Obama Takes to the Podium

President Obama must think he’s doing boffo with his press conferences because he had a mini one again today.

Today’s was to announce that the Gang of 6 Senators, now 7 with Tom Coburn rejoining them – Democrats and Republicans – are coming around to his way of thinking on raising the debt ceiling. Obama said the plan has 3.7 trillion in cuts, one trillion through eliminating loopholes. They “put forward a proposal that is broadly consistent with the approach that I’ve urged. We’ve got to be serious about reducing discretionary spending both in domestic spending and defense. Look at Medicare spending and entitlements in a serious way and we’ve got to have some additional revenue.” Blah, blah “shared sacrifice” and “everyone giving up something. Revenues will have to be part of a balanced budget.”

To listen to him it is striking how completely detached he is. You would think he was a judge in a court rather than the leader of the free world. It’s as if someone has put this problem in front of him; that he has had nothing to do with the running of the country for the past few years. It’s quite a performance.

The whole thing looks like his Chief of Staff Bill Daley is advising him to follow Clinton’s model and look like he’s the moderate in this discussion. We all know that someone who has pumped our deficit up to near explosion level via stimulus, TARP and Obamacare can’t afford to look like the extremist he is.

Of course, defense is in his crosshairs. Clinton did that, too, and when 9/11 happened our military was denuded from all his cuts to the point of almost being inoperable.

Closing loopholes translates as raising taxes. You and I will pay the price for increased costs corporations will be hit with through increased prices.

Shared sacrifice is a hoot, too. When about 50% of the public does not pay taxes, they won’t share in the “sacrifice” at all.

The “cuts” he’s talking about probably will not materialize. The trick is to start them in the future. When time comes for implementation, Democrats will not agree and it will be put off to the future. Then, many of the perpetrators will have retired.

Of course he wants it done quickly. He’s got a big fund raiser in Chicago to go to August 3. Can’t keep the money people waiting!

From Fiction to Fact

Did you notice how last Friday at his press conference, President Obama said that 80% of the American people support his plan, i.e. tax increases?

It was quite a whopper. No poll had placed his tax increase proposal that high. In fact, many, such as Rasmussen continually showed a good majority of Americans as against more taxes.

With a wave of their wand, CBS delivered a poll by Monday that showed 71% of Americans don’t like the Republican plan concerning the debt ceiling. They went on to extrapolate that most Americans really want to see taxes raised.

Talk about media lapdogs! All it took was a “suggestion” from Obama and CBS and its fellow liberal media made it happen for him. Sadly, a lot of conservatives swallowed it and started hyperventilating.

In the end, people will only judge what is done by its results. Obama will still own the economy.

Raising Eyebrows

Some happenings reported around the blogosphere are interesting developments that cause many to raise an eyebrow.

EWTN network reports that Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez received the anointing of the sick at a July 5 Mass. The sacrament used to be called the last rites. Hmmm.

Lots of ship movement being noticed. The GHWB carrier has entered the Persian Gulf – the first time one of our carriers has gone through the Straits of Hormuz in months. Another amphibious warfare ship has plopped down by Libya while another carrier is leaving the South China Seas to anchor near the Ronald Reagan also near the Straits. Ex CIA agent Robert Baier (George Clooney played him in Syriana) has said he thinks there will be an Israeli-Iran conflict in September. Why? He believes Netanyahu will strike then before the vote on a Palestinian state. What would Obama do then?

The US Misery index is now at a 28 year high. Time to bring out our Carter sweaters, prepare for gas lines and settle into malaise.

The Gunrunner Scandal may soon include Texas. Originally the Fast and Furious concerned the ATF in Phoenix. Since then, Florida officials are looking into the role played in gun running to Central America. The death of agent Jaime Zapata in Texas needs explanation. Many feel the Gunrunner scandal was a national policy and not one likely to pop up independently in so many areas. Time will tell.

Words From the Week

The best phrase of the week has to come from President Obama.

“Don’t call my bluff, Eric,” Obama warned Republican Congressman Eric Cantor in one of the debt ceiling meetings. Now that one’s a head scratcher. What poker player admits he’s bluffing? Why would Obama tell us that? His temper flare indicates he doesn’t have himself under control and that he’s losing his thought processes.

“Twit conference” was what some wags called the twitter townhall. Add nit and you’d be more accurate.

Hurray for Rand Paul. The Kentucky Senator was asked if we were “kicking the can down the road.” He objected. “Can we please put that phrase to rest?” he asked. Amen.

“Warmists” are what author James Delingpole calls people who believe in Global Warming. He’s written a book about it called “Watermelons: The Green Movement’s True Colors.” By that he means they are green on the outside and Communist red on the inside.

What You Don’t See

All the talk about raising the debt ceiling that is consuming Washington is providing a smokescreen – temporarily – for a big scandal. Investors Business Daily considers it so big they ask “Fast and Furious; A Watergate for Obama?”

The reporter is talking about the Project Gunrunner scandal that is turning up lots of information for House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa and his Senate counterpart, Chuck Grassley. It’s the operation that saw a border agent, Brian Terry, killed with an American gun. Unlike the Iran Contra scandal, 1,000 Mexican officers and perhaps another American have died because of this plan.

