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petegz28 02-22-2013 09:01 PM

Direckshun & The Dems in full out "scare tactics" mode
All this crying about the possibility of speding cuts. The world is going to end if you listen to these people. Planes will quit flying, AIDS patients will lose their rent, meat packers will lose their jobs, you name it, it's going to stop. All hell is going to break loose. The world is going to come to an end.

It's ****ing hillarious. The threats we are hearing from the Dems and the Admin. are so far beyong ignorance it's funny. The Dept. of Transportation is even prepared to engage in collusion with the unions.

petegz28 02-22-2013 09:02 PM

Bob Woodward ( is an associate editor of The Post. His latest book is “The Price of Politics.” Evelyn M. Duffy contributed to this column.

Misunderstanding, misstatements and all the classic contortions of partisan message management surround the sequester, the term for the $85 billion in ugly and largely irrational federal spending cuts set by law to begin Friday.

What is the non-budget wonk to make of this? Who is responsible? What really happened?

The finger-pointing began during the third presidential debate last fall, on Oct. 22, when President Obama blamed Congress. “The sequester is not something that I’ve proposed,” Obama said. “It is something that Congress has proposed.”

The White House chief of staff at the time, Jack Lew, who had been budget director during the negotiations that set up the sequester in 2011, backed up the president two days later.

“There was an insistence on the part of Republicans in Congress for there to be some automatic trigger,” Lew said while campaigning in Florida. It “was very much rooted in the Republican congressional insistence that there be an automatic measure.”

The president and Lew had this wrong. My extensive reporting for my book “The Price of Politics” shows that the automatic spending cuts were initiated by the White House and were the brainchild of Lew and White House congressional relations chief Rob Nabors — probably the foremost experts on budget issues in the senior ranks of the federal government.

Obama personally approved of the plan for Lew and Nabors to propose the sequester to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). They did so at 2:30 p.m. July 27, 2011, according to interviews with two senior White House aides who were directly involved.

Nabors has told others that they checked with the president before going to see Reid. A mandatory sequester was the only action-forcing mechanism they could devise. Nabors has said, “We didn’t actually think it would be that hard to convince them” — Reid and the Republicans — to adopt the sequester. “It really was the only thing we had. There was not a lot of other options left on the table.”

A majority of Republicans did vote for the Budget Control Act that summer, which included the sequester. Key Republican staffers said they didn’t even initially know what a sequester was — because the concept stemmed from the budget wars of the 1980s, when they were not in government.

At the Feb. 13 Senate Finance Committee hearing on Lew’s nomination to become Treasury secretary, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) asked Lew about the account in my book: “Woodward credits you with originating the plan for sequestration. Was he right or wrong?”

“It’s a little more complicated than that,” Lew responded, “and even in his account, it was a little more complicated than that. We were in a negotiation where the failure would have meant the default of the government of the United States.”

“Did you make the suggestion?” Burr asked.

“Well, what I did was said that with all other options closed, we needed to look for an option where we could agree on how to resolve our differences. And we went back to the 1984 plan that Senator [Phil] Gramm and Senator [Warren] Rudman worked on and said that that would be a basis for having a consequence that would be so unacceptable to everyone that we would be able to get action.”

In other words, yes.

But then Burr asked about the president’s statement during the presidential debate, that the Republicans originated it.

Lew, being a good lawyer and a loyal presidential adviser, then shifted to denial mode: “Senator, the demand for an enforcement mechanism was not something that the administration was pushing at that moment.”

That statement was not accurate.

On Tuesday, Obama appeared at the White House with a group of police officers and firefighters to denounce the sequester as a “meat-cleaver approach” that would jeopardize military readiness and investments in education, energy and readiness. He also said it would cost jobs. But, the president said, the substitute would have to include new revenue through tax reform.

At noon that same day, White House press secretary Jay Carney shifted position and accepted sequester paternity.

“The sequester was something that was discussed,” Carney said. Walking back the earlier statements, he added carefully, “and as has been reported, it was an idea that the White House put forward.”

