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Tomasky writes: "Here's another news flash: In the Republican tug-of-war between those who want to protect the Pentagon and those who want to cut spending and damn the consequences, it’s looking like the latter are winning."

President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina 10/19/08. (photo: Jim Young/Reuters)
President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina 10/19/08. (photo: Jim Young/Reuters)


The GOP Is Killing Our Country

By Michael Tomasky, The Daily Beast

07 February 13

 

Obama urges Congress to extend the deadline on the sequester cuts, but to Michael Tomasky, it smells like the Republicans have all but made up their minds: steep cuts, even to defense, are exactly what the country needs.

e're less than a month away now from the sequester, the beginning of the deep budget cuts that will kick in automatically if President Obama and Congress don't come to a budget deal. I have a news flash for you: There is not going to be any deal in the next 25 days. And here's another news flash: In the Republican tug-of-war between those who want to protect the Pentagon and those who want to cut spending and damn the consequences, it's looking like the latter are winning. If they get their way, it's also almost certain that the austerity the cuts induce will cost a lot of jobs and hurt the economy. So the only thing for Barack Obama to do now is start agitating to make sure the American public blames the right culpable party here.

First, a little info on the cuts and their predicted impact. These across-the-board cuts to defense programs and domestic discretionary programs (not to Social Security and entitlements) would start to take effect March 1, which the parties agreed to in the fiscal cliff deal. Over the next seven months, this would mean $55 billion in defense cuts and $27 billion in domestic cuts. Those are pretty steep cuts.

That's austerity. Austerity, in difficult economic times, which these still are, is never good. Anything that takes money out of the economy isn't good. This is the great paradox of the Republican position that "we" have to learn to live within our means. There's never been more insidious nonsense put about the land. The only thing severe cutbacks would do is put the recovery at risk.

A New York Times editorial Monday noted that at least a million jobs might be lost, according to a Congressional Budget Office report, if the sequester cuts go into effect. To give you a point of comparison, the economy created 2.2 million jobs last year. And it was a decent year, no better. Imagine subtracting a million to 1.4 million from whatever positive number we get this year. That's a pretty devastating hit.

Right now, though, it sounds as if that's where the GOP wants to take us. The bread crumbs are being dropped-senators and House members are allowing themselves to be quoted as saying that maybe this is just the medicine the country needs, even including the defense cuts.

This is an important change in momentum. Last year, Republicans generally sounded more alarmed about Pentagon cuts than about spending and the budget deficit. But now, that's flipping. Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn said, "I think sequester is going to happen. I think the people want it to happen." South Carolina GOP Congressman Mick Mulvaney said recently, "Gridlock is leading to spending reductions. If the government does nothing, spending goes down. We have to claim victory."

There's something quite amusing about this, as Forbes's Loren Thompson wrote yesterday. In allowing these defense cuts to go through, Republicans would be harming their own constituents, because there are considerably more military bases and supply depots and the like in red states than in blue states. Thompson noted that there are two bases in Mulvaney's district where thousands of employees could be furloughed or fired.

What's going on here? Undoubtedly, they're at the end of their rope. They came to Washington to cut spending. The sequester has been delayed twice. Enough already. This would be understandable if their positions weren't so economically thick-headed. But it's what they believe, or at least "believe."

It's hard to know what they really believe, and it's the same old guessing game. One of two things is true. One, they so despise and distrust government spending that they really do believe no good can possibly come of it and so spending has to be sliced, and if tossing the Pentagon on the fire is the only way to get it started, well, so be it. Two, they know better, but they figure well, if the economy does tank because of our collective stupid action, Obama's the president, he'll get the blame.

On Tuesday afternoon, Obama called on the Republicans to pass a smaller package of cuts and revenues to tide us all over for a bit, and to extend the major deadline another few months. The Republicans have declared this idea dead on arrival, especially the revenue part. He did note in his remarks that inaction puts "the jobs of thousands of Americans" at risk, but he really should hammer this point home repeatedly in the coming days.

So what I would love more than anything is to see Obama go down to Mulvaney's district in South Carolina and several other districts like it and say that if these cuts go through, it's going to have a serious negative impact on the local economy.

Ideally, of course, there might be some kind of agreement, which I say not for anyone's political sake but for the sake of America's workers and the economy. The effect of these cuts would be real and bad. If nothing else, the best Obama can do is make sure that the American people know who's at fault when the economy does tank. Not the loftiest aspiration, but it's hard to be lofty when you're being dragged through the sewer.


 

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+100 # tswhiskers 2013-02-07 13:48
The only constitutents the Reps. have are the very wealthy, and apparently those who don't watch any news and so are politically illiterate, so who cares about anybody except the very wealthy? People don't pay much attention to politics in this country. It was only when the need to raise the debt limit happened in August that some began to look seriously at Rep. politics and realized how extremely conservative the Rep. Party had become. I live in NC and I can say with assurance that there are a lot of Good ol' boys in the South and private property nuts who vote White and the Bible. The South is full of people exactly like this. Issues to them are "Let's get that n***** out of the WH, and "This is my property and these are my guns and nobody is going to take them away from me", etc. The South truly is Deliverance Country more than most people realize. So yes, the GOP is and has been killing the country for a long time and they have all the hard right support available in the hills and mountains of the South. Given the primitive politics that exists in much of the South, Reps. will have a big power base here for some time to come. Call the South a real bonus for the GOP.
 
