Debt Ceiling

President Biden And The State Of The Union Address: A Grand Slam Homerun!

President Joe Biden hit a grand slam homerun last night in a magnificent State of the Union Address before a joint session of Congress, lasting more than an hour, and touching on all issues that needed to be addressed.

And the MAGA Republicans hurt themselves by their horrendous behavior and lack of respect for the President, including heckling and jeering, something Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy tried to prevent ahead of the gathering, but failed in his mission to do so.

The scene of Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, and other extremists misbehaving in a way that was totally inappropriate in this venue will be used by Democrats in the upcoming Congressional and Presidential campaigns of 2024!

Biden confronted the Republicans on the debt ceiling issue; on the danger to Social Security and Medicare; on immigration; on the issue of gun regulations and police abuses; on climate change; and so many other issues.

The Republicans were on the defensive and denied reality that they had caused one fourth of the entire national debt under Donald Trump, and had raised the debt ceiling three times, but now are being resistant on doing so this time!

Anyone who had doubts about Joe Biden’s ability to deal with complex issues saw a President highly energetic, giving a fantastic speech that put the Republicans on the defensive.

Biden is ready to take the case of his reelection to the nation, and he will, clearly, give the opposition “hell”, as Harry Truman did in the Presidential campaign of 1948!

The One Virtue Of The Government Shutdown: John Boehner And Mitch McConnell Will NOT Support Another Such Shutdown!

The one virtue that comes out of the federal government shutdown, which cost the Gross Domestic Product $1.5 billion a day, a total of $24 billion for 16 days, is that it has convinced GOP leaders that the tactic will not work,

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has stated that he will NOT allow another government shutdown, as he is well aware how it has hurt the Republican brand, with nothing gained by the action. He will face a Tea Party opponent in the Kentucky Senate primary, including the opposition of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and Senator Ted Cruz, but this should make a good case for opposition to those Tea Party lunatics who have no concern about the effect on the American economy of what they supported.

Speaker John Boehner has not stated quite the same sentiments, but it is clear that he will not support such a looney concept the next time, as he ended up backing away at the brink of the crisis.

Yes, McConnell and Boehner are both to be condemned for their handling of the situation, but at the end, both were ultimately responsible when push came to shove, and they and the Establishment Republicans have learned a hard lesson,

With the help of Wall Street, the Tea Party lunatics will face challenges in the primaries from mainstream Republican conservatives, and hopefully, some will lose their seats either to these establishment types, or the seats will swing over to the Democrats, with the chance of a Democratic takeover growing, and the likelihood of a Republican takeover of the US Senate a less likely scenario, as a result of the government shutdown and debt ceiling debacle.

As Barack Obama declared, it is time for serious action on immigration, tax reform, and the farm bill, instead of wasting time on what is ultimately a lost cause, the destruction of ObamaCare by repeal, which is NOT going to happen.

Anyone who seriously thinks the Tea Party Movement will triumph in 2014 and elect Ted Cruz President in 2016, with a Republican House and Senate, is certainly using hallucinatory drugs, and needs to be hospitalized for mental observation!

20 Women Senators Work Together, Vote Together On Government Shutdown And Debt Ceiling! Why Can’t The Women In The House Of Representatives Do The Same?

It is amazing to behold, but the 20 women in the US Senate get along well, cooperate on many issues, and the 16 Democrats and 4 Republicans all were against the government shutdown and voted to prevent a government bankruptcy yesterday.

The same could not be said about Republican women in the House of Representatives, most of whom voted to let the country go bankrupt—including Michele Bachmann, Marsha Blackburn, and Virginia Foxx.

These women and other GOP House members who are female, are a disgrace to their gender and to their nation, and one can only wish that they would all go the way of Michele Bachmann, who has decided not to run for reelection, knowing she is under investigation for corruption, and would have a tough time, in any case, getting reelected.

