ChrisWeigant.com

Friday Talking Points [192] -- Obama Picking His Fights

[ Posted Friday, January 6th, 2012 – 15:56 PST ]

Welcome back, everyone, to our weekly political roundup! We've been away for three weeks, two of which were taken up by our annual year-end political awards columns, and last week was way too close to New Years' Eve to think straight (that's our excuse anyway), so we just tossed up a frivolous column to fill the space. But it's a new year, so it's time to reapply nose to grindstone and get down to brass tacks and all those other Puritan work-ethic metaphors.

I have to say, while the Republicans have been having their three-ring primary circus, President Obama has been looking better and better. Both in comparison to the Republican field (of nightmares, so to speak), and also because Obama's been making progress on his own.

The best news came today, as the official unemployment rate came down to 8.5 percent. This is one of those things that actually filters out of the wonktastic universe (in which we all live) to the American-at-large Joe-Sixpack public. I would be willing to bet that most readers of this column already knew that this Friday was Unemployment Number Release Day, right? Whereas the vast majority of Americans simply don't pay such close attention to politics -- but they will indeed hear that 8.5 percent number in the next few days.

It is, of course, too soon to tell, but this will likely help Obama's job approval polling numbers -- which are already on the rise. If the trend of improving employment continues, it could quite possibly yank the rug out from the entire campaign Republicans have teed up for this year -- so look for Republicans to try and convince America that things aren't really getting any better, over the next month or so. In other words, Republicans will be cheerleading for the immediate failure of the American economy, for base political reasons. So pop some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy!

Adding icing to the cake for Obama was the news that the American auto industry seems to be fully recovered. Another feather in Obama's cap that Republicans have been screaming about since the bailouts happened -- and another issue Republicans are going to find themselves on the wrong side of, especially in such crucial electoral states as Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.

Obama -- backed up by Senate Democrats -- picked a fight in December and came out of it smelling like a rose, while Republicans came out of the fray smelling like the stuff you spread around the roots of roses in order to help them grow. Ahem. What's more, we're going to fight this battle all over again right after the State Of The Union speech, as Congress reconvenes. The extension of the payroll tax holiday was truly a perfect issue for Obama, since Republicans had to resort to pretzel logic for why they were (1.) against a tax cut, and (2.) demanding that middle-class tax cuts be paid for, when they've never done so for millionaires' tax cuts. Once again, we're going to fight Round Two of this cage match in February -- and Obama's going to win that round, too.

Oh, and while this column was away, Obama ended the war in Iraq. All-around, a pretty good couple of weeks for the president. Which, as previously mentioned, has already begun to help him in the job approval polling.

Did we miss anything? Oh, a baby stuck its hand in the presidential mouth during a holiday photo-op, which was downright adorable.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

Actually, we did miss something -- which we intentionally held back for the awards section.

Obama just picked a fight with Senate Republicans -- even though he didn't even need to (at least, on the level he chose to pick this particular fight). This was a bold move, and should be seen as the president hauling off and smacking the Republican Party upside the head... and then taunting: "What are you going to do about it, huh?" Which, it bears mentioning, the Left has been waiting for ever since he was elected.

Obama made four recess appointments this week, one to head the newly-formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and three to the National Labor Relations Board. The N.L.R.B. had dropped to two members (out of five), and thus could not even form a quorum to get anything done. The C.F.P.B. head has been blocked by Senate Republicans who have sworn (in writing) that they'd never vote for any candidate for the job, because they hate the fact that the agency was created and they are still in a monstrous (and childish) snit over this fact.

Both of these fit in beautifully with Obama's re-election strategy. Obama is fighting for consumers and for workers; Republicans are fighting for Big Banking and Wall Street. Obama has adopted the campaign slogan "We can't wait!" and this also is a perfect fit for his actions this week. By now, even hermits living in caves have figured out that Congress is seriously dysfunctional (the percent of Americans who approve of the job Congress is doing is actually lower than the percent who think America should become a Communist nation, for example). Obama is basing a large part of his campaign on what he can manage to accomplish without dealing with the congressional gridlock, and this is quite likely a winning political strategy.

But the real bit of glee for Democrats (even the Progressive, Populist, and Liberal wings of the party) is that Obama could have avoided the magnitude of this fight -- and he didn't. Instead, Obama deliberately chose the most confrontational way possible to accomplish his goal of appointing his nominees. That, to be blunt, is quite a difference from the bipartisan-seeking Obama of yore.

Obama could have chosen three methods of making these appointments (this gets a little technical). He could have made the appointments during the gap between "the first session of the 112th Congress" and the "second session" -- which happened on January 3rd, as is mandated in the Constitution. This tiny window of time has been used by previous presidents, all the way back to Teddy Roosevelt. Or, Obama could have used his constitutional power to force Congress into adjournment, and then immediately made his recess appointments. Instead, Obama deliberately (one day after the session gap, just in case the point wasn't obvious) threw down the gauntlet, and declared that the pro forma sessions of the Senate were -- de facto and de jure -- actually a recess. Since the Constitution is actually silent on what constitutes a "recess" this becomes a separation-of-powers issue which may be eventually fought out in the courts.

But the whole point is -- he didn't have to do it this way. Obama -- quite intentionally, and quite publicly -- smacked the Republicans across the face and dared them to make an issue of it. Obama feels he's on the winning side of this issue, both legally and politically -- and in the court of public opinion.

For this breathtakingly bold action -- the first time we believe we've ever used that phrase for Obama in his entire presidency -- Barack Obama is most definitely the Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week.

The 2012 election just got a whole bunch more interesting.

[Congratulate President Barack Obama on the White House contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

OK, just to show that we're not sycophants here, we've also got to award Barack Obama at least a (Dis-)Honorable Mention for signing the defense bill that Congress laid on his desk. This bill codifies some "anti-terrorism" practices begun under George W. Bush that some future president will likely have to atone for (one would like to hope, at any rate), such as indefinite detention of suspected terrorists without trial or even being charged with anything. This slipped under a lot of people's radar (no thanks to the media missing it almost completely), but we did indeed notice. Obama tried to soften the blow by issuing a signing statement declaring he'd be judicious in his application of these powers, but that does nothing to rein in any future presidents from doing as they see fit. Which is, to put it mildly, problematic.

But the Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week award goes to a local Washington D.C. city councilman, Harry Thomas Junior. While Thomas did the right thing this week, by both resigning his council seat and by pleading guilty in front of a judge, this in no way excuses the fact that he was in front of that judge for embezzling $350,000 of government money -- and cheating on his taxes, to boot. Not only does he become the first D.C. councilman charged (and convicted) of a felony, he also now has a MDDOTW award to hang on his wall.

For shame, Councilman, for shame.

[Contact Councilman Harry Thomas Junior on his official contact page (while it still exists, better hurry), to let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 192 (1/6/12)

Obama's bold move on the recess appointments will likely be Topic A for politicians this weekend (or perhaps Topic B, behind the New Hampshire primary). So Democrats should be prepared!

Obama has brilliantly put Democrats into a political position that Republicans are more used to occupying -- that of taking the high road and making sweeping statements, while your opponents are forced to get way off into the weeds of a "process argument" that makes people's eyes glaze over.

So grasp this opportunity! Relish the fight! Here are but a few humble ideas of how to accomplish this, for Democrats everywhere to consider using this weekend.

 

1
   Fighting for Main Street

We're going to try to keep these short and sweet this week. Always lead off with the highest road you can travel. In this case, it's easy.

"President Obama, by appointing a chief of the new consumer watchdog agency, has shown he is more than willing to fight for the middle-class consumer's rights. The Republicans, on the other hand, are showing -- once again -- that they are more interested in kowtowing to the big banks on Wall Street. Obama fights for Main Street, Republicans fight for Wall Street -- it's as simple as that."

 

2
   We can't wait!

This has become a rallying cry for Obama's 2012 campaign, and it needs to be picked up and echoed by Democrats everywhere, because it certainly does resonate against a do-nothing Congress.

"You know what? Republicans are arguing, essentially, that America should just put everything on hold and wait until they control both houses of Congress and the White House. Well you know what? We can't wait! America simply cannot wait that long to get some things done."

 

3
   Up-or-down vote!

I've been pushing this one for a long time, and I am still astonished that in press releases from prominent congressional Democrats, they fail to use this phrase. This is something which sounds eminently reasonable and fair to most Americans, which is why Republicans have always gotten such good mileage out of it in the past.

