This latest podcast was recorded on January 23, 2013 and we cover a lot of ground, even though it is an abbreviated podcast (48 min). We talk it up on President Obama’s second inaugural address, the Republican whinefest that followed, the debt ceiling cave by the GOP, gun safety, the GOP’s attempt to cheat their way into the White House and Hillary Clinton’s testimony before the Republican clown posse. Click on that little triangle and give it a listen.
As the wheels on the Republican clown car keep flying off one at a time, our President and Vice President continue to prove that the Democratic Party is the only serious, adult political party in Washington these days. Even with the obstructionist GOP pulling every dirty trick in the book, the President and Democrats keep moving forward and fighting for all Americans.
I remember back to December of 2012 when Republicans started telegraphing their intention to try to use the debt ceilings as “leverage” to destroy the safety net that took generations to weave and I thought to myself that they clearly didn’t learn any lessons from the last election.
I laugh every time a Republican, or one of the media that parrots them, tries to make the lame ass argument that because the GOP retained control of the House, even though they lost seats, that somehow they won. Here is one example of that denial from Boehner the Blubberer…
“The American people want solutions, and tonight they responded by renewing our House Republican majority,” House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, who ran unopposed in his re-election bid, declared Tuesday night.
And of course Buzzfeed, a wannabe Politico, took the idiotic concept even further.
Americans, for all their griping, apparently really do prefer their government deeply divided and dysfunctional.
I almost feel silly spelling this out for people, but in our current state of political and media dysfunction, you really do have to spell it out in precise detail for the uninformed or Fox News brainwashed masses. We each vote for our individual representatives and senators and when the dust settles on the election, we find out which party came out ahead. I’ve never seen a line on a ballot that gave me the option of voting for who controls a branch of congress or a check box for “divided government”. It’s wherever the chips fall. It’s magical thinking to believe that somehow the American people coordinated their votes to reach an outcome.
I feel similar about the folks on the left saying that more people voted for Democrats than Republicans when you add up all the votes. Well, we don’t add up all the votes or if we do, it means absolutely nothing. I certainly agree with the people pointing out the gerrymandering that took place in order for Republicans to keep so many seats, but the fact that Democrats received more votes overall, shouldn’t be used in the same way Republicans are using the overall outcome in the House. Democrats should stick to the facts, we picked up seats in the House.
The changing metric of who won or lost an election in the Republican’s minds reveals just how pathetic they are. If the roles were reversed and Democrats retained the House while Republicans picked up seats, you know damn well that they would be saying they won because they picked up seats. The grasping for some kind of straw that they can use to say they won is comical to me and reveals just how easy it is to spin without push back.
This denial from the Republicans, which may be better described as a delusion, also makes them continue with the same crap that brought the American people out to smack them down on November 6th. The prime example is the Republican’s attempt to use the debt ceiling to take our economy hostage again. There is a huge difference between the 2011 debt ceiling crisis and the current one. In 2011, the Republican’s goal, as spelled out by many in the party, was to make President Obama a one term president at all costs. That included damaging the economy, preventing job growth and saying anything to mislead their voters and rile them up. And it was easy to get their partisans to go along with it, because after all, it served their prime goal.
When the idea of another hostage situation with the debt ceiling started creeping into the discussion before Christmas, I couldn’t believe that the Republicans would go there again. Not only is it idiotic for all the same reasons it was in 2011, but with the election behind us and the goal of defeating the President a mere memory of a wet dream, it raises the level of stupidity even higher. The President has played his hand masterfully. He is smart enough to know that the election is behind us and that Wall Street and big business is not into losing money unless it is planned for their benefit.
Newt Gingrich was one of the first in the GOP to point out the stupidity of the tactic and he is being joined by many others on the right side of the fence. Steve Benen gives us the latest defections from the stupid caucus…
Just today, Charles Krauthammer, a prominent conservative pundit, told Republicans they “won’t get” their ransom, they’ll have to “give in” eventually, and they should “forget about forcing tax reform or entitlement cuts or anything major.” Jennifer Rubin added, “The jig is nearly up…. [T]he threat of bumping up against the debt ceiling is not realistic and hence not useful.” [...]
