Kos’ Sunday Talk Lineup: Shut Happens

Daily Kos

Thanks to President Obama stubbornly refusing to negotiate with terrorists (his negotiations with Iran notwithstanding),House Republicans were forced to shut down the federal government for the first time since then-Speaker Newt Gingrich was relegated to the back of Air Force One in 1995.

Without a doubt, the most visible and devastating consequence of this latest game of brinkmanship is the closure of America’s national parks—which has enraged a lot of vacationersnewbies and veterans alike.

However, there have also been a number of less conspicuous (and clearly less important) negative consequencessuch as: 800,000 “non-essential” workers being furloughedHead Start programs being suspended; and millions of Americans’ health and safety being endangered.

But that’s not to say it’s been all bad; on the bright side, the shutdown has had a slimming effect on Fox News. 

Morning lineup:

Meet the Press: Treasury Secretary Jack Lew; Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY); Roundtable: Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Republican Strategist Mike MurphySteve Inskeep (NPR) and Rich Lowry (National Review).Face the Nation: Treasury Secretary Jack Lew; Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX); Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin NetanyahuRoundtableGwen Ifill (PBS), Dana Milbank(Washington Post), Jim VandeHei (Politico) and John Dickerson (CBS News).

This Week: Treasury Secretary Jack Lew; House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH); Sen.Chuck Schumer (D-NY); Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC); RoundtableCokie Roberts (ABC News), Paul Gigot (Wall Street Journal), Soledad O’Brien (Starfish Media Group), Former “Car Czar” Steve Rattner and Jonathan Karl (ABC News).

Fox News Sunday: Treasury Secretary Jack Lew; Rep. Pete King (R-NY); Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA); RoundtableBrit Hume (Fox News), Former Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN),Kimberley Strassel (Wall Street Journal) and Juan Williams (Fox News).

State of the Union: Treasury Secretary Jack Lew; Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX); Roundtable: Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD), Rep. Steve king (R-IA), Democratic Strategist Stephanie Cutter and Ross Douthat (New York Times).

Evening lineup:

60 Minutes will feature: a report the alarming state of the federal disability program, which has exploded in size in the last six years and could become the first federal benefits program to run out of money (preview); never-before-seen footage of America’s first battle against al Qaeda 20 years ago (preview); and, a report on the large number of asteroids in space big enough to destroy a city, of which scientists only know where one percent of them are (preview).

GOP: We’ve been lying all along

Boehner’s admission that we don’t really have a debt crisis reveals his party’s ulterior, program-cutting motives

Oh my…is the Speaker of the House a bit upset with the tea-party faction of his caucus?


Boehner’s admission that we don’t really have a debt crisis reveals his party’s ulterior, program-cutting motives…

I never thought I’d write these words, but here goes: Thank you, John Boehner. Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for finally admitting on national television that all the fiscal cliffs, sequestrations and budget battles you’ve created are, indeed, artificially fabricated by ideologues and self-interested politicians and not the result of some imminent crisis that’s out of our control.

America owes this debt of gratitude to Boehner after he finally came clean on yesterday’s edition of ABC’s “This Week” and admitted that “we do not have an immediate debt crisis.” (His admission was followed up by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, who quickly echoed much the same sentiment on CBS’ “Face the Nation”).

In offering up such a stunningly honest admission, the GOP leader has put himself on record as agreeing with President Obama, who has previously acknowledged that demonstrable reality. But the big news here isn’t just about the politics of a Republican House speaker tacitly admitting they agree with a Democratic president. It is also about a bigger admission revealing the fact that the GOP’s fiscal alarmism is not merely some natural reaction to reality, but a calculated means to other ideological ends.

Before considering those ends, first remember that Boehner (like Obama) is correct on the facts.

As Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman has pointed out, “Even if we do run deficits, federal debt as a share of GDP will be substantially less than it was at the end of World War II” and “it will also be substantially less than, say, debt in several European countries in the mid- to late 1990s.” It is also lower than the 80 percent of GDP level that many economists say starts to put countries in a precarious position. Additionally, citing Congressional Budget Office data, the Center for American Progress notes that the long-term debt outlook is only dire because the projections simply assume without question that “future Congresses will enact huge new deficit-increasing tax cuts and spending hikes.”

“The debt outlook is bad (but) we’re not looking at something inconceivable, impossible to deal with,” writes Krugman. “We’re looking at debt levels that a number of advanced countries, the US included, have had in the past, and dealt with.”

So yes, we should start dealing with the long-term debt in a pragmatic and sober way, but we shouldn’t pretend it is some sort of imminent crisis worthy of draconian austerity measures.

If we could somehow do that, then there would be plenty of gradual steps that could be taken right now — steps that deal with the debt in measured ways that do the least harm to the overall economy. Those include starting to phase out the Bush tax cuts, which show no correlation with job growth and yet are the single largest driver of annual deficits; starting to reduce defense and war spending, which, job-creation-wise, is one of the least effective ways for the government to spend money; starting to move the United States toward the least costly, more efficient, and more effective single-payer healthcare system that most industrialized countries have, and that lowers overhead for employers; and starting to spend more money on social programs that fight economic inequality, with the understanding that driving down such inequality tends to boost macroeconomic growth and consequently boost public revenues (this is the Reagan-esque idea of growing one’s way out of debt).

But, of course, we aren’t having a sober and measured discussion about such pragmatic solutions. Instead, the national conversation about the budget is dominated by debt demagogues with ulterior motives. Taking a page out of the shock doctrine playbook that says every crisis is an opportunity, these alarmists have sought to create the perception of an immediate crisis in order to quickly manufacture opportunities to legislate their otherwise politically impossible agenda items.

Continue here…

David Gregory To Boehner: ‘Mr. Speaker, That’s Just Not True’

NBC News

I’m not a David Gregory fan, for too many reasons to write about in this post.  However, I must say in the last few weeks, he has called out a few MTP guests when they spew false talking points….

TPM Livewire

NBC’s David Gregory and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) butted heads during an interview when the speaker insisted that President Obama did not have a plan to replace sequestration and Gregory disagreed. The interview was taped Friday afternoon after Boehner met with the president to discuss sequestration and aired on “Meet the Press” Sunday.

“Mr. Speaker, that’s just not true,” Gregory said. “They’ve made it very clear, as the president just did, that he has a plan that he’s put forward that involves entitlement cuts, that involves spending cuts. That you’ve made a choice, as have Republicans, to leave tax loopholes in place and you’d rather have those and live with all these arbitrary cuts.”

Boehner called Gregory’s objection “nonsense.”

“Well David, that’s just nonsense. If they had a plan, why wouldn’t Senate Democrats go ahead and pass it,” he said.

Boehner returned to this point throughout the interview, insisting that Democrats do not have a plan because the Democratic-controlled Senate has not voted on one.

Mitt Romney: It Pains Me To Fire You

Mitt Romney - Caricature

Sure Gov. Romney…sure.

The Huffington Post

Mitt Romney said Saturday night that it pains him to fire workers in order to make a company more profitable, responding to criticism from Newt Gingrich, who cited a  New York Times story on one of Romney’s ventures.

“It always pains you if you have to be in a position of downsizing a business in order to make it more successful,” Romney said. “I’m not surprised to have the New York Times try to put free enterprise on trial…It’s a little surprising from my colleagues on this stage.”

Former Massachusetts Gov. Romney said that the laid-off workers are victims of the free market. “Sometimes investments don’t work and you’re not successful,” he said.

But Gingrich, the former House Speaker, questioned whether Romney’s private equity ventures were aimed at creating jobs or quick profit for capitalists.

Gingrich said he’s all for the free market, but “I’m not nearly enamored of a Wall Street model where you can go in and flip companies, have leveraged buyouts, basically take out all the money, leaving behind the workers.”

He cited 1,700 fired workers in a New York Times story on one of Romney’s corporate raids.