"President Obama wouldn't have had to make these recess appointments if Senate Republicans would allow the president's nominees a simple up-or-down vote. If Republicans were doing their constitutional duty and allowing such votes, we wouldn't be where we are today. Instead, they hide behind a filibuster -- which is not in the Constitution, by the way -- and block a man who received 53 votes in the Senate from being confirmed. Give us an up-or-down vote on nominees, and the president won't have to make any more recess appointments."

 

4
   The real power grab

Republicans will be flinging this particular phrase at Democrats this weekend, so be ready for it!

"Power grab? Did you just say 'power grab'? Excuse me, but the real power grab happened when over 40 Republican senators sent a letter to the president stating that they wouldn't vote for anyone to be confirmed to be the head consumer watchdog -- because they hate the fact that Congress approved this bureau in the first place. That is unprecedented. That is an abuse of power. That is trying to undo a law by killing an agency before it is formed. And that, my friend, is the real power grab here. Obama was merely reclaiming the power vested in him by the United States Constitution to staff up the executive branch of the government."

 

5
   Get back to work!

Nancy Pelosi is certainly one to strike while the iron's hot. Today, she got Democrats back to Washington, to work on the year-long extension of the payroll tax cut. Assistant House Minority Leader James Clyburn tried to make a motion to start negotiations with Republicans, but they wouldn't even allow him to speak on the House floor. So much for being "in session," eh? Pelosi has a fantastic press release on this, if you hadn't heard about it -- chock full of most-excellent talking points. Here's the best one, from the Minority Leader herself:

We were told with great vehemence yesterday that Congress was in session. That's why we went to the floor today to call upon the conferees to get to work. The American people are crying out for jobs. They want us to work together. We can do that. I don't know what the Republicans are afraid of. Where are they? They are telling us that they were in late in December so they can't be here in January? What is this one month on, one month off? The American people want jobs. We have a job to do. We can't wait.

 

6
   Recess!

This is the only talking point in the bunch that really gets down in the weeds of the process argument. It should be reserved for use, in exasperation, when some Republican fulminates about how Obama is "trampling on the Constitution" or some other such folderol.

"You know what -- when I was a kid, we didn't care what it was called, when we went out on the playground and had a good time, we were happy. Recess is what we called it, and recess is what it was. Right now, Democrats in the House are in Washington begging Republicans to get back to work. Republicans are out having fun on their own particular playgrounds, and not here in D.C. doing the people's business. You keep harping on about the Constitution, well I'd like you to show me exactly where in the text of the Constitution it defines the word 'recess.' I'll even help you out -- don't bother looking, because the Constitution is silent on what a recess is. So please, before you accuse people of 'trampling on the Constitution,' you might want to take ten minutes and actually read it, first. It's a fascinating document, as I'm sure you'll agree... after you read it, that is."

 

7
   Dubya's legal team weighs in

I saved this one for last. Just because.

"So far, one Republican senator has agreed with President Obama's ability to make recess appointments as he just did, and I'd like to quote from an editorial which ran in the Washington Post back in 2010, as advice to President Barack Obama. Quote: What's the point of these phony 'pro forma sessions'? They serve but one purpose: to prevent the president from exercising his constitutional authority to make recess appointments ... the Senate cannot constitutionally thwart the president's recess appointment power through pro forma sessions ... The president should consider calling the Senate's bluff ... The alternative will likely be greater gridlock in Washington. This practice will inevitably become the standard operating procedure, and the recess appointment power could become a virtual dead letter -- undermining what the Founders viewed as an essential tool for the effective functioning of our government. Unquote. This editorial also references The Federalist Papers and the Senate Judiciary Committee's writings. Oh, did I mention that it was written by two high-ranking officials from the Justice Department of George W. Bush? Sorry, I should have mentioned that."

-- Chris Weigant

 

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: Democrats For Progress
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

160 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [192] -- Obama Picking His Fights”

  1. [1] 
    jbl_inAZ wrote:

    Or in other words, to quote Jon Stewart (or someone on The Daily Show):

    "How is filling a position that Congress created an arrogant, lawless abuse of presidenti­al power?"

    (I realize that it's a bit simplistic, but it's short and sweet.)

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    and should be seen as the president hauling off and smacking the Republican Party upside the head... and then taunting: "What are you going to do about it, huh?"

    In other words, the President was acting like an obnoxious bully...

    And the Left ate it all up...

    Which, it bears mentioning, the Left has been waiting for ever since he was elected.

    That says something about the Left..

    Something not very nice...

    Goes back to what I have always said. The Left loves it when the President acts like a Republican in this regard.

    It also agrees perfectly with the point I made a couple days ago.

    This had absolutely NOTHING to do with the CFPB. All the claims by people here that the agency must have a director was nothing but crocodile tears...

    This move was a political move to serve a re-election agenda... PERIOD...

    So, who was right?? :D

    "Whooooo's house???? Ron's house.. I said 'whoooooo's house??? Ron's house... Say what!!??"
    -Matt Damon, DOGMA

    :D

    Obama feels he's on the winning side of this issue, both legally and politically -- and in the court of public opinion.

    {{{cough}}} Title X Section 1066 {{cough}}

    Obama tried to soften the blow by issuing a signing statement

    “[I]t is a clear abuse of power to use such statements as a license to evade laws that the president does not like or as an end-run around provisions designed to foster accountability. I will not use signing statements to nullify or undermine congressional instructions as enacted into law.”
    -Senator Barack Obama
    http://www.boston.com/news/politics/2008/specials/CandidateQA/question4/

    I'm just sayin'......

    Michale

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    "How is filling a position that Congress created an arrogant, lawless abuse of presidenti­al power?"

    Why is getting intel from scumbag terrorists in order to stop more killing of innocent people a bad thing???

    Michale

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    As far as #3 UP OR DOWN VOTE goes...

    Democrats are only for UP OR DOWN Votes when they are the majority Party..

    They fight tooth and nail AGAINST up or down votes when they are the minority...

    Regarding RECESS...

    Most knowledgable people are making any Constitutional claims..

    The intelligent people are simply saying that Obama violated established precedent by doing what he did... Precedent that was partially established by the Obama Administration itself!!

    How can we trust a leader who doesn't even follow his OWN rules???

    Answer: We can't...

    Michale

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    Why is getting intel from scumbag terrorists in order to stop more killing of innocent people a bad thing???

    That's one of the sad drawbacks of having a Democrat President who is more Bush than Bush was..

    We can't have a moral/ethical/effectiveness debate on the merits of torture and counter terrorism.. :(

    It's sad, as that is one of my finest and most knowledgeable areas of expertise...

    Michale

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    Most knowledgable people are making any Constitutional claims..

    DOH!!!!

    That SHOULD read:

    Most knowledgable people aren't making any Constitutional claims..

    My bust....

    Michale

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    On a totally different tangent.... (no, not THAT tangent... :D)

    Has anyone been having trouble with the site looking funky after a post or refresh??

    http://sjfm.us/temp/cw10.jpg

    I have just installed a new Motherboard into my system (3.2 Ghz Quad Core with 8 Gigs DDR3 RAM (whose yer daddy!!!)) :D) which necessistated a complete format and re-install of the OS (Windows 7 Ultimate)...

    So I don't know if it's me or if it's the site..

    Anyone??? Anyone??? Beuhler??

    Michale

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Sorry.. Another tangent...

    dsws,

    Are you still a member of StratFor??

    If you are, drop me an email.. michale AT emm eff see see eff ell DOT us

    Michale

  9. [9] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    Pick your battles. These are words every adoptive parent has heard over and over and over from social workers. Pick your battles. You can't win them all, so don't even try to fight the battles you know you'll lose. And they are right. You have a window of opportunity. Use it wisely.

    This is what Obama is doing. A wounded presidency cannot fight every battle. Pick your battles. When a bill passes both houses by > 66%, it is probably not worth it to veto so you can then be a loser when it is passed over your veto. So do the best you can with a bad situation.

    Political reality intrudes its ugly head on occasion. Only fake pundit liberals and people who wish harm to this president are fervent in their belief that he is a bad president.

    Pick your battles.

  10. [10] 
    Michale wrote:

    DF

    You can't win them all, so don't even try to fight the battles you know you'll lose.