 
-17 # joedeane 2013-02-08 06:23
Les remembe tghe so called
 
 
-33 # joedeane 2013-02-08 06:27
Lets remember, Obama helped established this stupid process of sequester by appointing the deficit hawk "advisory committy". He cannot be absolved or ofresponsility for the destructive policies he himself agreed to.
 
 
+24 # jon 2013-02-08 08:30
Quoting joedeane:
Lets remember, Obama helped established this stupid process of sequester by appointing the deficit hawk "advisory committy". He cannot be absolved or ofresponsility for the destructive policies he himself agreed to.



"it's hard to be lofty when you're being dragged through the sewer."
 
 
+36 # myungbluth 2013-02-08 07:41
Your comments about the South and the GOP and racism are outrageous, narrow, shortsighted and just wrong. I live in NC, and things are much MUCH more right-wing stupid and religious than you indicate - and you didn't even touch upon the TEA baggers! WTF!
 
 
0 # bigkahuna671 2013-02-13 10:27
Actually, the only thing he did wrong was not to include the TeaParty. Racism is rampant in the South, don't kid yourself. I have a lot of family there (in Fla and NC) and my Dem family members say it's everywhere, while our Repubs just say redneck stuff that shows their true racist feelings. Needless to say, I don't talk to them much. We'd all love to say these kinds of statements are narrow and shortsighted, as well as wrong, but they're not. I've heard much the same garbage here in Az where I live. We're a Red state where the GOP tried to gerrymander as they did in all the other states controlled by GOP legislatures and Govs, but we have a law that sets up a nonpartisan commission that establishes our districts. Right-wingers here privately use expletives to describe our Pres and repeat the same tired Donald Trump garbage...just look at Sheriff Joe Arpaio. So, yes, it's not just in the South but in the southwest. The GOP has taken the stance to throw the baby out with the bathwater, even if it kills the baby. In this case, that means our economy, our military, and our recovery. In his SOU speech on Tuesday, the Pres has begun to lay out for the American people who will be to blame if there is a sequester and he's not pointing any fingers at Dems. Unless you're a complete idiot, you'll know it was the GOP that decided to torpedo the American people.
 
 
+6 # MrBtfsplk 2013-02-08 08:13
Not being able to fathom the disparity between the right and what's right for America, the only thing I could come up with is that sequestration is the first time I've ever seen the Pentagon budget threatened. We can yell loud enough to fix small things, but military spending, to this point, has been sacrosanct. I, for one, am willing to have to yell again to stop austerity in order to set the precedent of an actual cut in the military budget. Now we need to cut Homeland Security and the most worthless mess in decades, FEMA.
 
 
+9 # Alice 2013-02-08 15:05
and the NSA, and the MIC in general, the military hardware suppliers who lobby for outdated weaponry, tanks, ships, F22 fighter planes. There always seems to be plenty of money to build the weapons to fight the last couple of wars. I would not mind seeing DARPA's wings cut as well. The discretionary spending cuts will be in food stamps, unemployment benefits, Medicaid, SCHIP -- things that will really hurt living breathing vulnerable people.

FEMA is finally functioning as it should after GWB turned it over to a horsemaster. Fugate is an awesome FEMA director. And just look at the storms we are having to deal with!
 
 
+8 # Christopher Warren 2013-02-09 11:04
No ONE ever asked "What do we GET for all this DEFENSE MONEY!?

We can't stop them from flying into our buildings!
We can't subdue a STONE AGE COUNTRY'S Primitive defenses to our occupations!
Why do we waste our MONEY!
 
 
+4 # flippancy 2013-02-09 16:44
Quoting MrBtfsplk:
Not being able to fathom the disparity between the right and what's right for America, the only thing I could come up with is that sequestration is the first time I've ever seen the Pentagon budget threatened. We can yell loud enough to fix small things, but military spending, to this point, has been sacrosanct. I, for one, am willing to have to yell again to stop austerity in order to set the precedent of an actual cut in the military budget. Now we need to cut Homeland Security and the most worthless mess in decades, FEMA.


FEMA is only worthless when run by Republicans./ Look at how well they did their job under Clinton and how they have been undercut by the republican house in their response to Sandy.
 
 
+91 # CAMUS1111 2013-02-07 14:40
"The GOP Is Killing Our Country"--Well, DUH!!! This may be "news," but it is old news...
 
 
-34 # Allen 23 2013-02-07 19:02
Oh please, this is such childish crap.

The GOP and the Dems are auxiliary subdivisions of the same evil.

It's big business that runs the show. The DEMs and the GOP are the front groups simply using different styles to carry out the marching orders of their bosses. One punches you in the face the other stabs you in the back.

Only folks who have an underdeveloped political outlook still possess the cartoon version "GOP EVIL"- "DEMS GOOD" view of how things work.

The Democratic Party, the party of slavery, has a long history of mass murder and empire building. They are not an alternative to the American Empire. Especially on foreign policy, there is remarkable consistency between Republican and Democratic administrations . If the Nuremberg standards were applied every President since World War Two, both D and R, would have to be hung. Both parties have the same basic goals; they just disagree on minor details.

A vote for the Democrats is a vote for imperialism and war (as is a vote for the Republicans).
 
