Archive for July, 2011
Boehner Debt Ceiling Bill Dead On Arrival With Its Demand For Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment For Later Raising Of The Debt Ceiling In 2012!
The Debt Ceiling proposal of Speaker of the House John Boehner barely made it through the House of Representatives yesterday by a vote of 218-210, with 22 Tea Party radicals voting against the proposal.
It has already been defeated in the Senate by a motion to table it, and the President has already indicated that he would veto it were it to pass the Senate.
And there is good reason to defeat it, as it requires another vote in six months on the extension of the debt ceiling, in the midst of a presidential campaign, and would guarantee further economic turmoil while the economy is in such a deep recession. It is reckless and irrational to complicate the economic recovery, and the Democrats are right in demanding an extension of the debt ceiling for 18 months until after the Presidential Election of 2012.
But beyond all this, there is another element to consider, and that is the demand under the Boehner legislation that the Congress MUST pass a balanced budget constitutional amendment, or else the debt ceiling will NOT be raised at all, six months from now!
This is economic terrorism at its worst, and it is, of course, impossible to accomplish!
Realize there are 240 Republicans in the House of Representatives in the 112th Congress, and 47 Republicans in the US Senate.
To accomplish the passage of any constitutional amendment and send it on to the states, a two thirds vote is required in both houses, which means you need 290 votes in the House if everyone is voting, and 67 Senators.
This would mean that at least 50 Democrats in the House of Representatives and 20 Democrats in the Senate would have to support such an amendment, and that simply is NOT going to happen under any circumstances!
And the irony is even if such an occurrence came about, there is almost no chance that 38 state legislatures (three fourths of the states) would pass such an amendment by a majority vote in both houses!
All that would be needed is to have one house of the state legislature by a one vote margin of defeat in 13 states kill the amendment, and one must recall that the proposed Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s reached 35 states, three short of the required 38, and then died.
So the possibility of a constitutional amendment under the so called “best circumstances” to be added to the Constitution is less likely than that we are going to send astronauts to Mars in the next decade!
In other words, the odds are absolutely ZERO!
The Tea Party Succeeds In The Emasculation Of Speaker John Boehner: The War Within The Republican Party!
The House of Representatives has just passed a debt limit bill that is dead on arrival in the US Senate, and in the process have shown just how destructive and anti American the Tea Party radicals in the House are, and they have succeeded in the emasculation of Speaker John Boehner!
Boehner’s Speakership will NEVER be the same, after three long days of wrangling, pleading, pressuring, etc and yet, while winning a symbolic vote, lost 22 of the hardline right membership, who would not show loyalty and respect for their own Speaker!
This whole mess was a tremendous embarrassment to Boehner, and has destroyed any chance of him being effective, and it is predictable that, in the unlikely situation of a GOP House majority in 2013, that he will be pushed aside for Eric Cantor or Kevin McCarthy or Paul Ryan, the so called “Young Guns”, who can be blamed more than even the Tea Party radicals for undermining their own leader!
Since the Democrats only need 25 seats to regain the House majority, it now seems predictable that such an eventuality will occur. It is essential for every good person in this nation to get off his or her rear end, get out there and campaign for progressive change, contribute to the Democratic Party, and volunteer his time to convince the American people to overcome the corporate influence promoted by the Supreme Court Citizens United case, and save the nation from total disaster, the plan of the GOP to take away from the poor, the elderly, the sick and disabled, and other vulnerable groups, and redistribute income to the top two percent, who have had an unfair advantage since the administration of Ronald Reagan, but getting far worse under George W. Bush!
This is our country to save, and if the hard Right wins control of both houses of Congress and the White House in 2013 because of laziness, ignorance,or refusal to take the responsibility of voting seriously, then unfortunately we will get what we deserve–a plutocracy with fascist tendencies and no concern for the middle or lower classes in America!
Thankfully, the events in the House make it clear that the Republican Party is involved in an internal conflict which will, hopefully, rip them apart and save the country from these economic terrorists who are a threat to all of us in the name of profit and wealth!
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin today demonstrated just how dangerous she really is, as she sent a message through her Facebook page warning the Tea Party radicals, who are refusing to make any deal with their own leader, Speaker of the House John Boehner, that if they made ANY compromise in the Debt Ceiling Crisis, they would face primaries when they ran for reelection next year!
By fighting against the establishment of her own party, she is proving herself much more than just the usual ignorant, stupid, uninformed person that she has proved to be over and over again in the past three years!