    While I recognize the logic of such an attitude, it really rubs me the wrong way..

    Seems kinda a cowardly way to live your life.. Always playing it safe..

    The easy battles aren't really worth much.. It's the hard battles that build character...

    Show me a leader who always plays it safe and I'll show you a crappy leader...

    Michale

  11. [11] 
    Michale wrote:

    Pick your battles. You can't win them all, so don't even try to fight the battles you know you'll lose.

    "I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
    -Michael Jordan

    Political reality intrudes its ugly head on occasion. Only fake pundit liberals and people who wish harm to this president are fervent in their belief that he is a bad president.

    Really??

    So, you don't believe that a person could have a sincere and honest opinion regarding President Obama that is different from yours??

    That anyone who believes Obama is a bad President is a "fake" or just wants to harm the President.

    It's impossible that someone could actually think Obama is a bad president and be as sincere as you are in YOUR opinion of President Obama.

    Is THAT what you really believe???

    WOW....

    Michale

  12. [12] 
    dsws wrote:

    The Senate has the right to withhold its consent to nominations, and it has the right to set the rules by which it does so. That includes the right to set the rules so that 59 yea and 41 nay means the nays win. It's really stupid to do so -- but only stupid, not unconstitutional.

    The only exception is implicit in the rule-making power itself: the Senate can choose to exercise a power only negatively, but it can't remove one of its powers. So it can make rules that effectively preclude approving any nominees (using the rule-making power to choose never to exercise the confirmation power positively), but it can't make rules that preclude making any further change to the rules (removing the rule-making power).

  13. [13] 
    dsws wrote:

    dsws,

    Are you still a member of StratFor?

    I never was. I still receive emails of their free-sample articles, though.

  14. [14] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    dsws[12]

    In english please?

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    dsws,

    Ahhh, OK.. They got hacked last week and the recent emails allegedly from them are quite interesting. :D

    Michale

  16. [16] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    CW,

    This was a bold move, and should be seen as the president hauling off and smacking the Republican Party upside the head

    would you clarify whether or not you're saying this was the primary reason for making these appointments, or merely the reason for the particular tactic. on the previous thread michale is using your words as an authority to claim the former rather than the latter.

    i contend that obama felt the appointments had to be made anyway. since the NLRB board went down to 2 members on December 31 when craig becker's term expired, and without 3 it couldn't function, it needed members. the CFPB couldn't function without a leader, which over 40 Senators signed a letter saying they would filibuster, regardless of who that leader was. i think the way obama appointed them was an addendum rather than the primary motivation - mostly, president obama just wants to look like he's trying to do his job.

    DF,

    Only fake pundit liberals and people who wish harm to this president are fervent in their belief that he is a bad president.

    how do you define "bad president?" he's been awful for me personally, although certainly more competent than the preceding administration. but that isn't saying much. his foreign policy has been different from bush's in that it has been much more successful, but otherwise it's been almost exactly the same. nonetheless, it seems to me that killing hostile foreigners and forcing a corporate agenda on the nation's schools are about the only things he's done more than halfway.

    dan,

    So it can make rules that effectively preclude approving any nominees (using the rule-making power to choose never to exercise the confirmation power positively), but it can't make rules that preclude making any further change to the rules (removing the rule-making power).

    huh?

    ~joshua

  17. [17] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Joshua -

    The "smack upside the head" wasn't the recess appointments, it was the tactic. This was obvious (to me) because he did it one day after he could have used the tactic pioneered by Teddy Roosevelt, and the GOP would have had less reason to scream about it. Because he did what he did, it truly was a smack upside the head.

    Michale -

    How can you argue (at the same time) that Obama is (A) acting like an obnoxious bully by leading in a direction Republicans don't want to go, and (B) cowardly for only picking the easy battles?

    Does not compute. Doublethink of the purest form. Obama led with his recess appointment. You may not agree with how or where he led, but he led. Period. Deal with it.

    OK, folks, gotta run. Won't be able to answer comments until late tomorrow, just for everyone's information...

    -CW

  18. [18] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    nypoet,

    Sorry, bad president was a shorthand. You know, for "worst president we've ever had, ever will have, could possibly have" ...

    As far as what he's done?

    Health care reform. He got something passed. You don't have to like it, I don't particularly like (didn't go far enough). But more got done than got done during Clinton's try.

    DADT is gone. You don't have to like the way it happened, I don't like the way it happened. It's gone. Santorum be damned, it won't be back.

    DOMA is not being defended by the DOJ. It is quite likely to not be upheld by the Supreme's.

    We are not in a 2nd recession. Shit happens but we ain't there yet.

    Quadaffi is gone. Maybe he would've left, maybe we should have killed him, but he's gone.

    Osama BinLaden is dead. Maybe it should have been done differently, but 10 years after Dubya declared war on him, he's dead.

    and a bunch of other stuff. Look it up. There's more than meets the eye.

  19. [19] 
    Osborne Ink wrote:

    Chris, don't forget that by making his move on Wednesday instead of Tuesday, his appointments last to the end of the Senate term. Evidence of planning.

  20. [20] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Chris, don't forget that by making his move on Wednesday instead of Tuesday, his appointments last to the end of the Senate term. Evidence of planning.

    Matt,

    this is true, but the final decision on how to proceed could have been made at any time from a year prior to a day prior, and i don't think there's conclusive evidence either way.

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    How can you argue (at the same time) that Obama is (A) acting like an obnoxious bully by leading in a direction Republicans don't want to go, and (B) cowardly for only picking the easy battles?

    Obama WAS acting like an obnoxious bully, if your description is accurate... Which I believe it was...

    My post to DF was more on the general idea of leadership, not with Obama specifically...

    Leaders don't pick the easy battles and avoid the battles that appear too tough..

    Leaders take the tough battles head on...

    The quote from Michael Jordan is ample example of true leadership...

    Obama is not a good leader *IF* he only takes on the easy wins and ignores the tough battles...

    Nothing I have said is inconsistent with anything else I have said...

    On another note, did ya catch the HuffPo reference on SUPERNATURAL!??? :D

    It was frak'in awesome!!!! :D

    Joshua,

    and i don't think there's conclusive evidence either way.

    Perhaps nothing conclusive...

    However, if it quacks like a duck, it's in all likelihood a duck....

    The evidence is mounting that this was nothing more than a political stunt for the benefit of Obama's base to further his re-election...

    Ya gotta admit.. They guy could use ALL the help he can get, considering he's sporting Carter numbers...

    Michale

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    Joshua,

    it needed members. the CFPB couldn't function without a leader,

    I am constrained to point out that the CFPB is STILL without a leader...

    Title X, Section 1066 specifically states that the SecTreas is in charge at the CFPB until such time as the Senate confirms the president's nominee...

    As far as the law is concerned, nothing has changed...

    Cordray has absolutely NO authority at the CFPB...

    Of course, that's what the law says..

    It's likely that the Obama Administration and Democrats will continue to ignore the law....

    Michale

  23. [23] 
    dsws wrote:

    DerFarm[14]
    dsws[12]
    In english please?

    joshua[16]
    huh?

    Senators can filibuster a nominee if the Senate says they can. The Constitution has no problem with it. The Senate can give its consent to nominations, or withhold that consent. And there's nothing self-referential about setting up the rules to bias the process toward confirmation or toward rejection.

    But (at least beyond some point) you can't filibuster an attempt to fix the filibuster. The Constitution says the Senate has the power to make its own rules. The Senate can't say "No, we're going to take that power away from our chamber: all future Senators are stuck with what the Senate today decided they are."

    It's up to the Senate where "beyond some point" is. The VP could rule from the chair that a filibuster of a change to the filibuster rule was out of order, on the grounds that the present Senate cannot be deprived of a power explicitly granted by the Constitution, even by an act of the Senate in the past. The ruling would then be submitted to the Senate itself for an up-or-down vote.

    Ahhh, OK.. They got hacked last week and the recent emails allegedly from them are quite interesting. :D

    Doh, I deleted them unread, after reading the real one from them. I didn't expect entertainment value from the scammer.

    The quote from Michael Jordan is ample example of true leadership.

    Michael Jordan picked his shots. He never took a shot from under the other basket, just because he had the ball. He took a lot of shots, but in the first year I found a number for, he averaged almost four assists per game.

    The analogy works 100% against the conclusion you're trying to torture out of it.

