Archive for the ‘democrats’ Category

Heard Obama Say “Bipartisan” Lately?

March 26, 2009

There was a time, a long long time ago, and in a land far away, that Barack Obama spoke about “bipartisanship.”

He never really gave it a chance and didn’t seem to get the hang of it though.  But that could be because he wasn’t a senator long enough to get the hang of it and his Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, is about as bipartisan as Attila the Hun.

After the words “I won” and “never let a good crisis go to waste” were uttered, well, it has been “all Obama all the time.”

Just recently its been Obama on Leno, Obama on “60 Minutes,” Obama in a press conference of dubious value, and today, Obama on the Internet which looked like just an opportunity for the president to get away from real work and campaign — which he is very good at and has a tireless yen for….

So, with Democrats in control of the House and the Senate, who needs those other guys?

Well, lets hope there are no further crises in the future because the bipartisanship we have seen so far won’t buy much……

********************

In the 1970s when I came to Congress as a staffer, my elected boss used to say, “If I’m going to be one of the fathers of this legislation I’d like to be in the room at the time of conception and not just at the birth…”

That’s bipartisanship: in on the ground floor, opinions heard and incorporated, and sleeves rlled up for real work.

A book on how to achieve good legislation through bipartisanship would have to feature how NOT to to go about it the Obama, Pelosi, Reid way….and then use the New York Times, an appearance on Leno, “60 Minutes,” and the Internet to get the word out…. to spin a feeling that bipartisanship was tried and the Republicans rejected the offer….

The president’s “outrach” of bipartisanship is like purchased sex with a working girl; it is sleezy and meaningless.  Maybe he needs some chachki toys or aluminum key chains with little hand painted “Air Force One” or “White House” creations to hand out to Republicans…..  Or maybe a little yellow tractor from Caterpillar on a key chain….Or Abe Lincoln to remind one of two great presidents….

Early on the president hosted a cocktail party at the White House and a Super Bowl party in the name of bipartisanship: now I think the free peanuts for Republicans are off the table….

***********

It seems to us at Peace and Freedom that the president and TheNew York Times don’t know what “bipartisansip” means.

We went to a congressional staff in the early 1970s and learned back then that bipartisanship means:

(1)   At the start of every piece of legislation, both parties meet to discuss, share ideas and formulate, at least conceptually, new law.

(2) That both parties treat the other side with dignity and respect, sharing ideas in order to get the best for the American people.

(3)  Both sides tell the truth and neither tries to seize the high ground and gloat over the other before the media.

In the case of this stimulus, President Obama talked a good game of bipartisanship but he was clueless on how to achieve it.

His Williamsburg, Va., spa speech and his evening press conference in the White House were both partisan speeches….which included ugly distortions and lies.

Nancy Pelosi shut out Republican input at the start of the process to build the stimulus bill and minutes before voting on final passage there were still complaints that the bill had been “hidden” from lawmakers and the American people intentioanlly by the Democratic side.

Mr. Obama’s personal “bipartisan outreach” consisted of:

–“I won.”

–Efforts to give “goodies” to Republicans like a Super Bowl party, rides on Air Force One and a cocktail party at the White House as if they could be bought like children at Christams.

–“Cram this down throats” at the spa in Williamsburg.

–Campaign-style events at Peoria, Fort Myers, and Elkhart…

–Photo op sessions with Republicans in the House and then the Senate.

–Not one “roll up the sleeves” and negotiate session with both parties at the White House. The pseudo president in the movie “Dave” did a better job of this that Mr. Obama…..

–A big lie at Peoria: “Yesterday, Jim [Owens], the head of Caterpillar, said that if Congress passes our plan, this company will be able to rehire some of the folks who were just laid off,” Obama said in Peoria.

But when asked if the stimulus could do that, Owens said, “I think, realistically, no. The honest reality is we’re probably going to have more layoffs before we start hiring again.”

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/0
3/26/he-asked-for-it-he-got-it/

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GOP sees signs of life in Northeast

March 24, 2009

In the Republican graveyard of the Northeast, the region where the party all but ceased to compete over the past decade, there are signs of GOP life in places that as recently as November seemed to have none.

By Josh Kraushaa
Politico

In Connecticut, there is an unexpected opportunity to unseat veteran Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) in 2010. In New Jersey, incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine (D) trails his Republican challenger in the polls. Several House races seem promising in neighboring New York, where Democratic Gov. David Paterson’s bungling of a recent Senate appointment has jeopardized both his seat and the one now held by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).

It’s not exactly a rebirth, but the combination of some self-inflicted Democratic wounds, the economic downturn and the departure of President George W. Bush has shell-shocked Northeastern Republicans cautiously optimistic about their fortunes in 2010.