 
+39 # jon 2013-02-08 08:35
Until we get the money out of elections, we will continue to have a one party system.

It is currently impossible to run for national office without lots of corporate money, and therefore we have both parties, to a greater: Republicans, or a lesser; Democrats - extent owned by their corporate masters.
 
 
+27 # universlman 2013-02-08 10:40
Quoting Allen 23:
The GOP and the Dems are auxiliary subdivisions of the same evil.


I am sick of hearing this. Your twisted cheerleader Limbaugh makes up a song "Barack the magic negro" and your Rep Joe Wilson shouts "You Liar" to the President's face in a joint session of Congress and then you go and claim both parties are doing it. You have to take us back to the time of slavery and WW2 to make your point.
 
 
+2 # Allen 23 2013-02-08 17:18
Quoting universlman:
Quoting Allen 23:
The GOP and the Dems are auxiliary subdivisions of the same evil.


I am sick of hearing this. Your twisted cheerleader Limbaugh makes up a song "Barack the magic negro" and your Rep Joe Wilson shouts "You Liar" to the President's face in a joint session of Congress and then you go and claim both parties are doing it. You have to take us back to the time of slavery and WW2 to make your point.


Not mine I don't support either party and never have. Even as a teenager I saw through this charade. How so-called adults can still fall for this crap escapes me. It's like Charlie Brown going after the football over and over and Lucy pulling it away every time.

And since space is limited I'll give you a short list of things DEms and RePubs agree on in recent time:

Wall ST Bailouts, Iraq War, Iraq Sanctions, Afghan war, Military Budget increases, corporate subsidies, deregulation, Kosovo slaughter, weapons sales to numerous dictators, Viet Nam War, Korean War, Slashing of federal funds for health care, slashing of state funds for education, expansion of US military bases worldwide, hiring cabinet members straight from corporations-re volving door and on and on and on.

Go ahead and try to refute these facts and I could add to this list all day long.

The cultists who support the Dems are as bad or worse than those who support the GOP. At least the GOP fanatics are honest about being imperialists.
 
 
+5 # universlman 2013-02-09 09:17
Quoting Allen 23:
the Dems are as bad or worse than those who support the GOP


In answer I have 2 words for you my friend; "Bush Doctrine"
 
 
-4 # NOMINAE 2013-02-08 21:38
Quoting Allen 23:


The GOP and the Dems are auxiliary subdivisions of the same evil.

It's big business that runs the show. The DEMs and the GOP are the front groups simply using different styles to carry out the marching orders of their bosses. One punches you in the face the other stabs you in the back.


Part I

O.K., people, as much as we hate to *hear* the truth, let's avoid "killing the messenger". As painful as it may be, Allen 23 is CORRECT.

The Two Party System is straight-up Political Theater, and has been for some time.

In the era when the stirring words were written: "We The People", "People" were *legally defined* as Free, White, Male, LANDOWNERS, over 21. If you owned no land, you had no vote, because you had no "skin" in the game. We were begun as an oligarchy, and such we remain, now under the control not of the "planters", but of the International Corporations, the REAL power "behind the Curtain".

The Country is carved up into imaginary "States", like an egg carton so that if a "fire breaks out" in one place, it is contained, and less likely to spread to neighbors across an imaginary line in the neighboring State. More people were eventually allowed the vote to maintain public equanimity.

The REAL power has, and must remain "behind the scenes". (Although lately, they have so much power that they care less and less about anonymity. )

Cont'd
 
 
-3 # NOMINAE 2013-02-08 21:43
@ Allen 23

Part II

The REAL power keeps All of the Sand (wealth) not in their own pockets, in the "Sandbox" that IS the U.S. economy. The Real Power then allows "elections" which indulge "the people" in shoving that Sand all the way over to the Right, or shoving all of the Sand over to the Left. The Real Power does not CARE where the Sand *goes*, so long as ALL the sand remains IN the Sand box !

Allowing our ability to "shove the sand" from one side of the box to the other is our "Sacred" vote, which is genius over the standard Dictatorship.

With this vote, we have the ILLUSION of actual PARTICIPATION in the political process, which, thus far, has prevented us from "picking up the torches and the pitchforks and storming the Castle". We just figure, "oh, well, my guy didn't win this time, but we'll give 'em hell in four more years." So far, this has worked like a charm.

Then came the time when The REAL Power became International, not National. To be a REAL player on the International Stage, Corporations must now throw over any allegiance to Nationalism. Is this country breaking down and falling apart ? YES. And right on "schedule".

So, working within the PRESENT System which is so obviously "not working" already, is literally to beat upon a dead horse. Looking to CURE this "dying system" from within, using all of the tools that have been SO spectacularly NOT working for so long, could not BE a bigger exercise in futility.

Cont'd
 
 
+2 # NOMINAE 2013-02-08 21:44
@ Allen 23

Part III

OWS is the only "voice in the wilderness" calling for building a new, fair, and humane system from the ground up. This is no "call to Utopia". This will be incredibly hard work. But right now, it is the only door in a looooong dark hallway of doors locked, barred and rusted shut, that stands open at the end of the hall showing nothing inside but blinding white light.

The times really have changed. We must now be willing to change as well, or to perish with the dying dinosaur that is the "old system".
 