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    Doh, I deleted them unread, after reading the real one from them. I didn't expect entertainment value from the scammer.

    What can I say.. I am easily amused..

    Michael Jordan picked his shots. He never took a shot from under the other basket, just because he had the ball. He took a lot of shots, but in the first year I found a number for, he averaged almost four assists per game.

    That doesn't seem to jibe with his quote..

    I'll stick with Jordan's own words... :D

    Michale

  25. [25] 
    Michale wrote:

    DerFarm[14]
    dsws[12]
    In english please?

    joshua[16]
    huh?

    Basically, the Senate's makes it's own rules regarding it's procedures and such and the President has absolutely NO authority to change the rules or circumvent them.

    And certainly not for partisan gain to enhance his re-elections bid..

    Postulate a scenario where the President decided to force Congress into recess (as CW has put forth) and the Senate refused to recess, but rather stayed open for business to further the GOP agenda??

    What would ya'all say then??

    Ya'all would hit the roof.....

    Michale

  26. [26] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Title X, Section 1066 specifically states that the SecTreas is in charge at the CFPB until such time as the Senate confirms the president's nominee...

    As far as the law is concerned, nothing has changed...

    Cordray has absolutely NO authority at the CFPB...

    you and mark calabria of the cato institute are absolutely right, but it's still legal hair-splitting, easily remedied by a letter from secretary geithner. the text of section 1066 is:

    "The Treasury Secretary is authorized to perform the functions of the Bureau until the Director is confirmed by the Senate. The Treasury may provide administrative services necessary to support the Bureau before the Bureau Transfer Date"

    i.e. geithner can tell cordray to assume his duties and powers as director provisionally, essentially making the confirmation requirement moot. but as i said, that's all legal hair-splitting. media matters gets more to the crux of the issue:

    Since it's hard to publicly argue that consumers shouldn't be protected against exploitative banks, Republicans are left complaining about procedure and the separation of powers.

    by the time any of this gets resolved in court, the bureau will have already saved hundreds of mom and pop homeowners from fraudulent financial products. nobody wants the PR nightmare of trying to stuff that genie back in the bottle after the july 21 transfer deadline. plenty of time between then and november to construct a TV ad of tearful homeowners thanking the president, and an ominous voice asking why senator such-and-such wants to let the bank take your house. regardless of the outcome of the legal wrangling, it's a winning political argument and obama knows it.

    with all due respect, your honor, we don't live in this courtroom, though, do we?
    ~denzel washington, "philadelphia"

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    i.e. geithner can tell cordray to assume his duties and powers as director provisionally, essentially making the confirmation requirement moot. but as i said, that's all legal hair-splitting. media matters gets more to the crux of the issue:

    No, Geinther can't..

    Any more than Geinther can write a letter telling Cordray to rob a bank and that would make robbing a bank legal for Cordray.

    The LAW says Cordray can't assume his duties until such time as he is confirmed by the Senate..

    Since this is so specifically stated, not once but TWICE within the law, the intent is clear.. No ambiguity..

    Cordray cannot assume leadership duties until such time as he is confirmed by the Senate. No letters from ANYONE, including the President, can change that..

    Unless, of course, you are using the "If the president does it, it's not against the law" defense.. :D

    About the only argument you COULD make is that established precedent can be used as the "confirmation"...

    Oh wait.. Democrats totally destroyed THAT argument.... :D

    by the time any of this gets resolved in court, the bureau will have already saved hundreds of mom and pop homeowners from fraudulent financial products.

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

    Giving the administration the benefit of the doubt, it's possible to say that THAT is the INTENT of the new agency..

    But it's very unlikely that it will happen that way.. One just has to look at CrapCare and Unemployment to know that what this administration SAYS will happen is a far cry from what actually happens..

    media matters gets more to the crux of the issue:

    If you get to quote Media Matters, I get to quote FoxNews.... :D

    with all due respect, your honor, we don't live in this courtroom, though, do we?
    ~denzel washington, "philadelphia"

    Good one.... :D

    Michale...

  28. [28] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    The LAW says Cordray can't assume his duties until such time as he is confirmed by the Senate...

    not exactly; i'm assuming you've read the statute, but you need to read it more carefully. the fist clause (section 1011) says the director must be confirmed by the senate, but doesn't specify WHEN. technically they could confirm him a day before his recess appointment expires, and it would still be within the statute. if they didn't, then it would be the senate violating the statute by not confirming him, not the other way around.

    the second clause (1066) says "The Treasury Secretary is authorized to perform the functions of the Bureau until the Director is confirmed by the Senate," but does NOT explicitly prohibit the Director from performing the same functions during the same time period. the only explicit meaning is that once the Director is confirmed, the Treasury Secretary no longer gets to share the director's functions.

    that may not be the intent of the statute, but it is a legitimate reading of the language. however, since senators are trying to nullify the execution of the law after it is already passed, the intent argument is already out the window and down the block.

  29. [29] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    If you get to quote Media Matters, I get to quote FoxNews.... :D

    i thought you already were ;p

    But it's very unlikely that it will happen that way.. One just has to look at CrapCare and Unemployment to know that what this administration SAYS will happen is a far cry from what actually happens...

    you and i may know that about the ACA and Unemployment, but even on those fronts there will be positive things for the administration to point to during election season. case in point:

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/11021874

    furthermore, the CFPB is a stronger law with fewer holes in it, and therefore more likely to yield tangible results for a larger number of people. you can pooh-pooh it if you like, but the bureau is going to help some people, and those people are going to show up in front of a camera.

    Hoffman: The President will be a hero. He brought peace.
    DeNiro: But there was never a war.
    Hoffman: All the greater accomplishment.
    ~wag the dog

  30. [30] 
    Michale wrote:

    how do you define "bad president?" he's been awful for me personally, although certainly more competent than the preceding administration. but that isn't saying much. his foreign policy has been different from bush's in that it has been much more successful, but otherwise it's been almost exactly the same. nonetheless, it seems to me that killing hostile foreigners and forcing a corporate agenda on the nation's schools are about the only things he's done more than halfway.

    That was kinda my point to DF..

    To make the claim that anyone who has an issue with President Obama is a "fake" or has an ulterior motive is the epitome of arrogance and conceit..

    And trust me.. I know "arrogance" and "conceit" when I see it!!! :D

    "Oh trust me, Major. Evil knows evil."
    -Dr Smith, LOST IN SPACE

    i thought you already were ;p

    Touche'....

    you and i may know that about the ACA and Unemployment, but even on those fronts there will be positive things for the administration to point to during election season. case in point:

    Operative phrase there is "will be"...

    According to this Administration, Americans "will be" able to keep their own insurance..

    That has been proven false.

    According to this Administration, the Unemployment "will be" under 8% if Porkulus is passed..

    That also has been proven false.

    According to Obama, Gitmo "will be" closed if he is elected President.

    That also has been proven false.

    According to Obama, Bush's Surveillance "will be" rescinded if he is elected President.

    That has been proven false, in spades....

    I could go on and on, but you get the idea...

    Counting on the Administration's "will be"s is akin to counting on me making Obama my BFF...

    Chances are good it ain't gonna happen... :D

    you can pooh-pooh it if you like, but the bureau is going to help some people, and those people are going to show up in front of a camera.

    "I'll be your huckleberry..." :D

    Hoffman: The President will be a hero. He brought peace.
    DeNiro: But there was never a war.
    Hoffman: All the greater accomplishment.
    ~wag the dog

    Yer getting good at that!! :D

    Michale

  31. [31] 
    dsws wrote:

    I'll stick with my ludicrous interpretation of Jordan's own words... :D

    FTFY.

  32. [32] 
    akadjian wrote:

    In other words, the President was acting like an obnoxious bully.

    Michale- I see it more as the President deciding to fight. This is good. This is what you've always said you admired about GW. Yet you don't like it about Obama?

    Sounds a lot like dissembling.

    You don't like him when he's weak. You don't like him when he's strong. Sounds a lot to me like you just don't like him.

    I think it's about time Obama fought more. This is why I voted for him.

    however, since senators are trying to nullify the execution of the law after it is already passed, the intent argument is already out the window and down the block.

    Nypoet- Yes. Shouldn't blocking the law somehow be against the law?

    -David

  33. [33] 
    Michale wrote:

    Michale- I see it more as the President deciding to fight.

    No... Deciding to "fight" means your opponent has a reasonable chance to defend themselves..

