Department of All The Damn Gall
From the Declaration of Independence:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness....”Read below the fold...
The OMB (“o” stands for opaque) report: OMB Report Pursuant to the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 (P. L. 112–155), Appendix B. Preliminary Sequestrable / Exempt Classification, classifies accounts as sequestrable, exempt, etc.
One reason to be “exempt” is funds were already sequestered elsewhere in the budget. Makes sense on the face of it.
But for 487 entries out of 2126 in Appendix B, or 22.9%, are being sequestered from some unstated part of the government.
No one but Our Leader, manifest in grace and compassion, could rush toward the granny-starving compromise for which he and the GOP have so fervently wished... so they can get on with the diversionary tactic of gun-control legislation. After five years of inaction, and dozens of mass murders, why the rush to craft legislation that will, as the others, die in committee? It's for the (dead) kids, see? Read below the fold...
(This is the first of two posts regarding an extremely dangerous free trade treaty, known as the Transpacific Partnership, that is being negotiated in total secret – and a new treaty, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, that China and some ASEAN nations are promoting)
Sanders Colludes With Kabuki Theater: President Will "Go On The Road" To Sell Already Signed "B-S" Framework Bill [REVISED]
The absolute gall! The President will take to the road in January, after the Bowles-Simpson-type "framework" has already been passed and signed into law. And he will lead the charade that there is still time to change the outcome of "entitlement reform." Even worse, he will do this with the backing of none other than Senator Bernie Sanders.
I reach this conclusion because of the wording of one of Ed's questions to Senator Sanders:
"So Senator, you want President Obama to hit the road after the first of the year (to which Sanders nods), and go sell the American people, just like Bush did in 2005, when he won relection?"Read below the fold...
"Sanders Convenes Social Security Caucus," An Object Lesson In Senate Doublespeak, or Parsing Words [04:13]
The Pete Peterson Foundation Hosting Forum NOW On C-Span 2 Television [Friday, November 16, 9:00 a.m.] Link Below.
"Fiscal Cliff As A Policy Opportunity" -- PLEASE WATCH.
Pete Peterson calls Bowles and Simpson "heroes and patriots."
Alan Simpson calls Peterson "a Prince."
Bowles says: "Pete Peterson laid the foundation for this, we stand on his shoulders."
Then Bowles states the real reason for eviscerating the social safety net: "We have to have the money for investment (infrastructure, R&D, education) to compete in a knowledge-based world." Read below the fold...
Seriously, if you want to wipe out large numbers of people, why bother with entitlement cuts when you've got high-tech weaponry available? It's fast, impersonal, and you can just hose down whatever's left and voila! Problem solved!
Unfortunately, it looks like Obama prefers the slow, painful method of saving us from the debt.
From a Healthcare NOW email [bolding added]:
Just because President Obama won another term doesn't mean that Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security are safe. Far from it. Obama's seeking a "grand bargain" with the Republican-controlled House by January 1.Read below the fold...
Video and Transcript of Ed Rendell--"The President Can't Sell This (Grand Bargain) Twice To His Base"
CNBC, Squawk Box
With Joe Kernen, Becky Quick and Andrew Ross Sorkin
[Hat Tip to Mr. Alexa for tipping me off to this interview.]
This entire video is rather interesting, if you want to know what the PtB are planning regarding the implementation of Simpson-Bowles.
[The first 2:06 minutes of this video is interesting, in that Ed Rendell's remarks regarding members of the Democratic Party base, are rather insulting, IMO.]
The transcript immediately below, pertains to that portion of this video.
BTW, this is the real face of the Democratic Party. To think that this "big time" neoliberal and fiscal hawk, Ed Rendell, recently served two terms as a Democratic Party governor is truly mind-boggling.
I was also not impressed with Rendell's "snickering" at host Joe Kernen's derisive remarks "about the 47% who voted for raising taxes on the wealthy." No different than Romney's comments, IMO. Read below the fold...
[Hat Tip to Mr. Alexa for tipping me off to this leak.]
White House Grand Bargain offer to Speaker Boehner
Obtained by Bob Woodward Sun Nov 11, 2012 11:58 AM EST
Below are documents obtained by the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward that show a grand bargain proposal the White House was prepared to make in July 2011, in order to reach agreement with the House Republicans last year. This is how Woodward described the documents on Meet the Press this morning:
"This is a confidential document, last offer the president -- the White House made last year to Speaker Boehner to try to reach this $4 trillion grand bargain. And it's long and it's tedious and it's got budget jargon in it. But what it shows is a willingness to cut all kinds of things, like TRICARE, which is the sacred health insurance program for the military, for military retirees; to cut Social Security; to cut Medicare. And there are some lines in there about, "We want to get tax rates down, not only for individuals but for businesses." So Obama and the White House were willing to go quite far."Read below the fold...
You know a meme has achieved success when its targets adopt it:
Critics of tax credits for wind energy projects are intensifying their push to kill the incentive with a study that calls it “rent seeking” by an established industry that doesn’t need the subsidy.Read below the fold...
I just finished listening to a live discussion about "The Lame Duck Session and the New Congress," hosted by CQ Roll Call's Mort Kondracke, with Thomas Mann (Brookings) and Norman Ornstein (AEI). Read below the fold...
A Panel Discussion by the 1983 Greenspan Commission--"Social Security Not Primary Source Of Deficit Problems," Clip #2 [0:27]
Here's the direct link.
According to Janice Gregory, President of the National Academy of Social Insurance, "Social Security is not a major, primary source of our deficit and mandatory spending problems. It just isn't. It's nearly a flat line."
The reason that I've included this "very basic clip" is to provide readers with a knowledgeable source (Ms. Gregory) to quote, if called upon to substantiate the claim that Social Security does not contribute in a major way to the deficit.
“If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” — Woodrow Wilson Read below the fold...