Background on Boehner Before He Bids Bye-Bye

boehnercryingHouse Republicans held what was billed as a procedural meeting yesterday afternoon, a meeting that proved as serene as lions lying around in the afternoon sun on the Serengeti.

Yahoo News reports

The caucus-wide meeting–the first such gathering since Boehner angered many conservatives by supporting a bill that allowed taxes to increase–could have gone much differently given the intense events of the past 48 hours. Boehner, for one, could have addressed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s very public rant against him for not holding a vote to offer federal relief aid to victims of Superstorm Sandy.

Instead, the discussion focused on the amendments, and Boehner did not bring up the fiscal cliff drama, several lawmakers said.

But while members harboring ill feelings toward party leadership remained silent, not all wounds are healed. For instance, unconfirmed rumors prior to the meeting had hinted at a battle to unseat Boehner as speaker. And while most members said they hadn’t heard anything of the sort and the speaker’s office officially denies any such efforts, Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, who voted against the fiscal cliff deal, did leave the meeting saying he didn’t plan to support Boehner for the position.

“I haven’t made a decision on what to do yet, but as of now, I still haven’t seen the changes I want to see,” Amash told reporters when he left the meeting. “He’s got until tomorrow.”

The body will vote Thursday on Boehner’s future.

Here is some information you may not have known about the Speaker of the House, courtesy of sourcewatch.org

In 1981 Boehner served on the board of trustees of Union Township, Butler County, Ohio. In 1984, he served as president of the township board of trustees.

Boehner served as an Ohio state representative from 1985 to 1990. In 1990, when U.S. Rep. Donald “Buz” Lukens (R-Ohio) was caught in a sex scandal involving a minor, Boehner challenged Lukens in the Republican primary and defeated the incumbent, while also upsetting the district’s former representative, Tom Kindness, who Boehner declared had abandoned his district to become a lobbyist. Boehner went on to victory in the 1990 general election and began serving in the U.S. House of Representatives the 102nd Congress.

He was a member of the Gang of Seven, a group of seven freshmen Republicans who assailed the Democratic leadership with accusations of corruption and arrogance over the misuse of the House Bank. According to a 1992 San Francisco Chronicle article the Gang “set the match to the bank scandal that has now engulfed the House, blackened its leadership and sparked a ‘spontaneous political combustion’ that many analysts say will fuel a record turnover in Congress.” (San Francisco Chronicle, 3/30/02)

Boehner told the Cleveland Plain Dealer: “I came as a reformer. But when people in charge don’t want to reform – the only way…is revolution.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 2/15/93)

The banking scandal involved 355 members, Democrats and Republicans, writing 8,331 overdrafts to the bank. The Gang pounced on the issue and forced the Democrats into a corner and eventually led to the tidal wave Republican Revolution of 1994.

Boehner came to Congress as one of the most pro-business, anti-government members in 1990. He advocated a flat tax and abolition of whole government agencies including the Department of Education and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Boehner quickly rose to the fourth highest position in the Republican leadership – Republican Conference Chairman – after chairing Newt Gingrich’s 1994 run for the Minority Leader post.

Boehner was on of the principal architects of the Contract With America. He also championed the 1996 Freedom to Farm Act.

When Newt Gingrich resigned his post as Speaker in the wake of the GOPs loss of seats in the 1998 election Boehner’s leadership post was challenged by J.C. Watts, the only black Republican congressman. Boehner lost to Watts 121-93.

In 2001 Boehner was named the Chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee where he would oversee numerous agencies that he planned on abolishing in the early 1990s. Boehner worked diligently to pass [[President Bush]]’s No Child Left Behind Act, reaching across the aisle as a conference committee chairman to work with Democrat George Miller (D).

Boehner has also been a strong supporter of school vouchers for private and religious schools and helped to push through the school voucher program for the District of Columbia.

Boehner has repeatedly tried to get a pension reform bill, favored by business leaders, passed by Congress. It has passed the House multiple times, but has consistently failed in the Senate.

Boehner was elected House Majority Leader on February 2, 2006, following Tom DeLay’s departure because of a criminal indictment.

There was brief controversy on the first ballot for Majority Leader. The first count showed more votes cast than Republicans present at the Conference meeting.[22] However, this turned out to be due to a misunderstanding on whether or not Congressman Luis Fortuño was allowed to vote on leadership.

Boehner campaigned as a reform candidate who could help the House Republicans cleanse and recover from the political damage caused by charges of ethics violations, corruption and money laundering leveled against prominent conservatives such as DeLay and disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, in spite of his own ties to Abramoff.

He bested fellow candidates Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri and Rep. John Shadegg of Arizona, even though he was considered an underdog candidate to House Majority Whip Blunt. It was the most contested election among House Republicans since 1998. Boehner received 122 votes compared to 109 by Blunt in a run-off vote. Rep. Shadegg dropped out of the race after a loss in the first round of voting and his supporters backed Boehner.

Blunt kept his previous position as Majority Whip, the No. 3 leadership position in the House. Boehner has a strong pro-business reputation but the social conservatives in the GOP are questioning his commitment to their values. According to the Washington Post “From illegal immigration to sanctions on China to an overhaul of the pension system, Boehner, as chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, took ardently pro-business positions that were contrary to those of many in his party. Religious conservatives — examining his voting record — see him as a policymaker driven by small-government economic concerns, not theirs….. [He opposes] a tough illegal immigration bill that passed in December [2005] with overwhelming Republican support over Boehner’s opposition. One provision in the bill would mandate that every business verify the legality of every employee through the federal terrorism watch list and a database of Social Security numbers. For the bill’s authors, the measure is central to choking off illegal immigrants’ employment opportunities. To business groups and Boehner, it is unworkable.” Feb 12, 2006

Boehner has since backtracked on his reform platform, stalling on lobbying and ethics reform proposals put forward by Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-CA). Boehner stated on “Fox New Sunday” that Congress may be overreacting to the current lobbying scandal and voiced his opposition to a proposed congressional travel ban and a ban of earmark projects. The Washington Post writes that Boehner’s ascension to the Majority Leader post “make[s] it less likely that the more far-reaching proposals to restructure lobbying will become law.”  Boehner called the travel ban proposal “childish” in another interview.

