Sunday, July 31, 2011

We'll See...

I really thought the Prez would invoke 14th Amendment.
Now there's a "deal" to avoid default. Some in the Tea Party are crowing, other TP-ers not so much.
just heard Rep. Grimm (TP) say that he would vote for the anti-New Deal. He said that President Obama has been on a "spending spree." (!) Really?
How can "journalists" let him get away with such a lie? So far, Dems hate the deal, TP's kinda hate it, too. Boehner sold it to caucus by gloating that taxes would not be raised.
Looks like it's gonna pass.
The deal--still in the "framework" phase--would raise Debt Ceiling right away, and form a bipartisan committee to study cutting 1 trillion $ from budget (if they can do it without tax reform, fine) by November.
(Didn't Boehner & Cantor walk away from a much BETTER deal for them two or three weeks ago?) hope for revenue is if T. P. Isn't able to keep Bush tax cuts from expiring.
Stay tuned...

The Winners?

Inspire Pro Painting

How Did You Do on the Test?

Here are the correct answers:

If your score was less than 100%, you will embarrass yourself and your state in Washington.


Having observed politicians in Congress on the recent debt ceiling debate, I have decided that--for the good of the Goververned--ALL candidates for national office be required to pass a simple civics test. We need to know before they begin to campaign--and certainly before their possible election--whether or not they understand the very job they want us to elect them to perform.
(RELAX, Voters--you are exempt from this requirement unless and untill you decide to run for office.)
Okay, pencils ready--Here is the test for political candidates.  (Candidates, don't worry--this is a “take-home test;” you are welcome to “ask for help, if needed”.)  

It is multiple-choice. HINT: only one answer is correct. Ready?

1. The three branches of the US Government are:

A) the people, Congress and the President;
B) the House, Senate and the Press;
C) the President, Congress and Supreme Court.
D) the House, Senate and the President;

2. The US Debt Ceiling is the amount of money:

A) the President would like to spend;
B) the Democrats would like to spend;
C) the Republicans would like to spend;
D) the Congress has already spent, plus the projected amount owed over the period of time decided by Congress.

3. All spending bills originate in:

A) the President’s office;
B) the House;
C) the Senate;
D) a bipartisan committee from the House and Senate

4. A bill becomes law when:

A) the House passes it;
B) the Senate passes it;
C) both the House and Senate pass it, and if there is disagreement on details, a conference committee makes changes, and then the President signs it;
D) both the House and Senate versions of the bill are sent to the President and he decides which one he likes best.

5. If the President vetoes a bill:

A) it goes back to the Senate and House where it must get a 2/3 vote of both chambers to over-ride the veto:
B) it goes back to the Senate and House where they change it, and it automatically becomes law;
C) it goes back to the Senate where it must get 60 votes before it becomes law;
D) it does not become law no matter what.

6. The number of Congressmen/women in the US House currently is:

A) 50;
B) 100;
C) 435;
D) 550.

7. The number of members of the US Senate is:

A) 50;
B) 100;
C) 2;
D) 500.

8. If one party controls (has the majority of members) the House, they get to elect the "boss" of the house. This person is known as:

A) the Majority Leader;
B) the Speaker;
C) the Majority Whip;
D) the President

9. If one party controls the Senate, their "boss" is called:

A) the President;
B) the Majority Leader;
C) the Leader of the Caucus;
D) the Majority Whip.

10. Each state’s representatives in Washington include:

A) two Senators and a variable number of House members based on population;
B) two Senators (one from each party) and House members based on party ratios in each state;
C) two Senators and six Congressmen/women;
D) Senators and Congressmen from the political party in the majority in that state.

11. To amend the Constitution of the United States:

A) The proposed amendment must have a majority of votes in both houses of Congress;
B) The proposed amendment must have two-thirds of the votes in each House of Congress and then be sent to the President for his signature or veto;
C) The proposed amendment must pass each house of Congress by a two-thirds vote, and must then be ratified by three-fourths of the states;
D) The proposed amendment must be passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the President.
Pencils down!
The correct answers will appear in my next Blog.
Good luck, SC Congressional Delegation!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Seriously. Relax. POTUS is smarter than any of us: he HAS it...

(For the Record: POTUS stands for "President Of The United States")
from the NY Times:

“There’s nothing that you can look at here that is signaling some revival in growth in the second half of the year, and in fact we may see another catastrophically weak quarter next quarter if things go wrong next week,” said Nigel Gault, chief United States economist at IHS Global Insight. By “things going wrong,” he said he means “if Congress actually starts implementing a massive contraction by suddenly cutting government spending immediately,” as many Republican representatives hope to do.

