Friday, February 14, 2014

Behead Boehner

"Conservative groups have called for a clean sweep of the Republican leadership."

Let's start at the top:

"House OK’s debt limit increase with no strings; Move leaves Boehner facing GOP backlash" by Jonathan Weisman and Ashley Parker |  New York Times, February 12, 2014

WASHINGTON — Ending three years of brinkmanship in which the threat of a devastating default on the nation’s debt was used to wring conservative concessions from President Obama, the House voted Tuesday to raise the government’s borrowing limit until March 2015, without any conditions.

The vote — 221 to 201 — relied almost entirely on Democrats in the Republican-controlled House to carry the measure....

That's called betrayal!

Only 28 Republicans voted yes, and only two Democrats voted no.

Simply by holding the vote, Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio effectively ended a three-year Tea Party-inspired era of budget showdowns that had raised the threat of default and government shutdowns, rattled economic confidence, and brought serious scrutiny from other nations questioning Washington’s ability to govern. In the process, though, Boehner showcased the party’s deep internal divisions.

He declared war on them, remember?

“He gave the president exactly what he wanted, which is exactly what the Republican Party said we did not want,” said Representative Tim Huelskamp of Kansas. “It’s going to really demoralize the base.” 

Fear not; we were already demoralized. 

Related: Seeing Through the Kansas Haze 

Can you see Huelskamp?

The vote was a victory for Obama, Democrats, and those Senate Republicans who have argued that spending money for previously incurred obligations was essential for the financial standing of the federal government....

Who would ever believe that your only hope lay in Tea Party House Republicans?

Republican groups were critical of the speaker....

Said Jenny Beth Martin, cofounder of the Tea Party Patriots. “It is time for him to go.”

Past time.

Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, commended the speaker and promised to pass the bill as soon as possible.

“We’re happy to see the House is legislating the way they should have legislated for a long time,” he said.

What business and interest is it of yours, asshole? Does the House tell you how to run your chamber?

Boehner stunned House Republicans on Tuesday morning when he dropped a package that would have tied the debt ceiling increase to a repeal of cuts to military retirement pensions that had been approved in December and announced he would put a “clean” debt ceiling increase up for a vote.

I'll get to the military pensions below.

Enough Republicans had balked at that package when it was presented Monday night to persuade the speaker he had no choice but to turn to the Democratic minority.

No choice, did he?

For Boehner it was a potentially momentous decision. Conservative activists, including The Tea Party Patriots, are circulating petitions to end Boehner’s speakership....

I'll bet he decides not to run for reelection in 2014. 

The ramifications for Boehner are unclear. The speaker’s supporters commended him for shepherding through an increase in the government’s borrowing authority quickly and with as little damage as could be expected for his party, for the economy, and the country. They said Obama left leaders no choice once he dug in and refused to negotiate a deficit reduction deal attached to a debt-ceiling increase.

See: Inaugurating Obama's Dictatorship 

Debt ceiling would have confirmed dictatorship.

The 28 Republicans who supported the bill were a coalition cobbled together from Republican leadership, moderates, and retiring members. Notably, however, not all of the top Republican leadership team voted for the measure....

Translation: only those who wouldn't feel fallout voted for this. How disingenuous! 

And that isn't going to save their skins and scalps, either.


Just getting it ready and warming it up for you, John.


"Tea Party Republicans should take Boehner’s moves this week as a warning."

I'll take it over lunch.

RelatedSenate stymies filibuster, OK’s debt limit increase 

I didn't expect them to stop it. 

Now about those military pensions:

"Military pension bill advances in Senate" by Andrew Taylor |  Associated Press, February 11, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Senate took the first step Monday toward approving legislation that restores full cost-of-living increases to pension benefits for military retirees under age 62, although it’s unclear when the measure may pass.

Yeah, $crew you civilians!

Monday’s vote was 94 to 0 to advance the bill over an initial hurdle.

So much for me$$y parti$an$hip.

As drafted by majority Democrats, the $7 billion, 10-year cost of the legislation would add to the deficit. Republicans want cuts elsewhere in the budget to prevent that from happening.

The measure would reverse one part of a budget bill that cleared Congress late last year....

You mean, this one:

"The deal buoyed Wall Street investors. Guggenheim Partners, a financial services firm, concluded that as a result overall Pentagon spending will remain relatively the same for the next several years before it begins to grow once again, at about 2.5 percent per year."

Hey, as long as they are happy, huh?

Also on Monday, House Republican leaders were considering a plan to reverse the cut to military pensions as the price for increasing the government’s borrowing cap. House Republican aides said party leaders presented the idea to rank-and-file GOP lawmakers at a meeting in the Capitol on Monday evening.

Boehner abandoned them, and I'm sick of this shit.

It is not clear whether Democrats will support the plan. Their votes would be needed to help pass the measure since some Republicans refuse to vote to raise the debt ceiling under any circumstances.

My kind of Republicans. This government already takes in enough money. If you like funding fraud and corruption, then you should be fine with it.

A spokesman for House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, said Democrats will continue to insist that any debt limit legislation omit add-ons, even bipartisan proposals such as repealing military pension cuts.

White House spokesman Jay Carney sidestepped a question about whether President Obama would sign debt ceiling legislation that included restoration of full benefits for military retirees, reiterating the White House position that Obama would not negotiate on raising the borrowing limit.

“I'm not going to get into a ‘what if this were in the bill or that were in the bill,’ ” Carney told reporters. “Our position has not changed. It hasn’t changed for a long, long time. We’re not negotiating over Congress’s responsibility to pay its bills.”

He should have no say in the matter! That's what the Constitution demands!

Carney added, “We’re not going to pay ransom on behalf of the American people to Republicans in Congress so that Republicans in Congress fulfill their constitutional responsibilities.”

The cuts to cost-of-living pension increases for military retirees under the age of 62 were part of December’s budget agreement, backed by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin.

And Democrat Murray of the Senate. Why was that omitted? 

What a $weet deal, huh?

The reduction has sparked an uproar among advocates for veterans, and lawmakers in both parties want to repeal it.

The 10-year, $6 billion cost of canceling the cut would be borne by extending for an additional year a 2 percentage point cut to Medicare reimbursements to doctors and hospitals, as well as cuts to a handful of other benefit programs. Those cuts, known as sequestration, would now extend through 2024.

Militari$m is healthy in AmeriKa!

Time is running out for lawmakers to act to lift the debt limit. Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew told lawmakers last week that Treasury will exhaust by Feb. 27 its ability to employ accounting maneuvers to borrow to pay its bills. Lew told congressional leaders on Monday that he had begun tapping two large government worker retirement funds to clear room under the debt limit.




Military retirees win benefit cut battle

That I did expect. This country is so far gone in militari$m it makes one sick.