It would probably be an overstatement to say Republicans are already surrendering, but let’s just say they’ve taken the white flag off the shelf, even if they’re not yet ready to wave it.
That said, it also appears the congressional GOP hopes to trade one hostage for another.
Even if Republicans now seem to realize they can’t follow through on their debt-ceiling threats — they really should have thought this through beforehand — GOP policymakers still appear committed to aggressive confrontations on automatic sequestration cuts and funding levels for the government itself.
Late Breaking News! While I was at lunch, apparently a new defection came to light that makes it inevitable that the GOP is going to cave on their idiotic ploy. Sen. John Cornyn made it quite clear in an interview with the Houston Chronicle…
“We will raise the debt ceiling. We’re not going to default on our debt,” Cornyn told the Houston Chronicle editorial board…. “I will tell you unequivocally, we’re not going to default,” Cornyn said Thursday.
Game, Set, Match!
If you haven’t gone to iTunes and subscribed to the Bubble Genius Bob and Chez Show podcast, you are missing out on the best political analysis around and a lot of great laughs. You can find them at their respective blogs, Bob Cesca’s Aweseome Blog! Go! and Deus Ex Malcontent where they consistently tell it like it is.
I personally look forward to the show like a little kid looks forward to candy.
A few weeks ago, they did a show called “Stop Whining”, which I highly recommend you listen to, after you subscribe to them on iTunes. But in case you prefer reading or are at work and can’t really listen, I took the time to transcribe a large portion of that show for your reading pleasure. I think it exposes the true motivations and agenda of those who have become known as the “Professional Left” or the name I prefer, “Firebaggers”.
As with anyone, I don’t agree with everything they say, but damn near everything in this portion of the show. The one thing I disagree on is the characterization of the blog post by Deaniac83 from The People’s View that was the impetus for a lot of the discussion. Deaniac83′s post about the debt ceiling deal, as I saw it, was about how that deal wasn’t as bad as it was being portrayed by many on the left. I didn’t perceive it as approving of the deal, but rather that the President made the best of a bad situation. Contrary to John Boehner’s characterization that he got 98% of what he wanted, when you look at the deal from a wider perspective, President Obama “ate his lunch”. They quickly move away from that subject and on to an incredibly insightful analysis of the “firebaggers” — who seem intent on helping the Republicans take down our Democratic President Barack Obama. Enjoy and share widely!
Bob Cesca (B)- I don’t watch Morning Joe anymore, but I can guarantee you that they were talking about this, concern trolling about it on Morning Joe over the last couple of days, because they love to do that. Oh look, the president’s losing his base…when, we’ve talked about here, it’s not really the base. The liberal blogosphere is not the base of the Democratic Party, certainly not the Obama campaign. And it never has been…we’ve always been fickle, we were divided during the primaries in 2008. A lot of people were very hesitant to jump onboard, once President Obama became the nominee. But regardless, here’s the story. Backing up on this..”The Obama administrations point person”…this if from the Huffinton Post, “The Obama campaign’s point person in New Mexico recently sent an email to supporters defending the President’s position on the debt deal and bashing the Nobel prize winning New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and the quote
Chez Pazienza (C)- interject for a moment, the vital, vital outpost of New Mexico
B- That’s exactly right, ah…columnist Paul Krugman..
C – Defending the frontier
B- Right, the quote unquote “firebagger lefty blogosphere”, On the evening of August 1st. dunt, dunt, duh duh…cue the dubious music for this. “On the evening of Aug. 1, just after Congress passed legislation to raise the debt ceiling, Obama for America (OFA) New Mexico State Director Ray Sandoval sent an email to supporters with the subject line, “Please take 5 minutes to read this, Please.” He used the magic word twice. “”I know many of you have raised frustrations, but please, I implore you, please take 5 minutes and read the article below. It does a great job of explaining the Debt Ceiling deal,” Sandoval wrote in bold text.” Now, that was all he wrote and then it proceeded to include this blog post from a blog called The People’s View and the blog post went on to, ah, criticize Paul Krugman as being a political rookie, it used the word firebagger, you know, which is sort of the colloquialism combining Firedoglake and teabaggers, which I use that a lot, It’s, I think it’s appropriate.