Prolonging the continuing talks in Washington to raise the amount of money the United States can borrow could also damage prospects for growth in the third quarter, he said, because the resulting uncertainty and threat of federal default are “surely paralyzing businesses and consumers,” making them reluctant to make the big purchases that keep the economy humming."

But I say, RELAX.
The President will not allow a Default.
Sure, he won't participate in Deficit Reduction Talks while he's in a hostage situation, but he doesn't have to. It is unprecedented to tie the Debt Ceiling to Deficit Reduction Legislation.
So, after he raises the Debt Ceiling by himself under the 14th Amemdment, he will THEN invite budget talks.
Even so, it may take another election to have serious negotiations that involve both tax AND entitlement reform. Because--judging from his Facebook page--my very own personal Congressman, Jeff Duncan, is more interested in protecting us from Sharia Law than he is in actually thinking for himself on budget matters. He and four other SC freshmen are taking their marching orders from God and Jim DeMint.

John Boehner


Now that the President has patiently & methodically exposed
Tea Party House Republucans as the irrational obstructionists he
knew they were, he is finally ready to take things into his own
Many liberals and Progressives have lamented for weeks that
Obama was betraying the very principals upon which he was elected.

But I was never worried.
I had seen and paid attention to Tea Party candidates, and I
took them at their word. It was clear to me--and, apparently, to
the President--that they would risk even default in order to
bring Obama down.

Few of the House Republican freshmen even understood the Debt Ceiling. It probably sounded to them like more tax money to use on bigger government. Many of them still don't grasp that it only means that we agree to pay the debts we have already incurred.

So they played into Obama's hands by insisting that the Debt Ceiling be tied to a budget bill. At first, they insisted that the bill consist of 87% cuts in spending and 13% revenue increases, remember?
Obama offered 85-15. The Republicans rejected it. As he came closer to their position, they panicked and insisted on 100% cuts with NO revenue.

Obama played along, offering massive cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Liberals were apoplectic. The President took fire from all sides.
But he always said that "nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to."

If there had been no White House budget negotiations; if the President had not called the leadership of both parties together day after day, for long hours of contentious haggling, the American people would never have learned the truth: that the Republicans never had any intention of accepting a deal from the President they have repeatedly vowed to defeat.

President Obama, a constitutional lawyer who was president of the Harvard Law Review,
used their principaled embrace of Grover Norquist's "no taxes" pledge to offer deals in
those negotiations that he knew they couldn't accept and that he knew he'd never have to honor.

Now that the House of Representatives has failed for the second time to pass a budget bill
that will pass the Senate, Obama seems more likely to get what he wanted in the first
place--a one-page, no frills, "clean" bill that does absolutely nothing except raise the Debt Ceiling.

If he doesn't get that, he will probably raise the Debt Ceiling on his own under a provision in the 14th Amendment.

That would no doubt cause great consternation; possibly even threats of lawsuits or impeachment.

But it would save the country's economy.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Okay, obviously I have learned to publish cartoons, but...

I haven't figured out how to delete DUPLICATES of cartoons...anyway, this cartoon was done on my iPad using "Inspire Pro."
(Essentially, you have to draw/paint with your fingers.)
I'm doing it all this way because my hurt shoulder makes it hard to work on my art tablet and laptop.
More to come!

Fwd: Inspire Pro Painting

Inspire Pro Painting

Debt Ceiling Debate--Civics 101

Bills do not become law unless they are passed by BOTH houses of Congress. If the House bill and the Senate bill do not match exactly, then they must be reconciled by a Conference Committee containing members of both houses and both parties.

The exact wording of the final bill must be agreed upon before it is sent to the President for his signature. If the President vetoes the bill, that veto can be overturned only if two-thirds of the members of the Senate vote to override.

The fact that the House has passed a bill their members can accept (Cut, Cap, Balance) is irrelevant because a majority of Senators have vowed not to pass it. There is no bill until BOTH chambers pass it.

As to the charge that the President somehow precipitated this "crisis" by failing to have a budget fight earlier; Debt Ceiling increases have never been tied to a budget fight before.

A Debt Ceiling increase has in the past been acknowledged by both parties to be necessary to the working of our government. As we all know by now, the Debt Ceiling was raised at least seven times without incident during the G. W. Bush administration, and eighteen times without incident under Reagan.

An earlier budget proposal from the President (!) would not have averted this showdown, as many have claimed.

The BUDGET should be debated--(and a budget that incudes spending cuts and revenue increases would be a good thing.)

But let's have THAT debate AFTER we pay the bills we have already incurred.