Debt Ceiling Crisis

Debt Limit Deal A Compromise, But Mostly A Biden Win!

It seems that the crisis over the raising the federal debt ceiling will be resolved by a compromise, which means no one gets everything they want.

However, it also seems that the Democrats and President Joe Biden will come out better than the Republicans and Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy.

The Freedom Caucus in the Republican Party in the House of Representatives and the Progressive Caucus in the Democratic Party are not happy, but the passage of the deal seems to be likely, although some Republicans in the Senate, such as Mike Lee of Utah, may try to hold up the deal.

But the Democrats are making fewer concessions compared to the Republicans, and Kevin McCarthy may face a no confidence vote from the Republican caucus, although he would seem to be likely to survive, although maybe in a weakened state.

The best part of the proposed deal is to push the debt limit issue off for two years, until after the next Presidential and Congressional Elections in 2024!

An Embarrassment How Low Congress Is Rated!

The United States Congress has become highly unpopular this year, with its inability to get ANYTHING done, including the Debt Ceiling debacle, and now the failure of the Super Committee of Twelve to bring about a budget deal by today.

A poll issued this week demonstrates the embarrassment that the 112th Congress faces, often considered now the worst Congress in American history!

This comes after the 111th Congress was the most productive since the 89th Congress of 1965-1966.

Congress rates at 9 percent popularity, but more than that figure is the reality of what else is unpopular in the poll, and the numbers involved.

The Internal Revenue Service has a popularity rating of 40 percent; the Airline Industry is at 29 percent; Lawyers also at 29 percent; Richard Nixon during Watergate at 24 percent; Banks at 23 percent; the OIl and Gas Industry at 20 percent; British Petroleum during the Oil Spill last year at 16 percent; Paris Hilton at 15 percent; if the United States were to go Communist at 11 percent; Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez at the same 9 percent as Congress; and Fidel Castro at 5 percent!

This is bound to have some effect on the Congressional elections in 2012, and since the House of Representatives majority are Republicans, and the entire chamber faces election, it seems likely that the GOP will lose seats, and probably, control of the majority, while the US Senate only has one third of its seats up in 2012, and so the Democrats might actually keep control of their thin majority in that chamber, and maybe even gain a few seats.

The Month Of August: A Crisis Month In History For The American Presidency!

Now that we have seen the month of August slip into history, it is worthwhile to look back and notice how significant the month is in Presidential history, how it is often a crisis month!

Examples include:

August 24, 1814–Great Britain invaded and burned the nation’s capitol, Washington, DC during the War of 1812, sending President James Madison and Congress fleeing to nearby Baltimore. This was the only invasion of American territory until Pearl Harbor in 1941.

August 4, 1914–World War I began in full swing, as all of the major European powers had finally declared war a week after the initial declaration. This alarmed President Woodrow Wilson issued a declaration that the United States would remain “neutral in thought, as well as action”, a statement which could not be upheld as the war progressed into a long term stalemate, leading to US entrance in 1917.

August 6 and 9, 1945–Newly inaugurated President Harry Truman, in office less than four months after the sudden death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, unleashes the atomic bomb over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, leading to the end of World War II.

August 13, 1961–The Soviet Union begins the construction of the Berlin Wall, separating East Berlin from West Berlin, during the first year of the administration of President John F. Kennedy. It will remain a symbol of oppression until its destruction in November 1989.

August 4, 1964–The Tonkin Gulf Incident is reported during the administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson, a supposed attack on US Navy ships in the Gulf of Tonkin by North Vietnamese patrol boats. This led to Johnson’s request of a resolution allowing the use of force to react to the reported aggression, and was the first step in the escalation of the war in Vietnam to a full scale conflict.

August 9, 1974–President Richard Nixon resigned from office, the first President to take such action, due to the “smoking gun” tape that showed his involvement in a coverup of the Watergate scandal. President Gerald Ford succeeded him in office, and later pardoned Nixon from prosecution, allowing Nixon to evade punishment, including being removed from office in an impeachment trial had he stayed in office.