When one sees any of these three women and others as well, it is noted that they never shut up for a minute to let someone get a word in edgewise, and one can only wonder about the meanness, narrow mindedness, and prejudices of these women, and wish one could place a muzzle on their mouths!

Republican Suicide As Result of Government Shutdown And Debt Ceiling: Long Term Damage!

The Republican Party has seen 144 members of the House of Representatives and 18 in the US Senate voting for default on the national debt!

The Republican Party has seen itself held accountable for an increase in government spending caused by the shutdown of the government, to the tune of $24 billion, instead of having 800,000 civil servants working for 16 days, but now getting back pay rightfully for their forced period out of work!

The Republican Party has shown it does not give a damn for the economic and emotional turmoil it caused millions of Americans by their reckless, selfish, delusional behavior!

The Republican Party has shown it has no limits in its determination to destroy this President, but it has failed miserably!

The Republican Party allowed itself to be hijacked by Ted Cruz and the Tea Party Movement, and it has lost all respectability and credibility to achieve control of the White House, the Senate, and at some point, the House of Representatives, as they have shown themselves to be no longer representative of a broad coalition needed to be taken seriously as a national party based on coalition and compromise!

Public opinion polls show the GOP in crisis mode, with the lowest ratings in recorded history for a major political party since polls began in the mid 1930s!

The only hope for a revival of the Republican Party is to:

Repudiate Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rand Paul, James Inhofe, Marco Rubio and other Tea Party Senators.

Repudiate the Tea Party Movement in the House of Representatives.

Repudiate the talk show hosts on radio and Fox News Channel.

Repudiate the Heritage Foundation and other right wing think tanks, and come back to the moderate center which led to the elections of Eisenhower, Nixon, the Bushes, and yes, even Ronald Reagan, who would be mortified as to how right wing extremist the GOP has allowed itself to become.

But will the Republican Party take any or all of these actions? Do not hold your breath on this!

Harpers Ferry Anniversary 1859 And America On The Economic Brink 2013: A Lot In Common!

On this day in 1859, 154 years ago, radical abolitionist John Brown led a raid on the military arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia (today in West Virginia), killing about 60 people in an an attempt to begin a racial war to end slavery.

While Brown had a great purpose in mind, to end slavery, his tactics were reprehensible, but started the movement toward civil war and the breakup of the Union.

Today, 154 years later, America faces an economic brink, as those who wish to change the course of our economic system, including the destruction of ObamaCare, are about to put us into an economic collapse that will reverberate throughout America and the world at large, and could also incite bloodshed and conflict that might never stop, as citizens turn against each other, and right wing elements plot to overthrow the government, and force President Obama out of office!

We are in a time more dangerous than any since September 11, the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, and it is self induced by anarchists on the right who refuse to accept the results of legislation passed legally by both houses of Congress, approved by the Supreme Court, and reaffirmed by the Presidential Election Of 2012.

It is time for responsible, sane heads in government to push back, and refuse to allow reckless, irresponsible, ignorant lunatics to hijack our government, and its good name in terms of economic responsibility. This is a day to pray for strong leadership in Congress and the White House! It is time for the Republican Party to take back control from its Tea Party lunatics!

The Growing Threat Of Violence and Bloodshed In America, Due To Incitement By Tea Party Movement!

America is now living through a very tumultuous, confrontational time, and the Tea Party Movement is responsible for much of this turmoil!

Their vehemence against ObamaCare; their desire to destroy the safety net that has developed under the New Deal and Great Society; their rhetoric which promotes hate and fear; their campaign to promote hysteria that America is becoming a left wing dictatorship under President Obama; their willingness to destroy the two party system and undermine Republican Party stability in the name of eliminating RINOS (Republicans In Name Only); their lack of concern about the damage to the world economy caused by the possibility of a debt ceiling being breached; and their ignoring of the suffering many Americans are experiencing with the government shutdown ending its second week, is an alarm bell in the night, warning of tragedy ahead!