Boehner is one of the top recipients of private travel, ranking 7th out of 638 members and former members at American Radio Works Power Trips. His trip totals cost $157,603.85.

After being humiliated by Obama and his Administration during the whole Fiscal Cliff Fiasco, Boehner has told his Republican colleagues that he will have no more one-one-one meetings with President Obama.

A little late now, isn’t it, John?

Perhaps the Republicans will elect a Conservative Speaker of the House, for a change.

And, perhaps Madonna will become a Southern Gospel Music Singer.

Until He Comes,

KJ

Fiscal Cliff: Acquiescense

obamakingIt looks like the Republicans Establishment has given the shaft to Conservatives…again. Last night, they accepted a deal to avoid the Fiscal Cliff, by signing off on legislation that adds $41 of taxes for ever $1 of Spending Cuts.

FoxNews.com has the story:

Congress gave its final approval Tuesday to a bill halting massive tax hikes and delaying a risky round of spending cuts, sending the package to the president’s desk and likely averting for now an economy-stalling fiscal crisis. President Obama said he would sign it.

The 257-167 vote in the House came after a day of high drama on Capitol Hill, during which conservative House lawmakers voiced serious concern about the Senate bill’s lack of spending cuts. Rank-and-file Republicans initially predicted they would tinker with the package, raising the possibility the Senate would abandon it and nothing would get done before the new congressional class is seated Thursday.

But House leaders soon learned they did not have a majority behind any spending-cut plan, and allowed the straight vote. Far more Democrats supported the final bill than Republicans.

The result, once Obama signs it, is that tax hikes that technically kicked in Jan. 1 for most Americans would largely be halted.

Obama, speaking at the White House shortly before midnight, thanked Vice President Biden for his role in negotiating with the Senate a day earlier on the compromise package. The president, as did Republicans on the Hill, cautioned that the bill will precede a broader debate in 2013 about deficit reduction.

“This law is just one step in the broader effort to strengthen our economy and broaden opportunity for everybody”, he said.

House Speaker John Boehner said shortly after the vote that Congress must now turn its attention to spending.

“The American people re-elected a Republican majority in the House, and we will use it in 2013 to hold the president accountable for the `balanced’ approach he promised, meaning significant spending cuts and reforms to the entitlement programs that are driving our country deeper and deeper into debt.”

The bill passed by Congress would nix the 2013 tax increases for families making under $450,000, while letting rates rise for those making above that threshold. It would also extend unemployment insurance for another year, while patching up a host of other expiring provisions and delaying automatic spending cuts for two months. Those cuts, which would hit defense heavily, will instead be offset with a blend of tax increases and other spending cuts.

Americans will still see a 2-point increase this month in their Social Security tax, as Congress did not opt to extend that payroll tax holiday.

Political Pundit Dr. Charles Krauthammer believes that the Democrats mopped the floor with the Republicans.

“Look, there are a lot of conservatives in the Republican caucus in the House who hate the bill for good reason. This is a complete surrender on everything,” he said about the ratio of tax hike to spending cuts.

On Fox’s “Special Report,” Krauthammer offered his prediction on how House Republican leadership will proceed.

”I think what is likely to happen is that the leadership is going to look to get the 218 that it could secure to send the bill back to the Senate with equal number of spending cuts,” he said. “If they don’t get it, (House Speaker John) Boehner will have an open vote, unwhipped, Republicans will vote as they wish. They will probably be enough with all the Democrats to pass this.”

Moderate Republican Pundit Bill Kristol thinks that Congressional Republicans should just take what they’re given and move on.

…Working Americans making less than $400,000 will be shocked when they find that, contrary to promises from both parties, their taxes are in fact going up (the payroll tax). And we will face another cliff when we hit the debt ceiling and the sequester again in two months.

The deal is a sad commentary on our politics today.

On the other hand, the deal is substantively better than going over the cliff and having all income and investment taxes go up, and having the defense sequester hit right away. And politically, Republicans are escaping with a better outcome than they might have expected, and President Obama has gotten relatively little at his moment of greatest strength. In particular, this should do it for new tax revenues, at a number lower than Speaker Boehner originally offered—and it should be pretty easy to have the next debate focus on spending and entitlements.

So, enough House Republicans should vote yes to get the bill passed. And then immediately move on. For Republicans and conservatives need to get serious about what, substantively, they want to stand for over the next few years; about what, practically, they think they can accomplish during Obama’s second term; and about what, politically, their strategy and tactics are for dealing with President Obama and for laying the groundwork for victories in 2014 and 2016. This is the task for the new year, once we get past this dog’s breakfast on New Year’s Day.

And, in the meantime, Skippy, your fellow Moderate Republicans are punishing the small business owners who actually create obs and employ Americans. How in the cotton-pickin’ world, do you Vichy Republicans think that “reaching across the aisle” and going along with this “Tax and Spend Some More” piece of garbage stopgap measure will accomplish anything, except embolden an ego-maniacal president to further tax America into a full-blown Depression?

I’m glad you guys weren’t at Bastogne during World War II. You would have surrendered.

As a member of the ignored Conservative Base, you know what I have to say about your spines of Jello and your acquiescence to the Democrats?

NUTS!

Until He Comes,

KJ

Fiscal Cliff: A Study in Crisis Management

chickenlittleThe definition of the term “Crisis Management” is just as it sounds: the ability of a leader to react appropriately to a crisis situation. Regarding America’s looming plunge over the Fiscal Cliff, however,   Political One-Upmanship is ruling the day, as the President Obama and Congress pose for the cameras, and, in less-than-good-faith, negotiate a deal regarding the biggest tax hike in U.S. History.

ABCNews.go.com has the story:

Political brinkmanship appears to have created a last minute chance for the White House and Congress to agree on a plan to avoid sending the country over the fiscal cliff.

President Obama emerged from an Oval Office meeting with Congressional leaders this evening to say “we had a constructive meeting today” and that he was “moderately optimistic” that they could devise a federal budget proposal ahead of a Jan. 1 deadline that would otherwise automatically trigger a wide range of tax increases and spending cuts. Economists fear that such a combination could throw the country back into a recession.