    As CW so aptly pointed out, Obama slapped the GOP upside the head and dared them to do anything about it, knowing full well that the GOP's hands would be tied..

    It's the mark of a bully to "fight" knowing your opponent can't respond..

    It's also the mark of a coward.. Granted, coward and bully are interchangeable.....

    Nypoet- Yes. Shouldn't blocking the law somehow be against the law?

    As DSWS pointed out so logically, how the Senate conducts is business is the Senate's business..

    Sounds like you want to make Political Obstruction a crime..

    Will it be retroactive?? Because the Democrats were obstructionist up the arse during the Bush years..

    Would it also apply to non-politicians?? MoveOn and CodePink made obstructionism an art-form.. Would they be prosecutable???

    I think the concept you are looking for is:

    "Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest!!!!
    http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/thomas_becket.htm

    You could probably also file this under "Be careful what you wish for." :D

    Michale

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am also constrained to point out that Democrats control the Senate..

    Michale

  35. [35] 
    Michale wrote:

    dsws,

    I'll stick with my ludicrous interpretation of Jordan's own words... :D

    Hay now!! Let's not be editing people's words to make it say something it doesn't!!!
    :D

    Michale

  36. [36] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    I am also constrained to point out that Democrats control the Senate..

    which goes to my earlier point, this isn't so much a Democratic/Republican conflict, it's an Executive/Legislative conflict. there's nothing illegal about senate obstructionism, but when it reaches past the making of law into the execution of law, it's stepping on the president's powers. regardless of whether it's a good law or a bad law, harry reid is constrained from making deals within his chamber that intentionally make it unenforceable. that's outside the purview of the senate. so i guess making recess appointments in spite of the pro-forma sessions qualifies as tit for tat.

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    harry reid is constrained from making deals within his chamber that intentionally make it unenforceable.

    Requiring Senate Confirmation doesn't make a law unenforceable..

    David said that if the Republicans had a problem with the Dodd Frank legislation they should have fought it before it passed...

    Which DOES make sense..

    It ALSO makes sense that if Democrats wanted a Director that didn't have to be confirmed by the Senate, they should have passed Dodd-Frank without Section 1066...

    It works both ways...

    If Democrats don't like the Senate rules, they should work to change them..

    But it's obvious that Democrats only don't like the rules when the rules work against Democrats..

    When Democrats can use the rules against Republicans, Democrats LOVE the rules..

    And so it goes and so it goes...

    But one thing is clear...

    The President can't break the Senate's rules and expect to not pay a political price...

    Michale

  38. [38] 
    akadjian wrote:

    It's the mark of a bully to "fight" knowing your opponent can't respond.

    Poor, poor Republicans. Always the victim. Always being bullied. If it's not the "liberal media," it's evil unions. If it's not Communist socialists, it's bully Obama. If it's not Occupy terrorists, it's teachers or anyone else for that matter who doesn't agree with them.

    Who isn't out to get conservatives? At least, according to conservative pundits.

    What's that noise? Could it be the world's smallest violin?

    Sounds like you want to make Political Obstruction a crime.

    No. But interfering with the implementation of a law? If states interfered with the implementation of a Federal Law, I believe it could be a crime. Now in this instance, I don't believe it actually would be because of the technicality of approving the President's appointment. But in other situations, I believe it might.

    -David

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    Poor, poor Republicans. Always the victim. Always being bullied. If it's not the "liberal media," it's evil unions. If it's not Communist socialists, it's bully Obama. If it's not Occupy terrorists, it's teachers or anyone else for that matter who doesn't agree with them.

    "This was a bold move, and should be seen as the president hauling off and smacking the Republican Party upside the head... and then taunting: "What are you going to do about it, huh?"

    Sounds like every school yard bully that I have ever seen in action...

    And keep in mind..

    Who has been whining and crying about "GOP obstructionism" since they got shellacked??

    Oh, that's right...

    The Democrats...

    So, do you REALLY want to discuss the "victim" card and who plays it early and often????? :D

    No. But interfering with the implementation of a law?

    The LAW says that the Director of the CFPB must be confirmed before he can assume his duties..

    So, if you want to talk about who is interfering with the Law, you need only look to the White House and the Democrats who act as enablers...

    Michale...

  40. [40] 
    akadjian wrote:

    So, do you REALLY want to discuss the "victim" card and who plays it early and often????? :D

    You realize you just played it again. This time because in your mind, Democrats do it all the time. We're the victim of the liberal media. We're the victim of Democrats. We're the victim of Obama. We're the victim, victim, victim, victim, victim, victim.

    Seriously, my friend. Turn off the pundits for a while. We enjoy talking with you when you're not screaming about the "Left" or whoever else is your oppressor du jour. You bring some different viewpoints to the table which I really enjoy.

    But all the screaming sounds like my 10-year old nephew talking about his sister. I hit her because she touched me first. Eventually someone has to be the grownup and say, I don't care who hit who first, both of you stop hitting each other.

    -David

  41. [41] 
    dsws wrote:

    Let's not be editing people's words to make it say something it doesn't!

    It's clearly labeled "FTFY".

    Deciding to "fight" means your opponent has a reasonable chance to defend themselves.

    So, this is about the difference between deciding to fight and just deciding to "fight"? If I get in a situation where I have to fight, where making the other SOB die for his country (or for whatever else we might be fighting over) is the least-bad option, I want the highest possible probability of having that enemy be dead without having a chance to know what might be about to hit him, let alone defend himself from it.

  42. [42] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Requiring Senate Confirmation doesn't make a law unenforceable..

    michale,

    explicitly (and in writing) refusing to confirm any nominee does make the law unenforceable. this isn't just a hold on some particular nominee for the position, it's a blanket ban on any nominee for the position. as you've so vocally pointed out, it's the senate's legal responsibility to confirm someone. therefore, by your own reasoning, obama has no option but to try to force them confirm someone, since it's the president's job to see that the laws are faithfully carried out.

    thus far i've found this choice of tactics confusing. obama's a constitutional scholar and extremely cool-headed - he wouldn't choose this path out of ignorance or anger, and if he were only concerned about political gain, i think there were better options on the table, like calling a special session of congress. but two possible advantages of doing it this way just occurred to me. if there's a lawsuit, as there almost certainly will be, the appointments and resistance to them will have to be given a lot more attention, which means two things: first, it gives the judicial branch a chance to cut the gordian knot of stalled nominations and recess appointments, a conflict which has been escalating for decades. second, it keeps the senate confirmation process in the news cycle. the more heated and contentious the battle, the more both the public and the senate will be forced to pay attention to ALL stalled nominations, not just these few.

  43. [43] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    It's clearly labeled "FTFY".

    i dunno about you dan, but i had no idea what that meant. i figured the T meant "this" and the Y meant "you" - i won't tell you what i thought the F stood for, which demonstrates once again CW's maxim about remembering to use commas...

  44. [44] 
    dsws wrote:

    FTFY stands for "fixed that for you". It means the statement before it is not a quote but rather a take-off on someone else's statement.

  45. [45] 
    dsws wrote:

    I may have missed it, but as far as I know the CFPB doesn't claim to have overruled the Constitution on the question of recess appointments. Rather, at least in the passage Michale quoted, it authorizes the Treasury Secretary to do CFPB stuff until someone is confirmed.

  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    First off, I am not screaming. I am discussing.

    You implied that the GOP was playing the victim.. I simply informed you that it's the Democrats who are playing the victim day in and day out..

    All this whining about GOP obstructionism is like complaining about the sun rising in the east and setting in the west..

    Obstruct the majority Party is what minority Partys do..

    Do you know the tale of the Scorpion?

    There's a story I heard as a child, a parable, and I never forgot it: A scorpion was walking along the bank of a river, wondering how to get to the other side. Suddenly he saw a fox. He asked the fox to take him on his back across the river. The fox said, "No. If I do that, you'll sting me, and I'll drown." The scorpion assured him, "If I did that, we'd both drown." So the fox thought about it, finally agreed. So the scorpion climbed up on his back, and the fox began to swim. But halfway across the river, the scorpion stung him. As the poison filled his veins, the fox turned to the scorpion and said, "Why did you do that? Now you'll drown too." "I couldn't help it," said the scorpion. "It's my nature."
    -Chakotay, STAR TREK VOYAGER, The Scorpion

    It's the nature of Political Partys to obstruct the opposing Party..

    dsws,

    It's clearly labeled "FTFY".