“To predict there is now a groundswell of support for Republicans is a little pretentious,” said former Rep. Charlie Bass (R-N.H.), who lost a reelection bid in 2006. “But clearly the traditional voter in the Northeast is looking more closely at Republicans with Bush and the war in Iraq not on the front burner anymore. Now the Democrats have their scandals, they have their problems, and the American people are looking back and thinking we need to balance things out.”

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/po
litico/20090324/pl_politico/20394

Mark Levin Reminds Americans that Values Count

March 24, 2009

Republicans need to review the past in order to effectively move into the future.

And Republicans need to regain their core values fast in order to effectively work through the current Obama Administration’s march toward socialism.

The Republican past is not John McCain, much as he is loved and admired.

And though many of us think about Ronald Reagan, we must grasp the values and not the personalities we need now — a personality will rise in his or her own time.

Mark Levin’s book  “Liberty and Tyranny” is an effort to get us all to think again about the values we need.

Judd Gregg, who nearly became Barack Obama’s Commerce Secretary, seems to have regained his good thinking and is now speaking out about the Obama budget.

“It just seems inappropriate and irresponsible to spend so much that we send along a huge debt to our children and grandchildren,” he said today on the Fox News Channel.

Good Republican thinking.

“This is a massive spending document that increases government and taxes dramatically.”

So is that a good thing?

Republican cannot allow Rahm Emanuel, Robert Gibbs and the others to define them.  Democrats fear a united conservative movement and have worked hard to make the discussion about Limbaugh or Steele.

The discussion is not about who.  The discussion is about the values and how best to achieve them.

Related:
Republicans: If You Can’t Agree On Core Values Now, Commit Harakiri

 Republicans Must Hang Together, or One By One

Michelle:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/2
4/congrats-mark-levin/

 Liberated “Almost Commerce Sec” Gregg: Obama’s Harshest Budget, Debt Critic

 U.S. Seeks Expanded Power to Seize Firms

 Because of Obama, Our enemies sense weakness

Senators Ready To Abandon Missile Defense:
http://senatus.wordpress.com/2009/03/24/lev
in-hopes-missile-defense-compromises-lead-t
o-russian-assistance-on-iran/

GOP sees signs of life in Northeast

White House, Dems in Congress Made The AIG Bonuses Possible?

March 18, 2009

I’ve watched the AIG bonus hearings on TV and it looks like a lot of political grandstanding.

But the hearings and all the indignation and outrage, especially by Democrats, looks like it is in the process of boomeranging around into the faces of Democrats and could hurt them and the White House.

After watching the hearings,  Shep Smith of Fox News said: “The White House and the congress made this happen.  They stripped a measure from the bill that would have not allowed bonuses…”

“This congress did not permit this; they made this [the AIG bonus fiasco] happen,” Smith said on the air at about 1524 eastern….

Geithner

If Geithner didn’t know that his organization didn’t put any limits on AIG bonuses last year and he just shoveled them money without strings: shame on him.

And shame on Obama.  And shame on the Senate that confirmed Turbo Tax Tim.

But it seems Geithner knew about the bonuses at least in time to halt their pay-out: and he failed to do so.

Either way: now would be a good time to fire him and that would help Obama somewhat…..

But the president said Geithner today (March 18) has been making “all the right moves” in dealing with AIG and the financial crisis.   Bad thing to say…..

Geithner: AIG must return bonus money

CBS news said the “White House is in full damage control mode.”

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) said the administration is in “disarray.” 

But David Espo of the Associated Press gives us more to think about (below)….

Obama: Fire Geithner

 Obama: Here’s Why Geithner Has To Go: Credibility, Confidence, Competance

The AIG hearing is on recess now but the trouble isn’t over….

********************

From Fox News
.
Florida Republican Rep. Connie Mack called for Treasury Sec. Tim Geithner to lose his job Wednesday, becoming the first Capitol Hill lawmakers to call for his ouster over AIG’s using tens of millions of taxpayer dollars for executive bonuses. 

“Quite simply, the Timothy Geithner experience has been a disaster. The Treasury Department is in disarray. Taxpayer dollars are being wasted. America’s economy hangs in the balance. America needs and deserves a treasury secretary who can truly lead us forward,” Mack said in a written statement. 

He called on Geithner, the former New York Federal Reserve chief, either to resign or be fired, and said President Obama should nominate a new secretary with “the experience and leadership skills America deserves.”

Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/f
irst100days/2009/03/18/rep-ma
ck-calls-geithner-resign-fired-aig
-bonuses/

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Fox also reported this:
Capitol Hill, though, has broken down into a melee of finger-pointing over the AIG bonuses, and Republicans are probably the loudest. And they’re aiming higher in their criticism. 

Though the GOP was loath to criticize President Obama directly during the stimulus debate — using Democratic congressional leaders as punching bags instead — Republicans turned fire on the Obama administration this week. 

Read the rest:
http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first1
00days/2009/03/18/blame-game-de
epens-aig-outrage-gop-electoral-opening/

**********************

By David Espo, AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time since last fall’s election, Democrats and the Obama administration are backpedaling furiously on an issue easily understood by financially strapped taxpayers: $165 million in bonuses paid out at bailed-out AIG.

Republicans, struggling to regain their political footing, are content to let Democrats try to dig their way out of this mess on their own.

Professing shock at the bonus payments, Democrats have embarked on a hurry-up effort to impose what amounts to confiscatory taxes on the bonuses, a maneuver that almost surely will be tested in the courts.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner won a strong vote of confidence Wednesday from President Barack Obama, whose administration has been struggling with the controversy since the weekend.

But the mood is less charitable among congressional Democrats. And Republicans have made Geithner their top target, not surprising given Obama’s continued high approval ratings.

“It’s shocking that they would — the administration would come to us now and act surprised about these contracts,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the Senate GOP leader. “This administration could have and should have … prevented this from happening. They had a lot of leverage two weeks ago.”

That would be when the Treasury Department decided to make an additional $30 billion available to American International Group Inc., the huge insurance conglomerate deemed too big to fail by two administrations.

Which goes to the crux of the Democrats’ current political problem.

Gone are the days when they could merely bludgeon the Bush administration and promise to seek bipartisan solutions to the nation’s economic problems.

Now, in control of the White House and Congress, they are struggling to come up with an explanation for what no one in either party seems moved to defend.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said AIG stands as a symbol of “greed and perhaps corruption.”

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., scoffed at AIG’s claim that the money represents retention pay. “There are enough bright people in this country that would do the job for an honest salary, and enough honest taxpayers demanding that we put an end to this stuff. You can bet I’ll make sure justice is served,” he said.

But the bonus payments occurred on the Democrats’ watch, and for Republicans, AIG seems politically providential.

Their overwhelming opposition to last month’s stimulus bill appeared to be gaining little traction as Democrats showcase every shovelful of dirt that is turned — all in the name of economic recovery.

Criticism that Obama and Democrats are embarking on a new era of tax-and-spend is undercut by the lack of a budget alternative from Republicans — the party that presided over a historic run-up in the federal debt earlier this decade when it controlled both the White House and Congress.

Less than 100 days into the Obama administration, polls have brought little good news to Republicans.

While a recent Pew survey found some slippage in Obama’s support, it also registered only 28 percent approval for the job being done by GOP congressional leaders, the lowest in nearly 14 years. And a separate survey by CNN and Opinion Research Corp. put support for the president’s handling of the economy at nearly 60 percent.

Against this backdrop, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs sought to explain AIG.

He told reporters that Geithner “last week engaged with the CEO of AIG to communicate what we thought were outrageous and unacceptable bonuses,” and “received a commitment to lessen some of the bonuses for senior executives.”

Asked directly if Obama is satisfied that he found out about the bonuses in a timely fashion, Gibbs said: “Yes, the president is satisfied.”

The president “has complete confidence” in his Treasury secretary, Gibbs added, although Geithner’s early tenure has been anything but smooth. The Cabinet official’s introduction of a new plan to bail out the financial industry was widely panned, and his confirmation was held up earlier when it was disclosed he had paid $34,000 in back taxes.

Read the rest:
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/A
nalysis-White-House-Dems-apf-1
4677357.html

Related:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/18/liveblogg
ing-the-public-flogging-liddy-and-the-indignant-
enablers/

Related:

Expect Obama To Trash Bipartisan Pledge and Railroad His Budget Through Congress “Rubber Stamp”

Obama’s Real Problem: He Still Wants Toxic Acid Bank Bailout $750B, Budget of $3.6 Trillion, and More

Some Dems Want Brake in Obama Plans, Spending

Did Obama White House Fuel AIG Bonus Mess To Enact Tougher Rules With Public Support, “Outrage”?

Obama In Charge: What Should the GOP Do?

March 14, 2009

“Rule one: Never allow a crisis to go to waste,” chief-of-staff-designate Rahm Emanuel told the New York Times the Sunday after Barack Obama’s election. “They are opportunities to do big things.”

