "Can you tell the folks at home that, no matter what happens, the Social Security checks are going to go out on August the 3rd? There are about $20 billion worth of Social Security checks that have to go out the day after the government is supposedly going to go into default."

Obama: "Well, this is not just a matter of Social Security checks. These are veterans' checks, these are folks on disability and their checks. There are about 70 million checks that go out each month."

Pelley: "Can you guarantee, as president, that those checks will go out on August the 3rd?"

Obama: "I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue, because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.""

And here's Greta Van Susteren's interview with Speaker Boehner, in which he agreed that if the debt ceiling isn’t raised, Social Security is one of the programs that will compete for insufficient funds left in the general fund:

"VAN SUSTEREN: Congresswoman Bachmann talked to me last night about Social Security, because that wa one of the things the President said, said something about, come August 2nd, you know, maybe the checks won’t go out. Does the money from the Social Security come from a different account essentially, so that even if we do hit the debt ceiling and there is still some government shutdown, those checks still go out because the revenue from them is from people working?

BOEHNER: Ohhh, I don’t believe so. At the end of the day, it all comes out of the general fund, and the general fund is expected to be out of cash come August 3rd or August 4th, and then the Treasury Secretary would have to make decisions on what to pay and what not to pay."

July 15, 2011 12:13 PM  

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