This was an acknowledgment that the president and Lew had been wrong.

Why does this matter?

First, months of White House dissembling further eroded any semblance of trust between Obama and congressional Republicans. (The Republicans are by no means blameless and have had their own episodes of denial and bald-faced message management.)

Second, Lew testified during his confirmation hearing that the Republicans would not go along with new revenue in the portion of the deficit-reduction plan that became the sequester. Reinforcing Lew’s point, a senior White House official said Friday, “The sequester was an option we were forced to take because the Republicans would not do tax increases.”

In fact, the final deal reached between Vice President Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in 2011 included an agreement that there would be no tax increases in the sequester in exchange for what the president was insisting on: an agreement that the nation’s debt ceiling would be increased for 18 months, so Obama would not have to go through another such negotiation in 2012, when he was running for reelection.

So when the president asks that a substitute for the sequester include not just spending cuts but also new revenue, he is moving the goal posts. His call for a balanced approach is reasonable, and he makes a strong case that those in the top income brackets could and should pay more. But that was not the deal he made.

Read more from PostOpinions: Bob Woodward: Time for our leaders to delegate on the budget Robert J. Samuelson: The lowdown on Lew Jennifer Rubin: Jack Lew’s truth problem Eugene Robinson: The sequester madness

patteeu 02-22-2013 11:08 PM

In Direckshun's defense, he did post an article that described the scare tactics mode that he and his political superiors are employing, so he's not really trying to hide it.

listopencil 02-22-2013 11:45 PM

Do they have an empty suit lined up for 2016 yet?

notorious 02-23-2013 07:32 AM

"The Boy Who Cried Wolf"

Both sides are guilty of it. No one will listen when there really is a crisis.

Lex Luthor 02-23-2013 02:29 PM


Originally Posted by notorious (Post 9427708)
"The Boy Who Cried Wolf"

Both sides are guilty of it. No one will listen when there really is a crisis.

EXACTLY. This is not something the Democrats invented. Both sides have been doing this for decades.

Comrade Crapski 02-27-2013 09:21 AM

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Capitalism: A Hate Story

In Year 1 of Obama, two fat cats named Michael Moore and Harvey Weinstein released a movie. Their magnum opus was "Capitalism: A Love Story". The unsubtly sarcastic point after the colon was that capitalism was an unmitigated bag of evil. And to reaffirm the faith of capitalism-haters in the evils of capitalism, here was a movie put out by a bunch of corporations owned by millionaires.

The traditional image of the anti-capitalist as a ragamuffin who dies of consumption in his garret has always been at odds with the real image of the anti-capitalist as a rich man or the son of a rich man. When Obama launched his big push for higher taxes, he enlisted as his ally none other than the richest man in the country. And when Occupy Wall Street's demographics were broken down, the courageous opponents of capitalism turned out to be the sons and daughters of the upper class.

This sort of thing isn't a surprise, it's history. Lenin's father was a nobleman. Cuba's dictator attended Castro's wedding. The man of the people is rather often stuck at the bottom of the top of the pole. The people who make revolutions are not the dispossessed, but those who are close enough to see what power really looks like, but have no hope of wielding absolute power unless they enlist the mob. They are close enough to see the throne, but not close enough to non-violently sit down in it.

That's not even the case in America. Here we instead have the bizarre spectacle of Nicholas II and Batista calling for a revolution against the petite bourgeoisie. It's a class war being waged by billionaires against people earning six figures a year. It's millionaires making movies for profit using workers to denounce the practice of making things for profit using workers.

All of this is done in the name of democracy. Just look at the Democracy Alliance, an alliance of left-wing billionaires spending huge amounts of money to win elections. What could be more democratic than that except actually paying individuals for their vote. But just as there are bad capitalist movies and good capitalist anti-capitalist movies, there are bad billionaires who use their fortunes to influence the political process and good billionaires who use their fortunes to etc...

