Must Be Election Season

Oh, sure, it’s cheap political theater, but it’s the thought that counts and it’s got Democrats howling, so it serves its purpose.

In run-up to Nov. vote, GOP unveils ‘Pledge to America’

House Republican leaders vowed to reverse the course of Washington and “realign our country’s compass” in a wide-ranging agenda unveiled six weeks before the fall elections.

The 21-page “Pledge to America,” released Thursday at a Virginia hardware and lumber store, focused largely on government spending, the economy and ways to roll back ideas proposed by President Obama, including the new health care law.

“Government is out of control,” said House GOP leader John Boehner, sounding a theme repeated throughout the plan. “And we need to rein it in.”

An anti-Washington mood has endangered dozens of House Democrats this year, bolstering the GOP’s hopes that they can recapture the majority in the November elections. To do so, the party would need to win back 39 seats.

Democrats called the plan a retread: “The Republican agenda … will take us right back to the exact same agenda that failed middle-class families,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said.

Read the pledge:

A Pledge to America

/Michael Ramirez

See also:
A Pledge to America – The Fall 2010 GOP Agenda
The GOP makes its “Pledge to America”
Pledge to America: good policy, good strategy
GOP’s ante: The pledge
Republicans unveil Pledge to America, but where was Paul Ryan?
Will the “Pledge to America” Produce a Single GOP Vote in November?
Democrats on the Pledge to America
GOP ‘Pledge to America’ infuriates some conservatives

Well, the “Pledge” certainly has provoked reactions from all sides, which I guess was the point. Whether you believe this is a serious document or a gimmick, it really doesn’t matter. Even if the Republicans take back the House and, by some miracle, manage to retake the Senate, as long as Obama is still sitting in the White House with his veto pen, the Pledge to America is going nowhere fast.

/the best Republicans can hope for, with control of the House, is to kill funding for the agenda the Democrats have already passed and try and starve it to death, which is certainly much better than a sharp stick in the eye

Drain The Swamp Watch

Will he stay or will he go? Charlie Rangel is the gift that keeps on giving . . . to the GOP.

Dems keep distance from Rangel

Several Democrats facing competitive elections began distancing themselves Tuesday from embattled New York Rep. Charles Rangel as a potentially damaging hearing on whether he violated House ethics rules drew near.

As Rangel’s lawyers tried to negotiate a settlement to avoid a public ethics trial — set to begin Thursday — Democrats attempted to shift focus away from vulnerable lawmakers under pressure from GOP challengers over the Rangel controversy.

“I think everyone would like to have it go away in the sense that this is not a pleasant process,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. Hoyer was peppered with questions about Rangel at a news conference designed to detail the party’s message for the upcoming recess period in August.

An ethics subcommittee charged Rangel, a Democrat, with unspecified violations July 22 after an 18-month investigation into his fundraising, taxes and financial disclosure statements. The charges will be unveiled at the hearing — the first step in a process unfolding before the midterm elections.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., chairwoman of the House ethics committee, denied that lawmakers were working on a plea deal with Rangel to avoid a trial. She told the Associated Press that Rangel’s lawyers are negotiating with the committee’s non-partisan staff.

If the negotiations result in an agreement, the committee could vote to accept it at the meeting this week.

See also:
House Panel Charges Rangel With Ethics Violations
Panel hits N.Y.’s Rangel with ethics violations
Jim Traficant’s trying times of 2002 could be repeated for Rep. Charles Rangel
Rangel seeks plea agreement to avoid ethics trial
Rangel in a sleaze squeeze
Rangel Settlement Talks Continue
Rangel Scrambling to Make Deal on Ethics Charges
Dean: Ethics Charges Could Get Rangel ‘Thrown Out of Congress’
Rangel Maintains Innocence; Admits Controversy Has Taken Its Toll
Rangel: More Alleged Violations, Still Optimistic
Charles B. Rangel
Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.)
Charles B. Rangel
Committee on Standards of Official Conduct
United States House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct

Remember when Nancy Pelosi vowed to drain the swamp and run the most ethical Congress ever? Well, how’s that working out? Apparently the swamp doesn’t want to be drained. Fight on Charlie, fight on!

/big, huge bonus for Republicans if there’s a public Charlie Rangel ethics trail in the House this Fall, going into the midterm elections

We Can’t Pay Back What We Already Owe, So Let’s Borrow More!