He said Senate Majority Leader Harry, a Democrat, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, were trying to quickly fashion a deal.

“Sens. Reid and McConnell are discussing a potential agreement where we can get a bipartisan bill out of the Senate and over to the House in a timely fashion so that we meet the Dec. 31 deadline,” Obama said in a hastily-arranged statement. “But given how things have been working in this town we always have to wait and see to see whether it actually happens.”

Admitting the weekend could ultimately prove fruitless, the president said as a backup plan he had instructed Reid to deliver the Democratic proposal to the Senate floor for a straight up-or-down vote. That would boost taxes for couples making more than $250,000.

“I believe such a proposal could pass both houses with bipartisan majorities as long as those leaders allow it to actually come to a vote,” Obama said. “If members of the House or the Senate want to vote no, they can, but we should let everybody vote. That’s the way this is supposed to work. If you can get a majority in the House and you can get a majority in the Senate, then we should be able to pass a bill.”

The president lamented that a deal is coming down to the final hours.

“The American people are watching what we do… (their) patience is already thin,” the president said. “It’s deja vu all over again.”

He added later that for Americans the repeated last second efforts to dodge economic crises “is mind boggling to them. It has to stop.”

Translation: You Redneck Congresscritters representing the Bitter Clingers better do it my way or I’ll throw a Hissy Fit!

And, as Grover Norquist reminds us: that ain’t exactly the best solution.

As the “fiscal cliff” of tax hikes and spending cuts draws closer, anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist repeated his call on CNBC’s “Closing Bell”for spending cuts instead of tax increases to deal with the country’s fiscal problems.

“If you put tax increases on the table, there’s never any spending restraint,” Norquist said, citing examples where taxes went up under previous administrations but spending continued unfettered.

“All Obama has done for the last four years is clamor for higher taxes to spend more money,” the president of Americans for Tax Reform told CNBC. “The only time we’ve beat him back on spending at all was during the debt-ceiling crisis.”

Norquist said Obama was “willing to save $1 trillion by not occupying Iraq for the next decade. He wanted to count that like not continuing the War of 1812 was his budget cut.”

He added that raising taxes isn’t a compromise because the problem is spending.

He also called on the Senate to pass a budget, which it has failed to do for years. “Then we could compare it to the Republican budget and perhaps we could compromise on how much spending we need to bring down,” Norquist said.

When we get past the cliff, any hike in the debt ceiling should be accompanied by similar cuts in spending, Norquist said.

“[Speaker John] Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell have made clear if the president wants a dollar of debt-ceiling increase, we need to cut spending a dollar. That goes for $1 trillion,” Norquist said. “That kind of spending restraint is exactly the kind of thing we need to do in the future for any debt-ceiling increase —period.”

Just as there are different general Management styles, there are different styles of Crisis Management: altruistic and self-serving.

What Obama and our Congresscritters are attempting to do, is come up with some sort of last-minute whoop-te-do stop-gap measure, in a feverish attempt to stave off the consequences of being bad stewards of our money.

With President Barack Hussein Obama (mm mmm mmmm) leading the way.

The whole situation reminds me of a Director, whom I reported to, when I was working as a Media Specialist at one of the country’s largest and most prestigious hospitals. This lady, (an Ed.D.) would wait until the Ninth Hour, as the deadline for a major project for her superiors approached, and then she would turn the office upside-down, in a scene reminiscent of the pie fight scene in the Tony Curtis/Peter Falk Classic, “The Great Race”.

The conference room table would be stacked with all her paperwork, while our two Admins flew wildly around, attempting to organize her mess,  like their hair was on fire and their rear ends were catching.  Meanwhile, my manager would be conspicuously gone from the general vicinity all day, leaving the rest of us at the mercy of the dear lady.

The president, like my former director, seems to be relishing the power he holds during the chaos of these Ninth-Hour Negotiations.

Which just proves the old chestnut:

If you can keep your head, while those around you are losing theirs…then you obviously don’t have a clue as to what is going on.

Until He Comes,

KJ

Obama’s Presidency: Very Taxing…For All of Us

obamagolf122512I hope you all got what you wanted for Christmas. I, personally, would have liked my sanity back…but, that ain’t happenin’ anytime soon.

The nation’s economy remains in the toilet, while the largest tax hike in American History is only 5 days away.

But, hey…up in DC, the fiddle business is doing great…while Rome burns.

Per Reuters.com:

Though Republicans and Democrats have spent the better part of a year describing a plunge off the cliff as a looming catastrophe, the nation’s capital showed no outward signs of worry, let alone impending calamity.

The White House has set up shop in Hawaii, where President Barack Obama is vacationing.

The Capitol was deserted and the Treasury Department – which would have to do a lot of last-minute number-crunching with or without a deal – was closed.

So were all other federal government offices, with Obama having followed a tradition of declaring the Monday before a Tuesday Christmas a holiday for government employees, notwithstanding the approaching fiscal cliff.

Expectations for some 11th-hour rescue focused largely on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, in part because he has performed the role of legislative wizard in previous stalemates.

But McConnell, who is up for re-election in 2014, was shunning the role this year, his spokesman saying that it was now up to the Democrats in the Senate to make the next move.

“We don’t yet know what Senator Reid will bring to the floor. He is not negotiating with us and the president is out of town,” said McConnell’s spokesman, referring to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat. “So I just don’t know what they’re going to do over there,” he said.

Two-day-old tweets on leadership websites told the story insofar as it was visible to the public.

House Speaker John Boehner’s referred everyone to McConnell. McConnell’s tweet passed the responsibility along to Obama, saying it was a “moment that calls for presidential leadership.”

eid’s tweet said: “There will be very serious consequences for millions of families if Congress fails to act” on the cliff.

The next session of the Senate is set for Thursday, but the issues presented by across-the-board tax hikes and indiscriminate reductions in government spending, were not on the calendar.

The House has nothing on its schedule for the week, but members have been told they could be called back at 48 hours notice, making a Thursday return a theoretical possibility.

So, just how big is Obama’s proposed Tax Increase?