The Koch Brothers are bad. George Soros is good. Sheldon Adelson is bad. The Sandlers are good. The good billionaires on this list have arguably done far more damage to the little people and to the political process, but good money and bad money have nothing to do with real world consequences. Good billionaires give money to the left. Bad billionaires give money to the right or just swim in giant piles of it every evening before taking a cruise on their solid gold yachts.

We are told incessantly that income inequality is a serious issue by organizations receiving millions from the holders of billions to say that. But income inequality is only a serious issue in some sectors. It's fashionable to talk about the outrageous compensation packages for CEOs in for-profit companies, but not the outrageous compensation packages for CEOs in non-profit companies.

The president of a snack food companies who uses corporate profits to cover a huge salary is an evil pig, but the president of a charity who pulls in a huge salary using donations and government grants is a humanitarian. Again, the non-profit president is arguably a worse human being than the for-profit president, but it's not about the consequences or the moral weight of the act.

Good evil CEOs work at non-profits and do nothing while chewing up public money that is taken by force from the people. Bad evil CEOs oversee the production of productions that people voluntarily buy.

Similarly the university presidents of liberal arts colleges who saddle their students with six-figure debts in exchange for useless degrees are advancing the cause of knowledge, no matter how many dirty deals they make with financial institutions. But the presidents of for-profit schools that hand out useless degrees in exchange for five-figure debts are a blight on the educational landscape. It's not just anybody who can hand out useless degrees in exchange for debt. You have to know some Latin too.

Good people support taxing the middle class and bringing in huge numbers of unskilled workers to the country to work cheaply and then tax the middle class some more to cover their social benefits. And of course they're good people. They even offer the children of the middle class a chance to go to college and rack up six figures worth of student debt that they can then use to write essays protesting income inequality.

And there's no conspiracy to see here. If you think that you might as well suspect that the Democracy Alliance wasn't really about promoting democracy, but about using giant piles of ill-gotten loot to hijack that democracy.

Ever since the birth of democracy and even before it, politics has come down to who claims to care the most for the people. There was hardly a monstrous tyrant who didn't claim that his heart bled red for the people. Usually it was the people who ended up bleeding red, but the sentiment was there. We still suffer from a surplus of humanitarians who ache for the opportunity to take power and do the will of the people. And by the will of the people, they mean their own will.

It doesn't really matter if you call it capitalism or socialism or anythingism. Power is about power and money is about money. Strip away the labels and you have a lot of powerful people trading money for power with the agenda of accumulating more of both. It doesn't really matter what you call a billionaire who makes his fortune on currency speculation trying to dictate elections or a former politician who uses his clout to promote a crisis that his investments tend to profit from.

They're the good guys, if you listen to the people concerned with income inequality, which is to say that they give piles of money to the right causes and it would be impolite for all the good guys to notice that they make even bigger piles of money bashing capitalism.

The concern trolls of income inequality tell us that the escalating gap is a crisis, but that's another distraction. The issue isn't how big the gap between you and the CEO of Sears is. The issue is how much of a challenge it is for people to make it to the middle class and stay in the middle class. And that's not a problem that can be solved by taking more money from the CEO of Sears.

Confiscating wealth may be a tempting strategy if you're a Russian peasant in 1918, but the wealth redistribution invariably applies more to the largest segments of the population because even in a country where the poor really are poor, their resources can be indefinitely confiscated, while those of the rich cannot be.

The revolution may start with the merchants, but when all the wine is drunk and all the mansions are sacked, and Lenin has sold the best paintings in the museums to Armand Hammer (another good lefty tycoon) it trickles down to the peasants who retain wealth through sheer numbers. Armand Hammer flies the paintings home and the peasants get marched off to collective farms. The income inequality problem doesn't actually get solved, but no one talks about it anymore for fear of being shot.

It's always easy to frame the problem in terms of the hoarding of capital by the wealthy, but the wealthy aren't actually hoarding their wealth. The wealthiest Americans tend to give their wealth away through various foundations. Bill Gates is spending his fortune trying to wipe out Cholera. Ted Turner has plugged it into the United Nations. David Koch had given hundreds of millions of dollars to Lincoln Center and MIT. It's not a new tradition either. The names of Carnegie and Rockefeller are all over landmarks in New York City, including libraries and theaters.