For extremists of the right, the elimination of President Obama from office is their goal, and all decent Americans must worry about his personal safety and security, as the number of death threats are so numerous, that it has set a record for any President of the United States, probably unsurpassed except by Abraham Lincoln! And we know the end result of the 10,000 or more death threats against our 16th President!

This is a time to pray, to remain calm, and to hope that our Secret Service and other government agencies are equipped to protect our 44th President, and allow him to contribute to the betterment of the nation, and have a dignified retirement life after January 20, 2017!

House Republicans Are Wreaking Havoc On The Economy, Equivalent Of Sedition!

The House of Representatives Republican majority has become a party committing sedition, undermining the economic stability and security of America, and they will never be able to recover from this, as they face repudiation by all sensible Americans! 70 percent oppose the government shutdown, and only 24 percent now perceive the Republican Party in a favorable light, and only 17 percent see Speaker of the House John Boehner in a positive fashion!

With the government shutdown nearing two weeks, we are seeing many desperate people who have no paycheck forthcoming; businesses that are going bankrupt for lack of customers at national parks and monuments and other government buildings that bring millions of tourists annually; undermining of our ability to be prepared for bad weather, disease outbreaks, monitoring of food and drug imports; and so many other manifestations of what has become a total disaster!

The House GOP has also undermined any respect for our government, and sowed hatred toward our President, putting him in greater danger of assassination by their poisonous condemnations of everything emanating from the White House since January 20, 2009!

And the Senate and Gubernatorial Republicans do not get a free ride from guilt in this mess, as they have shown no concern for the effect on ordinary people by their insensitive, uncaring statements and policies!

And the Tea Party Movement and its heroes—Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and even Marco Rubio–are scarred by their reckless, seditious behavior—and their future dreams of the White House are guaranteed to fail, without any doubt!

The likelihood is that the Tea Party lunatics will break with the GOP, which is the only hope for the revival of the Republican Party, but will benefit the Democratic Party for years to come!

Barack Obama is totally correct in refusing a six week extension of the debt ceiling, without an ending of the government shutdown immediately! And the irony that the six week extension would end on November 22, the 50th Anniversary of the John F. Kennedy Assassination, is totally reprehensible!

Stock Market Hits Five Year High As Obama Is To Be Inaugurated For Second Term As President!

After four tough years for the economy, Barack Obama is about to be inaugurated for his second term as President, and the stock market Dow Jones Industrial Average and S & P 500 have hit their highest point since December 2007, when the Great Recession was beginning.

Housing starts are up, and unemployment is staying below 8 percent, and many economists predict a good recovery becoming clear during 2013, as long as budget deals and debt ceilings controversies are resolved. But the debt ceiling issue is a troublesome one.

Obama has asked for a lifting of the debt ceiling only three times, while George W. Bush asked for it seven times, Bill Clinton a total of four times, George H. W. Bush four times, and Ronald Reagan a grand total of SEVENTEEN times!

In percentages, Obama has had the debt limit go up only 26 percent; Bush II 90 percent, Clinton 44 percent, Bush I 48 percent, and Reagan nearly 300 percent!

But now, it is suddenly a massive issue, when Republicans assert that, somehow, Obama has been more reckless than anyone else, when in fact, he has been far more responsible than any recent President, and particularly Reagan, who ranks at the bottom on this list of the past four Presidents and Barack Obama!

So Obama has a lot to be thankful for, relating to the stock market revival, but there are still many issues and problems that he will face in the next four years!

Rapidly Growing Polarization Threatens Safety Of President Obama And Vice President Biden!

As the fury and anger of critics of President Obama and Vice President Biden on so many issues—the debt ceiling, gun control legislation, Cabinet nominees, gay rights, immigration reform, climate change, and foreign policy controversies (including a nuclear Iran, the Syrian Civil War, Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Korea)— continues to escalate to dangerous emotional levels, the safety of both men is, more than ever, a subject of great concern not often directly talked about publicly.

The argument could be that both the President and Vice President have exceptional Secret Service security, and that we need not worry.