NationalReview.com reports that

When we look at just nominal dollars, the president’s plan would, unsurprisingly, be much bigger than any tax increase ever, at $189 billion in the fourth year after implementation, topping the Affordable Care Act, which Tempalski calculates will raise $76.8 billion in revenue in its fourth year of implementation. (The CBO doesn’t find that level of revenue until 2020.) The largest increase before this was the 1993 budget act, which raised $66 billion in the most expensive year Tempalski measured, its fourth.

But more meaningfully, the president’s proposal is also the biggest tax increase since 1940 when adjusted for inflation. If you convert the revenue estimates from 2017 into 1992 dollars, the year that the original Treasury paper uses, the president’s plan raises $108 billion. No plan that Tempalski considered raised a higher amount, and it is possibly the highest amount ever. The second-biggest tax increase overall since 1940, after Obama’s, is the Revenue Act of 1942, which raised $73 billion in 1992 dollars. The second-biggest increase since 1968 was the 1993 tax hike, which in its fourth year raised $62 billion.

A final measure of the size of President Obama’s proposed tax increase is the increase as a percentage of total federal receipts. The president’s budget would raise that total by 5.1 percent in 2017 relative to the revenue baseline the document provides. That’s more than all but two increases since 1968: again, the 1982 act, which raised tax revenue by 7.2 percent in its fourth year (and 5.7 percent over its first four years), and the 1968 bill, which raised tax revenue by 6 percent over its first two years. These numbers all pale in comparison with some increases from the 1940s and 50s, six of which increased federal receipts by more than 9 percent. (The Revenue Act of 1942 raised receipts by 71 percent. Remember when we used to do big things, America?)

True, the nominal size of President Obama’s tax increase, like that of the taxes contained in the health-care law, dwarfs anything the U.S. government has ever raised from a tax proposal, though this comparison is almost meaningless. But his ten-year revenue plan is big enough to rank up there on the Mount Rushmore of revenue: It is the third-biggest tax increase as a percentage of GDP since 1968 and, in dollars adjusted for inflation, the biggest since 1940.

Now, doesn’t that just give you the warm fuzzies?

Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. – Ronald Reagan

If these idiots, who are supposed to be working for US, not THEMSELVES overtax those who actually provide jobs for Americans, how is that supposed to “get our nation’s economy up and running again”?

Seems to me, all Obama’s plan will do is tax our nation’s economy into another Depression.

…And, maybe that’s what he wants.

The Fiscal Cliff: ‘Twas the Day Before Christmas

Obama ClausWhile we get ready to celebrate the Greatest Gift of All, President Barack Hussein Obama (mm mmm mmmm) is about to get his wish that we all give more…until it hurts.

BusinessInsider.com reports that

President Barack Obama delivered an unexpected update on the status of negotiations to avert the year-end fiscal cliff, saying he was still optimistic that a “comprehensive” deal could get done before a deadline in 10 days.

“I want next year to be a year of strong economic growth. … Call me a hopeless optimist, but I still think we can get this done,” Obama said.

At the same time, he called on Congress to ensure that taxes do not go up on middle-class Americans by Jan. 1, leaving open the possibility of putting off negotiations on a “grand bargain.”

“As of today, I am still ready and willing to get a comprehensive package done,” Obama said. But, he added, “there is absolutely no reason — none — not to protect” the middle-class from a tax increase.

Obama was more than a half-hour late to a scheduled 5 p.m. press conference, explaining that he had met with both House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid beforehand.

Obama said he hoped that the coming holiday break would give all parties in the fiscal cliff debate some “perspective,” telling members of Congress to “cool off, drink some egg nog, sing some carols” and eat Christmas cookies. Obama and his family will leave for Hawaii at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

“Now’s not the time for more self-inflicted wounds. Certainly not those coming from Washington,” Obama said. “Think about the hardship that so many Americans will endure if Congress does nothing at all.”

Obama’s statement came a day after a setback to John Boehner, who proposed a “Plan B” alternative after he became frustrated with the pace of negotiations with the White House earlier in the week. Boehner failed to garner enough support to bring Plan B to a vote on Thursday.

Boehner shifted the onus last night to Obama and Reid, who went back and forth with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on the floor earlier this afternoon. Reid also urged the House to immediately pass the Middle Class Tax Cut Act, which the Senate narrowly passed in July. The bill made permanent all of the Bush-era tax cuts on incomes of less than $250,000 for couples and $200,000 for individuals.

Boehner spokesman Brendan Buck said in a statement tonight that Boehner told the president it was “time for the Democratic-run Senate to act.”

Here’s the full statement:

“Though the President has failed to offer any solution that passes the test of balance, we remain hopeful he is finally ready to get serious about averting the fiscal cliff. The House has already acted to stop all of the looming tax hikes and replace the automatic defense cuts. It is time for the Democratic-run Senate to act, and that is what the Speaker told the President tonight. Speaker Boehner will return to Washington following the holiday, ready to find a solution that can pass both houses of Congress.”

In honor of this ongoing saga, which is headed toward a finish just like “Thelma and Louise”, I have penned this sonnet, with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore.

‘Twas the day before Christmas,

And all through the land,

Americans were seething

At John and his band.

Congress had gone home

And were snug in their beds

While visions of high taxes

Danced in Americans’ heads.

A Fiscal Cliff

We’re about to come to,

Meanwhile, up in the House,

It’s been quite a zoo.

It all started back when,

Our Leader, Dear

Submitted a budget

That would make Marx cheer.

Republicans, he said,

would have to agree.

After all he’s the Preezy,

And, this is his decree!

“The rich folks, he said,

Must pay their “Fair Share”.

If they lay people off,

I really don’t care.”

Speaker Boehner got mad,

He stood up and said,

“To accept this junk,

We must be brain-dead.”

So a counter-offer ensued,

And, to the Preezy was given.

Who then sent it back

With a lot of derision.

Upset and tear-filled

John made a vow:

Let’s go with Plan B,

We’ll vote on it now!

Then to the House Floor,

Boehner took his Bill.

The Reps said no,

This bill just won’t cut it,

Over the cliff we must go.

The RINOs exclaimed

“It’s the Tea Party’s fault,

We must tax the rich

And get “Revenue” 

from their vault.”

