Posts Tagged ‘leonard

27
Feb
15

A Tweet or Two

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His last tweet. Just perfect. He gave joy to millions of people. May he rest in peace

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A legend lost. May he rest in peace

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Continue reading ‘A Tweet or Two’

28
Jul
11

farce

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Steve Benen: …. Speaker Boehner’s budget proposal doesn’t have the votes. In the hopes of twisting a few arms, the House proceeded to take up a few measures related to — I kid you not — naming post offices. (Yes, five days before an economic catastrophe of Republicans’ making, they’re reduced to naming post offices on the House floor.)

Nearly two hours later, GOP leaders have said they still expect to hold a vote “tonight,” though that’s a time frame that could conceivably go into the morning. Democratic leaders also anticipate a vote this evening, and have told members not to leave Capitol Hill.

By most accounts, Boehner is a vote or two shy of what he needs to pass a bill … which everyone knows will then be promptly killed by the Senate. The Speaker’s argument to his caucus is that passage of his budget plan will give him greater leverage in the final round of talks, after this bill dies, but as it turns out, that’s not much of a rallying cry for a right-wing caucus that doesn’t like Boehner’s bill much anyway.

At this point, it’s also worth noting that Boehner’s hold on the Speaker’s gavel is weakening, and failure tonight, if there’s a vote, would be a stunning rebuke of his leadership by dozens of members of his own caucus.

Harry Reid’s communications director, meanwhile, explained about an hour ago, “The Senate stands ready to defeat the Boehner plan whenever House Republicans can get their act together.”

…. Update: At about 8:10 p.m., Eric Cantor’s spokesperson said the vote will occur “before tomorrow.”

More here

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Joe Klein (Time): Let us not put too fine a point on it: Thursday’s House vote on Speaker John Boehner’s debt ceiling proposal is a joke. If it passes the House, Harry Reid has said it is dead on arrival in the Senate. If it somehow passes the Senate, which it won’t, President Obama will veto it. It is, therefore, a symbolic act that is wasting precious time. It follows last week’s Republican theatrics, the passage of the Cut and Demolish Act (or whatever they called it), which also was a waste of time. These are the actions of a party that has completely lost track of reality – and of a leader, John Boehner, who has lost the support of his party.

…. This has been an exhausting process – one that might have resulted in an exhilarating triumph, if the Republican party were not led by nihilists like Rush Limbaugh and Grover Norquist. But one senses that the President is feeling the exhaustion and frustration. He is preparing himself for the worst of all possible scenarios: the uncertainty caused by the Republican anarchy has already damaged the economy, businesses are waiting to see what the interest rates will be and therefore delaying plans to expand. That uncertainty, added to the higher oil prices caused by Arab Spring, the European Debt crisis and the Japanese earthquake could well bring us a double-dip recession.

… And so, here we are. Our nation’s economy and international reputation as the world’s presiding grownup has already been badly damaged. It is a self-inflicted wound of monumental stupidity. I am usually willing to acknowledge that Democrats can be as silly, and hidebound, as Republicans–but not this time. There is zero equivalence here. The vast majority of Democrats have been more than reasonable….

The Republicans have been willing to concede nothing. Their stand means higher interest rates, fewer jobs created and more destroyed, a general weakening of this country’s standing in the world. Osama bin Laden, if he were still alive, could not have come up with a more clever strategy for strangling our nation.

Full article here

President Obama talks with staff during a Domestic Policy Council meeting in the Oval Office, July 28 (Photo by Pete Souza)

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Andrew Leonard (Salon): As I write these words, the U.S. House of Representatives is debating the appropriate name for a post office in Pasadena, Calif. Meanwhile, C-SPAN is running a crawl at the bottom of the screen that reads “Final Vote on Speaker Boehner’s Plan to Raise Debt Ceiling Postponed.”

And so, ludicrously, is history made. The Republican Party is on the cusp of one of the greatest self-inflicted disasters since a crack cadre of two-bit bumblers broke into the Watergate Hotel. Right now, John Boehner cannot count on enough Republican votes to pass his own debt ceiling bill….