 
+65 # Rationalist 2013-02-07 20:58
Sadly, I mostly agree with Allen 23 on all counts. If the logical conclusion of his argument is that we should vote third-party, I tend to agree with that, too. Still, the reality is that only two parties currently matter; and I see a little more difference between Democrats and Republicans than he does, especially on economic issues (and quite a bit more on "social" issues). For the reasons Allen 23 suggests, Democrats have been weak in opposing the rush toward economic suicide, but the Republicans' willingness to sacrifice a million jobs in order to achieve their political objective is too breathtaking for me to minimize the difference between them and the Dems. It also seems pretty clear to me which party is willing to enter into reasonable negotiations and which is not.
 
 
+29 # Rain17 2013-02-07 23:07
What angers me about those who advocate voting third party is that they are intentionally indifferent to the fact that millions of Ameticans can't afford the luxury of throwing their precious votes away. This is what angered more than anything about Nader and the wealthy celebrities like Michael Moore who aggressively supported him. They could afford the luxury of "voting their conscience."

I say this because one of fired got severely injured in Iraq and is a disabled veteran with numerous health problems. Furthermore a relative died from cancer because she had no insurance and didn't seek out help until it was too late. Obamacare would have helped her. I can also think of the impact on other people out there.

To that end, for those advocating voting third party, there are lots of people out there who will end up as collateral damage because you "voted your conscience". They can't afford the luxury of protest votes.
 
 
+10 # jon 2013-02-08 08:38
The Republicans absolutely LOVE a Green Party candidate to further the ancient "divide and conquer" tactic.
 
 
+3 # Allen 23 2013-02-08 09:46
Quoting jon:
The Republicans absolutely LOVE a Green Party candidate to further the ancient "divide and conquer" tactic.


That's a cartoon version of reality the powers that be hope you hold on to.

Ever wonder why the DEms and Repubs agree on EVERY major policy issue when the votes are counted?
 
 
-1 # Allen 23 2013-02-08 09:45
That's ironic Rain17 in that virtually all Dems were completely on board with the Iraq invasion/occupa tion/massacre and have and will continue to be on board with US intervention around the world.

You know that right?

And you also know that Obamacare was written by insurance lobbyists right?

Please don't use the needy as an excuse for people to vote for Dems that's as false as it is disgusting. The DEms and the GOP have turned their backs on the needy for decades and will continue to do so. Bailouts to Wall St -BY OBAMA. Get it yet?
 
 
-5 # NOMINAE 2013-02-08 22:10
Quoting Allen 23:
That's ironic Rain17 in that virtually all Dems were completely on board with the Iraq invasion/occupation/massacre and have and will continue to be on board with US intervention around the world......

And you also know that Obamacare was written by insurance lobbyists right?

.... The DEms and the GOP have turned their backs on the needy for decades and will continue to do so. Bailouts to Wall St -BY OBAMA. Get it yet?


Absolutely on the mark ! A small example of the complicity and the Kabuki Theater of Politics at the National Level was lavished upon us only recently.

We have been lead to believe, since 2009, that the PROBLEM afflicting this country was GRIDLOCK in which those damned recalcitrant Republicans were blocking EVERYTHING Obama tried to DO with their evil filibuster power. And, HEY, the Republicans were doing a *superlative* job of making that appear to be *exactly* the case !

Now, if it was TRUE that the Republicans' entire power rested in that filibuster, and if it was TRUE that the Democrats were just DYING to govern, and really *would* govern their lil' socks off, but for that pesky filibuster, how the hell can it BE, that when the Democrats were given the CHANCE, they couldn't even be bothered to MODIFY that filibuster rule back to requiring a 50% majority rather than 60 % ? They just FORGOT IT ?

Unlikely, tho Harry Reid is no kid. No, drama needs villains !
 
 
+1 # flippancy 2013-02-09 16:37
A little truth is a dangerous thing in uninformed hands. Obamacare is the best tyhing that has ever happened for health care in this country, but with 95 Republican amendments to try to destroy it, it isn't as good as it could be. Also, in order to get it passed they had to include the insurance companies. Politics is the art of compromise and you take what you can get.

As for a 50 vote cloture, that would defeat the idea of the filibuster entirely and nobody wants that, but here's what I would have done: You must represent 45% of the people in order to keep a filibuster going with each Senator being considered to represent 50% of the people in his/her state. You must talkl continuously without a break of more than 30 seconds including changing speakers so you can hit the john. No secrtet holds, anyone putting a hold on a bill should havbe their name released to the media immediately and also be published in the congressional record. No hold may last more than a week and may never be reinstated in the session. Also, the number of filibusters must be limited. The Republicans filibustered more in the last 4 years than the Democrats have since the inception of the filibuster. Harry Reid sold out you, me and the country by not smashing the Republicans and their obstructionism in the teeth.
 
 
0 # NOMINAE 2013-02-09 22:42
Quoting flippancy:
A little truth is a dangerous thing in uninformed hands........

..... but here's what I would have done:

Harry Reid sold out you, me and the country by not smashing the Republicans and their obstructionism in the teeth.


Part I

O.K. flippancy, as to your first charge holding that "a little truth is a dangerous thing in uniformed hands", your remark is simply flippant (get it?) and left unproven throughout the remainder of your comment.

You also demonstrate lack of familiarity in the difference between arguing from the "general point" to arguing from the "specifics".

