Call me overly optimistic, but I really liked this speech by President Obama. He came much closer to the line of being overtly political than I thought he would and his statements made me cautiously hopeful although I recognize that actions in this case will speak much more loudly than any pretty words.
I would offer a couple of screen grabs of these tweets, but they violate our editorial standards for hate language. Let us just say that there is something so enraging about missing football that brings out the racists.
President Obama held a brief presser today to express his grief and shock over the Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
THE PRESIDENT: This afternoon, I spoke with Governor Malloy and FBI Director Mueller. I offered Governor Malloy my condolences on behalf of the nation, and made it clear he will have every single resource that he needs to investigate this heinous crime, care for the victims, counsel their families.We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. And each time I learn the news I react not as a President, but as anybody else would -- as a parent. And that was especially true today. I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do. The majority of those who died today were children -- beautiful little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them -- birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. Among the fallen were also teachers -- men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams. So our hearts are broken today -- for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children, and for the families of the adults who were lost. Our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors as well, for as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know that their children’s innocence has been torn away from them too early, and there are no words that will ease their pain. As a country, we have been through this too many times.
Whether it’s an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago -- these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. And we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics. This evening, Michelle and I will do what I know every parent in America will do, which is hug our children a little tighter and we’ll tell them that we love them, and we’ll remind each other how deeply we love one another.
But there are families in Connecticut who cannot do that tonight. And they need all of us right now. In the hard days to come, that community needs us to be at our best as Americans. And I will do everything in my power as President to help.Because while nothing can fill the space of a lost child or loved one, all of us can extend a hand to those in need -- to remind them that we are there for them, that we are praying for them, that the love they felt for those they lost endures not just in their memories but also in ours.
May God bless the memory of the victims and, in the words of Scripture, heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds.
The President was quite emotional and teared up a couple of times. Does this mean he'll take swift action? We can only hope so, but I didn't expect a rapid reaction on the heels of the politicization of the Benghazi tragedy by Conservatives.
More news is flowing in and we'll update you along the way.
President Obama discussed the framework in a public statement at the White House Sunday evening, and urged members of both parties to support the plan. He also criticized Congress for touching off this crisis, and for being unable to arrive at a single grand bargain to improve the country's fiscal situation (with spending cuts and tax increases) and raise the debt limit as well.
"Is this the deal I would have preferred? No," Obama said. "But this compromise does make a serious down payment on the deficit reduction we need."
The announcement came just as House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) hosted a conference call with his own, unruly caucus, to sell them on the same plan. Passing this bill will be a heavier lift in that caucus, where scores of Democrats and Republicans are expected to defect.
Luke Russert has been all over MSNBC talking about Boehner's conference call and saying it was like a pep-rally, you know..he had to go all Vince Lombardi on his members to try and persuade them to vote for this deal. VICTORY!
The final hurdle was Speaker Boehner, who fought to lower the ratio on the trigger, away from a 50-50 split on the trigger we talked about earlier. As it turns out, Boehner lost that fight, and the White House told him there would be movement on this point, and the Speaker conceded the point. (He’d already won on so many other points, this was a minor setback.)
And here (pdf), by the way, is the presentation Boehner made available to his caucus after endorsing the agreement. The Speaker clearly doesn’t love the plan, but in a hilarious twist, Boehner said failing to pass it would lead to a “job-killing default.” That would be the same default Boehner has been willing to pursue for the last several months.
This plan still unfortunately kicks the can down to another frakkin' Cat Food Committee in November where we'll be debating the same stuff all over again.
I'm hearing that the cuts tied to the trigger will be 50-50 on defense and non-defense spending and that the Big Three safety Net programs won't have benefits cut. We'll find out more hard info tomorrow.
On FOX, Baier and Rosen were discussing the Balanced Budget amendment that will be voted down immediately as Rosen described it as a poison pill in the whole debt ceiling debate. Huckabee was saying what a wonderful idea it would be to alter the Constitution. Sorry, Huck, that sucks.
I'm too burnt to write much more on this tonight myself. Nobody is happy with this deal, even the Tea Party cult because many of them want the US to default and the world markets to unravel.
