Marc Platt's Politics: I'm a Lefty
UPDATE (July 26, 2013):
John McCain: “We’re here to vote, we’re not here to block
Ted Cruz: “There may be more `wacko birds’ in the Senate than is suspected‘’
(Since I first posted this article in May, John McCain has teamed up with Chuck Shumer (D-NY) and several other senators to get Immigration legislation through the senate. McCain has BEEN trying to put coalitions together to knock the Tea Party off it's feet, before a government shutdown that could happen later this summer.)
John McCain v. Ted Cruz/Rand Paul...This is great TV and only a handful of us care to watch. McCain often calls Tea Party Republicans 'Wacko Birds.'
These guys are throwing down on the senate floor in a meaningful way that may change American politics forever.
What does this mean?
Could it mean that the only way to crush the Tea Party and their obstructionism-at-all-costs mantality?
How could this be done?
Enter Harry Reid, the befuddled Senate Majority Leader. If McCain and his old school U.S. Senate buddies were to align themselves with Democrats and actually get stuff done...Hmmm.
What if McCain were to grab some of the more moderate GOP members of the senate and create a block of Republicans who could vote with Democrats on certain bills and issues they feel passionatly about?
Would it take courage?
No it wouldn't. The Republican party is close to becoming obsolete anyway. The Tea Party element has no desire to help Americans. They want to help themselves.
I believe this HAS TO HAPPEN ASAP. The longer this goes on, the more likely it is these guys will lose their seats anyway. The mainstream GOP members MUST step up and crush these far right wing out-of-control Tea Party idiots. Michelle Bachmann is just the tip of the iceberg in continually calling for the repeal of Obamacare. Cruz and Paul are gaining some traction.
Reid needs to step up and change the filibuster rules. McCain needs to gather some of his buddies and create a voting block that cannot be stopped by Tea Party Senators. This would stop it cold.
Who would be in this voting block?
Here are my suggestions for McCain to try to grab while the going is hot:
1. Susan Collins (Maine) - The ONLY true moderate GOP Senator
2. Jeff Flake (Arizona) - Realistic chance. He took a beating in the polls after voted against background checks.
3. Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire) see Jeff Flake. Same deal.
4. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) has continually voted against GOP on certain issues like Dream Act.
5. Dean Heller (Nevada) - Harry Reid has some influence. Heller was appointed after Ensign resigned.
6. Mark Kirk (South Carolina) - He could be a short-term Senator if he is primaried by a more right wing guy.
7. Lindsay Graham (South Carolina) - buddies with McCain and Ayotte. He may have to make a bold move to retain his seat. Either go way right or take on "wacko-Birds" with McCain.
This will be an interesting summer in the Beltway. That is for sure.
What do these famous presidential quotes ALL have in common?
"..., I have never obstructed justice. And I think, too, that I can say that in my years of public life, that I welcome this kind of examination because people have got
to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook. I've earned everything I've got."
(Richard M. Nixon)
"A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions still tell me that's true, but the facts and the evidence tell me it is not. As the Tower board reported, what began as a strategic opening to Iran deteriorated, in its implementation, into trading arms for hostages."
"I did have a relationship with Ms Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong. It constituted a critical lapse in judgment and a personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely responsible.
"The main reason we went into Iraq was we thought he had weapons of mass destruction. It turns out he didn't have weapons of mass destruction..."
(George W. Bush)
These are all examples of REAL presidential scandals. These are four different examples of scandals that REALLY affected all Americans and they can ALL be directly tied DIRECTLY to the President of the USA.
1. Nixon misused his office to get political enemies.
2. Reagan was treasonous in trading arms for hostages with Iran. Iran was our enemy.
3. Bill Clinton lied about his affair and was duly censured by the congress.
4. George W. Bush misled the American public and Obama let him skate free without any prosecution.
Barack Obama is NOT doing a great job at the moment. I believe he is piloting a rudderless ship. He can fix this problem by bringing in a competent manager to take charge at the White House.
Obama has no one to tell him when he is floating off course. The 2nd term is the time to get things right.
The current "scandals" are NOT really scandals. They are examples of political incompetence and Obama needs to get someone like a Rahm Emanuel, James Carville or David Axelrod in the Oval Office ASAP or his legislative agenda will be toast. He will be crippled and NOT pick up seats in congress in 2014.
The Republicans have a little leverage right now, but they will screw it up because no one is in charge of THAT party either. House Speaker John Boehner called for "jail" for IRS officers. What a joke. The laws have been screwed up for five decades. The IRS mess is going to get cleaned up in a way the GOP will really detest now. ALL the political pacts are going to lose their tax exempt status (including the PROGRESSIVE ones).