If the ladder up the classes has gotten shakier, it is doubtfully the fault of the plutocrats for being rich. The 1 percent is not a new phenomenon in the country's history, nor is the denunciation of them for being rich. Americans have had a complicated relationship with wealth for a long time and that hasn't changed. What has changed is the rise of a third factor.

It's silly to talk about the conspicuous consumption of even the most outrageous rich, when the government rips through more money in a day than every billionaire combined could possibly spend. And that spending has been driven in no small part by agitation from political organizations funded by billionaires and millionaires, sometimes out of an insistence on political philanthropy and sometimes for darker motives.

Incomes haven't become more unequal because the rich have grabbed all the money and stuffed it into a vault, but because the traditional ladder of success has been cut away and replaced with a clumsy government elevator that sometimes comes and sometimes doesn't, and requires a whole lot of maintenance. But its defenders say that elevators are modern and smooth. They may not fit many people, but it is a quick easy ride. And the people down below are told to demand that the rich make more elevators for them and then everything will be alright.

The middle class wasn't wiped out by the individual accumulation of wealth, but by the political accumulation of wealth and power. The shift from capitalism to socialism means that the poor live better than they used to, but that they have nowhere to go. And that the middle class is on the road to joining them in a society with a small upper class and a huge lower class that is somehow meant to subsidize its own government benefits. The capitalist ladder over which millions could swarm has been traded in for a socialist elevator that takes you to the top floor if you denounce capitalism often enough, but mostly never goes anywhere.

Rather than a society of aspiring merchants and builders, we instead have a society of beggars and philosopher-kings. The beggars are expected to be angry and the philosopher-kings are expected to be charitable. Eventually the philosopher-kings will expect the beggars to work for very little in exchange for that charity and the beggars will find that social justice protests don't work well against machine gun nests. Some might think that's conspiracy, but it's mostly just history.

BucEyedPea 02-27-2013 10:48 AM

Harvey Weinstein was behind that one too? Good Lord, we're in trouble. He has a lot of power in Hollywood. No wonder Michelle got to give out an award this year while not even attending the AA. Hollywood is definately a propaganda tool for the left.

Comrade Crapski 02-27-2013 01:36 PM


Originally Posted by BucEyedPea (Post 9444453)
Hollywood is definately a propaganda tool for the left.

As is the entire piss stream media.

BucEyedPea 02-27-2013 01:44 PM


Originally Posted by Comrade Crapski (Post 9445997)
As is the entire piss stream media.

Yeah, they're part of that whole stream.

Comrade Crapski 02-27-2013 02:08 PM


Originally Posted by BucEyedPea (Post 9446072)
Yeah, they're part of that whole stream.

Comrade Barry and the Bolsheviks want their own politburo backed by a KGB with teeth so bad they can taste it. The PSM has done everything it can to give him the illusion he has one already.

Even Bob Woodward (not exactly Rush Limbaugh) has said as much.

BucEyedPea 02-27-2013 02:17 PM


Originally Posted by Comrade Crapski (Post 9446304)
Comrade Barry and the Bolsheviks want their own politburo backed by a KGB with teeth so bad they can taste it. The PSM has done everything it can to give him the illusion he has one already.

Even Bob Woodward (not exactly Rush Limbaugh) has said as much.

Many of his and their tactics are reminiscent of what those types did in other countries. Like Allende.

Comrade Crapski 02-27-2013 02:31 PM


Originally Posted by BucEyedPea (Post 9446387)
Many of his and their tactics are reminiscent of what those types did in other countries. Like Allende.

Barry was weened on communism.

La literatura 02-27-2013 02:37 PM

Look at this right-wing circle jerk of hatred and scare-tactics in this thread.

BucEyedPea 02-27-2013 02:44 PM

Oh look, one of the trolls has arrived.

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