“If it’s factually accurate, it raises questions,” he said.

Newt The Dinosaur Guy

We talk about Mitt Romney flip-flopping all over the place, but Newt Gingrich‘s flip flops are a close second to Romney’s…

Mario Piperni

Here’s what an ass sounds like when he’s:

a) so full of himself, it starts oozing out of every body orifice.
b) so desperate to win that he…
c) tries to win over the idiot base by pretending he doesn’t believe in global warming science.

“I’m an amateur paleontologist, so I’ve spent a lot of time looking at the earth’s temperature over a very long time,” Gingrich said. “I’m a lot harder to convince than just by looking at a computer model.”

Pathetic.  Newt Gingrich once dreamed of becoming a zookeeper, read a couple of books on dinosaurs and  kept a T-Rex skull in his office when he served as Speaker of the House and that, he believes, qualifies him to dismiss climate change data as erroneous.  Gingrich, the pseudo-intellectual, pseudo-scientist bullshit artist feels he’s better equipped to determine the validity of climate science than the 98% of the world’s climatologists who study this stuff day in, day out and warn of the impending danger of ignoring the data.

Gingrich’s statement is too ridiculous for words but yet they’re words of wisdom to those less knowledgeable than Newt.  That’s simply the way it works.

Michele Bachmann: Obama ‘Insulted’ Congress By Calling It A Political Circus

Pardon me, but this from the woman who called Obama’s administration gangster government? That insult was definitely dog whistle code

Talking Points Memo

You can say what you want about Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) — but she won’t stand for anyone talking smack about her legislative body.

Bachmann gave an unsanctioned rebuttal to President Obama’s job speech in a Capitol Hill TV studio Thursday night in which she dismissed the address as so much warmed-over Obama rhetoric with little or no chance of success. She called it “just a retread of everything he’s put forward before that’s failed.”

But what really grinds her gears was what she called his blatant “insulting of Members of Congress” that came “almost right out of the gate” in his speech.

Obama said this (from the prepared text):

The people of this country work hard to meet their responsibilities. The question tonight is whether we’ll meet ours. The question is whether, in the face of an ongoing national crisis, we can stop the political circus and actually do something to help the economy; whether we can restore some of the fairness and security that has defined this nation since our beginning.

Did you catch it? Bachmann said contained in that early paragraph was a direct attack on the fine men and women of the House.

“It was interesting to me that if you look at the president’s remarks, almost out of the gate, the president began by insulting members of Congress,” she said. “He invited them to be a part of this address this evening…And yet he began with an insult — for a circus tent.”

“That isn’t what this is. I don’t consider the greatest, most deliberative body in the United States, the House of Representatives, a circus, a political circus,” Bachmann continued. “It isn’t at all.”

It’s worth noting at this point that past Obama addresses to joint sessions of Congress have included House members shouting “you lie!” at him; unbelievably long and drawn out public discussions about who will sit next to whompublic whining about the date and time of an address; and finally, Republicans deciding not to show up out of spite (and calling Obama “idiotic” for having the speech in the first place.)

Nevertheless, Bachmann says, the “circus” line was too far — and, she said, a sign that the President is not serious about changing the rhetoric in Washington and getting some jobs legislation passed.

Bachmann declined to take any questions about her flagging presidential campaign, saying she was giving the speech as a Representative from Minnesota’s 6th District, not a presidential candidate. She ignored a question about her candidacy from TPM after the press conference was over, with her staff directing all questions about her presidential bid to the campaign.

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Minnesota Protesters Drop Glitter On Anti-Marriage Equality Fair Booth

Think Progress

For unclear reasons, the Minnesota State Fair found last-minute space for a booth for the coalition supporting a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage (Minnesota For Marriage), but not for the pro-equality coalition opposing the amendment, Minnesotans United for All Families.

To protest the seemingly unfair treatment, members of the “barbarian” group dumped glitter on the anti-gay booth from the skilift above, shouting “where’s our booth?” and “equality for all.”