C – It is actually.
B – He even used the ah…
C- I try really hard, actually, not to do too much of the adjusting names because I’ve always thought that it’s kind of childish when you do like the, you know, the Rethuglicans….(crosstalk)….but firebagger admittedly works and of course I can’t let myself off the hook for calling them teabaggers so uh..
B – Well you have to…
C – That’s a joke that makes it’s own gravy
It seems like people lose track of reality pretty easily these days. The reason why we were forced into negotiating with the terrorist Republicans is that they threatened to run our economy off a cliff — unless President Obama acquiesced to their demands. It truly was a hostage situation and Republicans pretty much admitted it. People lost sight of that fact throughout the process and somehow morphed it into a budget fight, as if President Obama welcomed it. This whole mess was forced on him and there was no easy way out.
What were President Obama’s options? From what I know about it, he could either deal with the Republicans and try to get a “compromise” from the hostage takers or he could invoke the 14th Amendment to the constitution and raise it himself. The 14th Amendment option has some issues attached to it, however…
Obama would be greatly extending his executive powers and setting a new precedent, which would have a host of potential ramifications. Furthermore, Obama’s administration officials do not believe that the fourteenth amendment grants the president that power, and elsewhere the Constitution grants Congress the sole authority over borrowing money.
Now I know that isn’t a concern to those who have a vision of the President as a dictator, which ironically comes from the left these days, but thankfully President Obama understands the ramifications of taking that drastic step. Personally, I wish he had done it, but I’m extreme.
There is a third option as well. The President could have let the U.S. AND world economy crash into the ground, pointing fingers the entire time at those dastardly Republicans and repeating “it’s their fault, it’s their fault” — as the country scratched its collective head and wondered why the President didn’t stop it. I don’t think that was ever considered as an option, but it certainly has been hanging over the situation like a stench. I’m glad our president has the best interests of all people in mind when making big decisions like this.
The first thing I want to say with regards to the apparent deal that was struck between the hostage takers and those representing the victims is that any “liberal” pundit or blogger who encouraged voters to stay home in 2010 – SHUT THE FUCK UP! I don’t even want to hear your fucking whining. It is your fault that the goddamn Republicans were given the power to fuck us all over so much.
The next thing I want to say is THANK YOU PRESIDENT OBAMA for taking on the toughest job in the world in 2008. It’s a thankless job trying to clean up after the biggest fucking failure of a president we’ve ever had in George W. Bush. But of course no one could have imagined that the Republicans would throw every obstacle they could find in your path, including the kitchen sink.
For people like Paul Krugman who characterize every compromise with the hostage takers, the terrorist Republicans, the obstinate children in the Tea Party as a “cave-in” — grow the fuck up already. Wipe off your snotty nose, suck it up and help us fight those motherfuckers in 2012. If you don’t wake up and realize that Republicans are playing you like a cheap fiddle, you don’t deserve to represent liberals. We don’t need crying, whining babies, we need people who will stand up and fight. Now pull up your Underoos and get to work.
For the general public who hasn’t paid attention, let me break down what just happened for you.
- Republicans created this crisis by demanding massive spending cuts to programs primarily for poor people — OR ELSE — they would wreck the economy for everyone.
- Republicans began their propaganda campaign to attempt to blame the national debt on President Obama and the Democrats, when we all know that the Republicans spent like drunken sailors and gave massive tax breaks to the top 1% of the population during President George W. Bush’s term.
- The Professional Left in their immaturity and “emoprog-ness” began weeping into their Kool-aid and wetting themselves because it became clear that they weren’t going to get their utopian, idealistic way…they ended up prostrate on the floor, kicking and screaming and acting like fucking children.
- President Obama in an effort to stave off a complete meltdown of our economy kept his cool and pushed for a compromise — a deal with those devils to prevent the impending doom.
