Posted: September 1, 2011 Filed under: Afghanistan, Anti-War, Barack Obama, Democratic Politics, Federal Budget and Budget deficit, Foreign Affairs, Iraq, Libya, Republican politics, SDB Evening News Reads | Tags: Super Committee, Super Congress
Good late afternoon!
Today is the first day of September, and there is a feeling in the air…Can you feel it? A tingle of dumbassery with a hint of feeble ineptitude and just a splash of pettiness. Alright, let’s get on with it.
Obama versus Boehner on jobs speech date: Who’s the adult? – CSMonitor.com
Is anybody being an adult here?
Yes, Mr. Obama accepted a date change with little comment. But he – or his scheduler – is the one who set the whole tiff-haha off in the first place.
Yes, Speaker John Boehner asked the president to pick another day, rather than saying flatly that the House was going to be washing its hair on Sept. 7. But his move was still unprecedented – no speaker has turned down such a request, ever, the Senate Historical Office told The New York Times.
Well, we have this to say about that.
First, we don’t think most voters will find this as depressing as pundits did. That’s because the fight was over before they even knew about it – not everybody gets Politico’s Twitter feed, after all. Plus, they already think Washington is full of kindergartners wearing ties.
Second, the White House messed up, big time. If they were trying to stomp on the GOP debate, it was petty. If they weren’t, it was incompetent. Somebody should have checked (maybe via Politico’s Twitter feed!) and seen if that date was already taken.
You can read the second page if you like, in the words of Ignatius J. Reilly…ho hum.
The Super Cat Food Commission Part 2 and a quarter, the smell of Friskes… is getting prepared to have that meeting of the minds. Super Committee Gets Ready for Its First Hearing – Dan Friedman & Billy House – Politics – The Atlantic
The six Democratic members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction met by conference call Wednesday to discuss political strategy and administrative plans, aides said.
The Democrats discussed logistics, including meeting schedules and a timeline for their work, said one aide. They also continued talks on their strategy “for working with Republicans to come together around a balanced and bipartisan plan,” said the aide.
The conference call follows a meeting on Tuesday among the six committee Republicans. The 12-member super committee was created as part of a deal to raise the federal debt ceiling. The law requires the panel to meet by Sept. 16 and recommend by Thanksgiving cuts worth $1.5 trillion over 10 years. If its recommendations are not adopted, spending cuts worth $1.2 trillion over 10 years would be automatically imposed. Half of those would target defense spending, while entitlements would be mostly exempted.
I thought the next two links seem to play off one another so pointedly. The first is an image of one soldier in silhouette. We’re Still at War: Photo of the Day for September 1, 2011 | Mother Jones
US Army Sgt. 1st Class Robert Russell uses his weapon’s scope to secure an area during a bridge inspection in Zabul province, Afghanistan, Aug. 22, 2011. Russell is a platoon sergeant assigned to the Provincial Reconstruction Team Zabul’s security force. US Air Force photo by by Senior Airman Grovert Fuentes-Contreras.
Which brings us to the next link, the first Month Passes With No U.S. Soldier Killed in Iraq – NYTimes.com
Under increased pressure from the United States, an Iraqi crackdown on Iranian-backed Shiite militias has helped produce a previously elusive goal: For the first time since the American invasion of Iraq, an entire month has passed without a single United States service member dying.
The milestone is particularly remarkable because it comes after 14 troops were killed in June, making it the most deadly month for the Americans in three years, and it has occurred amid a frightening campaign of suicide bombings and assassinations from Sunni insurgents that killed hundreds of Iraqis, resurrecting the specter of the worst days of sectarian fighting.
“If you had thought about a month without a death back during the surge in 2007, it would have been pretty hard to imagine because we were losing soldiers every day, dozens a week,” said Col. Douglas Crissman, who is in charge of American forces in four provinces of southern Iraq and oversaw a battalion in Anbar Province during the troop increase. “I think this shows how far the Iraqi security forces have come.”
How many years have we been at these wars?
Another quickie: Mike Luckovich: Moammar and Dick – Truthdig
And lastly, when we see the Super Committee getting ready to screw the poor, working and middle classes…take a moment to reflect on the image below from one of my favorite sites, Shorpy. The Youngs: 1909 | Shorpy Historic Photo Archive
January 22, 1909. Tifton, Georgia. “Family working in the Tifton Cotton Mill. Mrs. A.J. Young works in mill and at home. Nell (oldest girl) alternates in mill with mother. Mammy (next girl) runs 2 sides. Mary (next) runs 1½ sides. Elic (oldest boy) works regularly. Eddie (next girl) helps in mill, sticks on bobbins. Four smallest children not working yet. The mother said she earns $4.50 a week and all the children earn $4.50 a week. Husband died and left her with 11 children. Two of them went off and got married. The family left the farm two years ago to work in the mill.” Photo and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.
That is it for me today. Since it is Thursday, my son and daughter are playing and cheering for the Panther’s. So I am writing this on the fly, please be sure to post lots of links in the comments.
Posted: August 2, 2011 Filed under: Economy, Federal Budget, Federal Budget and Budget deficit, House of Representatives, We are so F'd | Tags: Debt Ceiling, Super Congress
Well, here we go…I really can’t help but think that this deal is going to put the US into another phase…like we experienced after the Civil War. This debt deal is going to change who we are and how we function. It is going to change the way the people are represented in government.