    What the frak is that! :D

    So, this is about the difference between deciding to fight and just deciding to "fight"? If I get in a situation where I have to fight, where making the other SOB die for his country (or for whatever else we might be fighting over) is the least-bad option, I want the highest possible probability of having that enemy be dead without having a chance to know what might be about to hit him, let alone defend himself from it.

    We're not talking about real life combat here...

    We talking about school yard and political bullys..

    Joshua,

    explicitly (and in writing) refusing to confirm any nominee does make the law unenforceable. this isn't just a hold on some particular nominee for the position, it's a blanket ban on any nominee for the position. as you've so vocally pointed out, it's the senate's legal responsibility to confirm someone. therefore, by your own reasoning, obama has no option but to try to force them confirm someone, since it's the president's job to see that the laws are faithfully carried out.

    It seems you are making MY argument. :D

    If it's the President's job to see that all the laws are faithfully carried out, then he MUST wait until the Director is confirmed by the Senate..

    In the reality, it seems that Obama is simply picking and choosing what PARTS of the law he will obey and what parts he will ignore..

    I believe this type of action was condemned resoundingly around these parts when Bush did the same thing..

    but two possible advantages of doing it this way just occurred to me. if there's a lawsuit, as there almost certainly will be, the appointments and resistance to them will have to be given a lot more attention, which means two things: first, it gives the judicial branch a chance to cut the gordian knot of stalled nominations and recess appointments, a conflict which has been escalating for decades. second, it keeps the senate confirmation process in the news cycle. the more heated and contentious the battle, the more both the public and the senate will be forced to pay attention to ALL stalled nominations, not just these few.

    Sounds like you are buying into the whole "Obama plays 12 dimensional chess" meme :D

    But what you don't realize is that, when this does go to court, Obama will likely lose, as he has violated the law and the established precedence that his own administration helped establish.

    Such a loss, coupled with the losses in US v AZ and CrapCare, really will do a number on his re-election.

    Regardless of all of this, one thing is clear..

    This latest action was primarily to feed Obama's base. As Joshua points out, there were many ways that Obama could have accomplished the same thing that would have been less controversial.. Obama chose this Gibbs' Slap to the Republicans because he KNEW his base would lap it up like a kitty with warm milk..

    It's nothing but partisan politics theater...

    Time will tell how it plays out in the short term, but I can prognosticate how the long term is going to look.

    We're going to have a GOP president eventually (hopefully sooner rather than later) and he or she is going to pull these same types of stunts and ya'all are going to howl to high heaven about it and the Left is going to howl to high heaven and make accusations of "criminal" and "monster" and "hitler" etc etc etc..

    And I am just going to sit back, laugh my ass off and TRY to refrain from saying, "Told ya so"..... :D

    That's a prediction that you can take to the bank... :D

    Michale

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    dsws,

    I may have missed it, but as far as I know the CFPB doesn't claim to have overruled the Constitution on the question of recess appointments.

    As I mention above, there is no Constitutional argument to be made here...

    It is simply one of violating established precedence. I think the damning note in this is that the established precedent that Obama violated is one that his administration help establish..

    How can one trust a leader who doesn't even follow his own rulings??

    Rather, at least in the passage Michale quoted, it authorizes the Treasury Secretary to do CFPB stuff until someone is confirmed.

    Exactly. SecTreas has the authority at CFPB until such time as Cordray is confirmed by the Senate..

    I find this wording curious. The law could have been worded so that SecTreas has the authority until such time as a Director is appointed, thereby laying the foundation for a recess appointment. (As an aside, it looks like we have a NEW designation. RAWINR (Recess Appointment When It's Not Recess) :D )

    But the section specifically used the words "confirmed by the Senate" without any qualification for any other possibility..

    It seems to me that the Senate wanted to make sure that this Director would HAVE to be confirmed by the Senate one way or another..

    It's logical and it meets the conditions of Occam's Razor quite nicely..

    Michale

  48. [48] 
    Michale wrote:

    I have to award the best media quip to Chris Christie..

    “I have a suggestion for the president: He doesn’t do angry well. He understands that the American people are angry and they’re scared and they’re worried about the future. So he’s decided, in the most cynical reelection strategy that you could ever think of, that he doesn’t care if you’re angry, he just wants you to be angry at somebody else.”
    -Chris Christie

    "He doesn't care if you're angry, he just wants you to be angry at someone else"

    Now THAT's funny!!! :D

    "It's funny because it's true."
    -Homer Simpson

    Michale

  49. [49] 
    akadjian wrote:

    It's the nature of Political Partys to obstruct the opposing Party.

    I disagree. I believe both parties should work together or at least try to. If one is going to do nothing but obstruct, then you fight.

    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck ...

    -David

  50. [50] 
    akadjian wrote:

    explicitly (and in writing) refusing to confirm any nominee does make the law unenforceable. this isn't just a hold on some particular nominee for the position, it's a blanket ban on any nominee for the position. as you've so vocally pointed out, it's the senate's legal responsibility to confirm someone. therefore, by your own reasoning, obama has no option but to try to force them confirm someone, since it's the president's job to see that the laws are faithfully carried out.

    Well said, nypoet. I'd also find it hard to disagree with your analysis of his tactics as well.

    -David

  51. [51] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    I disagree. I believe both parties should work together or at least try to.

    Would that it could be... But that's not how our system works..

    Whether it be Law or Politics, our system is an Adversarial System..

    It sucks... But it is what it is...

    If one is going to do nothing but obstruct, then you fight.

    Which applies when Democrats are in the Minority and the Republicans are Gibbs' Slappin' them up and down, right??

    You want the Democrats to be mean and nasty and fighting tooth and nail and scratching and clawing, etc etc..

    But isn't it true that the Left in general denigrates those aspects in Republicans??

    Basically, what you appear to be saying is that Democrats should be nice and compromise etc etc, but when that doesn't work to the satisfaction of the Left, then the Democrats should act like Republicans..

    Hay, I got no problem with that, don't get me wrong..

    But call a spade a spade.. If you want Democrats to act like Republicans, just say so... :D

    Well said, nypoet. I'd also find it hard to disagree with your analysis of his tactics as well.

    So, we're back to The Ends Justifies The Means and ya'alls support of that..

    Again, I have no quarrel with that. But just be honest and admit that THAT is exactly what you are saying...

    Michale....

  52. [52] 
    Michale wrote:

    Let me put it another way...

    Congress makes a law that says an XYZ Department **MUST** be created or the White House will run out of toilet paper..

    WITHIN that law, Congress also stipulates that the Director of the XYZ Department MUST be confirmed by the Senate..

    Now, YOU are saying that President Obama should ignore the second law in order to serve the first, while spinning it as "Obama is just obeying the law"...

    However, it is EQUALLY factual that Obama is BREAKING the law by not following the law within the law...

    In essence, Obama is picking and choosing which laws he wants to obey and which laws he wants to ignore... Something I believe ya'all didn't like when Bush did it..

    Again, if you want to make the argument that Obama did what he did out of necessity, ok fine..

    But don't try to paint it as some noble "Obama is obeying the law" meme, because it just ain't so..

    There is only ONE reason this went down the way it went down...

    This was a bold move, and should be seen as the president hauling off and smacking the Republican Party upside the head... and then taunting: "What are you going to do about it, huh?"
    -Chris Weigant, FTP, 6 Jan 2012

    Michale

  53. [53] 
    akadjian wrote:

    But isn't it true that the Left in general denigrates those aspects in Republicans?

    No.

    What I dislike about Republicans is that they seem to have no desire to work together.

    Only to get Democrats to do what they want.

    There is virtually no willingness to compromise.

    When someone demonstrates that they are 100% unwilling to compromise, you have 2 options:

    1) Give them everything they want (In which case, you would call them weak.)
    2) Fight (In which case, you call them "bullies".)

    Are there other options I'm missing here?

    Seriously, Michale. What other options do you see?

    Wait for the Senate to confirm someone? Oh yeah, they've already said they won't confirm anybody.

    It's good to see them fight for a change. We've seen all too much of option #1.