It is much worse than that! It is that she is promoting the economic collapse of our nation, the downgrading of our credit rating, which would lead to skyrocketing interest rates on home mortgages, automobile loans, credit cards, and student loans, plus more unemployment, bankruptcies, and broadly, more anarchy and chaos!
This makes Sarah Palin a danger to the American nation, and a person who would literally be a menace to our country if she were to ever gain power!
We cannot afford such a KNOW NOTHING anarchist, radical, extremist, economic terrorist who has no concern for the future of the average American!
This woman needs to be repudiated by all decent Republicans, as well as Democrats and Independents, for her destructive, reprehensible, and reckless behavior, and be told clearly to stay up in Alaska and leave this nation alone!
14th Amendment Celebrates 143rd Anniversary: Time For President Obama To Utilize It To Save The American Economy From Disaster!
Today in the year 1868, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, arguably the most important amendment other than the first ten (The Bill Of Rights), was adopted and added to the Constitution.
It gave African Americans citizenship, and pledged that no state could deprive anyone of life, liberty, and property, or deny equal protection of the laws. It also provided for the concept that all federal debts were to be paid by the government without any question as to their legitimacy.
Who would think that 143 years later, it is precisely this Section 4 of the 14th Amendment which can, if President Obama invokes it, save the nation from economic disaster by providing for a raising of the debt ceiling, taking away that authority from a reckless, irresponsible Republican majority in the House of Representatives, who as the author writes, still cannot get a majority to take responsibility for past debts that MUST be repaid to keep the good faith and credit of the United States government to bond holders and domestic and foreign investors!
Obama MUST take action, and should not wait any longer!
This is a moment which will define his Presidency in history, and he must assert his executive authority, and to hell with the radical Tea Party anarchists!
Let them try to impeach him, and the nation will arise in anger and throw these damn whackos out of power as equivalent of terrorists against the American people, not concerning themselves with their welfare and security!
These Tea Party radicals are NOT keeping their oath of office, and should be righteously thrown out of office by their ears, and told we are not going to tolerate this lunatic extremism, which has no concern for average Americans, and only speaks for the rich and the powerful forces which financed their gaining power by propagandizing among gullible Americans who have no clue as to the long term damage this radical anarchistic group is perpetrating on us, their victims!
America’s reputation and economic stability hangs in the balance, and we should all say a prayer, even if not religious, that Barack Obama has the courage and the conviction to do the right thing and save us from what might rank as one of the most dangerous moments of crisis in all of American history since independence in 1776!
Time For Reality Check On Balanced Budget Constitutional Amendment And Third Party Potential For Success In Presidential Elections
Unfortunately, many Americans, probably a vast majority, live with a false set of facts about American government, as it stands under the Constitution. There is a major need for a reality check!
Many people, including Republicans in Congress, seem to think that a balanced budget amendment will solve our economic problems, when there is absolutely no chance of that occurring! Any constitutional amendment required a two thirds vote of the House of Representatives, followed by a two thirds vote of the US Senate, and then a majority vote in each of the two houses in three fourths or 38 of the 50 states, with the only exception being Nebraska, which only has a one house or unicameral legislature.
We are not ever going to bring about 290 out of 435 votes in the House of Representatives and 67 out of 100 votes in the Senate for such an amendment! Only 36 proposed amendments have EVER achieved this two thirds vote, and the number of failed amendments is in the hundreds over our history!
But notice, even with 36 amendments making it through the Congress, we have only 27 amendments, telling us that NINE amendments failed to gain a three fourths support of state legislatures. Another way to put it is that IF there is a one vote majority in one of the two houses of the state legislatures against an amendment in just THIRTEEN states at a minimum, the amendment fails to be added to the Constitution.
There is no realistic possibility of a balanced budget amendment EVER making it into the Constitution, no matter what politicians say! And were it to happen, it would create a strait jacket, paralyzing us in a time of economic collapse, war, or natural disaster, no matter what limitations are put into such an amendment. It is time for serious minded people to give up the idea that such an amendment will EVER pass, and instead, take responsibility for the fact that the federal government IS necessary, and that we are all going to have to pay more taxes, whether we like it or not, and that it is PATRIOTIC to pay our fair share, including the super wealthy being thankful for their good fortune, and paying the tax level they used to pay from the 1940s through the 1970s, and certainly at the least, the levels of the Bill Clinton years in the White House!
It is also time for “dreamers”, who have the view that a serious third party movement could lead to the election of a President, to get a reality check as well!