And, where was Dear Leader,

When it all hit the fan?

On a plane to Hawaii,

To work on his ?tan?

So, as the Preezy “hangs loose”

And the Cliff gets closer,

It’s hard to believe 

They re-elected this poser.

You and I will be worried,

About the taxes to come,

And, wondering if we’ll survive,

Four years of this bum.

We’ll make it, I’m sure.

We’re made of strong stuff.

Just remember the Depression

That sure was rough.

While we want answers

The President wants to hula,

“Merry Christmas to all,

Let them eat arugula!”

Fiscal Cliff: Congress Takes Their Toys and Goes Home

demrepAs you’ve know doubt heard by now, even if you’re one of those “‘low information voters” , with your head stuck up your…ummm…I-pod, Congress is at a standstill, regarding negotiations over Obama’s Marxist, Class Warfare-based, ludicrous plan to over-tax Americans who make over $400,000 per year, while offering no spending cuts to reign in his Soviet-styled out-of-control Mega-Government.

So, Congress…both sides, both Houses, have pulled a Cartman:

Sc@#w you, guys. I’m going home!

Per The Washington Times:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Thursday he plans to send his chamber home for Christmas and then reconvene on Dec. 27 to try to work through the “fiscal cliff” — even as House Republicans said they’ll keep their troops in town to try to strike a deal.

The moves come as both sides jockey for the upper hand in trying to avoid blame for a possible breakdown in the budget talks to avoid the fiscal cliff. House Republicans are poised to pass a bill Thursday that would prevent spending cuts and most tax increases, and have said they’ll stay here to get a deal done. But there won’t be anyone on the other side of the table — at least not until next week.

“We want to be able to get home for a few days for Christmas, even though we will be back on the Thursday after Christmas,” Mr. Reid, Nevada Democrat, said in opening the Senate’s session.

Senators will be attending a funeral service Friday for the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, Hawaii Democrat and the chamber’s senior lawmaker, who died this week. Many also will attend his funeral services this weekend in Hawaii.

“I honor the legacy of Dan Inouye; I’m going to the memorial service; I’m going to the funeral,” Mr. Reid told reporters later.

Nothing like blaming a dead guy, Dinghy Harry.

Across the Capitol, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said his lawmakers want to stay in town to try to get a deal done and will stay in Washington even if they pass their own “Plan B” approach to stave off tax increases and rewrite the looming $110 billion in spending cuts due in less than two weeks.

“We do not intend to send members home after this vote. We want to stay here. We want to avoid the fiscal cliff from happening,” Mr. Cantor, Virginia Republican, told reporters at a brief press conference. “I think the decision is for the White House and Senate Democrats to come join us so we can avoid the tax hike on the American people and avoid the fiscal cliff.”

But Mr. Reid said the House Republicans should forget about passing their bill and not bother sending the Senate anything, but instead go deal with President Obama.

“We’re here to reach out to our Republicans in the House and tell them, get back and start talking to the president,” Mr. Reid said.

Meanwhile, in the House, and on the other side of the aisle, Reuters reports

With only 11 days left for bickering politicians to prevent automatic tax hikes and spending cuts, U.S. stock futures fell sharply on the news of the rebuke to Boehner.

The Ohio congressman had hoped to demonstrate Republican unity by passing a bill through the House, known as “Plan B,” that would limit income-tax increases to the wealthiest sliver of the population – those earning $1 million and more, a far smaller slice of taxpayers than Obama wants to pay higher taxes.

But Boehner canceled the vote after failing to round up enough support from his party because many conservative Republicans are opposed to tax hikes on even the richest wage-earning Americans.

“The House did not take up the tax measure today because it did not have sufficient support from our members to pass,” Boehner said in a statement after huddling with other Republican leaders.

The White House pledged to work with Congress to reach a deal as quickly as possible.

“We are hopeful that we will be able to find a bipartisan solution quickly that protects the middle class and our economy,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.

The bill, had it passed, would have put Republicans on record as supporting a tax increase on those who earn more than $1 million per year, breaking with decades of orthodoxy. It won the blessing of influential anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, but other conservative groups fiercely opposed it and many rank-and-file members said they would not support it.

Obama wants to raise taxes on families earning more than $400,000, a much lower threshold.

Unless these spineless, self-serving jellyfish sitting up on Capitol Hill return to work on Thursday, acting like adults, and performing the job they were all elected to do, average Americans are going to get clobbered with the biggest tax hike in American History.

To quote the late Slim Pickens from “Blazing Saddles”, 

What in the Wide Wide World of Sports is a’goin’ on here?

Hold on to something. Here comes another world-famous KJ Rant:

I want Conservative Leadership. I want somebody to stand up on their hind legs and tell Obama the way the cow ate the cabbage. I want someone to actually give a hoot ‘n holler about the average American, not the special interest groups, not the lobbyists, not “the smartest people in the room”…me.

I want an American President and competent American Congress people.

I want a dadblamed budget, first. I want them to be good stewards of MY money. Not their “revenue”. I want someone to stand up and be a MAN…or a WOMAN.

I am so dadgum tired of mealy-mouth squishes and political niceties and expediences, I could spit. Too many Americans are out of work and doing without this Christmas, while the three ring circus performs unabated under the Big Top on Capital Hill.

The American people are tired of cleaning up after the donkeys and the elephants.  

/rant off

Until He Comes,

KJ

Obama: Using Newtown for Political Extortion

obamaobliviousPresident Barack Hussein Obama has become downright shameful in his attempts to use an unspeakable tragedy to further his own political plans and schemes.  And, his ego won’t let him take “no” for an answer.

Last night on Fox News Special Report, Dr. Charles Krauthammer said:

I think the president invoking the massacre of children to essentially say the Republicans need to accept his terms of surrender in the negotiations is not just a non sequitur, I think it’s sacrilege. And it’s of a piece with the whole tone of his news conference and this is the way he conducts them generally, which is he is excessively self-righteous. He talks about the other side of being unprincipled, not interested in the national interest, slaves of ideology which he says makes no sense. And as you mention, invested in opposing him to the point they are willing to let the country suffer.