    -David

  54. [54] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    However, it is EQUALLY factual that Obama is BREAKING the law by not following the law within the law....

    not exactly true. if one reads the law literally, it's actually the Senate that is not following the law by refusing to confirm anyone. the president recess-appointing cordray has no bearing on whether the senate ultimately chooses to follow the law or break it. calling a special session of congress to confirm the appointments would have made just as big political theater, pissed off just as many senators, and is less murky legally. therefore, it's not exactly twelve-dimensional chess to assume, since this was the only option that would involve the courts, that obama decided he wanted to involve the courts.

    So, we're back to The Ends Justifies The Means and ya'alls support of that...

    does the end of protecting consumers from banking fraud justify the means of making a contentious semi-recess nomination? sure it does, but that's not a general statement on ends justifying means. your argument is based on the reductive logical fallacy. just because you support torture in the interrogation of confirmed terrorists doesn't mean you support torture in all interrogations, does it? likewise, just because i believe this particular end justifies this particular means, doesn't mean the ends justify the means in general. or as dan said very eloquently two posts back:

    Some ends do justify some means: some means have drawbacks that aren't really that important, and can be justified very easily. On the other hand, some means can't be justified by any plausible ends.

  55. [55] 
    Michale wrote:

    Wait for the Senate to confirm someone? Oh yeah, they've already said they won't confirm anybody.

    Then address the underlying reasons WHY they won't confirm anybody..

    Compromise starts at the BEGINNING of the process, rather than after the process is over..

    If Democrats want to GOP to compromise, then Democrats need to also compromise..

    You speak of compromise, but it appears that Democrats are only willing to compromise on THEIR terms to serve THEIR agenda..

    Which is rather ironic, since that is what you accuse the Republicans of doing.. :D

    Thereby providing even more evidence that Democrats are no better than Republicans, despite unsubstantiated claims to the contrary...

    Has it every occurred to you that maybe the Republicans are as sincere to THEIR cause as you claim Democrats are to theirs??

    I know, I am not the best one to make this argument, but SOMEONE has to...

    Has it occurred to you that, in the eyes of the Republicans, they are doing what THEY think is right for the country??

    Reminds me of an episode of The Twilight Zone (remake) where American soldiers were fighting a war with evil alien monsters... American soldiers had to take medication every few hours to allegedly fight radiation sickness.. One soldier's med pack broke. He was able to see the enemy for what they really were.. Simply other men fighting for THEIR cause.. And THOSE soldiers were taking drugs so that THEY saw the American soldiers as evil alien monsters...

    You see the point??

    Everyone is so enamored with the US vs THEM mentality that they (we) forget that THEY ***ARE*** US...

    I know, I know.. My cynical opinion is that ALL politicians, Democrat and Republicans don't care a whit for this country, that they just care for themselves and their Party.. In that order..

    Country is a very VERY far distant 3rd in their priorities...

    But what if I am wrong???

    What if YOU are wrong???

    You slam the GOP for all their imagined "evil deeds" and are completely blinded to the Democrats and THEIR "evil deeds"...

    You say that Democrats and Republicans should work together.... But take a gander thru Weigantia and see how often and how brutally Republicans are slammed, attacked and vilified..

    Remember Matt's 'Newt Grinch' song and DF's response to my post about their (Matt's and DF's) hatred??? THAT is the typical Left Wing ideologue.. Why not tour their blogs and tell THEM to work together with Republicans??

    I bet you get banned as much as I have!! :D

    Of course, it's justified, because Republicans do the same to Democrats...

    "And so it goes and so it goes....."
    -Billy Joel

    It's good to see them fight for a change. We've seen all too much of option #1.

    OK, so we're done compromise and working together and now it's all just fight, fight, fight??

    Given the Democrats track record, do you honestly think that THAT is the best course of action??

    Michale

  56. [56] 
    Michale wrote:

    the president recess-appointing cordray has no bearing on whether the senate ultimately chooses to follow the law or break it.

    Let's be clear..

    There was no "Recess Appointment" made...

    Obama appointed Cordray while the Senate was in session...

    These are the facts...

    does the end of protecting consumers from banking fraud justify the means of making a contentious semi-recess nomination? sure it does.

    I would agree with you if we had an Administration who has lived up to it's "will be"s..

    We don't, so I don't..

    There is absolutely NOTHING in the Administration's track record that would indicate that the CFPB is going to be effective in protecting consumers..

    It's more likely that the CFPB is going to be the CrapCare of Consumer Affairs..

    Long on windage, verbiage and high claims, but very very short on actually doing some good...

    Lemme ask ya'all something..

    How can you continue to trust Obama when even Obama himself has said that Americans were better off under Bush???

    Things have gotten twenty times worse under Obama and the Democrats and yet, ya'all want to give them four more years!!???

    That simply boggles a logical mind...

    Michale

  57. [57] 
    dsws wrote:

    Exactly. SecTreas has the authority at CFPB until such time as Cordray is confirmed by the Senate.

    The Secretary of the Treasury can implement CFPB until its director is confirmed. The CFPB director can also implement it, if there is a director. That's a protection against obstruction by the Senate. In case of a recess appointment, the president has two subordinates empowered to implement the law.

    That's a separate question from whether the Senate really is in recess. The Senate says the Senate is in recess. The House nominally is in session, although de-facto it is in recess. I think the opinion of the Senate is conclusive as to the status of the Senate.

  58. [58] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Then address the underlying reasons WHY they won't confirm anybody.

    Ok, let's look at the underlying reason as stated by Republicans: they don't want a Consumer Protection Bureau. Period.

    So how could Democrats compromise?

    Well, they could get rid of the Consumer Protection Bureau and then Republicans would confirm someone!

    Great, let's do it. Wait ... But then there's no CPB to confirm anyone to.

    So how exactly do you think Republicans are willing to compromise?

    Sure looks to me like they're not.

    -David

  59. [59] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ok, let's look at the underlying reason as stated by Republicans: they don't want a Consumer Protection Bureau. Period.

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

    Michale

  60. [60] 
    Michale wrote:

    The Secretary of the Treasury can implement CFPB until its director is confirmed. The CFPB director can also implement it, if there is a director. That's a protection against obstruction by the Senate. In case of a recess appointment, the president has two subordinates empowered to implement the law.

    But, since there wasn't a Senate recess, there can't be any Recess Appointment..

    And, since the law says that the SecTreas is in charge of the CFPB, Obama's non-Recess Appointment has absolutely no legal standing..

    That's a separate question from whether the Senate really is in recess.

    Agreed.....

    The Senate says the Senate is in recess.

    No, the Senate says when the Senate is in recess. Not the President.

    In this case, the Senate was NOT in recess by way of the Pro Forma sessions established by Senate Democrats.

    The House nominally is in session, although de-facto it is in recess. I think the opinion of the Senate is conclusive as to the status of the Senate.

    Exactly..

    And, the Senate was not in recess....

    Michale

  61. [61] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's really all a moot point..

    Ya'all are never going to concede that Obama did something wrong and I am never going to concede that Obama is the second coming....

    So, I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree on President Obama.... :D

    Michale

  62. [62] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    "they don't want a Consumer Protection Bureau. Period."

    Assumes facts not in evidence.

    They signed a letter saying they wouldn't allow it to function. i think that's sufficient evidence to support the conclusion that they want to prevent the law from being executed as written in the statute.

    No, the Senate says when the Senate is in recess. Not the President.

    as CW pointed out last post, recess is not defined in the constitution. the president does have some constitutional authority over it though, specifically "he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper." who knows why obama didn't, but he certainly can if he chooses.

  63. [63] 
    Michale wrote:

    They signed a letter saying they wouldn't allow it to function. i think that's sufficient evidence to support the conclusion that they want to prevent the law from being executed as written in the statute.

    Exactly..

    They weren't against the law..

    They were against the law as the Democrats wrote it..

    So much for "compromise", eh??

    as CW pointed out last post, recess is not defined in the constitution. the president does have some constitutional authority over it though, specifically "he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper." who knows why obama didn't, but he certainly can if he chooses.

    Obama DIDN'T adjourn it, did he??

    Established precedent stated that the Senate was NOT in recess..

    Precedent, I might add, that the Democrats used to THEIR advantage during the Bush years...

    FACT 1
    The President didn't adjourn the Senate.

    FACT 2
    The Senate did not recess.

    Ergo, the Senate was NOT in recess and no amount of political spin or skullduggery can make the claim that it was....

    Obama did not make a "Recess Appointment"...

    No way, no how....

    These are the facts... It's really THAT simple...