Emanuel deserves points for candor. But perhaps not for perspicacity. His assumption was that the economic crisis was and would remain Bush’s crisis and that the opportunities were and would remain Obama’s opportunities. But what if the crisis becomes Obama’s crisis? Then the opportunities can be Republican opportunities.

by William Kristol
Weekly Standard

The first two months of the Age of Obama haven’t turned out quite the way Emanuel and Obama’s legions hoped and expected. The early momentum is flagging. The effort to rush through big-government liberal policies, as somehow part of a response to a financial crisis he’s not actually addressing effectively, may backfire. Several of his nominations and appointments have had to be withdrawn, and others should have been.

Meanwhile, the GOP recovery program is going pretty well. Republicans have progressed from shell-shocked timidity through small-bore sniping and onto robust (and responsible) opposition. The GOP has shown itself able to stand up and counter Obama’s arguments. The Bush hangover seems to be proving less burdensome than expected, and some of the GOP’s members of Congress are turning out to be more presentable than suspected. Organizing in opposition to Obama’s onerous cap-and-trade energy proposal, his attempted government takeover of health care, his attempt to eliminate the secret ballot in union elections, and his tax increases is proceeding apace, and holds out reasonable prospects for success.

Read the rest:
http://www.weeklystandard.com/Cont
ent/Public/Articles/000/000/016/
268kqhzf.asp?pg=1

Maxine Waters Helped Steer Bailout Funds to Bank With Family Ties

March 12, 2009

Do you think Nancy Pelosi will investigate her California pal Maxine Waters for conflict of interest?  There is still an ethics panel in the House, isn’t there?

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When Rep. Barney Frank was looking to aid a Boston-based lender last fall, the Massachusetts Democrat urged Maxine Waters, a colleague on the House Financial Services Committee, to “stay out of it,” he says.

The reason: Ms. Waters, a longtime congresswoman from California, had close ties to the minority-owned institution, OneUnited Bank.

Ms. Waters and her husband have both held financial stakes in the bank. Until recently, her husband was a director. At the same time, Ms. Waters has publicly boosted OneUnited’s executives and criticized its government regulators during congressional hearings. Last fall, she helped secure the bank a meeting with Treasury officials.

Read the rest from the Wall Street Journal:
http://online.wsj.com/article/
SB123682571772404053.html

[Rep. Maxine Waters] Getty Images

Rep. Maxine Waters, center, with Earvin “Magic” Johnson, left, and Ms. Waters’s husband, Sidney Williams, at the 2009 BET Honors Reception in Washington, D.C.

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/12/
calling-bull-on-abc-news-time-magazines
-apologists-for-pelosi/

http://michellemalkin.com/200
9/03/11/culture-of-corruption-alert/

Sounding Like a Mafia Hit Man, Rendell Says Steele’s ‘Days are Numbered’

March 12, 2009

With the nation in an extreme economic crisis: it is still business as usual among many of the nation’s political elite.

Related:

For Obama, Pelosi “Spring Break” Means Your Tax Dollars Fund the Trip: Even if You’re Unemployed

Carville Fires Back at Limbaugh Over Who Wants Which President to Fail

Card Check, Earmarks, Nancy’s Air Travel Cloud Giant That Could Eat Obama, Ruin America: The Economy

Obama: Playing not to lose

Team Obama Reflects the Era of Richard Nixon’s Dirty Tricks

From Politico

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell predicted on Thursday that Michael Steele‘s “days are numbered” as chairman of the Republican National Committee.

“He’s in trouble because I just think that those who control the Republican Party don’t want a big tent,” Rendell told reporters during a lunch hosted by the Christian Science Monitor.

Rendell, a past chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said he believes the approaching special election in New York’s 20th Congressional District — to replace Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand, who was appointed senator — is not likely a make-or-break event for Steele, whom Rendell said also faces more fundamental problems.

“I don’t know if they want a chairman who is basically pro-choice,” Rendell said, referring to an answer Steele gave to GQ magazine in which he described abortion as an “individual choice.”

Steele has since backtracked, saying in a statement to POLITICO, “I am pro-life, always have been, always will be.”

But Rendell said Steele’s explanations of that comment and of other recent gaffes may not be enough to save his job, even though Rendell believes Steele could be “effective in time.”

“Michael Steele’s days are numbered,” Rendell said. “Fortunately for us, his days are numbered.”