- Many of these Republicans hostage takers voted for every damn penny that President Bush spent on two unnecessary – off budget wars, the unfunded Medicare Part D and the unpaid-for trillions in tax cuts to the wealthiest 1% who haven’t invested a fucking penny of that money in America, but are hiding it overseas where they don’t have to pay any goddamn taxes on it — thanks to President Bush.
- So President Obama, being the president of all people and a responsible, sane person — continued to try to reach a deal to simply prevent us from plunging into another recession and possibly a depression. A compromise had to be reached, there was no other option. It didn’t have to be this way either. In 2010, Tea Party Republicans were sent to Washington in large part because of an effort by people like Ed Schultz, Arianna Huffington and others to suppress Democratic voters. They, of course, are the loudest voices whining about having to deal with those assholes AND IT IS THEIR OWN FUCKING FAULT that we are in this mess.
- And now we have wasted almost the entire summer dealing with this Republican created crisis – this hostage taking. And not only did they distract everyone from the real problems we are facing like joblessness, but they also succeeded in getting the whiny “emoprogs” to lose their shit about it. All in all, the Republicans had a great summer at the expense of the rest of us.
The reaction from many on the Professional Left is to blame the victim. President Obama had to deal with an unprecedented hostage situation that has never occurred in the history of our country, yet some of these people want to blame him for HAVING to compromise with these hostage takers. They all lament the fact that President Obama dealt with the GOP, yet not one of them offered a solution that would get us out of this hostage situation; not one idea about how we realistically get out of the mess.
I know the whining and crying is just beginning on the left, so I’m preparing myself for it. I’ve already heard and seen the whiners push the idea of fucking it all up even worse by running someone in a primary against President Obama. It doesn’t surprise me, these people are just as stupid as the Tea Party – they are just sipping lattes instead of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.
UPDATED: No offense to either latte or PBR drinkers, I like a good latte myself…now PBR, not so much. But hey, whatever gets you a buzz. :)
For the last few summers, Republicans have produced summer replacement shows for our enjoyment. Like last summer, this years script was written to do as much damage to President Obama politically as possible. The plot revolves around sabotaging the economy, causing higher unemployment and distracting us all from the fact that the Republican controlled House hasn’t done a goddamn thing since taking over in 2010. It’s one big reality show with roles for everyone. And the media is more than willing to help produce it.
Last year we had the summer of “Muslim Bashing and Gulf Oil Surfing.” The summer before that we had the “Death Panel and Koch-funded Tea Party dances” and of course in the summer of 2008, during the election, we watched the “Rev. Wright and William Ayres Summer Spectacle.”
Since the election of Barack Obama, the Professional Left has had roles in this Republican non-reality show. They are playing the role of the “supposed” friend who ends up stabbing the lead in the back, all the while claiming to be his friend – who is just trying to help. In the current debt ceiling crisis, when Democrats and liberals need to rally together to fight the Republicans who are clearly trying to do harm to our country, instead, the Professional Left is attacking the mere idea of compromise and demanding completely unrealistic outcomes.
The Professional Left are running around screaming about every proposal and leak from an anonymous source and lamenting the fact that their newly found sacred cows are on the dreaded “table.” And they do it with absolutely no acknowledgement of the dire nature of the situation or the environment that the President is negotiating in. And of course, they don’t understand that the President is using reverse psychology. The President knows that if he is for something, the GOP is against it and he’s been using it to his advantage. Idiots like Jane Hamsher and Ed Schultz don’t quite grasp that idea or simply refuse to.
The media just eats that shit up too. The story has a hostage — our economy. It has drama — we could fall into a depression. It has grandstanding and heightened rhetoric – coming out of people’s asses. It has fighting within each faction AND even a ticking time bomb. Damn, you would have thought this whole thing was manufactured for our enjoyment. And it was — except it really isn’t that enjoyable.
Anyone who is paying attention knows that the debt ceiling has never been used as a hostage in the history of our country and the Republicans have created this crisis where none existed before. This is new folks.