The Citizens United ruling will be rendered useless for many of these "Organizations." They will be taxed just like everyone else and elections will be put on a level playing field once again.
The AP story is ridiculous. Obama is not directly involved. Eric Holder may end up paying for this one, but if you have a good memory you will remember the Bush White House tapped MILLIONS of phones. Remember the whole Deputy Assistant US AttorneyJohn Yoo affair and his "LETTER" authorizing phone taps for national security, etc...
The bottom line is these Obama Administration misteps (mostly indirect) are lame, BUT not enough to get the American people riled up. This is not game-changing stuff. This brings me to Benghazi.
This was tragic. Four Americans died at this facility in Banghazi that was mostly being used for a covert CIA operation. The Republicans are focused on the reaction of the Obama administration in the days following the attacks. REMEMBER Benghazi was not the only facility in danger on September 11, 2012.
Here is the main problem for the GOP story. The Republicans are mostly responsible for the inadequate funding of the embassies. Their obstruction backfired on them. Obama has taken the high road on this fact and not pointed fingers at the congress members who voted against the extra funding Hillary Clinton asked for in 2011. She warned them at the time that our security at these facilities would be compromized. She was right.
Yes my friends. Benghazi will go away.
The Obama-friendly media coalition is evaporating and he needs to step up and right the ship. He WILL serve out his full term, but how much damage will be done?
Right now Barack Obama is not doing the best job, but he has NOT committed the horrible atrocities these other guys did, RIGHT?
Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
(Barack H. Obama)
WHat is going on at the White House? They are letting the narrative get away because of their own disdain for the process. What process do you ask? The process of the opposing party and the OTHER opposing party known as the political press.
Let's start with the AP story. The Department of Justice admitted to gathering info on AP writers and collecting phone numbers and other info. The press IS REALLY the 4th branch of government and they don't take kindly to getting their fellow reporters bugged and phone tapped. It doesn't matter that lives are at risk and there may be an actual threat. The Bush administration spied on us all the time and the congress did next to nothing. Obama IS responsible for the DOJ in the end and he must take action. Eric Holder has is ass in the grinder right now, but is far too crafty to get caught in any inappropriate activities. Holder will once again be able to get by the Republican landmines that have been there since he became the first African American Attorney General.
The IRS targeted the NAACP in 2004 and Democrats barely raised an eyebrow in congress. The press made it a sidenote in its reporting. But now the Obama White House lords over an IRS that targets right-leaning organizations that are clearly political and are trying to get tax exempt status. Obama must fire people in the IRS immediately. Heads hav e to roll on this one.
Most Americans don't even realize that the IRS is properly looking for cheaters. They were doing what they are supposed to do, look for red flags and people trying to unfairly get tax exempt status. The only problem is that they didn't ALSO go after OFA, the Democrats version or any of the OTHER left-leaning organizations. That was a bad move. Mr. Shulman, who actually was the IRS executive (appointed by George W. Bush) at the time, is no longer there. The current regime is equally inept.
Benghazi. This is NOT Obama's fault. He has done everything since that terrible week last September in which Susan Rice went on the Sunday morning shows and gave bad and OLD info to the public. Benghazi will NOT be the thing that Republicans are able to "GET" Obama on. They are wasting their time with this political theater. It is tragic that the 4 dimplomats were killed, but there was no way planes could have reached the compound in a timely manner anyway. This was a CIA deal. That is what will come out in more detail in the next few months. Chris Stevens was on his own, without proper cover. That sucks and should be remedied. The compound was being used for CIA covert activities. THAT is the elephant in the room here folks.
Yes, Mr. Obama is having a bad month. He deserves some of the heat. He deserves heat for his mishandling of the narrative on the DOJ/AP story and the narrative on the IRS disaster.
My solution to his problems is the same as Ronald Reagan bringing in Baker when Iran/Contra happened and when Bill Clinton brought new blood in to help clean up the Lewisky debacle in 1997-8.
Is "Mr. Clean" from Pulp Fiction available?
Here is an idea...Obama needs to check his ego at the door and bring back either Rahm Emauel or David Axelrod to come in and restore order to a runaway White House.
“We are proud of you...You are viewed with admiration and respect”
(Sen. John McCain, R- Ariz. to Hillary Clinton during her Benghazi Testimony January, 2013)
Benghazi is and was a mess. Why were we even there without adequate protection for our diplomats? The answer is becoming apparent that there were a lot of CIA operatives at the compound and NOT a lot of diplomatic action at the time the compound was attacked.
In my opinion, the Obama administration needs to come clean about this and the sooner , the better.