…It is still, at this point, nearly inconceivable that Boehner’s bill could go down in flames. Because if it does, intransigent House conservatives will have handed President Obama one of the biggest victories of his term.

Here’s why: The Boehner bill is already a conservative bill that won’t pass the Senate. But if House Republicans can’t pass it on their own, they will have conclusively demonstrated that it will be impossible for them to come to agreement on any kind of compromise deal acceptable to both parties. They will have effectively declared themselves incapable of governing …. exposed as both irresponsible and incompetent.

… Washington will be a different town, and Boehner will be a neutered political leader. And those of us who lived through this period will wonder how in the world this man managed to hold the U.S. government hostage for so long, when he couldn’t even control his own party.

Full article here

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03
Jun
11

“gop response to jobs report: the earth is flat and 2 + 2 = 5”

Andrew Leonard (Salon): ….House Republicans pinned the blame for Friday’s disappointing jobs report squarely on the White House, saying the Obama administration’s “over-taxing, over-regulating and over-spending” has stifled economic growth. “One look at the jobs report should be enough to show the White House it’s time to get serious about cutting spending and dealing with our ailing economy,” Speaker John Boehner said.

How many blatant untruths can a Republican speaker of the House stuff into one sentence? Quite a few!

1) President Obama has cut taxes. His stimulus bill included tax cuts for 95 percent of all American working families. He signed off on the extension of the Bush tax cuts, while throwing in a new payroll tax cut for good measure.

2) Over-regulating? …Let’s just take a look at the two sectors of the economy that we might expect to have been affected by the two biggest signature pieces of legislation signed into law by Obama – the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank bank reform act … the healthcare sector has averaged 24,000 news jobs a month over the past year – and accounted for almost a third of May’s overall 54,000 gain. Meanwhile, Wall Street had its fourth most profitable year ever in 2010. If that’s over-regulation, we need more of it!

3) Private economic forecasters … generally agree that without Obama’s stimulus spending, unemployment would be higher.

We could raise other issues. We could ask: What changed between May and the previous six months in which job growth was relatively strong? But that would require examining actual facts about what is going on the world, like Japan’s recession or high gas prices or declining government spending, particularly at the state level.

More here

14
Feb
11

‘reasons to cheer for obama’s budget’

Andrew Leonard (Salon): If enacted, the president’s spending plan would accomplish great things. So why are liberals so upset?

In light of all the complaints that progressives are making about the “spending cuts” in President Obama’s new budget, it might be worth remembering that Obama’s first budget added up to $3.6 trillion dollars, and pretty much everyone on the left, including Paul Krugman, thought it was just peachy, an amazingly ambitious statement of new government priorities.

Obama’s new budget totals $3.73 trillion. That hardly represents a slash-and-burn retreat from the federal spending front lines! It’s an expansion beyond the budget that blew minds two years ago. But whereas Krugman praised the first budget as setting a “fundamentally new course” for the United States, he is dismissing the new budget as “hardly something to cheer about.”….

…it seems to me, if you are looking for reasons to cheer, or rating the budget on pure symbolism, that you can find plenty of exciting line items worth getting hot and bothered about.

The president calls for an end to oil, gas, and coal subsidies and the expiration of tax cuts for the rich. There are some painful cuts, but there is also plenty of new investment in education and infrastructure – including high speed rail and a vast expansion of broadband wireless connectivity….

Maybe we aren’t cheering about any of that because we know none of it is going to happen. Congress writes the budget and passes it; what the White House proposes is just a suggestion. And House Republicans have no intention of ending oil industries subsidies or hiking taxes on anyone.

…Judged against the Obama’s previous budgets, the president isn’t asking for significant cuts. What he and his team are trying to do is to present themselves as just fiscally responsible enough to make Republicans look like the out-of-control party recklessly pushing for a government shutdown. That seems like the smart, sane way to do what you can to protect an economy that is slowly reviving, and slowly beginning to bring down the unemployment rate.

Read full article here




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