My general point is that the system is a GAME, and that the GAME is fixed. Perhaps that point wasn't clear to some, but you likewise neglect to address that.

You then procede to arguing specifics about a system that is *designed for* obfuscation, confusion and control. As long as Citizens are arguing about these "straw men" specifics, they are prevented from applying their focus on the "Big Picture", and therefore asking uncomfortable questions about that.

Then, you offer some *incredibly* well-reasoned and cogent suggestions about how the "specifics" COULD BE, and SHOULD BE improved in re: the Filibuster.

We will all note, however, that those changes were studiously and assiduously AVOIDED in the "Big Picture" by Harry Reid & CO, who likewise cannot be unaware of what *needs* to be done.

Cont'd
 
 
0 # NOMINAE 2013-02-09 22:48
@ flippancy

Part II

You then, and here I thank you very much, PROVE my general point about the system being a GAME that is FIXED, by noting that Reid "sold out you, me and the country ...." Great !

My question is WHY DID Harry Reid "sell out" ?

Had Reid followed YOUR suggestions in changing the Filibuster, the Republicans' Power would have been diminished to conform to the reality of the fact that they only HAVE the power generally accorded to a MINORITY PARTY !

You notice that Reid REFUSED to ALLOW that to HAPPEN ! Reid does not work in a vacuum all by himself. He's not "one bad apple spoiling the barrel", he represents the consensus of the Dems.

The Republicans HAVE BEEN "the party of 'NO'", but NOTICE that when the Dems had a chance to CHANGE THAT, they simply "PUNTED" when it came time to putting their policy where their mouths are.

If it is more convenient for Democrats to pretend that they really WOULD govern if not for those NASTY Republicans, then Harry Reid, of course, MUST leave all the openings available for the Republicans to be ABLE to "hold things up".

The reality is that NEITHER Party is there to "get things done". They are there to provide us with political theater, and while we are thus distracted, to carry out Corporate Agendas right on time.

That's why Harry Reid "sold out", as will everyone in that office until the system is replaced. Drama needs villains.
 
 
+4 # Christopher Warren 2013-02-09 11:41
Allen 23 has a view that has been fleshed out for some time by "radicals"(TRUT HFULLS!) like H. Zinn who pointed out the tension between CAPITAL and the "People" from well before the Revolutionary War or Confederation and the Constituition was a FIRST attempt towards a "more perfect Union"! That effort has been captured by the right wing since Reagan made something wrong with a Family wage Union jobs and made Greed GOOD by releasing Americans from any social contract obligations because We're not CITIZENS of a GREAT COUNTRY!, We're on our OWN so SCREW EVERYBODY ELSE! As we scramble for the crumbs and if we get a few more crumbs than others, we buy the myth that we can be rich TOO! When in reality, our pols have turned our citizenship into mere providers of the highest corporate values of more PROFITS! MORE BONUS'S to the 2% (and some of their lackeys) at the expense of our erosion of Human Rights that are being proffered up for sale, in the guise of AUSTERITY to FINANCE TAX CUTS! Because there's not much they leave, for us!
It's no wonder Unions have disappeared, those people were pesky about our commons in spirit and infrastructure. Plus anybody that insists on fairness and safety in anything! has to be eliminated!
 
 
+1 # flippancy 2013-02-09 16:40
The Dems were on board because they were stupid. They never thought the Republicans would lie us into a war and assumed their lies were true. The only Dems who knew the truth would have gone to jail if thay had told others as it would have been a violation of the secrets act and they knew they would be arrested if they told. These disastrous wars are 100% on the GOP.
 
 
0 # NOMINAE 2013-02-09 23:03
Quoting flippancy:
The Dems were on board because they were stupid. They never thought the Republicans would lie us into a war and assumed their lies were true....... These disastrous wars are 100% on the GOP.


WoW ! How can you POSSIBLY know so much about the INNER THOUGHTS of everyone in the Democratic Party ? You seem frantically desperate to make excuses for these people.

It is the height of naivete, or intentional blindness, to pretend that Dems who voted for the Iraq War were just dumb, and "duped" by those crafty and highly intelligent Republicans.

I hate to be the one to burst your bubble here, but just because Hillary pretended that SHE voted for the War bcuz she was stupid, does not mean that the HUGE number of Dems voting the same way agreed with her.

These people voted for the War, because they *also* WANTED the resources that the War was REALLY about.

Otherwise they are certifiably incompetent, mentally challenged, and need to be IMMEDIATELY removed from office in the care of an adult "Keeper".

Claiming that "These disastrous wars are 100% GOP" when the RECORDS show the number of Democratic votes is simply putting one's head in the sand.

Note that that "putting one's head in the sand" is a *failed* survival strategy that doesn't even work for the Ostrich that invented it !
 
 
+29 # lysechrist 2013-02-07 21:44
Why shouldn't every member of Congress have to live within their means. That means their own salaries, no perks, and no money from special interest groups and Corporate America.

How can we, the people, stop the insanity in Washington?
 
 
+3 # flippancy 2013-02-09 16:25
Quoting lysechrist:
Why shouldn't every member of Congress have to live within their means. That means their own salaries, no perks, and no money from special interest groups and Corporate America.

How can we, the people, stop the insanity in Washington?