So it’s a combination of self-righteousness and narcissism. It’s just a very unpleasant tone and there is no reason he can’t either avoid that or give some credit to the other side for sincerity in just seeing a different way to approach the crisis the country has. I think that would be respectful but it’s a lot to ask of Obama and he never delivers on that.

Back on May 24th, Dr. K remarked that Obama’s narcissism would not allow him to replace VP Biden with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the remainder of his Re-election Campaign.

In an article, written in response to this statement, posted on AmericanThinker.com, June 9, 2010, titled “Narcissist in Chief?”, Eileen F. Toplansky wrote:

…His contempt for America is staggering. His haughtiness towards the American electorate and his puffery with dictators in a bid for their admiration is breathtaking.

Furthermore, the president intimates that we are not capable of understanding and clarifying issues — Joe the Plumber could not possibly be accurate when he correctly asked if Obama’s ideas were, in fact, socialist. What does a guy who works with a wrench know about such things?

Obama accepts the notion that he is the messiah — that he and he alone can fix this country and, for that matter, the world. If ever there was an exaggerated achievement without commensurate accomplishment, the Nobel Peace Prize given to Obama would be it. He expects to be recognized as superior even when he has achieved nothing positive to show it. He ignores the evidence about global warming and man’s alleged interference because this simply does not comply with his demands — details be damned.

There are no substantive examples of his school achievements. His portfolio is razor-thin, and there is evidence that he did not author his own books, yet he rides on the crest of all-consuming power and privilege.

Author Rob Saar states that “people with narcissistic personalities tend … to deprecate and treat with contempt those from whom they do not expect anything (often their former idols). Their relations with others are often exploitative … Beneath a surface that is often charming and engaging, one senses coldness and ruthlessness.”

How often have we been privy to that allegedly cool demeanor of Obama’s turning into a dismissive disdain for anyone who does not agree with him and/or stands in his way? He distanced himself from his pastor of over twenty years because that relationship hurt his ends. He has knifed companies in the back that once financially supported him. He seems obsessed as he constantly bashes former President Bush and rails, yet again, against the oil companies and others. All of these entities receive derision and abuse from this man.

He can do no wrong in his own eyes, as he views “others as objects to be manipulated.” Arrogantly he dismissed a reporter’s question at a press conference that was supposed to be about the Daniel Pearl Freedom of Press Act!

He exploits all issues, making everything into a crisis, and yet when he accomplishes nothing to ameliorate the difficulty, he turns and blames it on everyone else.

Hence, his political leveraging of the horrible massacre of innocent children in Newtown, Connecticut into an attempt to force the House Republicans into bowing down, kissing his…ummm…feet, and acquiescing to his monumentally Marxist Fiscal Cliff Proposal, while simultaneously, using the same tragedy in an attempt to confiscate law-abiding citizens’ guns.

In October of 2008, on a campaign stop outside of Toledo, Ohio, Obama spoke to a plumber named Joe Wurzelbacher, who was concerned that, if elected president, Obama was going to raise taxes on small business owners, just like him. Obama told Joe:

…it’s not that I want to punish your success – I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you – that they’ve got a chance at success too.”

…I think when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.”

So, why do I say that Obama’s Fiscal Cliff Campaign and his renewed push for Gun Control Confiscation are tied together?

Almost a century ago, Marxist Revolutionary Vladimir Illyich Lenin wrote:

One of the basic conditions for the victory of socialism is the arming of the workers (Communist) and the disarming of the bourgeoisie (the middle class).

The arming of the workers…

In February of 2012, the IRS ordered 60 Remington Model 870 police 12 gauge pump action shotguns for the Criminal Investigation Unit.

…In March DHS ordered 750 million rounds of hollow point ammunition. It then turned around and ordered an additional 750 million rounds of miscellaneous bullets including some that are capable of penetrating walls.

(August, 2012) The Social Security Administration (SSA) confirms that it is purchasing 174 thousand rounds of hollow point bullets to be delivered to 41 locations in major cities across the U.S.

The disarming of the Middle Class…

From the New York Times:

President Obama declared on Wednesday that he would make gun control a “central issue” as he opens his second term, promising to submit broad new firearm proposals to Congress no later than January and to employ the full power of his office to overcome deep-seated political resistance.

Now, boys and girls, I’m not one given to tin-foil hat conspiracy theories. However, if all this information I’ve compiled in today’s Blog doesn’t make you stop and take notice, then, I suggest you go back to watching The Kardashians.

The rest of us will remain vigilant.

It’s that “enemies, foreign and domestic” thingy that has us Americans, who are paying attention, a little worried.

Until He Comes, 

KJ

Obama Certain Boehner Will Cave

titanicIs the good ship, U.S.S. America, about to take an economic plunge into the Obama Abysss, which we may never recover from?

ABCnews.go.com has the story:

As the clock ticks toward a tax hike on all Americans in 20 days, President Obama predicted Republicans would join Democrats to extend current rates for 98 percent of earners before the end of the year.

“I’m pretty confident that Republicans would not hold middle class taxes hostage to trying to protect tax cuts for high-income individuals,” Obama said today in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Barbara Walters.

“I don’t think they’ll do that,” he said of Republicans forcing tax-rate increases for families earning $250,000 a year or less.

The sign of optimism follows weeks of tense negotiations and public posturing to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff,” an economically toxic package of $6 trillion in across-the-board tax hikes and $1.2 trillion in deep spending cuts that could begin in early 2013.

The White House and House Speaker John Boehner have exchanged new, competing deficit-reduction plans over the last 24 hours, sources say, but there is little indication of real progress toward a deal.

Obama has taken a hard line against extending current, lower tax rates on income over $250,000, which would affect the top 2 percent of income-earners. Republicans have said those rates should be extended.

The standoff threatens higher rates for everyone unless a broad “cliff” deal is reached, or the middle-income rates are extended on their own.

“I remain optimistic,” Obama told Walters. “I’d like to see a big package. But the most important thing we can do is make sure that middle class taxes do not go up on Jan. 1.”

Obama met privately with Boehner at the White House on Sunday for their second face-to-face session on the fiscal negotiations, signaling potential progress toward an agreement. But neither side presented specific details about the outcome of the meeting.