Pelosi to propose debt ceiling increase

Language that would raise the U.S. debt ceiling will be included in a defense spending bill up for a vote next week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday.

The deficit is expected to grow by nearly $1.4 trillion this year. House leaders haven’t reached consensus on how much to raise the ceiling, now at $12.1 trillion, but a figure as high as an $1.925 trillion was being discussed, The Washington Post reported.

Treasury officials reported to congressional leaders that the cap must be raised by New Year’s Eve or the federal government would risk running out of money for Social Security and veterans’ payments in January, the Post said.

Yes, that’s right, not only is the House going to vote to raise the debt limit, so we can borrow even more money that we won’t be able to repay but, in an incredibly despicable move, Pelosi and the Democrats are attaching the debt ceiling increase to a defense bill, so anyone who wants to vote against increasing the debt limit also has to vote against funding our troops in the field. One thing there seems to be no limit on is how disgustingly low Democrats will go. Republicans are fighting back, however futile that might prove to be.

House GOP Outraged Over Debt Ceiling Attachment To Defense Bill

Congressman Steve Scalise (R-La.), along with other House GOP leaders, reacted Friday to plans by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to tack a Pentagon appropriations bill with legislation that would increase the nation’s debt ceiling amount by $1.8 trillion by unveiling the” CAP the DEBT Act.”

The bill would repeal the Gephart Rule, which allows debt ceiling increases to be included in joint budget resolutions without a direct vote. Under the Scalise legislation, changes to the national debt ceiling amount would have to pass both Congressional houses with two-thirds majority vote.

Congressman Scalise said that the CAP the DEBT Act is being filed because “the liberals that are running this Congress have been on a wild spending spree for the last three years, since Speaker Pelosi has had the gavel.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that the ceiling increase would be tacked to a spending bill headed to the House floor next week and that legislation is largely expected to be the pending $636.4 billion Pentagon appropriations bill that would partially fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Prior to Pelosi’s announcement, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said that increasing the ceiling is necessary in order to pay the country’s mounting bills.

However, Scalise was not happy with the proposed method for increasing the national ceiling, saying “the ultimate sign of hypocrisy is [that] this Democrat liberal group running Congress is going to now again hide behind our troops and throw this increase of the national debt ceiling on a defense bill.”

See also:
Pelosi: House intends to raise debt ceiling
US Pelosi:To Pass Debt Ceiling Hike Next Week on Defense Bill
Hoyer urges $1.8T increase to debt ceiling
Hoyer: US Must Raise Debt Ceiling $1.8T
US’s Hoyer:Debt-Hike Vote Next Week May Include PAYGO Renewal
US lawmakers to vote on debt limit hike next week
Democrats plan nearly $2 trillion debt limit hike
Obama Admin wants to raise US Debt Ceiling by 2 Trillion Dollars – An analysis of consequences
Congress Squabbles Over Debt Ceiling
Republicans Try to Put a Freeze on Debt Limit, as Democrats Call for $1.8T Hike
Blue Dogs threaten to block debt ceiling lift
U.S. National Debt Clock : Real Time

You think raising the debt ceiling to around $14 trillion is bad? Obama’s out of control socialist agenda is on pace to put this country in the hole to the tune of $20 trillion before he’s done.

/this fiscal insanity has just got to stop

She Doesn’t Have The Votes

2009-05-14

The Democrat feet are cold and getting colder. Maybe, it’s the Manager’s Amendment. The arm twisting now occurring is in danger of breaking bones.

Hoyer: Dems still shy of 218 votes

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer still expects the House to approve its sweeping health care bill Saturday, but conceded the vote could slip until Sunday or even early next week.

Hoyer acknowledged House leaders were still shy of the 218 votes needed, amid flare-ups among anti-abortion Democrats and immigration advocates. Hoyer also warned of Republican delaying tactics that he said could push off plans to vote Saturday evening.

See also:
Hoyer says healthcare debate could go long
Hoyer: ‘Delaying tactics’ could stall vote on health reform
Health care headache for House Democrats
House Starts Debate on Health Bill
House Republicans plan to vote unanimously against health-care measure
Hoyer: Health care vote could slip
In The House Corner . . . Weighing In At 1990 Pages . . . The Affordable Health Care For America Act
Want To Get Away?

The Rats are jumping ship. They fear losing reelection more than Pelosi.