Watch it:


Michele Bachmann: Obama’s Trying To Keep America’s Eyes Off Us With Jobs Speech

What?  Why aren’t any of the candidates talking about jobs?


Michele Bachmann says President Obama scheduled his job speech on the same night as one of three nationally televised Republican presidential debates in the month of September because he wants to prevent Americans from seeing the group of Republicans who may face him next fall.

Earlier Wednesday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) called on Obama to move the speech, citing the time needed “for a security sweep of the House Chamber before receiving a President.”

Bachmann supports Boehner’s move, and said “clearly the administration has a great deal of insecurity about their job plan and the lack of it.”

Speaking to Fox News on Wednesday, Bachmann argued, “Boehner is saying… rather than the president hiding his speech, and trying to divert the American people away from hearing from the presidential candidates on their assessment of his job that he failed to do for the economy.”

She continued, “John Boehner is rightly saying, let’s have the American people watch you.”

Other GOP 2012 candidates also reacted to the fracas. Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul told TPM:

Continue reading here…


Congress Approval Rating: Poll Shows 87% Disapprove Of Congress

Is anyone genuinely surprised that this GOP led Congress has the lowest approval rating on record?  I’m not…

The Huffington Post

Americans are plenty angry at Congress in the aftermath of the debt crisis and Republicans could pay the greatest price, a new Associated Press-GfK poll suggests.

The poll finds the tea party has lost support, Republican House Speaker John Boehner is increasingly unpopular and people are warming to the idea of not just cutting spending but also raising taxes – anathema to the GOP – just as both parties prepare for another struggle with deficit reduction.

To be sure, there is plenty of discontent to go around. The poll finds more people are down on their own member of Congress, not just the institution, an unusual finding in surveys and one bound to make incumbents particularly nervous. In interviews, some people said the debt standoff itself, which caused a crisis of confidence to ripple through world markets, made them wonder whether lawmakers are able to govern at all.

“I guess I long for the day back in the `70s and `80s when we could disagree but we could get a compromise worked out,” said Republican Scott MacGregor, 45, a Windsor, Conn., police detective. “I don’t think there’s any compromise anymore.”

The results point to a chilly autumn in Washington as the divided Congress returns to the same fiscal issues that almost halted other legislative business and are certain to influence the struggle for power in the 2012 elections. They suggest that politicians, regardless of party, have little to gain by prolonging the nation’s most consequential policy debate. And they highlight the gap between the wider public’s wishes now and the tea party’s cut-it-or-shut-it philosophy that helped propel Republicans into the House majority last year.

The survey, conducted Aug. 18-22, found that approval of Congress has dropped to its lowest level in AP-GfK polling – 12 percent. That’s down from 21 percent in June, before the debt deal reached fever pitch.

Continue reading here…

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Anti-Gay Indiana Lawmaker Who Paid Male Teen for Sex Resists Call from Speaker to Step Down, Says He’s Not Gay: VIDEO

This same scenario repeats itself every year and at least 3 to 4 times a year with GOP lawmakers on the State and Federal level.


Anti-gay Indiana Rep. Phil Hinkle, who was caught earlier this month paying $80 to a male teen for sex after responding to an ad on Craigslist, is refusing calls, now public, from the House Speaker, for him to step down. The calls from Speaker Brian Bosma follow similar pressure last week from a wide range of officials.

Hinkle is also being removed from committees.

The Indy Star reports:

He said that he understands why he’s being stripped of his committee chairmanships and that he won’t seek re-election. But he said he will not resign, despite House Speaker Brian Bosma’s call Tuesday to do so.

And he said he did nothing illegal with — or to — the young man and that he himself was the victim of a crime. But he said he would not file a police report.

Said Hinkle in his first public comments since the incident: “I was on the road to self-destruction, and I don’t know why….I say that emphatically. I’m not gay…I went to the edge, but I didn’t fall over the edge.”   Watch:

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