“I think the tone was good,” Obama told Walters. “I believe that both Speaker Boehner and myself and the other leaders want to see a deal happen. And the question now is can we get it done. The outlines, the framework of what a deal should look like are pretty straightforward.”

Basically, Scooter believes that he’s got Boehner and his Merry Band of Moderate Republicans right where he wants them. In the non-political world, this is called extortion. Obama simply calls it “political manuvering”.

Brilliant Economist Dr. Thomas Sowell wrote the following for Townhall.com:

Amid all the political and media hoopla about the “fiscal cliff” crisis, there are a few facts that are worth noting.

First of all, despite all the melodrama about raising taxes on “the rich,” even if that is done it will scarcely make a dent in the government’s financial problems. Raising the tax rates on everybody in the top two percent will not get enough additional tax revenue to run the government for ten days.

And what will the government do to pay for the other 355 days in the year?

All the political angst and moral melodrama about getting “the rich” to pay “their fair share” is part of a big charade. This is not about economics, it is about politics. Taxing “the rich” will produce a drop in the bucket when compared to the staggering and unprecedented deficits of the Obama administration.

No previous administration in the entire history of the nation ever finished the year with a trillion dollar deficit. The Obama administration has done so every single year. Yet political and media discussions of the financial crisis have been focused overwhelmingly on how to get more tax revenue to pay for past and future spending.

The very catchwords and phrases used by the Obama administration betray how phony this all is. For example, “We are just asking the rich to pay a little more.”

This is an insult to our intelligence. The government doesn’t “ask” anybody to pay anything. It orders you to pay the taxes they impose and you can go to prison if you don’t.

…What about “investing in the industries of the future”? Does the White House come equipped with a crystal ball? Calling government spending “investment” does not make it investment any more than calling spending “stimulus” makes it stimulate anything.

What in the world would lead anyone to think that politicians have some magic way of knowing what the industries of the future are? Thus far the Obama administration has repeatedly “invested” in the bankruptcies of the present, such as Solyndra.

Using lofty words to obscure tawdry realities extends beyond the White House. Referring to the Federal Reserve System’s creation of hundreds of billions of new dollars out of thin air as “quantitative easing” makes it seem as if this is some soothing and esoteric process, rather than amounting essentially to nothing more than printing more money.

Debasing the value of money by creating more of it is nothing new or esoteric. Irresponsible governments have done this, not just for centuries, but for thousands of years.

It is a way to take people’s wealth from them without having to openly raise taxes. Inflation is the most universal tax of all.

All the pretty talk about how tax rates will be raised only on “the rich” hides the ugly fact that the poorest people in the country will see the value of their money decline, just like everybody else, and at the same rate as everybody else, when the government creates more money and spends it.

If you have $100 and, after inflation follows from “quantitative easing,” that $100 dollars will only buy what $80 bought before, then that is the same economically as if the government had taxed away one-fifth of your money and spent it.

But it is not the same politically, so long as gullible people don’t look beyond words to the reality that inflation taxes everybody, the poorest as well as the richest.

So, the old political chestnut, 

We’re all in this together.

is very appropriate.

Just as it was on the Titanic.

Is that “Nearer My God to Thee” I hear in the background?

Until He comes,

KJ

The Fiscal Cliff: Will the GOP Elites Cave?

boehnerobamaPresident Barack Hussein Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner met yesterday, regarding the “Fiscal Cliff” Negotiations.

Politico.com has the story:

President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met at the White House Sunday in an attempt to break the logjam on the fiscal cliff.

It was their first face-to-face meeting in 23 days.

Both the White House and Boehner’s office declined to describe the meeting, putting out identical statements that said, “This afternoon, the President and Speaker Boehner met at the White House to discuss efforts to resolve the fiscal cliff. We’re not reading out details of the conversation, but the lines of communication remain open.”

Before the meeting, top aides said there was little progress made over the weekend. But the meeting between Boehner and Obama signals a new stage in the process to resolve tax hikes and spending reductions that take hold at the beginning of 2013.

The lines are clear: Obama says a deal will not get done unless tax rates increase on top earners. Boehner says he’s opposed to tax rate increases on anyone.

But in recent days, the options seem to have narrowed for Republicans. Democrats have held firm on rate increases, while a few Republicans have slowly peeled away. For example, Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) on Sunday indicated he would let taxes rise on top earners.

“There’s a growing body of folks who are willing to look at the rate on the top 2 percent,” Corker said on “Fox News Sunday.” “The shift in focus in entitlements is where we need to go. … Republicans know they have the debt ceiling that’s coming up around the corner and the leverage is going to shift as soon as we get beyond this issue — the leverage is going to shift to our side.”

Did you know that Americans listed as being in the top 1% of income-earners pay an average of $343,927 in Income Taxes, and overall, they pay 36.73% of all of America’s Income taxes?

Those in the 5% group pay an average of $154,643 per year, amounting to 58.66% of Income taxes collected.

The Great Dr. Walter E. Williams,who serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics, is the author of ‘Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?’ and ‘Up from the Projects: An Autobiography’, and is a long-time guest host for Rush Limbaugh, reviewed a recent work by fellow Black American Economist Dr. Thomas Sowell, who wrote a short paper on “Trickle-down Theory” and “Tax Cuts for the Rich”. In his review, Dr. Williams wrote:

…in 1921, Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon advocated tax rate cuts, which were enacted into law by Congress. Afterward, there was rising output; unemployment plummeted; and the resulting higher income produced greater federal tax revenues, even though the tax rate had been lowered. There were somewhat similar results in later years after high tax rates were cut during the John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush administrations.

The facts about the 1920s tax rate cuts are unmistakably clear for those who bother to check the facts. In 1921, when the tax rate on people earning more than $100,000 a year was 73 percent, the federal government collected a little more than $700 million in income taxes, of which 30 percent was paid by those earning more than $100,000. By 1929, after the tax rate had been cut to 24 percent on incomes higher than $100,000, the federal government collected more than $1 billion in income taxes, of which 65 percent was collected from those with incomes higher than $100,000.