I also believe that the "scandal" and "cover-up" accusations are BS. The Republicans in congress can't even tell the American people WHAT the "scandal" and "cover-up" is.
Why do you ask?
Here is what I think.
At the time of Benghazi (and the other protests) on Sepember 11, 2012, Obama was trying to get re-elected. At the time, the GOP tried to make political hay out of it. It completely backfired during that 2nd debate when Mitt Romney tried to back Obama into the the use of the word "terror" the day after the attack. We all remember Mitt with a lot of egg on his face. I don't need to go throught whole thing.
Why are the Republicans trying to take every advantage of these hearings that they keep calling for?
Hillary Rodham Clinton, our former Secretary of State.
The GOP hopefuls like Rand Paul and Marco Rubio are tweeting and going on Fox News with all these statements indicating Mrs. Clinton is unfit to serve as our 45th President because of Benghazi. The narrative has changed from Obama and Susan Rice's fault for the Sunday Morning debacle to IT IS ALL HILLARY'S FAULT.
Mr. Obama has no more elections to run and win. They all know that she will be a formidable candidate in 2016 if she even runs. With her popularity still soaring they MUST try to bring her numbers down to even have a chance.
Mrs. Clinton and former President Bill Clinton are VERY smart people. They got her out of the State Department early enough so she can have a chance if she wants to run and win.
I am of the opinion that Benghazi was tragic. So was Iraq and EVERY OTHER event since September 11, 2001 that has involved our military forces and diplomats. It is a tough racket. Obama will certainly have his ghands full with the Middle East throughout the remainder of his time in office.
Benghazi will NOT make a difference in Hillary Clinton's run in 2016, if she does run.
Astair & Rogers, Abbott & Costello, Lennon & McCartney AND Reinhart & Rogoff. What do all these pairs have in common?
Each of these twosomes contributed something in their field that was lauded and praised by the general public. Each of these teams excelled in their fields and are accepted as the top of their professions.
Most people do not have the vaguest idea who Reinhart and Rogoff are. Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff are Harvard economists who provided an economic study that argues that higher public debt slows down economic growth when the GDP rises above a 90% threshold. Reinhart and Rogoff did the work and because 99% of us have no idea how the economy actually works, their findings were pretty much taken as gospel.
Uh oh. Umass did it's own study. 28-year-old grad student Thomas Herndon and his two economics professors, Michael Ash and Robert Pollin actually took Reinhart and Rogoff's acclaimed and accepted study and ran the numbers several times and were NOT able to reproduce Reinhart and Rogoff's results. Herndon called the famous pair and asked them to provide him with their spreadsheet. Uh oh. Reinhart and Rogoff's spreadsheet had 5 missing columns. Five countries, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, and Canada–were removed and...
The NEW numbers with the PROPER GDP Growth (example Spain was corrected from 2.8% to the CORRECT 2.2%) completely debunked the Harvard study. Why do you ask am I making such a big deal out of this debunked study?
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) has been touting the Harvard study since 2011 and making it the basis for the spending cuts and current Sequester that is slowly dragging our economy down even further. Boehner and McConnell are also guilty of using the findings of this study to govern.
The Congressional Republicans have had little good news in the past five years. They erroneously thought this Harvard study legitimized the austerity they so want to impose on American citizens, based on THEIR idealogy. This isn't what is best for everyone and the majority AND the weak, who cannot defend themselves.
This REALLY pisses me off. Paul Ryan is a jerk to not even try to do anything to help his citizens. We get bogus budgets from this guy and his bullshit committee every year. Obama can't even get his budget to congress without Ryan shitting all over it.
This is no way to govern. The GOP is making itself obsolete. I am starting to hope that Hillary Clinton DOES run in 2016. It will really be over for this 'PARTY" then. She has a lot of old scores to settle and she will.
I say keep ignoring the will and desire of the public GOP. This latest "Background Check" fiasco is just the start of the polls sinking lower and lower. Republican Senators Kelly Ayotte and Jeff Flake were politically stupid to blindly follow the NRA on this watered-down garbage bill that Manchin & Toomey tried to get passed in bi-partisan fashion. The poll numbers for a lot of the senators who voted against background checks are sinking. GOP PA Senator Pat Toomey went UP five points after co-sponsering the bill with Democrat Joe Manchin. Hey Republicans...Wake the fuck up.
There will be so much happening this spring and summer with Syria, Iran, Isreal and the U.S. Congress, it will be hard to keep track of the scorecard.
Rest assured. We will keep track and burn the GOP house down in the next two election cycles.
Much credit and love to 28-year-old Thomas Herndon and his two professors. They did themselves and their country proud on this one.