Our electoral college system, which can only be changed by a constitutional amendment, which is not going to happen either, prevents a third party candidate from winning, with Theodore Roosevelt performing the best as a third party candidate of the Progressive Party in 1912, but only winning six states and 88 electoral votes, about a third of what is needed to win the White House. The only reason even he did that well was that he was a former President and extremely popular. Such a scenario will NEVER happen again, particularly with the 22nd Amendment, which limits Presidents to two complete terms in office, something not existing in 1912, when Theodore Roosevelt ran for what would have been a third, but non consecutive term as President.
Even if such a thing could happen, a third party candidate without major party backing would have an impossible situation gaining support to govern effectively, as indeed, independent Governor Jesse Ventura of Minnesota discovered in his term from 1999-2003!
For good or for bad, we are stuck with the two party system, and we will be electing a Democrat or a Republican for the Presidency for the long term future!
So forget the constitutional amendment route for a balanced budget, and ignore the thoughts of a third party movement electing a President, and instead accept the reality of the American future–we need to work within the system and just pick better people for public office, as we always have the right to do by voting and organizing, and stop hating our government, which with its faults, is still essential and necessary in our daily lives, as much as we would wish otherwise in our dreams!
A new Pew Research Center report demonstrates the alarming fact of the shocking maldistribution of wealth among the major racial groups in America, due to the Great Recession’s effect, and the findings should ring alarm bells among all Americans in regard to the likelihood of social turmoil and disarray that could, sadly, lead to violence, if nothing is done about the reality of the failure of the “American Dream”!
The study shows that white households are TWENTY times wealthier than African Americans, and EIGHTEEN times better off than Hispanic families.
These statistics are staggering and unprecedented, and show the stratification of American society is the worst it has ever been, and far surpasses any democratic nation in Western Europe or Japan.
The median white household in 2009 had a net worth of $113,000 as compared to an average of about $5,700 for black families and $6,300 for Hispanic households.
At the same time, poor families with zero or negative worth were found in one third of black and Hispanic families, but only 15 percent of white families.
The average median wealth of black families fell by 66 percent between 2006-2009, 53 percent for Hispanic households, and only 16 percent for white families.
The housing and unemployment crises and declining income during the Great Recession also harmed black and Hispanic families much more than white households.
The real danger is that even lower income whites have been identifying with the Republican Party, while minority voters continue to connect to the Democratic Party, so the racial conflict that seems to be developing is endangering the country, and seems similar to the old North-South split on slavery in the 19th century and the civil rights movement in the 20th century, but now based on race nationally, instead of in geographical regions.
It has to make one fear for the future civil peace of the nation, if this manifestation is allowed to continue unabated!
Time For Action By Barack Obama: Enough Of “Mr. Nice Guy” Promoting Compromise With Those Who Want To Hold America Hostage!
President Obama and Speaker John Boehner went on television and cable this evening, with only eight days to go before default, and the danger of America’s credit being downgraded even before August 2, if it seems as if no agreement can be reached.
Obama made it clear that compromise was essential, and that the Tea Party Movement could not be allowed to hold America hostage, and therefore called for an extension of the debt limit to 2013, along with substantial budget cuts, but with some revenue increases.
Speaker John Boehner, on the other hand, showed no willingness to compromise, and seemed literally held hostage by the Tea Party radicals despite having earlier been involved in negotiations with the President, which he ultimately walked out on, similar to what House Majority Whip Eric Cantor also did.
Obama said an agreement MUST be reached within two to three days, and it is clear that the President MUST take action as soon as possible, no matter what the Republicans in the House do.
So, as stated in earlier entries, the President MUST assert himself and save the country from economic collapse, and the only way may very well be what some scholars and former President Bill Clinton have now said can be done–invoke the 14th Amendment, Section 4–which requires payment of all government debts.
Such an action, as made clear earlier, will cause a firestorm of protest, and likely might lead to moves to impeach the President–a sad, tragic event, but one that many in the radicalized House of Representatives have been itching for!
So let them go ahead and do it, with the certainty that the Senate would not convict him, and it would only make the GOP look even worse, and undermine their chances to keep control of the House of Representatives, gain the majority in the Senate, and win the White House.
Barack Obama would be put through Hell symbolically, but then he really has been already for the past two and a half years. It is time for him to show guts and courage like Harry Truman and Franklin D. Roosevelt in attacking the opposition in their times, and it is certain that the American people at large would come to the support of the President if he took action, and were he to face impeachment.
There is no time for delay, as the country’s economic future is at stake.