/this is the first line in the health care sand, stay frosty

You Can’t Stop Them, You Can’t Even Hope To Contain Them

The financial markets were spooked again when Democrats started talking about a second stimulus package this week. You know, because the first one is working so well and, apparently, we’re not in enough debt already.

US must be open to second economic stimulus-Hoyer

U.S. House of Representatives Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said on Tuesday that leaders need to be open to the possibility of a second stimulus package to further boost the ailing economy.

It was too soon to tell whether the $787 billion package approved in February had been successful, Hoyer told reporters, but “I think we need to be open to whether we need additional action.”

Time is Their Enemy

In an interview on local television in Connecticut, Sen. Chris Dodd (who is one of the key players on health care) said that the stimulus legislation wasn’t working and suggested there may have to be a second stimulus bill.

R.I. senators may favor second stimulus

“We may very well need to do a second stimulus,” Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse told ABC News on Monday, responding to a question about a Providence Journal story about the stimulus. “It is probably needed.”

In May, Democratic Sen. Jack Reed defended the stimulus after Governor Carcieri, a Republican, questioned the pace of federal spending. Now, Reed, too, is suggesting that the stimulus might not be strong-enough medicine for the ailing economy.

“The only way we’re going to get the economy out of the slump is to get people back to work and to stabilize housing values,” Reed said in an interview with MSNBC. “I don’t think we should rule out a second stimulus package.”

Tyson Says U.S. Should Mull Second Economic Stimulus (Update3)

The U.S. should consider drafting a second stimulus package focusing on infrastructure projects because the $787 billion approved in February was “a bit too small,” said Laura Tyson, an outside adviser to President Barack Obama.

Obama could mull second stimulus if needed: adviser

President Barack Obama could discuss a second stimulus package to boost the economy if needed, but at the moment no more new money looks necessary, a top White House adviser said on Sunday.

“Much of the stimulus is yet to come, and let’s see how this works before talking about next steps,” senior adviser David Axelrod told NBC Television’s Meet the Press program.

“Let’s see in the fall where we are, but right now we believe what we have done is adequate to the task. If more is needed, we’ll have that discussion.”

Garrett and Obama – the transcript

GARRETT: OK.

Christopher Dodd and Sheldon Whitehouse, back in the States, have both said they’re disappointed, frustrated with the stimulus, are thinking more actively about a second stimulus. How do you respond to Democrats who are frustrated with the pace of the economic package you put forward and they helped you pass?

And how seriously are you looking at a second stimulus, not only to deal with their concerns, but with state budgets across the country in many cases are imploding?

OBAMA: Well, you know, I don’t think that if you look at how this economic tsunami has unfolded that we could have spent money any faster. We had tax cuts, that’s about as fast as you can go, and that — those went out, and are still going out to 95 percent of working families.

You’ve got a lot of money going to states to prevent the firing of teachers and police officers and firefighters. And so you knew that that was going to be the early money and that you’re going to have money that comes out in infrastructure.

And you just can’t push that out that quickly, partly not just because the federal government has to process applications, but also because states and local governments have to gear up to get these projects going.

My sense is that we are going to see those projects hit in the second half of the year. We’re going to see some improvement in the economy. But you’re still going to have high levels of unemployment. And that’s something that I said back in January.

Because this economy took an enormous hit. What we’ve done is, to stop the freefall, the banking sector is not melting down, companies can borrow money again in the corporate bond markets, you know, the stock market has stabilized, and consumer confidence has recovered somewhat.

But the fact of the matter is, is that you had several trillion dollars taken out of the economy, huge amount of de-leveraging, and that is going to take a while to play itself out.

My main concern is to make sure that as the economy recovers, you’re actually starting to see job growth again. And the concern that we’ve got is that the economy has been driven for so long by consumer spending, by debt at every level, if we can’t and shouldn’t return to that kind of debt accumulation, what’s going to drive the economy?

And that’s why issues like reforming our health care system, improving clean energy, and generating jobs around clean energy, improving our education system, and medium- and long-term making sure that our fiscal situation is in order, that’s why those things are so important, so.

GARRETT: Second stimulus, on the table or off the table?