In 1962, Democratic President John F. Kennedy pointed out that “it is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise the revenues in the long run is to cut the rates now.” Both Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush made similar arguments, and the tax rate cuts had the effect of stimulating economic growth while increasing federal tax revenue and shifting a greater percentage of the tax burden on to wealthier individuals.

One very insightful part of Sowell’s paper is the discussion about what Mellon called the “gesture of taxing the rich” — namely, tax-exempt securities that he tried unsuccessfully to put an end to. Tax-exempt securities and other tax breaks are valuable tools in the politics of class warfare and envy. Politicians have it both ways. They get votes by raising taxes on the wealthy — or threatening to do so — and at the same time provide the wealthy with a way out of high taxes through tax-exempt securities. This explains how President Obama can raise tens of millions of dollars in campaign contributions from Hollywood millionaires and Wall Street’s rich and powerful. “Tax cuts for the rich” demagoguery is simply the height of deceit perpetrated on the gullible people and useful idiots.

When Speaker Boehner and the rest of the GOP Moderate Elite cave in to the President’s wishes, which will they be, boys and girls?

Gullible people, useful idiots, or both?

I’m 54 Today and I’m Not Taking It Anymore

jesterluteI’m 54 years old today.  It has been a remarkable journey.   Some years have passed by much too quickly.  Others have been as slow and painful as Morning Joe on MSNBC.   Some of the lessons that God has taught me have been more painful than others.  But, through it all, His Grace has been sufficient for my every need.

I’ve always had a big mouth.  One of the most painful lessons I’ve had to learn is when to keep it shut.  However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that those who seek to impose their will on us, as a free nation, appear to be doing and saying whatever outrageous, hurtful, treasonous, and unpatriotic things that they want to, counting on all of us average, Christian Americans (78% of the population, per Gallup) to keep our collective mouths shut.

Well, you know what?  I’m 54 and I’m Not Taking It anymore.

05_08_11---Three-Crosses_webI’m not taking it anymore off of the less than 10 % of our population who are so self-involved and bitter in their belief that all of this fantastic Universe around us just happened, that they try to make Christians as bitter as they are.  Especially, this time of year as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.

These learned individuals completely ignore the writings of brilliant men, such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, who said:

All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.

or G. K. Chesterton, who said:

When men stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing.  They believe in anything.

WashingtonPrayingOur nation was founded by people who wished to practice Freedom OF Religion, not Freedom FROM Religion. They were not led in their decision-making by an earthly king, but by their love for the heavenly King.

American Christianity is not comprised of empty rituals. It is fueled by an intrinsic understanding of where our freedoms come from, and Who gave them to us. It is a legacy of Faith handed down to us, generation through generation.

Just as my father, who landed on the beaches of Normandy, made sure that I got to Sunday School, so did I make that opportunity available to my daughter, step-sons, and grandson. I am blessed by the fact that one of those young men is in seminary as I write this.

Shake your fist and try to believe that Divine Providence had nothing to do with the growth of this nation, you will still find that the majority of Americans will not believe you.

hyenasI’m not taking it anymore from the bunch of amoral, treasonous hyenas controlling the entertainment industry.  These are the brilliant individuals who have brought us such cinematic masterpieces as Redacted and The Golden Compass and such high brow television entertainment like @#$% My Dad Says

In the music industry, the song  @#$% You! (which was sung on Glee as Forget You!) was, at one time, honored for an industry award.

I can remember when The Rolling Stones had to change the words to their hit, Let’s Spend the Night Together to Let’s Spend Some Time Together on The Ed Sullivan Show because of the CBS Censors.

By the way, they are on tour right now…sponsored by Geritol, I think.

spoiledlakerI’m not taking it anymore from spoiled, crybaby, collegiate,and professional athletes.  These young men have been gifted by God with extraordinary abilities, placing them in the spotlight. They are followed and proclaimed as role models by American’s youth.

Just last week, the Captain of the University of Memphis’ Basketball Team, walked away from a practice, telling the coach that he just “wasn’t that into it.”

He’s back with the team, now, after a game’s suspension and a “come to Jesus” meeting with the Coach.

Some leader. Gimme a break.

mitchdanielsI’m not taking it anymore from so-called Fiscal  Conservatives (i.e., Moderates and Liberals), who believe that whatever you want to smoke, whomever you want to sleep with, is fine and dandy, while expecting Social (Reagan) Conservatives to keep our mouths shut about where the GOP is headed, as it slowly swirls down the porcelain receptacle.

michellestinkeyeI’m not taking it anymore from the Obama’s, and the pinheaded bureaucrats and academicians in their administration who believe that they have the right to tell us how to raise and what to feed our children.

These are our children and grandchildren.  We will raise them as we see fit.

Not only do they want to tell us what we can feed to our children, they want to control what our Armed Forces eat! They want the finest fighting force in the world to run on arugula!

Feed our Brightest and Best steak every day! They deserve it!

I’m 54 years old. If I want to have Popeye’s Fried Chicken with mashed potatoes, fried okra, and biscuits, it’s none of your dadblamed business, Michelle (ma belle).  People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.  Have you surveyed your own Southern flank lately?

pelosigavelFinally, I’m not taking it anymore from Obama, his administration, his political party, and Congress.  These people are so riddled with self-importance, and so intellectually constricted by their self-imposed boundaries of the Beltway Elite society that they live in, that they have completely lost touch with the citizens of the country that they are supposed to represent.  They somehow believe that it is in their best interests to govern on behalf of the 18 % of Americans who identify themselves as being Liberals.

And, judging from the Fiscal Cliff Negotiations, those who don’t really believe in this Liberal/Progressive/Marxist ideology, don’t seem to possess the intestinal fortitude to man up and actually serve the people who elected them.

This oblivious pack of political scavengers seem bound and determined to gnaw as much meat off of the bones of the American Dream as they can.

However, as angered as I am by the irrational, amoral nature of American politics and popular culture, I always have hope.  My hope springs not from any political figure or political ideology, but from the One who created me and loves me, in spite of all my shortcomings.  This video of one of my favorite songs sums up what I’ve been trying to say.   God is good.  All the time.  May God bless you all.

Until He Comes,

KJ