John Boehner told many lies the other night in his response to the Presidents address. The one that proved to me that he either doesn’t understand what the fucking debt ceiling is, or he doesn’t care about the truth was when he referred to giving the President a “blank check”. Hey moron, the check has already been filled out, we just have to mail the damn thing. Any person in the media who doesn’t call him out on that one lie should be run out of fucking town. This very purposeful attempt to mislead his ignorant supporters proves that Speaker Boehner has no moral compass and will say anything to sway his mindless followers.
This big summer distraction certainly took the media and the public’s eyes off the fact that the Republicans in the House haven’t done a single thing to help get people back to work. And it threw gasoline on the fires burning on the Professional Left and is fueling their relentless attacks on our Democratic President. I have to give the GOP credit for playing the media on both sides of the political spectrum like a cheap fiddle. Anyone who thinks the “media” cares if they were played is fooling themselves.
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
If you don’t want to watch the whole thing, go to 25:00 on the timeline.
This video of President Obama talking to the college students in Massachusetts back in March is showing up all over the internet. There is one passage that I particularly liked that will hopefully help to educate some of the people who bristle at every compromise with Republicans…(emphasis mine)
“And so, one of the challenges of this generation is, I think, to understand that the nature of our democracy and the nature of our politics is to marry principle to a political process. That means you don’t get a 100% of what you want. You don’t get it if you are the majority; you don’t get it if you are in the minority.And you can be an honorable in politics understanding that you are not going to get 100% of what you want.
“And that’s been our history. You think about our greatest presidents — Abraham Lincoln, here is a guy who didn’t believe in slavery, but his first priority was keeping the Union. I’ve got the Emancipation Proclamation hanging up in my office, and if you read through, it turns out that most of the document is: those states and areas where the Emancipation doesn’t apply because those folks were allies with the Union so they can keep their slaves. Think about that. That’s the Emancipation Proclamation.
“So, here you’ve got a war time president who is making a compromise around probably the greatest moral issue the country ever faced because he understood that, ‘Right now my job is to win the war and to maintain the Union.
The Tea Party on the right and the Firebaggers on the left have both staked out intransigent positions. In my many years of obsessing over politics, I’ve never seen anything like it.
It’s astounding that this unprecedented polarization has effectively changed the way our government functions. It’s been perpetuated primarily from the Republican side of the aisle where the President has been thwarted at every turn. Watch our very wise President in explaining this to a politically mixed group of college students, it once again proves that we elected the right man for the job and need to reelect him in 2012.
In a press conference last week, President Obama referred to this craziness and how it puzzles him that Republicans can oppose ideas they once supported, just because he now supports them. Steve Benen at The Washington Monthly picked up on that line and wrote a great post about it. Here are some of Steve’s thoughts on this puzzling situation…
It is, to be sure, quite a pattern. For two-and-a-half years, Obama has run into congressional Republicans who not only refuse to take “yes” for an answer, but routinely oppose their own ideas when the president is willing to accept them.
This seems especially relevant in the context of the current debt-reduction talks. At a certain level, it’s almost comical — here we have a Democratic president agreeing with a conservative Republican House Speaker on a massive deal that would lower the debt by over $4 trillion over the next decade. It would tilt heavily in the GOP’s direction, and address the problem Republicans pretend to care about most. Obama is even willing to consider significant entitlement “reforms,” which should be music to the ears of the right.
And yet, in the latest example that “puzzles” the president, Republicans aren’t interested.
I think the President has adapted to this strategy and is exploiting the Republican intransigence by making offers that help to reveal this stupidity and also help him politically by making him seem like the reasonable one. The debt ceiling debate is a perfect example how he has adapted. The President’s position from the beginning has been to get a clean raising of the debt ceiling and after his masterful negotiating, it looks like that is exactly what he is going to get. Go back and watch Lawrence O’Donnell’s great rant on this from last week, he nails it to the wall.
The truly amazing thing is that President Obama has accomplished a ton in this atmosphere, can you imagine how much more he could have accomplished if the congress had just operated the way it has for the last….well, how about since our country’s founding.