President Obama started this morning by giving a presser about the supposed 'Grand Bargain' he's looking for since House Speaker John Boehner came out and said he wouldn't agree to a big deal. He said that's he's willing to take heat from his own party over programs and things we really believe in.
"I am prepared to take on significant heat from my party to get something done," Obama said, contending he has "bent over backward" to work with Republicans.
Naturally. Obama made the case on Republican terms that we must tighten our belts if we want to get the deficit under control and so everybody has to be willing to negotiate or a deal will never get done. he won't sign off on any short extensions of the debt ceiling either.
"The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told National Journal's Major Garrett in October.
Fox News' Bret Baier asked McConnell Sunday if that was still his major objective.
"Well, that is true," McConnell replied. "That's my single most important political goal, along with every active Republican in the country."
McConnell told Baier that a "Grand Bargain," where Republicans agree to tax hikes in exchange for cutting Social Security and Medicare benefits, was likely off the table.
"I think it is. Everything they told me and the Speaker is to get a big package would require big tax increases in the middle of the economic situation that is extraordinarily difficult with 9.2% unemployment. We think it's a terrible idea. It's a job-killer."
"Nobody is talk about not raising the debt ceiling," McConnell later insisted.
If this is true then why not have a clean debt ceiling vote and move on from here? I'd say because Obama wants a Grand Bargain to hang his hat on. "Eating our peas,' was the thing I heard that stood out as well as what the media is going to take away from it.
"I've been hearing from my Republican friends for some time it is a moral imperative to tackle our debt and deficits in a serious way," Mr. Obama said. "What I've said to them is, let's go." The president said today he would not accept a smaller, short-term deal. "We might as well do it now," he said. "Pull off the band aid. Eat our peas."
Framing this debate in Republican terms has been a big problem for me as well as many other progressives and it's not likely to change.
The Biden agreement had settled on about $1.5 trillion in cuts, while another $500 billion in cuts would be included if Republicans agreed to $200-300 billion in tax loophole closures. That's balanced, right? The "sticking point," for Republicans, is what it's always been: raising taxes for rich people. Proving yet again that none of this is about the deficit, at least not for the GOP.
The primary goal of President Obama’s presser, which just wrapped up, was obvious: He was clearly out to pick a major public fight with Republicans over tax cuts for the rich. Obama mounted a surprisingly aggressive moral case for ending high end tax cuts, casting it as a test of our society’s priorities, and argued — crucially — that anyone who fails to support ending them is fundamentally unserious about the deficit.
He also went out of his way to highlight GOP opposition to raising revenues by ending a perk for corporate jet owners. This proposal would raise only $3 billion, which means it’s trivial in the larger scheme of things, and Obama’s mention of it seemed deliberately designed to provoke howls of outrage and cries of “class warfare” from Republicans — with the obvious goal of maneuvering Republicans into the role of arch defenders of the interests of the wealthy...
In another key moment, Obama seemed to draw a line against cost-shifting to seniors to solve the Medicare problem. He said:
We’re gonna have to look at entitlements. And that’s always difficult politically. But I’ve been willing to say we need to see where we can reduce the cost of health care spending and Medicare and Medicaid in the out years. Not by shifting costs on to seniors, as some have proposed, but rather by actually reducing those costs.
While there’s good reason for skepticism that the final deal won’t contain some kind of cost shifting, it was good to hear Obama lay down that marker in those terms.
More broadly, Obama stopped just short of saying he would not accept a final deficit deal without a high end tax hike. But his presser made it clear that he will will relitigate this fight and make it central to the campaign. And while we should keep in mind that Obama did ultimately cut a deal on the high-end tax cuts last time around, those who are hoping he will continue to make a strong moral argument in favor of ending them should be pleased by what they heard.
From his press conference today, it would appear that the president's negotiating strategy really is to give Republicans huge cuts in spending (and "make his base give him a hard time") and then shame them into "meeting him halfway" by agreeing to mildly raise taxes on some luxury items like corporate jet travel. (Luckily, he reassured the nervous CEOs by saying "you'll still be able to ride on your corporate jet, you'll just have to pay a little more" so hopefully they won't have a fit.)That's what constitutes shared sacrifice and fiscal responsibility. Good to know....read on