Investors Business Daily finds “a two year old video shows a high justice official saying, ‘The president has directed us’ including the Attorney General to speed up Project Gunrunner.

“The tape has no 18 minute gap (like Watergate) and while it does not feature the president himself, the March 24, 2009, video my rival the tape that turned a ‘third rate burglary’ into the presidential resignation. No one died at Watergate. Agent Brian Terry lost his life in the administration’s obsessive pursuit of gun control,” they write.

The full article is at www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article/578184/201107131823/Fast-And-Furious-Scandal-A-Watergate-for-Obama-.htm.

While the cable news outlets and talk radio will be busy with the debt ceiling debate this week, keep an eye out for news on Fast and Furious. It may prove a lot faster and more furious than people now think.

McConnell’s Op ed

Senator Mitch McConnell penned a piece in USAToday. It’s titled “If Obama stiff-arms us, we’ll go to the people.”

He writes: “The simplest way to view the debt ceiling debate in Washington is as a struggle over the kind of government we want. If you want a government that runs everything from the student loan business to car companies, then taxes will have to go up. If you think government is too big already and should start to pull back, then Washington has to change its ways – fast.

This is the message I have brought to the White House for more than two years in an effort to persuade President Obama to rein in a government that has lost all sense of limits. This is also why, when those discussions failed to bear fruit, I had hoped an approaching limit to the president’s borrowing power would cause him to think again.

Unfortunately, it was wishful thinking. As it turned out, the president is simply too committed to big government to agree to serious belt-tightening. At the same time, however, the president realizes that most Americans fear government is too big already. that’s why he has tried to portray himself in recent weeks as advocating a ‘balanced approach.’

But the facts speak for themselves.

With the government expected to spend $1.4 trillion more than it takes in this year alone, the White House presented us with two bad options: a so-called ‘big deal’ that, even if you accept its numbers, would have only lowered our debt from $26 trillion to about $22 trillion over the next 10 years; and a smaller deal that would cut $2 billion next year out of a $3.7 trillion budget.

Another catch: Both offers came with massive tax hikes – which we know, and the president has acknowledge, will hurt job growth.

When Republicans refused both proposals, the president responded that he only wants to tax ‘the rich,’ but, again, the facts are clear. Raising taxes on the ‘top 2%’ would not only create yet another roadblock for small businesses to create jobs, it would come up about $10 trillion short on our bills.

So the president can claim he only wants to tax jet owners, but Washington’s deficits and debt are so big that pretty soon he’ll have no choice but to sock it to families flying in coach as well. He can claim he is willing to make concessions, but Republicans will not deceive Americans by calling what he refers to as concessions anything other than a preservation of the status quo.

There is some dispute about what will happen if we fail to raise the debt limit on August 2. One thing that is not in dispute, however, is that on that date the president would suddenly be in the position of picking and choosing who gets the more than 80 million checks Washington issues every month. This is a power that no president should have.

That’s why I have proposed a last resort plan that would take default off the table as Republicans continue to press the White House for meaningful cuts and reforms. And this week, Congress will vote on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, and the ‘Cut, Cap and Balance’ bill. The goal is a balanced budget amendment that would not rely on persuasion in getting the president to rein in a government he has done so much to expand – it would require it.

If the White House is not willing to work with us, then we will go around it and directly to the people.

What Republicans want is simple: to cut spending now, to cap runaway spending in the future and to save our entitlements and our country from bankruptcy by requiring the nation to balance its budget. We want to finally get our economy growing again at a pace that will lead to significant job growth.

When President Bill Clinton famously declared that the era of big government is over. Washington’s annual budget was $1.6 trillion. Sixteen years later Washington is now borrowing nearly that much every year. The president has asked for shared sacrifice, but many are beginning to realize that what we may really be sacrificing in this debate is a chance to have the kind of government Americans really want.”

A Little Bird Is Talking

The White House Insider, an unidentified Democrat working there who is no longer enamored of Obama, has shared some more information. He has accurately predicted many things that have come to pass, such as the departure of Rahm Emanuel and Larry Summers. The WHI hints that the Fast and Furious investigation taking place is leading to people in high places.

He writes, “White House actively preparing for EH resignation. Tied in w/GG. JC set up to keep firewall in place. Significant details to break soon. Obama openly accuses senior cabinet official of acting against him on this. Another outburst. ‘Screaming at adviser.’ Critical help from media paying dividends. This WH in very serious trouble. More to come next week.”

EH seems to be Attorney General Eric Holder and GG Gary Grindler, his deputy assistant attorney general. Interestingly, Grindler was a counselor to Janet Reno and has oversight on gun related issues in the Gang Unit. JC could be James Cole, the deputy attorney general. Cole is a friend of Holder’s and was put in DOJ via a recess appointment.

House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa and Senator Chuck Grassley just wrote a letter to Eric Holder naming 12 justice officials they believe were involved in Fast and Furious. They want Holder to hand over all records concerning them.