How abouty making DC a right to work "state" and cutting congress' pay to minimum wage with no perks? That's a start. 8^)
 
 
+28 # swimdoc 2013-02-07 21:49
The Europeans, led by Angela Merkel of Germany, demanded severe austerity of Greece in return for some bail-out money. Yes, Greece was in MUCH worse shape than the U.S. However, watching what's happening there is an example of what could happen if the U.S. puts in severe budget cuts. Greece's unemployment has skyrocketed and government services have disappeared. Now Europeans are alarmed because Russia's Gazprom wants to buy Greece's energy system, and China is exploring buying parts of Greece's railroad system.

Couldn't happen here? What if China offered to run the U.S. Postal Service, which is in such bad shape it wants to discontinue Saturday mail delivery?

What if Germany or Spain or Japan offered to buy Amtrak?
 
 
+22 # robniel 2013-02-08 08:06
Quoting swimdoc:


Couldn't happen here? What if China offered to run the U.S. Postal Service, which is in such bad shape it wants to discontinue Saturday mail delivery?


The USPS is in bad shape only because of the GOP legislation enacted in 2006 that forces the USPS to pre-fund 75 years worth of pensions in a 10 year period. If this is rescinded the problem is mostly solved, but the GOP wants to starve the USPS (unionized) and privatize mail delivery. Your letters will be delivered by FedEx for only $1.85 (or more). Call your Congressman.
 
 
+26 # Regina 2013-02-08 08:44
The Postal Service is being dismembered by the Republican Fatcats in their campaign to kill it and turn USMail over to Fed-Ex and/or UPS, who are undoubtedly among their campaign funders. Discontinue Saturday delivery? Hell, my P.O. is selling greeting cards for a shred of income!
 
 
-16 # Dave45 2013-02-07 22:05
To an unexpected degree, Mr. Obama continues to appear woefully inept in areas of basic economics. It seems that his economic advisors are not really economists but Wall Street-connecte d, financial managers of one kind or another. What else could explain his lusty courtship with austerity budgets which have a history of failure in one country after another?
 
 
+50 # X Dane 2013-02-07 22:37
tswiskers.
You are so right. Republicans are dead set on destroying Obama......So the country is ruined too....absolute ly immaterial. That is simply collateral damage. The cost of humiliating and destroying Obama.

We all KNOW that the republicans can NOT govern, and they don't want to either. They just want to be in power, so they can take care of their paymasters.

That was crystal clear in W's presidency. Wages went down further. Fewer jobs were created in his 8 years, than was recovered or created in Obama's 4 years.

He started 2 wars....unpaid, big medical give away...Again not paid for, gave tax cuts to his wealthiest buddies. That is NOT GOVERNING.

What he and the republicans did .......for they were in lockstep with him....was bankrupting the country and destroying the middle class and the poor
Now they want to finish what they started under Bush completely destroying them for good.

Obama is in the way, and they simply can NOT tolerate a black president fixing the mess THEY created. I wish you all would realize that.
 
 
-7 # Vern Radul 2013-02-08 02:53
"The GOP Is Killing Our Country"?

The GOP is very good at to too. They managed to get a grinning trojan horse into the White House who is even better at it than the rest of them.

And almost no one noticed.
 
 
-8 # RLF 2013-02-08 04:25
Is This writer actually serious? If the dems. cut the military budget it will hurt their constituents? Give me a break...the military budget should be cut to 1/4 of what it is...and the Dems aren't doing it.
 
 
+11 # X Dane 2013-02-08 09:29
RLF
You need to look at a map of where the big bases are......IN RED COUNTRY.....Wea pons contractors were more sneaky....They are working all over the country
 
 
+8 # flippancy 2013-02-08 05:06
Here's the difference, Republians 100% evin, Democrats 33% evil.
 
 
+12 # Citizen Mike 2013-02-08 05:12
Anything that results in defense cuts will be good in the long run because it will limit our ability to be a bully among nations and do so much harm all over the world. Our instruments of international coercion will be reduced and withdrawn. To accomplish this we will have to endure a period of increased unemployment, for which the Republicans will be blamed. That in the long run will also be for the best. Let the damn axe fall already.
 
 
-26 # MidwestTom 2013-02-08 06:08
The odd thing here is that the Sequester was OBama's idea to avoid the fiscal cliff. So why are the Republican's at fault?
 
 
+24 # jon 2013-02-08 08:42
Quoting MidwestTom:
The odd thing here is that the Sequester was OBama's idea to avoid the fiscal cliff. So why are the Republican's at fault?


Because they forced the situation in the House, that's why.
 
 
+8 # CAMUS1111 2013-02-08 12:10
@MidwestTom--th e only persons who think the the sequester was Obama's idea are right wing, factually challenged hacks like you. Pathetic.
 
 
-6 # James Marcus 2013-02-08 06:24
GOP killing? Well, yes; along with the Democrats.
Banksta Buddies, ALL!
The waste, fraud, and corruption crosses party lines. and whilst we dilly dally between them, they ALL steal everything!
Impeach the Drone Ranger.
Fire the Entire Congress (for incompetence and corruption) and have Re-elections. Publicly funded, with NO Political Contributions, Campaign or otherwise, cash or otherwise.
Kick Some Asses! and retake our beautiful Nation from the Military/ Industrial (BANKSTA) Complex.
 