August 2, 1990–Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, invaded its oil rich neighbor, Kuwait, alarming Saudi Arabia and other Arab and oil nations, and led to US involvement, in unison with a United Nations coalition, to force Iraq out of Kuwait, but also putting US troops for the first time in the Middle East, and inciting Muslims who became involved in terrorism through participation with Al Qaeda under the leadership of Osama Bin Laden,

August 2011–President Barack Obama faced the crisis of the Debt Ceiling, which led to a lowering of the credit rating of the United States by Standard and Poor’s and a stock market crisis. Additionally, the Atlantic Coast Earthquake and Hurricane Irene became major crises, along with the final steps toward the removal of Moammar Gaddafi from power in Libya after a five month effort by the US, with backing of NATO allies, the United Nations, and the Arab League.

So there has to be a sign of relief that the ugly month of August has again passed into history!

Obama Successes In Midst Of Difficult Times!

Barack Obama has had a rough August, what with the battle over the debt ceiling, the lowering of the Triple A credit rating by Standard and Poor’s, the resulting stock market disarray, and the growing discontent in the polls with the unemployment crisis.

And yet, Obama has succeeded in recent days in a number of areas, which should raise his public opinion polls somewhat.

First, he has accomplished in combination with the Arab League, NATO, and UN backing, with the overthrow of Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi, although the leader is not yet accounted for.

Second, the number two man in the Al Qaeda terrorist leadership, after the death of Osama Bin Laden, has been murdered in Pakistan, indicating further disruption in Al Qaeda leadership, and making some think Al Qaeda may never be the same. This comes on top of the successful elimination of numerous other Al Qaeda and Taliban operatives over the past couple of years by the Obama Administration!

Finally, it is already evident that Obama’s government has responded far better on Hurricane Irene than George W. Bush did on Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2006. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is doing a superb job, and the same can be said for the Department of Homeland Security under Secretary Janet Napolitano!

So in the midst of much criticism and bad times, there are some developments to applaud, and to prove once again, the ups and the downs of being President of the United States!

Jon Huntsman Separates Himself From The Republican Pack, Therefore Making Him Legitimate As Alternative To Barack Obama!

Jon Huntsman, former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China, is quietly separating himself from the Republican pack of presidential candidates, legitimizing himself as the most credible candidate the GOP could offer, if they have any common sense, which they almost certainly don’t have!

Huntsman has made some strong statements that make sense, including:

1. He believes in evolution, rather than the religious based theory of creationism or intelligent design.
2. He accepts scientists on global warming, that it is a real problem.
3. He backed John Boehner on the Debt Ceiling legislation, which no other GOP candidate did.
4. He supported the DREAM Act, to give a path to citizenship to young immigrant children who might otherwise be deported, and instead allow them to go into the military or get a college education, and obtain a path to citizenship.

On the other hand, he has also, possibly obligatory, said:

1. He opposes the Obama Health Care legislation.
2. He opposes the Economic Stimulus legislation passed by the Democratic majority in Congress in 2009.
3. He suggested that possibly Obama could be impeached for his intervention in Libya.
4. He joined all the other GOP candidates in the most recent debate in raising his hand opposing a deal, theoretically, with ten dollars in budget cuts for each dollar in tax increases.

So Jon Huntsman is playing the political game, taking stands he almost certainly would change if in the White House, but even with that, he shows some statesmanship, some potential, that were Barack Obama to lose to him in 2012, the country would be in the best hands it can be, considering the state of the Republican Party in the present time period.

But of course, the question is will the GOP go for a comparatively moderate, reasonable, rational, sane candidate such as Jon Huntsman, who also has real credentials in foreign policy?

The answer is: Don’t hold your breath!

Herman Cain, Allen West, Tim Scott: African American Republicans Who Come Across As Outside The Mainstream!

A recent development that makes one wonder about what motivates people is the candidacy of Herman Cain for President, and the words and actions of Congressmen Allen West of Florida and Tim Scott of South Carolina.