Senate Debt Ceiling Watch Party — Part VI, The End | Firedoglake
Live on CSPAN2 now
The Senate vote will be held at 12:15 today.
12:15 – McConnell: ”The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.” Sorry, that wasn’t McConnell, it was “hostage taker” Barack Obama when he voted against the debt ceiling increase in 2006. My bad.12:04 – McConnell: This bill does not contain one dime for job-killing tax hikes. No, it kills them directly.
As we said from the start, there was never really anything that anyone could do to stop this from happening. But we can point to the efforts we’ve all made over the course of the past two and a half years and say we were there, we knew what was going on, we documented it, we did what we could, and we did not avert our eyes:
Well C-Span is saying that the Senate has passed the Debt Ceiling Bill…bill goes to President now.
Debt bill passes Senate, headed to Obama – politics – Capitol Hill – msnbc.com
Obama to speak…you can watch his comments live at that link above.
Posted: August 1, 2011 Filed under: Federal Budget, Federal Budget and Budget deficit, House of Representatives, Live, SDB Evening News Reads, U.S. Economy, We are so F'd | Tags: Congress phone numbers, Contact Congress, Super Congress
Congress is live on C-Span debating the Debt Bill right now:
For live coverage of House Debate click here:
House and Senate Take Up Compromise Debt Plan | C-SPAN
For live coverage of Senate Debate click here:
House and Senate Take Up Compromise Debt Plan | C-SPAN
Contact your Congress Critters and tell them not to vote for a Super Congress!
Contacting the Congress: A Citizen’s Congressional Directory
Contact Elected Officials: USA.gov
Contact information for state and federal elected officials.
Congress.org – Congressional Directory
The USA.gov site has this webpage set up for the Congress Critter’s Twitters: Votizen
I don’t know what to make of this votizen.com site…it does not have all the Congress Twitter account info…maybe it is because my Congressmen don’t use twitter. One thing is certain about this site, a lot of people are using it. There are links to letters people have sent to their reps, and in my case my Congressmen are PLUB GOP Critters, so the letters all have that Tea Party feel to them. That is why I am a bit leery about this site. If anyone uses it, and has experience with it let me know.
There is also this site:
Welcome to Tweetcongress
There is a petition up at Change.org: Human Rights Petition: Tell Congress and the President to Reject the Dangerous, Undemocratic “Super Congress” NOW | Change.org
We must respect the integrity of the Constitution in order to preserve Americans’ unalienable rights. There is currently a plan, promoted by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner, to create a “Super Congress.” Per the President’s last press conference (as of 7/31), it appears to be happening. This “Super Congress” consists of 12 members, six from each chamber and six from each body. It has the power to propose legislation which could not be amended by the general members of Congress, who would be only be able to cast an “up or down” vote on the measures.
The “Super Congress” is not Constitutional, lacks accountability and possess extraordinary power to strip citizens of our liberty. Please reject the scheme (disband the “Super Congress” if it currently exists), and preserve the government our Founders envisioned.
Over on TN Guerilla Woman, there is a post that has lots of good links to recent news articles covering the Super Congress: Tennessee Guerilla Women: The Deal Stinks – Must Read Links
Then there is FireDogLake. Over at FDL you can find pages dedicated to the Super Congress.
Here are the links to pages with updates on how Congress is voting. Just take a look and see what your critter is doing:
Whip the Super Congress: Head Count #1 | FDL Action
Whip the Super Congress: Head Count #2 | FDL Action
Whip the Super Congress: Head Count #3 | FDL Action
Update II: At the end of the 15 minute procedural vote, Republicans are 144 Yea-0 Nay, Democrats are 4 Yea-82 Nay. Gregg Sargent indicated Democratic leadership weren’t whipping, so it appears that they are forcing the Republicans to pass this. Democratic Yeas are hanging back until the Republicans put this over the top. Total: 157 yea, 82 Nay. Not enough to pass it. They will have to keep the vote open past the 15 minutes.
action.firedoglake.com | Call Congress to Protect the Social Safety Net
There is a sample script on this page for you to use as an example of what to say to your representatives:
Hello, my name is ________ and I am a constituent of Representative ________.
I am calling to say that I oppose the creation of a “Super Congress” in the deficit bill. The constitution makes no mention of such a body, and I understand this is how members of Congress hope to insulate themselves from taking unpopular votes to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits.
On behalf of the millions of senior citizens and future generations of Americans who will face serious setbacks if these cuts are enacted, I want you to know that I consider a vote for this bill a vote to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits.
Please let Representative ________ know that I will not be supporting them in the next election if he/she votes for this Super Congress to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits.
Thank you for your time.
However, I fully believe you will be able to tell these critters what you want on your own…
There is a blog going on at FDL:
House Debt Ceiling Watch Party: One Whole Hour of Debate | Firedoglake
Live on CSPAN now – House debate on deficit bill.
As the Democratic party circles the drain and the House votes to impose draconian austerity measures and create a Super Congress to cut Social Security and Medicare, we are going to be allowed one whole hour of debate in the House. No amendments.
Final vote is expected around 7pm ET.
Let us know what kind of response you got. We want to get our readers fired up about stopping this Super Congress.