 
+11 # John Escher 2013-02-08 07:32
You are right in the main thrust of your opinions, Mr. Tomasky, but you appear to have drunk the Kool-Aid on the issue of defense cuts. Our defense establishment is obese, the most bloated in all the world.

What we can immediately do without further harming the economy is cut the defense budget with repeated chops as decisive as those used by Hercules on the Hydra.

For each dollar cut, add one dollar to the budget for public education in Detroit, Michigan. Then spend an added 40 billion on alternative energy and cancer research. That will at least begin to bring us back.
 
 
+2 # mjc 2013-02-08 09:08
John Escher, you make the assumption that the defense cuts WILL cut out the bloat in the defense establishment. Unfortunately, that isn't usually the case and instead of releasing funds for education and cancer research will make those in charge of defense rely more on some of the less helpful, less effective programs like increased drones.
 
 
-32 # MidwestTom 2013-02-08 08:09
OBama doesn't give a hoot about this country, he wasn't raised here, knows none of our history, and has never managed in a profit making operation. He is far more concerned about social issues than the economy. Check our flying Muslims from the Middle East on Air Force planes to attend a meeting and prayer session at the White House, all arranged by Hillary.
 
 
+15 # unocelestial 2013-02-08 11:11
And old man Bush was hobnobbing with the Bin Ladens when the Twin Towers were hit. Why were all the Bin Ladens flown out of this country after we were hit?


http://www.wnd.com/2003/09/20600/
 
 
0 # flippancy 2013-02-09 16:19
Quoting MidwestTom:
OBama doesn't give a hoot about this country, he wasn't raised here, knows none of our history, and has never managed in a profit making operation. He is far more concerned about social issues than the economy. Check our flying Muslims from the Middle East on Air Force planes to attend a meeting and prayer session at the White House, all arranged by Hillary.


Managing a profit making organization is the worst kind of training for the presidency. For reference see Herbert Hoover and George W Bush, our two businessman presidents.

And, how can you say he's more concerned with social issues than the economy when every one of the large number of economic measures put forth by the Democrats was filibustered by the Republicans?

Every economic problem and most social problems we have were cvaused by the Republicans and prevented by them being fixed. There is no such thing as a worthwhile Republican today. Tddy Roosevelt is rolling over in his grave.
 
 
-26 # MidwestTom 2013-02-08 08:12
Obama is far more interested in satisfying his friends in Saudi Arabia, than working on our economy. Evidence the drastic expansion of immigration from the Middle East to over 350,000 per year under Obama. His actions speaks loader than his well delivered words.
 
 
+9 # billeeboy 2013-02-08 08:40
Of course the Repugs, having failed to defeat that nasty black President at the polls (twice!), hope that they can at least thwart Obama and thus diminish his legacy.
 
 
+3 # Allen 23 2013-02-08 09:02
No matter who is nominated & elected U.S. policy is endless war & military spending, further upward transfers of wealth, with the corporate elite controlling news coverage & essentially writing all legislation.

This policy can be cloaked under 2 different costumes. When a Democrat is elected we get more smiles and more liberal rationales. The militarism is presented in milder tones.

It's necessary to understand the difference between the state and government. The state is the permanent collection of institutions that have entrenched power structures and interests. The government is made up of various politicians. It is the institutions that have power in the state due to their permanence. We cannot expect different politicians to act in different ways to the same pressures.

We need to remind ourselves of Albert Einstein’s admonition: “we can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Trying to reform the political process makes no more sense than trying to reform the carnivorous appetites of jungle beasts. If it is your desire to put an end to the violent, destructive, corrupt, and dysfunctional nature of government, stop wasting your time by focusing on the current management of the system.
 
 
+8 # aj616 2013-02-08 09:03
We don't even know where the money given to the Pentagon goes, they haven't been able to produce an accounting statement in years. By all means any government agency that can't document or explain what the money has been spent on should have been defunded a long time ago.
I don't mean that we shouldn't have defenses or a military, but you know the Federal Government could pay directly to support that, instead of having trillions of dollars disappear into the black hole of the Pentagon.
 
 
+9 # mjc 2013-02-08 09:05
The Republicans are also killing their political party. The bitterness expressed by Republican Senators in the recent hearings on Benghazi and on the appointments to the Cabinet for Defense and the CIA. No one is going to miss this antiquated party which puts their party and their individual well-being above that of their country. Hope every one of us who blog here and on other sites help make that point. Another recession will do some damage to those still seeking jobs but it will also impact these selfish, bitter partisans...Tea publicans, ultra conservatives.. .and will make 2014 Congressional elections look a whole different than that of 2010.
 
 
-4 # Allen 23 2013-02-08 09:55
As evidenced by this discussion
liberals don't like hearing the truth

Sorry to burst bubbles of the people who think they are fighting the good fight and rationally motivated compared to the repukes, but facts are facts. Results matter. Obama is the man he claimed to be no matter what liberals pretended him to be in order to stomach voting for him. The mafia still runs the same even when the boss is a nicer guy who more eloquently justifies the crimes he commits. Maybe liberal ideology similarly isn't so rational, but based on maintaining the current power structure for people who want social protections? Maybe people who go to the ivy league don't know shit compared to those struggling to survive?