These people are the face of African Americans in the Republican Party, and all three have made people’s heads turn and eyes roll, as all three have come across as way out of the mainstream of American politics!

Herman Cain, former talk show host and corporate President of Godfather Pizza, is running for President, and making ridiculous statements, including letting the average American decide if a mosque can be built in his or her community, and stating that he would not appoint a Muslim to his cabinet. He also has made statements against Mormons, as not being a Christian group, and while that could be argued, the answer is who cares, as we do not have a religious test for public office!

How would the American people react if we were to say that a church or synagogue could not be built? It is not up to the average American to limit the rights of any religious group to organize, and Cain shows tremendous prejudice against both Muslims and Mormons.

Now Cain has suggested that Barack Obama face impeachment because of the Health Care legislation, and because the administration is attempting to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. So we are to impeach a President because we disagree with his policy choices? Then every President would face impeachment!

Also, Cain claims he woke up after finishing fifth in the Ames, Iowa Straw Poll, believing that he will be the Republican Presidential nominee, which means he is mentally deranged, having delusions of grandeur! What an embarrassment to the party and to the African American community at large, and notice he has no ideas or suggestions to help create jobs for his own community or Americans at large!

Then, there is Allen West, who uses incendiary language regularly, uses his military background as a plus, even though he was drummed out of the military for inappropriate behavior in Iraq, and fails to act in a chivalrous manner against anyone who dares to criticize him on the issues! So he goes ahead and insults Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to the extreme, using inappropriate language in an email, over reacting to her denunciation of his stand against Medicare, when he has hundreds of thousands of constituents in his district who are covered by Medicare. West refused to apologize for his outburst, and obviously has an anger problem, and yet some are crazy enough to suggest him for Vice President!

Tim Scott has also called for the impeachment of Obama because of the Debt Ceiling Crisis, even though both he and West contributed to it through their support of the Tea Party Movement, and both of them are among the most right wing members of the GOP presently, and both are a disgrace in the sense of not accepting how their stands hurt the African American community at large.

It is almost as if Herman Cain, Allen West, and Tim Scott are aliens from outer space, who somehow got stranded on earth, and need to be examined in a lab for their weirdness, and anger, and self hate of who they are!

President Vs. Congress: Three Times As Popular!

Opponents have made a big deal over the fact that President Barack Obama had fallen down to 39 percent in public opinion ratings over the last week, after the stock market gyrations and the Standard and Poor’s downgrading of US debt after the Debt Ceiling Crisis.

But now, Obama has gone back up to 41 percent in new polls, while the Congress, with a Republican House majority, has slipped from 14 percent positive rating to 13 percent, an all time low!

And this comes upon the earlier poll that shows that the Democrats have a seven point edge on the Republicans in a generic matchup for the 2012 Congressional elections.

So the GOP has actually lost public support at a crucial time, and it is involved in a internal struggle between Mainstream Republicans such as Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, and the Tea Party Republicans such as Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann for the soul of the party.

This is only good for President Obama, as columnist Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post points out today in his column!

Barack Obama Throws Down The Gauntlet To The Republicans In Congress: A Jobs Program Proposal In September Enacted, Or Used Against The GOP Next Year!

President Obama came out swinging today in Minnesota, declaring that while he shares blame for the economic mess with the Republicans created by the Debt Ceiling Crisis, he will propose specific jobs legislation when Congress returns in September, and if the Republicans block action, he will use it against them in the 2012 Congressional and Presidential campaign!

It is wonderful to see Barack Obama sound like Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman, going after the Republicans, and it is certainly about time!

Since it is certain that the right wing Tea Party activists in Congress will NOT allow any legislation on jobs to pass into law, it is certain we will see fireworks over the next year!

This is the time and place for all progressives who care about the future to get over disappointment about specific shortcomings of Barack Obama, and realize it is a choice of Obama or going backward to the era of the 1920s or even the Gilded Age of the late 19th century.! We cannot allow ourselves to see the Great Society, New Deal, and even the reforms promoted during the administration of Richard Nixon, to be destroyed!