OBAMA: Well, I don’t take anything off the table when…

See also:
Top Obama ally: New stimulus may be needed
Obama adviser: Plan for second stimulus
Hoyer Leaves Open Possibility of Second U.S. Economic Stimulus
Stimulus Gets a Second Wind in Washington
Machinists President Renews Call for Second Stimulus
Polls: Most against second stimulus
Poll: 60 Percent Oppose Another Stimulus Plan
US STOCKS-Wall St hits 10-week low amid talk of new stimulus
US STOCKS-Wall St wilts as new stimulus talk stokes fears

Hey dumbasses, do you really want to turn the economy around in a hurry? CUT SPENDING AND CUT TAXES! It’s not [expletive deleted] rocket science!

/geez, I swear these numbnuts lie awake at night trying to think of new and innovative ways to wage jihad on the U.S. economy

Pay As You Go, Except For A Few Trillion Here And There

Some Democrats Warn of Loophole in Obama’s Pay-As-You-Go Rules

President Obama called on Congress yesterday to enact pay-as-you-go budget rules to help tame a deficit forecast to top $1.8 trillion this year. But even as some Democrats applauded the plan, others complained that it would give a free pass to expensive policies that would sink the nation trillions of dollars deeper into the red over the next 10 years.

The proposal would bar lawmakers from expanding entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security, creating programs such as universal health coverage or cutting taxes unless they cover the cost by raising taxes or cutting spending elsewhere. If, by year’s end, the White House budget office determined that new initiatives had not been paid for, the president would be required to make across-the-board cuts in entitlement spending.

The proposal is similar to rules that briefly helped the Clinton administration transform big budget deficits into surpluses. Republicans let the law, known as PAYGO, lapse in 2002.

“The pay-as-you-go rule is very simple. Congress can only spend a dollar if it saves a dollar elsewhere,” Obama said at a White House ceremony, backed by more than a dozen lawmakers, including House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), who said he would introduce the plan as legislation next week. “It is no coincidence that this rule was in place when we moved from record deficits to record surpluses in the 1990s — and that when this rule was abandoned, we returned to record deficits that doubled the national debt.”

One big difference between Obama’s proposal and the Clinton-era rules, however, is that Obama would exempt an array of expensive policies currently in effect. For example, lawmakers could extend the tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration past their 2010 expiration date, restrain the growth of the alternative-minimum tax and continue to forestall scheduled payment cuts for Medicare physicians without consequence. All told, those policies would increase annual budget deficits by more than $3.5 trillion over the next decade.

Some independent analysts who support PAYGO rules objected to the loophole. “This is like quitting drinking, but making an exception for beer and hard liquor,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

And while the proposal found favor in the House, it faced serious obstacles in the Senate, where several key senators said they would oppose it.

“I’m not for waiving PAYGO for $3.5 trillion of items, much of which I think ought to be paid for,” said Senate Budget Committee chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.). “I don’t think at this point we can afford not to pay for those very large expenditures.”

Coming one day after Obama vowed to shovel money from the economic stimulus package out the door even more quickly, yesterday’s call for fiscal rectitude also drew catcalls from Republicans.

“The president continues to display a frightening ability to say one thing, yet do the exact opposite,” said Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.). “It’s frankly insulting that a president who is on a path to bankrupting our government would try to play the role of fiscal hawk.”

Obama: It’s OK to borrow to pay for health care

President Barack Obama on Tuesday proposed budget rules that would allow Congress to borrow tens of billions of dollars and put the nation deeper in debt to jump-start the administration’s emerging health care overhaul. The “pay-as-you-go” budget formula plan is significantly weaker than a proposal Obama issued with little fanfare last month.

It would carve out about $2.5 trillion worth of exemptions for Obama’s priorities over the next decade. His health care reform plan also would get a green light to run big deficits in its early years. But over a decade, Congress would have to come up with money to cover those early year deficits.

See also:
Obama Urges Congress to Tighten ‘Paygo’ Budget Rules (Update3)
Concord Coalition Supports Statutory Paygo But Cautions Against Large Exemptions
Obama Urges Congress to Tighten ‘Paygo’ Budget Rules
Obama proposes making ‘pay-as-you-go’ the law
Obama: After $3 trillion spent … “Pay Go” is back
Pay-go makes a comeback

What manner of bull[expletive deleted is this, just how stupid does Obama think we are? Pretty damn dumb I guess, pretending to suddenly be fiscally responsible after he’s already maxed out all the national credit cards. Now that he’s wrapped the country around a tree and totaled it, he promises to drive safely from now on.

/it’s like closing the barn door after the horse, the barn, and the entire farm is gone!