The Democratic Party is a big tent for the wealthy which is why they can't possibly represent workers without cognitive dissonance setting in. We need a worker's party for these very rational reasons. All you self-proclaimed pragmatists can keep going on about how you martyr yourselves and bleed your hearts to death but real people are dying everyday thanks to this political system you so voraciously defend.
 
 
+13 # mkarenina63 2013-02-08 10:17
As an ex-Republican, what is now called Republican is not my father's party.It has become a system of leaders who promote a global corporate agenda through propaganda aimed at low information frightened followers.The classic propaganda of the corporate media spreads fear,superficia l patriotism,and oppressive dogmatic religiosity.Pol iticians targeted by corporate lobbyists, are paid off to support the pro-corporate, pro-banks, pro-global
agenda of deregulation,ta x breaks for the rich,tax loopholes,and trade policies that stripped us of jobs. This put downward pressure on American paychecks, threatened and destroyed unions, and forced families to adopt stressful lifestyles, or slide into poverty. Rich corporate radio and TV shills have taught Americans to blame the sick, elderly and poor for the decline of the economy.Women have been attacked as being whores, baby killers, feiminazis, by misogynistic well paid radio celebrities
Many people have been tricked into feeling guilty if they are not a machismo, independent self made, rich capitalist.Busi ness success and wealth have become the only measure of a person's self worth.Greed, which was considered a sin when I was young, was transformed into a virtue.Love,com passion,communi ty,true charity, and empathy for others are portrayed as weaknesses. The result has been a growing oppression by government, and economic chaos.Those who believe the propaganda,have become authoritarian haters of their fellow citizens.Who are you?
 
 
+8 # jazzman633 2013-02-08 13:02
I don't doubt that defense cuts will hurt the economy. I don't know when America moved from a "war footing" to a "war economy," but that's what we're stuck with.
We spend more on war (don't call it "defense") than all other nations combined. Congress approves weapons programs the Pentagon doesn't even want. Trillions wasted every year, and it appears there's no going back.
I agree with mkarenina's assessment. War is our #1 industry, and we are the world's biggest arms merchant. Makes me sad. This is not what the Founders had in mind.
 
 
+7 # giraffee2012 2013-02-08 16:18
It is certainly clear the drama queens in Congress have to have it "their" way or no way. Most Republicans act like most 2 year olds who just learned the word 'no' - and the power of 'no'. Call it racist (against President Obama) but it goes beyond that too. They are catering to rich and religious "ideologies" and the rest of the Republican voters are Faux fed (i.e. there is no explanation for stupidity of a person whose IQ measures above average)

I don't really care of the GOP or the DEMS get blamed if these cuts kill our economy - if we go down = we, the 99% will suffer and not any politician or fat cat.

The GOP will blame President Obama and the FAUX viewers will believe - Example: "...it snowed n the Northeast. How come the Obama Adm allowed this to happen and what are they covering up?" is what a GOPbagger will point out.

I thought that Paul Ryan promised that we don't budget and the cuts are in place that no Congress person will be paid (until the end of year it turns out) -- guess everybody forgot about that "line"?
 
 
-6 # egbegb 2013-02-08 20:34
With all due respect, Barack Obama is killing our country.

1. Unemployed Americans 12M 12.2M +2%
2. Unemployment Rate 7.8% 7.8% N/C
3. Workforce Participation Rate 65.7% 63.5% -2.1% (-8.3M)
4. Gas per Gallon $1.84 $3.30 +79%
5. Federal Debt $10.67T $16.57T +55%
6. Dept per person $34,731 $52,237 +$17,506
7. Food Stamp Recipients 32M 46.7M +46%
8. Americans in Poverty 39.8M 49.1M +9.3M (+23%)
9. Home Values $172,100 $180,600 +5%
10. Insurance Premiums $13,425 $15,745 +17%
11. Misery Index 7.8 9.5 +22%

1. http://www.bls.gov (monthly)
2. http://www.bls.gov (monthly)
3. http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000 (monthly)
4. http://www.eia.gov/petroleum/gasdiesel/ (weekly)
5. http://www.usdebtclock.org/ (real time)
6. http://www.usdebtclock.org/ (real time)
7. http://www.census.gov/ (annual)
8. http://www.realtor.org/research-and-statistics (monthly)
http://ycharts.com/indicators/sales_price_of_existing_homes
9. http://www.fns.usda.gov/fns/ (annual)
10. http://ehbs.kff.org/pdf/8226.pdf (annual)
http://ehbs.kff.org/?page=charts&id=1&sn=6&p=1
11. http://www.miseryindex.us/ (monthly)
 
 
+1 # Allen 23 2013-02-08 20:39
Simple fact:

Barack Obama has asserted the United States has the right to kill US citizens and foreigners at home and abroad without due process or trail.

As did George Bush.

See the difference?
 
 
+2 # kyzipster 2013-02-09 06:47
It's a win/win for Republicans. Anything they can do to hurt the economy and the United States before 2016 will increase their chances of winning back the White House. Traitors.
 
 
+2 # flippancy 2013-02-09 16:11
Government spending is the way out of a recession, austerity is the way to make it worse.

Every dollar spent on the safety net brings in well over a dollar to the treasury. Every dollar spent on tax cuts for the rich brings in 32 cents. So, why would any sane person or anyone who cares about the country back the Republicans?
 

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