The RNC had no immediate comment on Rendell’s remarks.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/
20090312/pl_politico/19948

In this Friday, Jan. 30, 2009 picture, former Maryland Lt. Gov. ... 
Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele speaks after being elected the first black Republican National Committee chairman. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Why Rush Limbaugh Is Good for the Republicans

March 12, 2009

Obama aides Rahm Emanuel and Robert Gibbs knew what they were doing when they declared Rush Limbaugh the leader of the Republican opposition. They were putting Republican politicians in a trap. Repudiating Limbaugh would mean alienating millions of conservatives and declaring Limbaugh’s plainspoken conservatism – which many of those politicians share – outside the lines of the national debate. But neither could Republicans allow the insinuation that they take orders from a radio host stand. If voters got that impression, they would look weak. Worse, the polls show more people dislike Limbaugh than like him.

The Republicans escaped this trap by saying that the White House was talking about Limbaugh in order to avoid talking about Obama’s failure to come up with a financial-rescue plan. But now one Limbaugh controversy has been replaced by another. Instead of squabbling with Democrats about him, Republicans are arguing with each other. The subject of the dispute: Does Limbaugh help spread conservatism among Americans – or turn them off from it? (Read “Criticizing Rush Limbaugh: Over the Line?”)

By RAMESH PONNURU
Time Magazine

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/time/20
090311/us_time/08599188428900

In the March 16 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday, March ... 
March 16 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday, March 9)

Even Democrats Showing Signs Of Economic Despair, Worry at White House Inertia

March 11, 2009

The stimulus is not working, the economy is still in deep trouble and the hole seems to be growing and on Capitol Hill concern is growing that they are watching as the recession turns toward depression.

And the president hasn’t done enough and hasn’t put his administration on a readiness footing as if for a war.

It isn’t just old school Republians and Rush Limbaugh saying the president hasn’t done enough: a growing list of Democrats and media commentators are now expressing dire concern in public.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) excoriated the Treasury Department this morning for failing to adequately trace banks’ use of taxpayer bailout money they were awarded last year and called for better oversight by the Obama administration.

“If the new administration is to avoid perpetuating the approach of the past, real change is going to have to be necessary,” said Kucinich, who is chairing a domestic policy subcommittee hearing.

“This will cost the taxpayers $3 trillion before its all over,” Kucinich told Fox News on Wednesday afternoon.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich said the government needs to keep better track of how banks are using their bailout money. Photo: Sabrina Eaton/The Plain Dealer

As CNN reports today, “One New Hampshire congresswoman said … to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on Capitol Hill recently, ‘hurry, please hurry, because people are waiting and they are hurting, and they need the help now.'”

That was Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-New Hampshire, who expressed a growing despair as mirrored by voters who have lost jobs, houses, IRA wealth and stock portfolios.

We are in a tsunami and everyione is starting to look at the captain of our ship of state and ask, “Is this all we can do?”

“For the first time in years we produced an honest budget,” President Obama said today before signing the Omnibus spending bill containing some 8,500 earmarks.  The bill totals a stunning  $410 billion — maybe $8 billion in earmarks  accorning to bedget watchdogs.  The bill funds the U.S. government through the end of this fiscal year.

This follows the economic stimulus bill of some $740 billion which will soar to about $1 trillion due to interest payments on the debt.

But the economy has yet to rebound and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has already said maybe we need another stimulus….

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POL
ITICS/03/11/nervous.dems/index.html

Related:
Leadership: It’ll Take More Than Money to Fix This Crisis
.
Obama Doesn’t Understand What Many Americans Are Thinking

 Pelosi: Congress Needs to ‘Keep the Door Open’ to Second Stimulus Package

All The President’s Men: Where’s The Congressional Oversight?

Economic Situation Demads Nation, Politics With War Mindset

Obama Policy On Gitmo, Taliban, Afghanistan, Intel: As Stupid as It Gets

Buffett: Obama not at war; has toxic message machine on economy

Voters’ Obama Folly Coming Home to Roost

53% Say It’s Likely the U.S. Will Enter a Depression

March 10, 2009

Most Americans (53%) now think the United States is at least somewhat likely to enter a 1930’s-like depression within the next few years.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 39% think this outcome is unlikely.

Nineteen percent (19%) say a Depression is Very Likely while 7% say it is not at all likely.

The latest results are more pessimistic than those found in early January, when 44% said a 1930’s-like depression was likely in the next few years, and 46% disagreed.

In March 2008, only 38% of adults said the country is likely to slip into a depression, while most (55%) disagreed.

The most recent survey also found that half of all adults (49%) say today’s children will not be better off than their parents. Only 26% hold the more optimistic view, while another 25% are not sure. Those results have changed little from January, when only 27% said children will be better off and 47% disagreed. Twenty-six percent (26%) were undecided at that time.

From Rasmussen:
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/b
usiness/general_business/53_say_it_s_likely_the_
u_s_will_enter_a_depression_similar_to_1930_s