Tag Archives: Obama

The GOP Deficit Game

The GOP are lying about deficits and they’ve got a lot of their right-wingers duped. They didn’t care one bit about deficit spending for eight years during the George W. Bush administration. In fact, Republican administrations have a pattern of deficit spending. As you  can see from the graphic below, Republicans ran up deficits under Reagan and both Bush administrations, and at a higher rate than either Clinton or Obama. Wasn’t it Dick Cheney who said, “deficits don’t matter”?

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The GOP claims that President Obama’s 2009 stimulus spending increased the deficit, but it was actually the recession, the free fall in the economy and the loss of tax revenue due to massive jobs lost that contributed to the deficit between 2008 and 2009. During 2010 and 2011, as the economy began to show signs of recovery the deficit began to shrink. But, Republicans don’t want you to know that.

Paul Krugman, Op-Ed Columnist for The New York Times, explains why deficit hawks should not be taken seriously. They cry austerity, but their real objective is to “starve the beast”. The GOP long-standing strategy is to cut taxes, run deficits that would require spending cuts to entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare, which they hate. Bottom line is the Republicans have thrown up the smoke screen of the deficit. Republicans don’t hate the deficit, they love it. They will leverage it as a tool to gain political points in their quest to oppose President Obama on just about everything, and in an attempt to shrink, what they call, “big” government.

Obama’s Recess Appointments

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Isn’t it curious that he District of Columbia U.S. Court of Appeals ruled against the constitutionality of President Obama’s recess appointments. Mr. Obama has made a total of 32 recess appointments because of obstruction by Senate Republicans. This ruling by the appellate court is unprecedented. In order to challenge these appointments, the Senate held brief “pro-forma” sessions to avoid “recess”. Senate Republicans argued that Obama’s appointments were unconstitutional because the Senate had not formally recessed even at times when most members were away. So now we have this ruling by three judges of questionable motivation and no real filibuster reform in the Senate. I wonder how Harry Reid feels about this turn of events?

Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, said: “The decision is novel and unprecedented. It contradicts 150 years of practice by Democratic and Republican administrations. So we respectfully but strongly disagree with the ruling.”

The ruling was made by David B. Sentelle, Chief Judge, Karen Lecraft Henderson and Thomas B. Griffith. All three judges were appointed by Republican administrations. Judge Sentelle was appointed by Ronald Reagan, and Judges Henderson and Griffith were both appointed by George W. Bush. Judge Griffith also advised the Senate during the impeachment trial of President Clinton. Is it a coincidence that all three judges in this case also have roots in southern red states? Apparently, Senate Republicans found a way to stack the deck against the White House.

As of recent reports, the White House will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. Stay tuned.

Obama’s Cabinet Diversity

I agree with Alan Colmes Liberaland blog that the issue of diversity in Obama’s second term is no issue at all. It has been trumped up by Republican haters and pie-in-the-sky Progressive liberals. Let’s not forget that President Obama is a black man and must always be included when considering the diversity issue in his cabinet. I’m growing very weary of the far right and far left these days. The far right demonizes and the far left deifies Obama. He is neither devil nor God. Cut the brotha’ some slack. If Republicans like Lindsey Graham and John McCain had not politically lynched Susan Rice, we would not be having this conversation. Besides, women are not the only people that elected Barack Obama, but are quite vocal right now. African Americans voted for Obama at a rate of 93% in the 2012 Presidential election. I, for one, an African American woman, will be most satisfied when I see another African American woman appointed to a noteable cabinet-level position or its politically visible equivalent. In fact, if the opportunity presents itself, I would advocate that President Obama appoint an African American woman to the Supreme Court. To criticize Obama for a lack of diversity is totally ridiculous. His record on issues pertaining to diversity stands on its own. Better yet, criticize the GOP club of white men who constantly block the first black POTUS in every way, shape and form. Criticize the dubious attacks against Eric Holder by the GOP. Criticize the GOP for Van Jones departure. And here’s another forgotten African American victim of Obama haters, Desiree Rogers, former White House Social Secretary. I have heard enough on this fake issue.