Should get interesting.

Obama’s Presser Translated

A puckerish President Obama took to the podium this morning at 10 to try to press his views on the debt ceiling issue. It was an infuriating, highly predictable presser with his hits at Republicans, Bush and corporate jet owners, but without any new ideas.

First he scolded Congress. “This should have been taken care of earlier…This is not some abstract issue…Congress has run up the credit card (Democrats under your direction) and we now have an obligation to pay our bills.”

Right away he went to the scare tactic. If we don’t increase the debt ceiling “we could get to where interest rates rise for everybody all throughout the country. Effectively a tax increase on everybody (Huh?? I thought you were for tax increases for a lot of us). “You’re trying to get a loan for a car or a student loan (always thinking about those kids!); businesses trying to make payroll, all of them could be impacted as a consequence of default.”

In discussions with Congressional leaders “what I’ve tried to emphasize is that we have a unique opportunity to do something big. We have a chance to stabilize America’s finances for a decade or fifteen years or twenty if we’re willing to seize the moment.” (Seize is the operative word here. That’s what the Soviet Union and Chavez have done.)

“What it would require is some shared sacrifices (there it is again; why do I think he won’t experience any?)” Obama goes on to say how heroic he’s been in trying to get domestic spending down “to the lowest percentage since Dwight Eisenhower.” (Best to avoid FDR, I suppose.) He immediately goes to Defense spending – not surprising for a leftist. Hundreds of billions more, he says.

Then Obama turned to the health care system, in particular Medicare. Then to the nuts and bolts “It will require revenue.” (because it’s never enough for Democrats.)

“Folks like myself that can afford it, that we are able to do a little bit more. That millionaires and billionaires can afford to do a little bit more. That we can close corporate loopholes so that oil companies aren’t getting unnecessary tax breaks (like GE?) or that corporate jet owners (that didn’t take long) aren’t getting unnecessary tax breaks.”

“If we take that approach then I am confident that we can not only impress financial markets, but more importantly we can impress the American people that this town can actually get something done once in a while.”

“My hope, though, is that my Republican friends are listening not just to lobbyists special interest here in Washington, but the American people.” (Rich coming from someone who talks with SEIU chief Richard Trumka everyday.)

A reporter asked about the Republican approach including a balanced budget amendment. Smirking, Obama said, “I think I already addressed this question earlier. We don’t need a balanced budget amendment to do our jobs. The Constitution already tells us to do our jobs…this notion that we are going to go through a multi year process instead of seizing the moment now is a typical Washington response.” It think the last poll I saw showed more than 75% of the American people want a balanced budget amendment.

“Here’s the good news. It turns out that we don’t have to do anything radical to solve this problem. Contrary to what some folks (why are we always folks?) say we’re not Greece (yet), we’re not Portugal. It turns out that our problem is we cut taxes without paying for them over the last decade. We ended up instituting new programs such as the prescription drug program for seniors that was not paid for (that evil Bush!). We fought two wars and we didn’t pay for them. We had a bad recession that required a Recovery Act (required it?) and stimulus spending (was he forced to do this?) and helping states and all that accumulated and there’s interest on top of that and to unwind that, what’s required is that we roll back those tax cuts on the wealthiest individuals, we clean up our tax rolls so we’re not giving up a bunch of tax breaks to companies that don’t need them and aren’t creating jobs.z” Please remember how the GDP grew during the Bush administration. That wasn’t an accident.

The president was open to Senator McConnell’s plan, but managed to get his digs in. “Raising the debt ceiling is a problem that was created here in Washington. Senator McConnell approach solves the first problem, but it doesn’t solve the second problem.”

“I always have hope. Don’t you remember my campaign?” (Unfortunately, we do, but the hope is now gone)

He says the Republican leaders are not listening to the Republican voters. “Now’s a good time.” (He means now’s a good time to dump the Tea Party.)

He called on an obviously fawning reporter who says McConnell is seeing the issue from the prism of 2012. Obama answered, “Part of this job is having a thick skin and realizing that a lot of it’s not personal (this from a notoriously thin skinned man who walked out of the meeting in a funk). That’s not going to be an impediment.” Blah, blah, blah he went on, saying we need to “set politics aside in order to get something done.”

“American people are obsessing about right now is that unemployment is still way to high (I guess we do have to worry about it; obviously you don’t). “We should renew the payroll tax for another year. We should make sure unemployment insurance there for another year.” (How many years will they get?)

Some toady reporter said “raising the debt ceiling is fairly routine. but it’s brought us to the point of economic Armageddon. If you can get past this one, how can you get any agreement with Congress on the big issues you talked about?” He replied that he was “going to keep on working .. and this will subject Congress to scrutiny and increasingly the American people are going to say to themselves, ‘you know what, if a party or a politician is constantly taking the position my way or the highway, constantly being locked into ideologically rigid positions that we’re going to remember at the polls.” (Wait a minute, wasn’t it he who said he would not accept a short term deal? Who refuses to cut anywhere except Defense and who drools for tax increases?)

It was another annoying performance by the president, abetted by the fawning media.