Adam Green recently sent out a mass email attacking President Obama based on several lies concocted from a press conference on July 11, 2011. These lies were born and reside only in the mind of Adam Green, as well as the rabid Obamahaters who cling to Green’s every word to justify their irrational hatred for our President.
Green’s group, the PCCC (Progressive Change Campaign Committee), is probably the most organized group of people suffering from Obama Derangement Syndrome.
So what was so dishonest about his appeal? How about EVERYTHING!
Whether blatant or subtle lies, exaggerations, misrepresentations or selective omissions of reality, they are lies – pure fucking lies.
Lie Number 1: The lie upon which most of the other lies were derived: Obama “came right out and said” that he’s pushing for benefit cuts in important programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Adam Green cherry picked Obama’s statements in order to concoct a lie. He plucked one utterance of the word “benefits” from a general statement by Obama in which he discussed the broader issues of how we get the country’s fiscal house in order. Bear in mind — the word “benefits” does not appear anywhere near the words “Social Security,” “Medicare” or “Medicaid” (the big 3), and considering the President had addressed those issues before and after that question in the press conference, it shows that Adam Green doesn’t give a shit about the truth. If he did, he would have looked at everything the President said and not cherry picked one word and then connected it to previous words in order to manufacture a lie.
Adam Green is using scare tactics to raise money from his vulnerable and apparently very gullible followers. I’ve been waiting for him to talk about “death panels”.
The following passage is where Adam Green plucked that word from. Of course, I’m including the context — unlike Mr. Green. The bold type is where he grabs that lone word, “benefits”.
And if you’re a progressive that cares about investments in Head Start and student loan programs and medical research and infrastructure, we’re not going to be able to make progress on those areas if we haven’t gotten our fiscal house in order.
So the argument I’m making to my party is, the values we care about — making sure that everybody in this country has a shot at the American Dream and everybody is out there with the opportunity to succeed if they work hard and live a responsible life, and that government has a role to play in providing some of that opportunity through things like student loans and making sure that our roads and highways and airports are functioning, and making sure that we’re investing in research and development for the high-tech jobs of the future — if you care about those things, then you’ve got to be interested in figuring out how do we pay for that in a responsible way.
And so, yeah, we’re going to have a sales job; this is not pleasant. It is hard to persuade people to do hard stuff that entails trimming benefits and increasing revenues. But the reason we’ve got a problem right now is people keep on avoiding hard things, and I think now is the time for us to go ahead and take it on.
As you can see, in the preceding two paragraphs, the president is talking in general about the difficulty of getting our fiscal house in order so that we can do things that progressives, I say liberals, care about. He was talking very broadly. I can just picture Adam Green wetting himself when President Obama said the word “benefits.” And I can also imagine him jumping on his computer and starting to type that dishonest appeal to his listserv for money, even before the President finished his sentence. He must have missed what came after that benign and very general reference to “trimming benefits”.
Click Read More for the rest of the post!
I have a busy day today, but for now I want to steer you to this great piece from Eclectablog that seems appropriate with everyone getting their panties in a bunch about the compromise that is coming down the pike on the debt ceiling. Once again, we will see and hear the immaturity of some on the “professional left” because you know, what is this thing everyone calls compromise and why is it getting in the way of what I want…a pony! The piece is from April, but is timeless. From Eclectablog…
And when they don’t have anything to get upset about, that’s no problem. They just invent something. Here’s the playbook for your reference:
- Read the day’s headlines.
- Determine a spin that characterizes the President and his administration in the worst possible light.
- If such a spin does not exist, postulate what the President and his administration’s response will be. Make sure that it is as negative as possible, even if it contradicts his past behavior.
- Write endless blogs on how the President has once again sold his “base” down the river and kicked hippies in the teeth (after punching them, of course.) It is not necessary for him to actually have done this. Your prediction that he WILL do this is sufficient.
- When what you predicted turns out to be quite wrong, ignore that and focus on the next day’s news item. No point in issuing a mea culpa. Just raise a fuss about something new and nobody will notice.
- Lather, rinse and repeat.
Go read the whole thing and learn what the term “whinging” means.
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles