Thursday Reads

Trump’s new BFFs

Good Afternoon!!

Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Shumer had dinner with Trump last night and some kind of “deal” was worked out, but no one can figure out what it was. Trump has been sending conflicting tweets about it and saying confusing things about it in Florida this morning.

The Washington Post: Trump, top A Democrats agree to work on deal to save ‘dreamers’ from deportation.

Democratic leaders announced late Wednesday that they agreed with President Trump to pursue a legislative deal that would protect hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants from deportation and enact border security measures that don’t include building a physical wall.

The president discussed options during a dinner at the White House with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that also included talks on tax reform, infrastructure and trade. Trump has showed signs of shifting strategy to cross the aisle and work with Democrats in the wake of the high-profile failures by Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

We’re working on a plan for DACA,” Trump said as he left the White House on Thursday for a trip to survey hurricane damage in Florida.

Trump said that he and Congress are “fairly close” to a deal and that Republican leaders Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (Ky.) are “very much on board” with a deal that would address DACA. The agreement must include “massive border security,” Trump said in response to shouted questions about whether he had reached a deal on the terms Schumer and Pelosi had described.

“The wall will come later” [link to Axios added]  he said, apparently confirming a central element of the Democrats’ account.

There was instant backlash from Trump’s Cro-Magnon supporters, and the White House quickly tried to walk back whatever Trump agreed to when his handlers weren’t around.

Earlier Thursday, amid backlash from conservative supporters, Trump had sought Thursday to reach out to his GOP base with messages claiming his agenda would remain intact on signature issues such as the border wall.

In a series of tweets, Trump wrote that “no deal” was made on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, an Obama-era program that has allowed 690,000 dreamers to work and go to school without fear of deportation. He further wrote that agreements on “massive border security” would have to accompany any new DACA provisions, and insisted that “the WALL will continue to be built.”

I guess we’ll find out what’s going on eventually. It would certainly be a good thing if Congress can get its act together and do something to keep the Dreamers in the U.S.

Manu Raju of CNN had a great scoop last night that makes Devin Nunes look like even more of an idiot than ever before: Exclusive: Rice told House investigators why she unmasked senior Trump officials.

Former national security adviser Susan Rice privately told House investigators that she unmasked the identities of senior Trump officials to understand why the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates was in New York late last year, multiple sources told CNN.

The New York meeting preceded a separate effort by the UAE to facilitate a back-channel communication between Russia and the incoming Trump White House.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan

The crown prince, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, arrived in New York last December in the transition period before Trump was sworn into office for a meeting with several top Trump officials, including Michael Flynn, the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his top strategist Steve Bannon, sources said.

The Obama administration felt misled by the United Arab Emirates, which had failed to mention that Zayed was coming to the United States even though it’s customary for foreign dignitaries to notify the US government about their travels, according to several sources familiar with the matter. Rice, who served as then-President Obama’s national security adviser in his second term, told the House Intelligence Committee last week that she requested the names of the Americans mentioned in the classified report be revealed internally, a practice officials in both parties say is common.

Rice’s previously undisclosed revelation in a classified setting shines new light on a practice that had come under sharp criticism from the committee chairman, California Rep. Devin Nunes, and President Donald Trump, who previously accused Rice of committing a crime.Ja

Once again, Trump people were caught trying to communicate secretly with Putin, because of course foreign visitors are routinely monitored by the intelligence community.

In other Russia news, Michael Flynn’s son is now a subject in the investigation. NBC News reports:

Michael G. Flynn, the son of President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, is a subject of the federal investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election and possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign, according to four current and former government officials.

The inquiry into Flynn is focused at least in part on his work with his father’s lobbying firm, Flynn Intel Group, three of the officials said. It’s unclear when the focus on Flynn began.

Barry Coburn, who said he is serving as the younger Flynn’s legal counsel, said he couldn’t comment on the matter.

Flynn’s status as a subject of the Russia investigation widens the publicly known scope of the probe. NBC News has reported that those under investigation have included the elder Flynn and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Others under scrutiny by special counsel Robert Mueller include Carter Page, a Trump campaign ally; Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser; and the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr.

https://twitter.com/Susan_Hennessey/status/908041751134425091

Yesterday White House spokesman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that James Comey committed a crime when he leaked his personal memos about interactions with Trump to The New York Times, and called on the Justice Department to investigate him. She also called on ESPN to fire a reporter who tweeted that Trump is a white supremacist. In any other White House, Sanders herself would be fired by now. The White House is not supposed to get involved in decisions by the DOJ and the White House calling for the firing of a journalist for dissing POTUS is wildly inappropriate.

From Politico, a response to the recent attacks on Comey by the Trump crowd: The Hapless Smear Campaign Against Jim Comey.

From the moment Steve Bannon stated in his 60 Minutes interview that President Donald Trump’s decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey was the biggest political mistake in modern presidential history, there simply was no chance that this week would proceed without a fair amount of political insanity. The fact that the president’s former chief strategist would publicly and brazenly disparage that decision was bound to result in a fierce White House pushback. And so it has. But over the past three days, the White House has repeatedly advanced flawed and in some instances preposterous legal arguments that don’t stand up to informed scrutiny.

The hijinks began on Monday, when White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed that information divulged after Comey was fired served as retroactive justification for the president’s decision. She alleged, among other things, that Comey had given “false testimony” and leaked “privileged information to journalists.” On Tuesday, Sanders did not repeat the “false testimony” claim, but she did reiterate the assertion that Comey had “leaked privileged government information” and speculated that his actions “could have been illegal.”

In Wednesday’s news briefing, reading from what appeared to be prepared notes, Sanders explained what she meant by “illegal”:

“The memos that Comey leaked were created on an FBI computer while he was the director,” she said. “He claims they were private property, but they clearly followed the protocol of an official FBI document, leaking FBI memos on a sensitive case regardless of classification violates federal laws including the Privacy Act, standard FBI employment agreement and nondisclosure agreement all personnel must sign.”

These talking points were presumably provided to Sanders by the White House Counsel’s Office, but as a litigator with considerable experience representing government officials and contractors (including whistleblowers) of all ideological persuasions, trust me: They are nonsense.

Click on the link to read the explanation.

Have you heard the latest outrage from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and his trophy wife Louise Linton? The Washington Post reports: ‘The moochin’ Mnuchins’: Treasury secretary again is fodder for rich humor.

Just based on a quick Google search, the August exchange between Louise Linton, the wife of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and a critic of Linton’s fashion-bragging, mean-girl Instagram post seemed to be fading, along with memories of the eclipse, which the couple was lucky enough to have observed at Fort Knox.

But it all came rushing back when ABC News reported Wednesday evening that the Treasury Department had in fact requested a government jet for Mnuchin’s European honeymoon in Scotland, France and Italy. If the request had been granted, the plane would have cost the taxpayers roughly $25,000 per hour to operate.

A Treasury Department spokesman said in a statement that the request was made so that Mnuchin, who is a member of the National Security Council, would have access to secure communications as he traveled abroad.

Remember Linton’s attack on the woman who criticized her Instagram post after the Mnuchins used a government plane to fly to Fort Knox so they could watch the solar eclipse from the rooftop?

As the news rushed across social media, so did the memory of the Instagram episode, with one line in particular standing out among the now-regretted post by Linton:

“Adorable! Do you think the U.S. govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol.”

Now for a change of pace, I thought you might like this archaeology story. The AP via The Toronto Sun: Well-preserved Viking sword found in Norwegian mountains.

COPENHAGEN — A Norwegian archaeologist says a well-preserved, if rusty, iron sword dating to the Viking erahas been found in southern Norway.

Lars Holger Piloe says the nearly one-metre-long sword was found slid down between rocks with the blade sticking out, and may have been left by a person who got lost in a blizzard and died on the mountain from exposure.

Piloe said Thursday the sword, dating from about 850-950 A.D., was found in Lesja, some 275 kilometres north of Oslo.

Piloe said the sword’s preservation was likely due to the quality of the iron, as well as the cold, dry conditions. It was found in late August by two men who were on a reindeer hunt some 1,640 metres above sea level.

 

What else is happening? What stories are you following today?

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Thursday Reads

Good Morning!!

Hurricane Irma is still headed for Florida and then will move up the coast. The Weather Channel: States of Emergency Issued, Evacuations Ordered as Florida, Georgia, Carolinas Prepare for Irma.

As the dangerous Category 5 Hurricane Irma barrels toward southeast of Florida, officials in the Sunshine State, Georgia and the Carolinas have declared disasters and ordered evacuations.

The storm, which has undergone rapid intensification in the past several days is now the strongest Atlantic hurricane in the last 10 years, a dangerous Category 5, which made landfall overnight packing winds of 185 mph on the Caribbean island of Barbuda.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said in a news conference Wednesday that Irma can still go anywhere and the entire state needs to be prepared.

“The storm is massive and the storm surge is predicted to go for miles. In some instances, it could cover homes and go very far inland,” Scott said.

He urged urgent preparation:

  • “Every family needs to have a plan. …Do not sit and wait. Prepare right now.”
  • “Do not ignore evacuation orders.”
  • “Take what you need to evacuate. Don’t take extra.”

Read more about Florida’s preparations at the link.

Cars sit on a flooded street on the island of Saint-Martin after Hurricane Irma passed through

The Miami Herald: South Florida comes under hurricane watch with weekend strike likely.

South Florida came under hurricane and storm surge watches Thursday morning as powerful Hurricane Irma steamed toward the peninsula on track for a weekend strike.

Tropical storm force winds could begin battering the Keys and South Florida Saturday afternoon, National Hurricane Center forecasters said in their latest advisory. The fierce center of the Cat 5 storm is also increasingly likely to plow across the state’s crowded east coast, and it’s more than 6 million residents, in three to four days.

The hurricane and storm surge watches cover much of the South Florida coast, from Jupiter Inlet south and up the west coast to Bonita Beach, including the Keys. Water levels could reach from between five and 10 feet above ground level in the storm surge watch area, forecasters said.

Because Irma is such a large hurricane, the storm surge could be widespread and life-threatening, said senior hurricane specialist Mike Brennan, with waters moving further inland along the Gulf.

Presumably, the storm will keep moving on up the coast. It’s not clear yet how it will impact us up here in New England, but environmental experts are trying to prepare Boston for future storms as the sea level rises from climate change. The Boston Globe: What a future sea barrier in Boston would look like.

According a city-sponsored report published last December, sea levels are forecasted to rise eight inches from 2000 to 2030 due to climate change. By 2050, they are expected to increase up to 1.5 feet — and by 2070, up to three feet.

Palm trees buckle under winds and rain as Hurricane Irma slammed across islands in the northern Caribbean on Wednesday, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico Sept. 6, 2017.

The chances of a Harvey-esque 50 inches of rain are minuscule in Boston. But with the expected sea level rise, a one-in-100- or one-in-10-year storm (Harvey was a one-in-1,000-year storm) would put many Boston neighborhoods underwater, according to the report, Climate Ready Boston. Even monthly high tides would flood 5 percent of the city’s real estate market value toward the end of the century, officials said.

With the sea level rise expected within roughly 30 to 50 years, major storms could make neighborhoods including East Boston, the South End, and the Seaport “unviable.” This interactive map shows what exact places could be threatened (and it doesn’t look great for Faneuil Hall).

“You’re not going to escape it,” Curt Spalding, New England’s regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, told Boston.com last year regarding sea level rise, after Boston’s waterfront was inundated by simple king tides.

According to a 2013 report by the World Bank, Boston ranked eighth out of 136 coastal cities for risk of flood damage.

Local officials are thus faced with a dilemma: how to manage the characteristic that historically made Boston a thriving commercial hub — its favorable port location — when that same asset now contributes to a potentially existential threat?

Head to the Globe to read the rest. I imagine many coastal cities are looking at possible protections from future flooding.

Donald Trump Jr. is being interviewed by investigators from the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning. MSNBC reports that he has changed his story again–now claiming he took a June 2016 meeting with Russians to get information that would help him assess Hillary Clinton’s “fitness for office.” From The New York Times:

Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, is set to meet with Senate Judiciary Committee investigators behind closed doors on Thursday to answer questions about his June 2016 meeting with a Kremlin-connected lawyer, committee officials said.

Homes are damaged after Hurricane Irma struck in Philipsburg, on the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Martin on Sept. 6, 2017. Netherlands Ministry of Defense via AFP – Getty Images

Committee aides said the interview, Mr. Trump’s first with congressional investigators, will be transcribed and could last for much of the day. It will largely focus on the meeting in Trump Tower, which appears to have been set up to deliver harmful information about Hillary Clinton to the Trump campaign, according to emails disclosed in June.

Democrats, led by Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the committee’s top-ranking Democrat, said on Wednesday that Mr. Trump had also agreed to testify at a public hearing before the committee and that he would probably be subpoenaed if he did not follow through on that agreement. Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the panel’s chairman, declined to discuss the committee’s dealings with Mr. Trump. Lawyers for Mr. Trump could not be reached for comment.

The closed-door interview is the clearest indication yet that the Senate Judiciary Committee — after months of being eclipsed by the Senate and House intelligence committees — is emerging into a higher-profile role in investigating the president, his family and his associates in the coming months.

The committee is trying to get answers about the firing of James B. Comey as F.B.I. director this spring and has staked out a broad investigation that aims to look at everything from the Trump campaign’s interactions with Russia to the Obama Justice Department’s handling of the Clinton email case last year.

More Russia news broke last night in The Washington Post: Russian firm tied to pro-Kremlin propaganda advertised on Facebook during election.

Sea water rises to a water deck as hurricane Irma approaches Puerto Rico in Fajardo. Ricardo Arduengo AFP Getty Images

Representatives of Facebook told congressional investigators Wednesday that the social network has discovered that it sold ads during the U.S. presidential campaign to a shadowy Russian company seeking to target voters, according to several people familiar with the company’s findings.

Facebook officials reported that they traced the ad sales, totaling $100,000, to a Russian “troll farm” with a history of pushing pro-Kremlin propaganda, these people said.

A small portion of the ads, which began in the summer of 2015, directly named Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, the people said, although they declined to say which candidate the ads favored.

Most of the ads, according to a blog post published late Wednesday by Facebook’s chief security officer, Alex Stamos, “appeared to focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum — touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights.”

The acknowledgment by Facebook comes as congressional investigators and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III are probing Russian interference in the U.S. election, including allegations that the Kremlin may have coordinated with the Trump campaign.

Read more at the WaPo.

The other big story from last night is that Trump suddenly aligned himself with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer on raising the debt ceiling and threw Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell under the bus. Ryan Lizza at The New Yorker: How Democrats Rolled Trump on the Debt Ceiling.

A man drives through rain and strong winds during the passage of hurricane Irma, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017.

For weeks, Chuck Schumer, the Senate Minority Leader, had been plotting a strategy to use the debt-ceiling vote to extract concessions from Donald Trump and his fellow-Republicans. Over the weekend, the White House and Senate Republicans indicated that they wanted a debt-ceiling increase attached to a bill to provide immediate aid for areas of Texas and Louisiana affected by Hurricane Harvey. The plan was perfect for the G.O.P. The House would pass a “clean” debt ceiling that most Republicans would probably support. In the Senate, Mitch McConnell, the Majority Leader, would add the Harvey money and pass the two bills together with the help of Democrats. The plan was to raise the debt ceiling for eighteen months, which would kick the next difficult vote past the 2018 midterm elections. In the House, such a bill likely would have lost some votes from both parties, but, given the urgency of the hurricane aid, it was a decent bet to pass. Best of all, for G.O.P. leaders, the bill would have taken away the Democrats’ debt-ceiling leverage from the coming debates on immigration, government spending, and health care.

But, when conservative Republicans came out vocally against McConnell and Ryan’s plan, Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the House, saw an opening. They called for the three-month debt-ceiling deal, which would kick the issue into mid-December, allowing them to maintain their leverage as Congress worked out agreements on other agenda items.

At his morning press conference, Ryan had been withering about this idea. “Let’s just think about this,” he said. “We’ve got all this devastation in Texas. We’ve got another unprecedented hurricane about to hit Florida. And they want to play politics with the debt ceiling? That will strand the aid that we need to bring to these victims of these storms that have occurred or are about to occur. And then they also want to threaten default on our debt? I think that’s ridiculous and disgraceful that they want to play politics with the debt ceiling at this moment.”

He added that the idea was “unworkable,” and, speaking for Trump, noted, “What the President doesn’t want to do is to give more leverage where it shouldn’t occur on the debt ceiling.”

But Ryan spoke too soon.

An hour later, in the Oval Office, Ryan, McConnell, Schumer, and Pelosi sat down with Trump and Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, to negotiate. The Republican leaders—at first—stuck to their demand for an eighteen-month debt-ceiling increase. But the Democrats held fast as the Republicans dropped their request to twelve months and then to six months. Mnuchin argued that the financial markets needed a long-term deal. Trump cut him off and abruptly sided with Schumer and Pelosi on their three-month request.

Read the rest at The New Yorker.

Hurricanes Irma and Jose stacked over the Caribbean and Atlantic on September 6.

Lots of media people are outraged that Hillary Clinton dared to write a book detailing the challenges she faced during the 2016 election. Never mind that Clinton won the popular vote and her book has been number 1 on Amazon for months. Those of us who voted for her are still invisible to the media. Politico: Democrats dread Hillary’s book tour.

President Donald Trump may be the only person in politics truly excited about Hillary Clinton’s book tour.

Democratic operatives can’t stand the thought of her picking the scabs of 2016, again — the Bernie Sanders divide, the Jim Comey complaints, the casting blame on Barack Obama for not speaking out more on Russia. Alums of her Brooklyn headquarters who were miserable even when they thought she was winning tend to greet the topic with, “Oh, God,” “I can’t handle it,” and “the final torture.”

Political reporters gripe privately (and on Twitter) about yet another return to the campaign that will never end. Campaign operatives don’t want the distraction, just as they head into another election season. And members of Congress from both parties want the focus on an agenda that’s getting more complicated by the week.

But with a new NBC News poll showing her approval rating at 30 percent, the lowest recorded for her, Clinton kicks it off on Tuesday with a signing at the Union Square Barnes & Noble in New York. She’ll keep it going all the way through December, all across the country.

Do the Democrats really think they can win elections without Hillary’s hard core supporters? They seem to be going all in with Bernie, who lost to Hillary in the primaries by 4 million votes. Do these people know anything about math?

That’s all I have for you today. What stories are you following?


Tuesday Reads

Coffee and Morning News, by Tim Nyberg

Good Morning!! I am sooooo exhausted. Last Wednesday, I got back home after two months in Indiana. Normally, I would crash for a couple of days and be on the way to recovery from the long drive. But this time my Mom came back with me. She has been staying at my brother’s house, and I’ve had to drive over there nearly every day since I got home.

Yesterday I spent the day with my Mom and my nearly-9-year-old nephew, who was home sick and hung around for the trick-or-treating. My Mom is flying back home this morning at 8:30, and I was dreading having to get up at 5:30 in the morning to take her to the airport. But my brother volunteered to take her–halleluja! Finally I can spend a couple of days vegetating at home! I just hope I don’t get my nephew’s cold!

Anyway, here are some news links I found for you. I’ve been a bit out of touch, so I hope I won’t duplicate anything that has already been posted.

The freaky early snowstorm has left millions of people without power, which also means no heat. Even if you have gas or oil heat, the on-off mechanism still relies on electricity. So there are lots of people living in houses with temperatures around 50 degrees. I was really fortunate that my electricity was only off for several hours, mostly while I was sleeping.

Joanelle mentioned in comments last night that in her part of NJ, there is so much damage that trick or treating has been put off until Friday. The Christian Science Monitor had a story about this happening up and down the East coast.

Until hard-pressed utility crews get the lines restrung, many residents from North Carolina to Maine are living in homes that are barely 50 degrees, and in some cases, they’re unable to heat food. School systems are closed because, among other reasons, it’s not safe for children to walk on sidewalks that may still have live power lines on them. And many businesses aren’t open because they’re still in the midst of power outages.

“Electricity is the most fundamental of utilities. Most everything depends on electric power,” says Kathleen Tierney, director of the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder. “This has many of the earmarks of a disaster.”

In some states, governors are warning residents they may have to grin and bear it for days or even another week since the heavy snow did extensive damage to the electric grid. For example, in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, the snow knocked out some of the lines that get power from the generating plants to substations, where it then goes into a local distribution network. Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) has asked President Obama to declare the state a federal disaster area, which would help with cleanup and recovery costs.

Herman Cain is still trying to explain away the story about his sexually harassing women in the 1990s. Now he’s calling it a witch hunt. But Rush Limbaugh, of all people, claims it’s racism.

RUSH: You know, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, folks. After all of these years, none of us should be surprised, but I still am. Look at how quickly what is known as the mainstream media goes for the ugliest racial stereotypes they can to attack a black conservative. You know who’s laughing himself silly today is Bill Clinton. (imitating Clinton) “Yeah, I really did it. Ha-ha. They praised me and they went as far out of their way as they could. Even my old buddy Carville is out there and he’s saying, ‘Look what happens when you drag a dollar bill through a trailer park, you get Paula Jones.’ I have everybody defending me and they’re going after this black guy, and they’re going after him with some of the ugliest racial stereotypes I have ever seen. That’s how our side does it; we get away with it. I just love it. I love watching it.”

What’s next, folks? A cartoon on MSNBC showing Herman Cain with huge lips eating a watermelon? What are they gonna do next? No, Snerdley, I’m not kidding. The racial stereotypes that these people are using to go after Herman Cain, what is the one thing that it tells us? It tells us who the real racists are, yeah, but it tells us that Herman Cain is somebody. Something’s going on out there. Herman Cain obviously is making some people nervous for this kind of thing to happen.

When did sexual harassment become a racial stereotype? WTF is he talking about?

But at the National Review, Kevin D. Williamson says this may signal the end of Herman Cain’s campaign.

Here is what troubles me. Mr. Cain says: “If the Restaurant Association did a settlement, I wasn’t even aware of it, and I hope it wasn’t for much, because nothing happened. So if there was a settlement, it was handled by some of the other offices that worked for me at the association, so the answer is absolutely not.”

Okay, so if I’m reading that quote right, then:

1. Herman Cain, in his role as head of a major trade association, did not bother to learn how a complaint or complaints of sexual harassment against him was resolved.

2. Herman Cain, not bothering to have learned how a complaint or complaints of sexual harassment against him was resolved, decided to run for president without bothering to learn.

I got a lot of grief for writing that, based on my interaction with Mr. Cain, I would have hesitated to hire him to run a pizza company. I am feeling more comfortable in that judgment.

I wonder if Rush will condemn this: some Republicans in Virginia sent out a Halloween e-mail containing an image of President Obama shot through the head.

The Republican Party of Virginia on Monday strongly condemned an e-mail sent by Loudoun County’s GOP committee that shows President Obama as a zombie with part of his skull missing and a bullet through his head.

The e-mail, first reported on the blog Too Conservative, has “Halloween 2011” in the subject line and has several other images, including one of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), whose face has been made to look deformed with one eye bulging from its socket….

The e-mail, sent a week before local and state elections, invites supporters to a Halloween parade. “LCRC members and Republican candidates: We are going to vanquish the zombies with clear thinking conservative principles and a truckload of Republican candy. . . . It’s fun and a great way to represent our candidates to a ton of voters (and their kids) just before the election.”

Talk about ugly and wildly inappropriate! If anyone listens to Rush, let me know if he condemns this. I won’t be holding my breath though….

We’ve been talking about the irresponsible “journalism” of WaPo “reporter” Lori Montgomery, so I was interested to learn from Raw Story that a new website debuted yesterday with the goal of holding mainstream journalists accountable for what they write and don’t write. From Raw Story:

A Wikipedia-style website launched on Monday which provides information about the journalists behind the bylines.

News Transparency is a creation of Ira Stoll, the founder of another website called FutureOfCapitalism.com and the former managing editor of the now defunct New York Sun.

In a statement on its home page, newstransparency.com, the website said its goal is to help users “find out more about the people who produce the news” and “hold them accountable, the same way that journalists hold other powerful institutions accountable, by posting reviews and sharing information.”

News Transparency features an alphabetical list of hundreds of journalists and invites users to edit their profiles, which include basic biographical information such as age, education, current employer and work history.

Lori Montgomery is listed on the site, but so far there’s no information on her background. Does this woman even have a college degree? I’m waiting with bated breath to find out.

On my way home last night, I listened to the NPR program “On Point.” They were debating the Mississippi “personhood” for zygotes initiative, the goal of which seems to be to turn women into breeders with no freedom of choice and no rights over their own bodies. I highly recommend listening to the program. Hearing what the insane theocratic sponsors of this constitutional amendment have to say is truly frightening, but at the same time very important.

The New York Times has an op-ed about the proposed amendent: Mississippi’s Ambiguous ‘Personhood’ Amendment. The authors identify two main ambiguities in the amendment as written:

First, what does “fertilization” mean? As embryologists recognize, fertilization is a process, a continuum, rather than a fixed point. The term “fertilization” — which is sometimes considered synonymous with “conception” — could mean at least four different things: penetration of the egg by a sperm, assembly of the new embryonic genome, successful activation of that genome, and implantation of the embryo in the uterus. The first occurs immediately; the last occurs approximately two weeks after insemination (or, in the case of embryos created through in vitro fertilization that do not get implanted, never). Thus, on some reasonable readings of the amendment, certain forms of birth control, stem cell derivation and the destruction of embryos created through in vitro fertilization would seem impermissible, while on other equally reasonable readings they are not.

Second, the proposed amendment does not clearly indicate what the immediate legal impact would be. Would the amendment be “self-executing” — that is, effectuate a change to Mississippi law on its own — or would it require enabling legislation to set that change in motion?

Under existing doctrine, constitutional provisions or amendments that only set forth “first principles” or “policies” are not treated as self-executing, because they need laws enacted to further the stated principles or policies. In this case it’s not clear whether the amendment would, for example, immediately redefine thousands of references to “human beings” or “persons,” including those in provisions governing criminal homicide, or whether additional legislation would be necessary. Because of this uncertainty, voters considering this amendment cannot tell what actions would and would not immediately be subject to prosecutorial investigation were the amendment to pass.

I just hope this abomination doesn’t get enough votes!

That’s all I’ve got this morning. What are you reading and blogging about today?


SDB Evening Reads: Cringe and fund…and cringe again

Okay, it is Thursday, and tonight is the last football game of the season for my son’s team.  So, I am writing this post early. Please help me out by posting links to any news that you like below in the comments.

Boston Boomer had some links this morning on Obama’s CBC speech, and I just wanted to add this one: James Clyburn (D-SC) “Cringed” When Obama Told Black Caucus to “Stop Crying”

As I noted the other day, Maxine Waters (D-CA) didn’t care for the President’s strange tirade at the Congressional Black Caucus’ award dinner — and as it turns out, neither did James Clyburn.

NORRIS: I’m curious about your reaction to the president’s speech. Now, he said many things that evening. We just heard the end of the speech, where he told people to put on their marching shoes, take off their bedroom slippers, stop complaining. Your reaction to that.

CLYBURN: Well, when I heard it, I cringed because I kind of anticipated so much of what came in the first part of the speech would get lost and people would be hanging on to those words.

Again, this is a completely unforced error by Obama. The White House has admitted this badgering-the-base stuff was a mistake in 2010 — and yet, they’re doing it again. Why?

Blue Texan also points out the frustration Clyburn is expressing when it comes to Obama’s lack of democratic principles.

….most of us have a style that’s a little bit different from the president’s, ’cause it’s his style to try to seek common ground or try to compromise, and he keeps getting the thumb in his eye. And those of us who come from a different era tend not to appreciate that style. […]

Because if you are not going to get it done, what’s wrong with going down swinging? That is what people tend to want to see. They want to see you fight for the issues, even when they question whether or not you can you can be successful.

I found this next link about Georgia’s unemployment dilemma quiet interesting, considering Obama is all “ga ga” over the Georgia Works program. Georgia might cut jobless benefits to repay feds | AccessNorthGa

Georgia could cut jobless benefits for people who are out of work in order to repay the federal government for $721 million the state borrowed to help the unemployed.

Bills for the debt are coming due, and cutting back on jobless benefits is one option being considered to repay the money.

The state will send a $21.4 million check to Washington this week, the first payment on debt run up since late 2009.

Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler says he’s considering several repayment options, one of which is cutting benefits.

Butler says he opposes raising or re-instituting taxes employers pay into the unemployment insurance fund. By next month, he’s expected to offer Gov. Nathan Deal and legislative leaders some options for repaying the debt.

Wow, Georgia sure does know how to run their unemployment programs! /snark

I guess I will continue to bust Obama’s balls, no offense, this post from Tom in Paine puts this question out on the table: Tom In Paine: Will Obama supporters ever admit he’s a fraud?

Every day I get emails from a variety of “progressive” groups and the theme is always the same. “Republicans want to destroy this”, or ” Republicans want to kill that”. They want money for their organizations or political campaigns and they want it based on telling you how bad Republicans are. Well, okay, they are bad. But they aren’t the problem. And never were. The real problem is that Democrats and these groups not only don’t want to face what the real problem is, they are afraid of trying to do anything about it.And that is that Barrack Obama is and always has been a political and policy fraud.

It is a rather long post so I encourage you to read the whole thing…Paine points out some obvious things that we have blogged about on Sky Dancing before..

So what are organizations like MoveOn and the PCCC really so upset about? That Republicans are acting like Republicans? The Republicans are only doing what the people who vote for them want them to do as repulsive as it may be. Is it the Republicans fault that Obama and congressional Democrats never did what those who elected them wanted them to do? Is it the Republicans fault that none of the Democratic initiatives, things that most people believed were best for the country, never got through? What is it that these groups want Republicans to do? Act like Democrats?

Here is a flash for Move On, the PCCC, Credo and Democratic candidates for congress and their donors and supporters — that is what elections are all about. And in 2008 the country threw the Republicans out of control of all 3 branches of government after 8 years of disastrous Republican governance, elected a Democratic president and gave him the biggest congressional majority any president had in 60 years. And what did the Democratic president do with the biggest congressional majority any president has had in 60 years? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. He said he wanted to work with Republicans and incorporate Republican ideas ignoring the fact that if the country had wanted Republican ideas they wouldn’t have thrown them out of office in the first place. Which is why Democratic voters stayed home in 2010 giving the Democrats the worst defeat of any political party in 80 years.

You may not have seen the latest news about the Energy Department:

On Solyndra, the buck stops with Secretary Steven Chu – Darren Samuelsohn – POLITICO.com

Energy Department approves $1 billion in solar energy loan guarantees – The Hill’s E2-Wire

Obama administration approves 2 more solar energy loan guarantees worth total of $1B – The Washington Post

And then there is talk going on (Hot Air link coming up…) that those two new loans are connected…I’ll post the links and let you sort it out…personally it doesn’t look good for Obama to be approving loans for a company that benefits Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law, which is supposed to create 50 or so “permanent” jobs.  It is this kind of thing that bothers me…I’ll explain in a bit.

$737 million in green-tech loan to company connected to Pelosi family? « Hot Air

…one of SolarReserve’s “investment partners” is Pacific Corporate Group, through its Clean Energy and Technology Fund.  And PCG’s executive director is Ron Pelosi — brother of Nancy Pelosi’s husband.  Suddenly, this deal makes a lot more sense than spending $737 million for forty-five jobs.

I realize it is not a direct link to Pelosi…but after the Solyndra mess, it does seem a bit fishy that both of these new loans Obama’s Admin has approved of, have these kind of connections.

Here is another link to Daily Caller, another right-wing source, just bear with me a bit:

Solar Energy Companies | Democratic Donors | Loan Guarantees Part 1 | The Daily Caller

Solar Energy Companies | Democratic Donors | Loan Guarantees Part 2| The Daily Caller

Those two links are discussing the connections with donors and the companies who got loans from the Energy Department. Take it for what it is worth…and who is the source for the information…but even outlets like the Enquirer get it right sometimes.

Here is more from ABC:  Obama Fundraisers Had Ties to Green Firms That Got Federal Cash – ABC News

Several of Barack Obama’s top campaign supporters went from soliciting political contributions to working from within the Energy Department as it showered billions in taxpayer-backed stimulus money on alternative energy firms, ABC News and iWatch News have learned.

One of them was Steven J. Spinner, a high-tech consultant and energy investor who raised at least $500,000 for the candidate. He became one of Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s key loan program advisors while his wife’s law firm represented a number of companies that had applied for loans.

And the republicans are eating it up:

“There is great concern over political influence contaminating the DOE loan guarantee program,” said Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla), who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee. “The prevalence of fundraisers and bundlers scattered throughout DOE is cause for alarm and is a subject our investigation does not take lightly — we are looking into this and will see where it leads us.”

The administration has repeatedly said that politics has played no role in deciding which companies received federal loans.

One more:  Solyndra violated loan terms in 2010 but received more federal money, DOE confirms – The Washington Post

Congressional investigators have questioned why the Obama administration agreed to help the company in late 2010 when it was warned that the firm was at risk of collapse. Internal e-mails show federal reviewers initially estimated they could save the taxpayers as much as $168 million by letting the company go under in December 2010, rather than resuscitating it and allowing it to draw down more federal money.

Energy Department spokesman Damien LaVera confirmed Wednesday that the agency knew Solyndra had violated the loan terms but agreed to change the requirement to help Solyndra. The agency originally required that Solyndra make six installments of $5 million each, starting in December, to create a $30 million cash cushion for problems.

Here is my take on all this…if the Energy Dept can process and approve these loans, which will make some jobs, but it is in a limited capacity when you consider the 14 million unemployed throughout the nation…why can’t the Obama Admin secure loans or funding for Work Programs that will employ more people around the country, instead of a few within the confines of Green Energy? Green jobs are good, but people need to be employed now…not just in a couple of places, they need jobs all over the country.  If shovel ready was just a nice couple of words to get a crowd pumped up, then I question the reasons for the Energy Dept’s approval of these loans that have inside connections to the White House.  It may be nothing, but there is too many “deals” Obama has carried out that benefit his backers and campaign contributors.

I want you to read this editorial by Jesus Rivas: Kentucky voices: Liberalism a tactic, not principle, for Democrats | Op-Ed | Kentucky.com

Progressives are fooled because they fail to notice that liberal values are only a campaign posture for the Democrats and not true convictions. When they trade them easily they are not making sacrifices, they are just following their own agenda. It is we who make the sacrifice.

For instance, many people were outraged at how quickly the Democrats gave up the public option in the health care debate. The thing to notice is that the Democrats in congress receive superb quality health care paid for by the government. What they gave up without a fight was our public option. They protected the interests of insurance companies that pay for their campaigns, not the interests of their constituency.

People on the left were surprised to see President Barack Obama remove the ban on off-shore drilling. They said he had compromised too much too quickly. What they failed to see is that Obama received more than $100 million in campaign contributions from oil lobbies. So, he was simply returning the favor, or perhaps he was clearing up his line of credit for the next campaign.

Last but not least, people were angry to see the Democrats extend tax cuts for millionaires and viewed it as a sacrifice to negotiate with the Republicans.

But remember: many Democrats in Congress are millionaires. It is not a sacrifice when they are putting money in their pockets. What they sacrificed were our social safety net, our teachers, and firefighters that we can no longer afford.

Democratic pundits are quick to point fingers at the Republicans, who are blamed for all the incompetence of Congress since Obama took office. And believe me, I enjoy a good round of fun Republican bashing as much as the next guy, but in this case the fault is not the Republicans’.

As you read this Op/Ed from Rivas, think about the Paine post…

…Republicans are acting like Republicans? The Republicans are only doing what the people who vote for them want them to do as repulsive as it may be. Is it the Republicans fault that Obama and congressional Democrats never did what those who elected them wanted them to do? Is it the Republicans fault that none of the Democratic initiatives, things that most people believed were best for the country, never got through?

I am really interested in what you all think about the green jobs initiative, and the connections to Obama donors and Nancy Pelosi. It bothers me, it has that feeling of nepotism or payback…I don’t know, maybe I should not feel this way about green jobs, they are jobs that are desperately needed. But if funding can be secured so easily and quickly for these Green Loans and Green Programs, why is it so difficult for Obama’s Administration to get other works programs that will be beneficial in all areas of infrastructure, healthcare , education and the arts? (Wait, one area of healthcare has already got their benefits, the big insurance companies…they got their “nut” with Obamacare.)

I hope you all get what I am trying to say. I look forward to reading what you think.

I’ve got to go and cheer the Panther’s on…I just want to end with this article from my local paper, North Georgia News. It is about the game we played last week, which proves there is emotion in football. This was the first game the boys played a day after Derrick Whittle’s funeral. (His funeral procession was 6 miles long.) Nick is Derrick’s son:

Click on the link to embiggen...and btw Jake is my son.

Catch y’all later in the comments!


Breaking: Nancy Pelosi’s “Super Committee” Picks Announced

Could this be good news? Nancy Pelosi has picked Reps. James Clyburn (South Carolina), Xavier Becerra (California), and Chris Van Hollen (Maryland), according to Politico, all of whom she expects to fight against cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, as well as promoting revenue increases.

This is just from an e-mail so far. I’ll post links as soon as I have them.

Nancy Pelosi’s statement on her appointments:

“The Joint Select Committee has a golden opportunity to take its discussions to the higher ground of America’s greatness and its values. It must meet the aspirations of the American people for success and keep America number one.

“The thrust of the committee must be to grow an American prosperity enjoyed by all Americans. It must:
– Focus on economic growth and job creation that reduces the deficit;

– Make decisions regarding investments, cuts and revenues and their timing to stimulate growth while reducing the deficit; and
– Increase demand by offering recommendations that ensure that wages grow with productivity and reduce America’s families’ dependence on credit.

“The work of the Congress must go beyond the deliberations of the committee. Without waiting for the committee to complete its work, we should pass legislation for sustainable job creation. Congress should send to the President the long delayed highway and FAA bills, which generate hundreds of thousands of American jobs; and Congress should approve a national Infrastructure Bank to create jobs and improve our competitiveness.

“We must achieve a ‘grand bargain’ that reduces the deficit by addressing our entire budget, while strengthening Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Our entire Caucus will work closely with these three appointees toward this goal, which is the goal of the American people.

“Because the work of this committee will affect all Americans, I called last week for its deliberations to be transparent; the committee should conduct its proceedings in the open.”

Some background on the three picks from the National Journal:

Van Hollen is the ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee. Clyburn – the highest ranking African-American member of the House — is the assistant Democratic leader. Both men served as Pelosi’s choices for spots on the bipartisan budget working group this year headed by Vice President Joe Biden.

Becerra is the highest ranking Latino lawmaker in the House. He is also the Democratic Caucus’ vice chairman and a member of the Ways and Means Committee. He served on the special White House deficit-reduction commission co-chaired by former Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., and former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles, eventually voting against its recommendations.

Van Hollen voted for the debt deal, and Becerra voted against it. Clyburn didn’t like the debt deal, but said it could have been worse. Sounds like he voted with Obama.

Brian Beutler at TPM:

As a member of the bipartisan deficit discussion group, convened by Vice President Joe Biden, that laid the groundwork for the debt limit deal, Clyburn — the third ranking Democrat in the House — publicly backed certain entitlement benefit cuts. Specifically, he said negotiators should at least consider further means-testing of Social Security or reduce benefits across the board by reducing Cost of Living Adjustments.

[….]

Van Hollen is the Dems’ top budget guy in the House. He’s one of the party’s chief antagonists of the GOP budget, which calls for phasing out Medicare, and was also a member of the Biden working group. Publicly, he’s been an advocate of approaches to deficit reduction that pair about one dollar of tax increases with about three dollars of spending cuts. He recently cited the Bowles-Simpson framework as a counterpoint to the Republican plan.

Beutler says Beccera “will likely be progressives’ main ally on the Super Committee.”

According to the National Journal article,

If the panel finds itself deadlocked along partisan lines, then across-the-board spending cuts would be triggered of about $1.2 trillion with half of those cuts coming from defense, and the rest from discretionary spending. Entitlements would remain largely untouched if the cuts are triggered by inaction.

Interesting. I didn’t know that. So maybe the goal for Reid and Pelosi is to make sure there is gridlock.

I’ll put any further updates in the comments. Let us know what you think.


Saturday Night Live Blog: Debt Ceiling Watch

Hello Sky Dancers! If you don’t have a hot date, join us in documenting the atrocities as the Senate the Congressional food fight continues–building up to the crucial vote on Harry Reid’s debt ceiling/deficit reduction bill at 1AM.

I haven’t been watching it, but Dakinikat says it’s been really wild. Here’s a link to watch Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell “spar” over whether there has been progress on an agreement based on McConnell’s meetings with Obama.

It seems that McConnell and Boehner are betting the farm that President Obama will cave, and stab Reid and Pelosi in the back. I just can’t imagine that Obama would agree to the Boehner bill though–not with the spending caps and the balanced budget amendment in there. But with President Pushover, you just never can tell how low he will go.

The most interesting news I’ve seen tonight was that earlier tonight, according to ABC News,

Tom Harkin made a plea on the Senate floor Saturday evening for President Obama to invoke the 14th Amendment to raise the debt ceiling if Congress fails to strike a deal before the Aug. 2 default deadline.

“If the Congress through inaction, through inaction or action, tries to destroy or alter those obligations I believe it is incumbent on the chief executive to exercise his authority to make sure the full faith and credit of the United States is not jeopardized. The president should use his authority to do so,” Harkin said.

Harkin joins a growing number of Democrats who have called on the president to broadly interpret a section of the 14th Amendment which says “the validity of the public debt… shall not be questioned” as justification for him to authorize continued borrowing if Congress fails to raise the debt ceiling.

In addition, Huffpo is reporting that according to an unnamed Congressperson, Nancy Pelosi is privately supporting the notion of Obama invoking the 14th amendment.