But as one realizes as we begin the 50th anniversary of the John F. Kennedy assassination this coming November 22, no security detail can guarantee the safety of any President, Vice President, or anyone else.

There is always the “lone wolf” out there, ready to sacrifice himself to gain glory, to make a political point, to act out hatred of someone, knowing they will be part of the American history story forever, as much as John Wilkes Booth, Charles Guiteau, Leon Czolgosz and Lee Harvey Oswald—the assassins of Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley, and John F. Kennedy, respectively!

And the rhetoric that has become “normal” these days is far greater than it was even when John F. Kennedy was traveling to Dallas, Texas, almost 50 years ago.

And we have talk show hosts on radio and Fox News Channel who thrive on building hate and animosity and conspiracy theories, and will stop at nothing in their hateful and divisive rhetoric!

And we have the power of pressure groups, and not just the National Rifle Association, but many others, who ratchet up the stress and tension by making it seem like the world will end, due to the federal government passing legislation or extending executive authority, as if we are Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, the Soviet Union, or Communist China, when our history and our heritage have nothing to do with the history of those nations!

As we come up to the second inauguration of Barack Obama and Joe Biden, we all need to do a lot of praying that the polarization which exists will not lead to a greater tragedy which solves nothing, and just would show the depths of the threats we face from right wing wingnuts who want to set back the progress of America, and are delusional about the world they live in!

Is Ezra Klein Correct That We Are Witnessing The Worst Congress Ever? YES, By A Landslide!

The 111th Congress (2009-2010) has been seen by many observers as the most productive Congress since the 89th Congress (1965-1966).

But now, the 112th Congress (2011-2012) has been declared by Ezra Klein, the brilliant commentator of the Washington Post and MSNBC, as the WORST Congress EVER!

Is Ezra Klein correct in his assessment? ABSOLUTELY!

The 112th Congress, as Klein says, has failed to deal with the problems facing the country, and has had as its major agenda the defeat of President Obama for a second term, and in the process, holding Americans hostage in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression!

Klein points out the following:

No Congress, with records back to the 80th Congress of 1947-1948, has produced such little passage of legislation, with the smallest being the 104th Congress (1995-1996), with 333 laws passed, and Democrat Bill Clinton being relected President in 1996 as a result.

Congress has only a ten percent approval rating, an all time low, with the Internal Revenue Service being at a popularity rate of 40 percent; Lawyers at 29 percent; President Richard Nixon during Watergate at 24 percent; Banks at 23 percent; the British Petroleum Oil Spill at 16 percent; and Paris Hilton at 15 percent, as examples!

The 112th Congress is the most polarized Congress since the end of Reconstruction in the 1870s, and we all know what came after–the GILDED AGE period of corporate dominance, not well looked upon by historians, and reminding us that we are now, in so many respects, in a new GILDED AGE, personified not only by the GOP control in the House of Representatives and in many state governments, but by the wealthiest Presidential nominee in American history, Mitt Romney, worth twice the assets of the last eight Presidents from Richard Nixon to George W. Bush combined!

The Republican majority in the House and Republican opposition in the Senate set back economic recovery in 2011 and right up to this moment in 2012, by any measure! And this Congress caused the loss of America’s credit rating, and seem ready to do it again!

Voting unsuccessfully to repeal the Affordable Care Act THIRTY THREE times is an exercise in futility, and the House of Representatives has wasted approximately EIGHTY hours in doing nothing, two work weeks when they could have been working on job creation legislation!

This Congress has NOT passed any appropriations bills by the deadline of October 1 in 2011, and will not by October 1, 2012, as things stand!

The failure to provide for the future of our infrastructure–roads, bridges, subway systems, and airports– is a major problem for the long term.

Two Congressional experts, Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein, have written a book condemning the paralysis of the 112th Congress, saying it is the worst performance they have witnessed in 40 years of covering Congress!

In sum, the 112th Congress is an embarrassment, and there is no sign of any improvement in the future, particularly if the split Congress continues into the future!