The 14th Amendment

Deadbeats

House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi clearly advocated invoking the 14th Amendment last Sunday on the CBS’s, Face the Nation, and now there are reportedly several Democrat members of the Senate that would back President Obama if it came to that. Even though I still don’t think that President Obama will invoke the 14th Amendment, it’s good to know that Democrats are showing solidarity against right-wing extremism and GOP brinksmanship. Isn’t it funny, to Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s point, that Republicans never had any issues with raising the debt ceiling during the deficit-creating Bush years? Section 4 of the 14th Amendment states as follows:

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

If the 14th Amendment were invoked by President Obama, Section 4 would definitely be challenged relative to its interpretation and application, but I think it very clearly indicates that valid public debt (any debt not deemed as illegal) “shall not be questioned.” With each balk by the GOP at raising the debt ceiling, they are challenging the very legality of the debt which Congress has already legislated. That is an oxymoron.

The Debt Ceiling Escape Hatch?

Debt Ceiling

Edward Kleinbard’s opinion piece in the New York Times entitled The Debt Ceiling’s Escape Hatch offers an interesting solution to the coming federal debt ceiling fight between the White House and Republicans in Congress. He proposes that President Obama issue “registered warrants” also known as scrip. The non-technical term would be an I.O.U. In fact, the state of California, successfully, issued I.O.U.’s as recently as 2009 when it faced its own budget crisis. Kleinbard writes,

“The scrip would not violate the debt ceiling because it wouldn’t constitute a new borrowing of money backed by the credit of the United States.”

Who can say whether or not this would be the best approach, but the alternatives are probably worse. If President Obama were to heed the House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi’s advice and invoke the 14th Amendment, Republicans in the House, no doubt, would move toward Articles of Impeachment. Given President Obama’s pragmatic political disposition, I just don’t see him doing that.

Read the full article at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/10/opinion/an-escape-hatch-for-the-debt-ceiling.html?_r=1&

Edward D. Kleinbard, a former chief of staff at the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, is a law professor at the University of Southern California.

Presidential Inaugural Gala

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Join us on Sunday, January 20, 2013 from 6:00 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Atrium at Treetops. Come celebrate and commemorate the historic re-election of the first African American President, and the nation’s 44th President of the United States of America, President Barack H. Obama. The event includes free garage parking, and we are Metro accessible. Located just 10 minutes outside the nation’s capitol.

The Inaugural Gala presented by MNA & Associates humbly boasts the finest customer service of any of the major Inaugural Balls. Tickets include food, open bar and an evening of live entertainment and dancing throughout this magnificently appointed venue. This inaugural gala is being held in honor of President Obama and Vice-President Biden’s reelection. We invite you to celebrate with us this remarkable milestone in American History. Hurry. Tickets are selling fast.

For ticket information visit us at The Presidential Inaugural Gala sponsored by MNA & Associates.

Immigration Reform

Immigration ReformOn January 2nd, the White House ruled that foreign spouses and children can stay with their U.S. citizen relatives if they are applying for green cards (permanent residency). This is another step in the right direction as the Obama Administration moves toward comprehensive immigration reform. Nancy Pelosi mentioned immigration reform in her remarks at the opening of 113th Congress, but there was no mention from John Boehner. President Obama has promised to introduce an immigration reform bill shortly after his inauguration that will give legal status to approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants. I think he will do just that. Besides, something must be done on immigration reform in his second term, and after garnering 71% of the Hispanic vote in the 2012 Election, I think that President Obama has a mandate.

The Republicans will charge that President Obama needs to secure our borders, but Mr. Obama has been doing that and more. In fact, according to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) under the Obama Administration in FY11 alone almost 400,000 immigrants were deported, and in FY12 over 400,000 immigrants were deported. Recent deportations, within the last fiscal year, and as a matter of priority, fell into the category of immigrants who were convicted of felonies or misdemeanors as the Obama Administration fine-tuned its deportation policy.

One might ask, what happened to the significance of the sonnet, “New Colossus” inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free“. Or does this phrase only have application if the immigrant population is European? Conservative Republicans do not want immigration reform, and if the GOP remains on its same course, immigrants who may someday become U.S. citizens represent yet another constituency with whom they will have no influence, especially Hispanic immigrants. With the political composition of 113th Congress, immigration reform promises to be another gritty battle for the Obama Administration. Nonetheless, now is the time for comprehensive immigration reform.

Read the ABC Univision piece: Analysis: 6 Things Obama Needs To Do for Immigration Reform

Fiscal Cliff Afterthoughts

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Read my latest blog post under Salient Points entitled Fiscal Cliff Afterthoughts

If Republicans hate the fiscal cliff deal, the Republican House has no one to blame but itself. Speaker John Boehner had no control of his caucus, clearly demonstrated an inability to negotiate a deal (he essentially had no followers in his caucus) and then offered a bogus plan B solution that he couldn’t even bring to a vote.

‘Plan B’ Debacle and the Fiscal Cliff

BoehnerWhen I heard reports earlier this week that the White House’ latest negotiating offer to avert the fiscal cliff (curb) was to extend the Bush tax cuts to a higher income threshold (incomes up to $400,000) and to also propose spending cuts to Social Security by changing how benefits are calculated (using the chained CPI), I was disappointed, to say the least. Some Democrats, and I’m one of them, had to break with President Obama’s latest fiscal cliff proposal. Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit.

Then I began to think, this was probably a negotiating gesture by the White House that they figured Republicans would not accept anyway. Turns out, that’s the case. No one can ever say, credibly, that President Obama was not willing to make concessions during these negotiations. Then here comes Boehner, bam!, with bogus Plan B. Well, the President promised to veto Plan B, which is no viable plan at all, if it came to that. Boehner’s Plan B proposal extended the Bush Tax cuts on incomes up to $1 million.

Of course, Boehner’s Republicans did not accept the White House proposal (even with the Social Security spending cuts), but now Boehner’s inability to alternatively get his Republican caucus’ support for Plan B is solid evidence that he cannot responsibly negotiate the fiscal cliff. Boehner is a feckless leader, and probably the worst Speaker in the history of the United States. He appears to be a leader without any followers.

Republican House members were sent home this evening for the Christmas holiday after Boehner could not muster the votes to pass Plan B. What a well-deserved embarrassment for John Boehner. He had to call off the vote because, after all of Boehner’s rhetoric and posturing, he could not get the votes to pass it. As of this writing, Plan B is dead, so I guess the Social Security concession from Obama is no longer at issue either, I hope. It’s all for naught, and it looks like we may be going over the cliff after all. In fact, that may be the better deal for the American taxpayer, but it certainly will not help the economy, at least in the near term.

L. Jackson/12.20.2012

Obama’s Tapper Test

Obama to Tapper

Jake Tapper’s, ABC News, set-up question to President Obama wreaks of right-wing chicanery. As soon as I heard his question, I wondered how many bills did Jake receive in order to ask it during this White House Press briefing? I imagined that the proposal  to Tapper went something like, “Ask Obama a question that makes it appear that he is both negligent and responsible for gun violence in America instead of the NRA”. Of course, Mr. Obama, as usual, deftly replied to Tapper. The Tapper question was just another example of the “Washington Spin Press”.

My question to Tapper, is where were your questions regarding gun violence two massacres ago…three, and why didn’t you direct them toward the NRA?  I read through some of the online commentary regarding this portion of the Q&A, and the comments were virulently hateful of Obama. I feel sorry for these people who make all these ugly comments online. These online commenters are symptomatic of a debased culture that’s contributing to people who think they should shoot and kill innocent people. Bottom line, the NRA is the organization with blood on its hands.

Politico reports that Rush Limbaugh gave Tapper kudos for his so-called “zinger” question. Now you know if Limbaugh liked it, then something is very foul. The Politico article characterizes Obama’s response to Tapper as testy. Read my blog post entitled, “Governing While Black” to understand why I think this noteworthy. All I can say regarding Obama’s carriage in response to Tapper, “you’re daggone skippy”. Translation: Obama’s response was appropriate.

See the video clip at the following link: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/video/jake-tapper-questions-president-obama-gun-control-18016735

L. Jackson / 12.19.2012