“Nancy clearly wants it,” said the lawmaker, who requested anonymity. “Publicly? No. Privately? She thinks the president should do it. Period.”

Several top Democrats have endorsed the idea in recent days as an eleventh hour solution: House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) backed the option on Wednesday, and House Democratic Caucus chairman John Larson (D-Conn.) and Assistant Minority Leader James Clyburn (D-S.C.) emerged from a Monday Caucus meeting announcing their support for the idea as well.

But Pelosi, the highest-ranking House Democrat, has been mum. One possible reason is that she has to preserve the image that Congress will reach a deal before the situation even gets to that point.

Josh Marshall says he’s heard “rumblings” about the 14th amendment idea, but he’ll believe it when he sees it.

Well, what does he know? If he could predict the future, he probably wouldn’t have supported Obama in 2008.

I’m going to try to stay up until the vote. Those of you in other times zones will have an easier time of it. You can watch the Senate debate on C-span. MSNBC has broken into their usual weekend prison break fare and are following the debate. I’m listening to that on satellite radio. Dak is going to watch C-Span and provide updates. So join us if you dare! And if you have ideas for drinking games, throw put them out there.


This can only mean one thing … President Cave-in Strikes Again

If you haven’t been watching live coverage of the leader on leader snit fit on the senate floor, you’re missing the clash of two realities.  For all intents and purposes, Senate minority leader McConnell appears to be engaged in a filibuster of the Reid Plan in full expectation that he can make a deal with President Cave-in.  The earlier speeches on the House floor were more raucous than the backbenchers in parliament.  Representative Nancy Pelosi received applause, hoots, catcalls and boos.  The acting speaker clearly lost control of house decorum.

GOP leaders appear to have been encouraged enough in behind closed doors White House meetings they held a press conference suggesting the stand off might be near an end.  Senator Reid took to the senate floor to tell McConnell and Boehner they were sorely mistaken. You can see the coverage of the Boehner/McConnell Presser here.

“We are now fully engaged” with the White House said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a joint appearance with House Speaker John Boehner. “It should be clear … that Senator McConnell and I believe that we are going to be able to come to some sort of agreement,” Boehner said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi met alone with Obama and Biden, both the president and vice president have been in conversations with Boehner and McConnell.

Indeed, McConnell has been most insistent on this point, leading to some acerbic, amusing exchanges with Reid earlier in the day.

“He called the White House and said `Mr. President, let us do the deal,” Reid said of McConnell. “And now he’s telling the president he wants the president to do the deal.”

“We cannot reach a deal without the president. We tried that,” McConnell answered. “I’ll concede the point…but it makes my point that there’s no way under the constitutional system for my friend and I to work this out we have to have the president at the table.”

The biggest two outstanding issues are the Republicans’ insistence on “dollar-for-dollar” deficit reductions –without new tax revenues—to match any increase in the Treasury’s borrowing authority. And second, what enforcement mechanism is best to ensure that a new joint House-Senate committee will be able to come up with an estimated $1.6 trillion in savings by the end of this year.

Reid’s response is covered here.

The Republican leaders in Congress signalled that they were close to reaching a deal with President Barack Obama to raise the US borrowing limit and stave off a devastating default, a breakthrough that would relieve markets – and ordinary Americans – if it were to happen.

But in a sign of the confusion on Capitol Hill about how parties would end the impasse, Harry Reid, the Democratic leader in the Senate, said Republican claims of new progress on a debt ceiling deal are “not true”.

But “the process has not been moved forward,” Mr Reid said.

 As I mentioned before, Pelosi’s speech turned the floor of the House into chaos as she insisted that Boehner had gone over to the “dark side“.

Pelosi pulled out a Star Wars reference on the House floor, saying that Speaker John Boehner “chose to go to the dark side” and court the most conservative members of his conference, rather than work on a bipartisan compromise.

“It’s time for us to end this theater of the absurd,” she said. “It’s time for us to get real.”

The House struck down the Democratic measure, 173-246, in a vote that was designed to fail. Boehner brought the measure up under a special rule that required a two-third majority for passage.

“This thing is not on the level,” Pelosi said before the vote.

Boehner’s office said Saturday morning that the vote on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s legislation would show that the Nevada Democrat’s plan can’t pass the House, dismissing it as a “pointless political exercise.”

 That last comment from Boehner was incredibly hypocritical as we saw the speaker go through the same pointless political exercise with his bill yesterday that was destined for failure in the senate. 

Despite the House’s pre-emptive rejection of the Reid plan, Senate Democrats say they are moving forward with its consideration. The Senate is tentatively scheduled to take up Reid’s proposal beginning at 1 a.m. ET on Sunday — part of that chamber’s arcane procedural path required to get something passed before the Treasury runs out of funds.

Any proposal put forward by Reid will ultimately need the support of at least seven Senate Republicans in order to reach the 60-vote margin required to overcome a certain GOP filibuster.

Forty-three of the Senate’s 47 Republicans sent a letter to Reid Saturday promising to oppose his plan as currently drafted. Maine’s Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, Massachusetts’ Scott Brown, and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski declined to sign it.

McConnell urged Reid early Saturday afternoon to hold a quick vote on his bill in order to clear the way for new talks.

Your plan “will not pass the Senate. It will not pass the House It is simply a nonstarter,” McConnell told Reid on the Senate floor. “Hold the vote here and now” and let’s “not waste another minute of the nation’s time.”

Reid responded by accusing the Republicans of wasting time on the Boehner plan, and criticized the Senate GOP for not allowing his plan to be considered with a simple majority vote.

“The two parties must work together to forge an agreement that preserves this nation’s economy,” Reid said. “My door is still open.”

It’s getting pretty obvious what the dynamic is now.  The Republican leadership in Congress has absolutely no control over its rogue teabot faction which appears to be made up of people that cannot be reasoned with, have no clue about how the constitution sets up the passage of laws, and never cracked a book on finance or economics in their lives. The Democratic leadership are about to have the legs knocked out from under them again by President Cave-In.  The Republicans are stalling until President Cave-In forces Democrats to fully give in to Republican demands.  Get ready for the next recession. It’s on its way . From my vantage point, the teabots are terrorists and the President and the Republican leadership are in negotiations with them.