The Mid Third Year First Term Presidential Slump: Perfectly Normal!

When one looks at the history of the Presidency, in the third year of the first term of a President, it is very normal that he suffers a loss in public opinion support, and is usually the low point of his first term, but often has had no effect on future electoral success.

Witness the following examples:

1, Franklin D. Roosevelt in his third year (1935) was denounced as a socialist, a communist, a fascist, and every other dirty name by opponents, including the American LIberty League, Huey Long, Dr. Francis Townsend, Father Charles Coughlin, and others. He went on to a smashing reelection victory, winning all but two states in 1936.

2. Harry Truman in 1947 was very unpopular and predicted to have no chance at reelection, particularly with the opposition party in control of Congress, and some members of his party suggesting he resign, because of the vote of no confidence represented by the Republican 80th Congress. He proceeded to win a miracle upset victory for reelection!

3. John F. Kennedy in 1963 was in deep trouble in the South because of his stand on civil rights, and he was on a campaign swing in the South, trying to mend fences, when he was assassinated.

4. Richard Nixon was at a low point in 1971 over the Vietnam War, with the Pentagon Papers being revealed and attempts of Congress to end the war by cutting funds. It was fear that his Democratic opponent might be strong that convinced Nixon operatives to become involved in the Watergate scandal, but Nixon won all states but one in 1972.

5. Ronald Reagan in 1983 had the highest unemployment rate since FDR, and low public opinion ratings similar to those of Barack Obama now (low 40s), but went on to win all but one state in 1984.

6. Bill Clinton had low public opinion ratings in 1995, particularly after the Republicans took over both houses of Congress, but won reelection in 1996.

7. George W. Bush had a lot of opposition and criticism about the war in Iraq in 2003, but went on to win reelection in 2004.

So it is not a danger sign that Barack Obama is suffering a low point in the summer of 2011, as despite many problems, he still has strong popular support personally, and the opposition Republicans are being blamed by many for the Debt Ceiling Crisis and its aftermath!

So don’t count the President out by any means, as the odds still strongly favor his reelection in 2012!

The GOP Race Down To Four Candidates: Bachmann, Perry, Romney, Huntsman!

So the 2012 Republican Presidential race is down to FOUR candidates in the real world: Establishment Republicans Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, both happening to be Mormons: and Tea Party Republicans Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann, born evangelical Christians who promote combination of church and state and have followers who believe Mormons are a cult and not truly Christians!

What a mess the Republicans are in, and it should make Barack Obama feel very comforted after the rough times he has had lately with the Debt Ceiling debate, the lowering of the credit rating from Triple A to Double A Plus by Standard and Poor’s, and the stock market gyrations of the past week!

The Republican Party may boast that they are on the way to defeat of Barack Obama, but instead they are on the way to a bloodletting in the caucuses and primaries, with the Iowa caucus likely to be a battle between Perry and Bachmann, and the New Hampshire primary likely to be a battle between Romney and Huntsman. The South Carolina primary will likely be a battle between the survivor of Iowa and the winner in New Hampshire, and then Florida will play a major role, as the fourth largest state, in determining who the leading candidate will be.

But likely, the battle will go on into the other caucus and primary states and could drag out to June, and severely weaken the party, and strengthen Obama.

So forget Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich completely, and Tim Pawlenty has already bowed out ot the race!

And realize, after the bloodletting that will go on in the GOP, the only real hope that will exist for the Republicans to defeat Barack Obama will be IF they nominate either Romney or Huntsman, with the hope by Establishment Republicans that neither will have been fatally wounded during the caucuses and primaries!

If either Perry nor Bachmann end up as the nominee, the election will be a “cakewalk” for Barack Obama.

The upcoming battle can only benefit Barack Obama, as it demonstrates the right wing extremism prevalent in the Republican Party!