    Michale

  64. [64] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Ya'all are never going to concede that Obama did something wrong and I am never going to concede that Obama is the second coming....

    michale,

    you have this disturbing habit of dealing in absolutes. either-or, right or wrong, the antichrist or the second coming. absolutes do exist, but certainly not in every case, and absolutely not in this case. obama's been a mediocre president at a difficult time. we were hoping for greatness, but i'm not willing to call him a fraud for it, at least no more than any other politician in washington.

    unlike the watered-down healthcare reform, the CFPB is a well-conceived program, and in its current form there is no way it won't help at least some people. so sure, the way the president went about appointing these nominees was somewhat wrong, but certainly not as wrong as failing to appoint them at all.

  65. [65] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    They weren't against the law..
    They were against the law as the Democrats wrote it..
    So much for "compromise", eh???

    you'd rather the law be so marked up as to be nearly useless like the ACA? anyhow, the time for filibuster and compromise on a law is BEFORE it gets passed, not after. once the law is passed and signed, the horse has left the barn and it's supposed to be the purview of the executive branch. requiring a compromise on it at this point is just sour grapes.

  66. [66] 
    Michale wrote:

    Joshua,

    you'd rather the law be so marked up as to be nearly useless like the ACA?

    Again, assumes facts not in evidence..

    Do ANY of you have ANY idea what the GOP's objections were to the law??

    I bet ya don't.... :D

    anyhow, the time for filibuster and compromise on a law is BEFORE it gets passed, not after.

    Agreed..

    Now sit there and tell me that the Democrats have always obeyed that "rule" too....

    How many times Democrats have filibustered and did "Pro Forma" sessions to prevent Republicans from pursuing their agenda...

    You see the point??

    Ya'all bitch and whine about the GOP does this or the GOP does that, completely oblivious to the fact that the Democrats did this and the Democrats did that...

    But one thing the GOP *HASN'T* done is ignore the War Powers Act..

    One thing the GOP *HASN'T* done is ignore established precedence with regards to Senate Recess and Recess Appointments...

    So, who is in the wrong here???

    The GOP??? Whose only crime is political obstruction performed and semi-perfected by Democrats??

    Or Democrats?? Who have completely ignored the law and established precedence???

    If one looks at things logically and objectively w/o ANY partisan bent, the answer is clear...

    Michale

  67. [67] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, since everyone here LOVES polls... :D

    As we enter the presidential election year of 2012, what potential news event do you fear the most?

    President Obama wins reelection 33%

    Taxes will increase 31%

    Iran will get a nuclear weapon 16%

    Obama will lose reelection 16%

    North Korea will attack South Korea 4%

    http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2012/01/09/poll-americans-2-1-fear-obamas-reelection

    Ya see!?? It's not just me..... :D

    Michale

  68. [68] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    you'd rather the law be so marked up as to be nearly useless like the ACA?
    Again, assumes facts not in evidence...

    the facts are in, michale. the law is pretty well-written as-is. when you start re-writing, it's as likely to get worse as better.

    Do ANY of you have ANY idea what the GOP's objections were to the law??
    I bet ya don't.... :D

    you lose your quatloos. speaking of which, OWS is still active, and defied the authorities to return to zucotti at new years - i believe the terms of our bet were whether or not they'd be there, and they were. ;)

    as to GOP objections, do you want me to repeat what they said? i believe the real reason is because they don't want their biggest campaign contributors to be investigated for crimes. the latest excuse is because it allegedly steps on the toes of other agencies like the FTC, SEC, etc. the catch-phrase is "accountability," which basically means they want to give other agencies power over it. (i.e. less power to investigate wealthy campaign donors). another objection was that it's too limited in scope to banks, but any of these could be addressed with new legislation after the bureau is up and running.

    How many times Democrats have filibustered and did "Pro Forma" sessions to prevent Republicans from pursuing their agenda...

    there's a difference between an agenda and a law. the democrats haven't explicitly attempted to nullify a law after the fact, except by making a new law. at least not this century.

    So, who is in the wrong here???

    The GOP??? Whose only crime is political obstruction

    yes. calling this "political obstruction" is like calling the south pole "a little chilly." democrats used the pro-forma session tactic as a senate majority, after 6 years and 171 recess appointments. republicans obtained it as a senate minority, after 2 years and 29 recess appointments.

    if democrats had used this power from the minority position in 2003 to prevent the enforcement of the iraq resolution, bush would have been legally justified in challenging it (although going to war in iraq was still a bad decision).

  69. [69] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    OK, I'll answer the rest of these tomorrow, but in response to your question, the things I heard GOPers complaining about were: the size of the CFPB budget, the fact that it was run by one man instead of a committee, and the fact that its budget cannot be touched by Congress.

    These were stalking horses. The budget was less than a billion dollars, from what I recall, which is freakin' CHUMP change in DC, and for the job they're supposed to do. The "one man" thing was Republicans living in fear that they could not pack the committee with people they had bought and paid for. The budget thing was the most transparent, because the Republicans in Congress wanted to just zero out their budget -- another way of killing the agency completely.

    But this was the entire POINT -- the office was set up to be outside of politics (as watchdogs often are), and the Republicans are complaining because they cannot now inject politics back into the process. Every single one of their objections was a thinly-veiled attempt to destroy the agency completely by other means, or to eviscerate its independence. It is purely sore-loserdom, plain and simple.

    Anyway, more tomorrow, just had to say that.

    -CW

  70. [70] 
    Michale wrote:

    Joshua,

    the facts are in, michale. the law is pretty well-written as-is. when you start re-writing, it's as likely to get worse as better.

    That's your opinion and I respect that.

    But that still doesn't address why the GOP has a problem with it.

    you lose your quatloos. speaking of which, OWS is still active, and defied the authorities to return to zucotti at new years - i believe the terms of our bet were whether or not they'd be there, and they were. ;)

    Are they "occupying" Zucotti Park?? No they are not.. :D They ARE "out of there" insofar as not staying. They have to come and go like normal people...

    Also, have they been in the national news?? No they have not... If you ask John Q Public about the Oowzers (rhymes with 'luzers') they would say, "Oh those malcontents?? They're history"..

    So, I would say that I won the bet... :D

    the democrats haven't explicitly attempted to nullify a law after the fact, except by making a new law. at least not this century.

    Are you sure???? :D

    Historians have directly attributed the fall of Saigon in 1975 to the cessation of American aid. Without the necessary funds, South Vietnam found it logistically and financially impossible to defeat the North Vietnamese army. Moreover, the withdrawal of aid encouraged North Vietnam to begin an effective military offensive against South Vietnam. Given the monetary and military investment in Vietnam, former Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage compared the American withdrawal to “a pregnant lady, abandoned by her lover to face her fate.” 2 Historian Lewis Fanning went so far as to say that “it was not the Hanoi communists who won the war, but rather the American Congress that lost it.” 3
    http://hnn.us/articles/31400.html#_ftn1

    Democrats withheld funds, just like the GOP withheld confirmation...

    And since you yourself used the example of the Iraq war, then defunding the Vietnam War is exactly the same..

    yes. calling this "political obstruction" is like calling the south pole "a little chilly." democrats used the pro-forma session tactic as a senate majority, after 6 years and 171 recess appointments. republicans obtained it as a senate minority, after 2 years and 29 recess appointments.

    So?? Just because the GOP can control their Party better, that makes it a crime???

    If obstructionism is wrong, then it's wrong whether it's done one time or a thousand times..

    Now, if you are going to make the argument that "a little" obstructionism is OK, then who gets to define "a little".. The Democrats???

    "How many people does it take, Admiral, before it becomes wrong? Hmm? A thousand, fifty thousand, a million? How many people does it take, Admiral? "
    -Captain Jean Luc Picard, STAR TREK 9 INSURRECTION

    Basically, you want to make the claim that obstructionism is OK as long as it's Democrats who are doing the obstruction.. If Democrats had the Party discipline to do the kind of Obstruction that the GOP does, ya'all would be fine with it..

    It's not a question of numbers. It's a question of ideology...

    Joshua & CW

    Could you link me to the GOP's arguments on the CFPB? This way, we are talking about the same thing..

    No offense, but I want to read first hand their claims...

    Michale

  71. [71] 
    Michale wrote:

    Basically ya'alls argument here is two fold..

    1. The GOP is obstructing the agenda of the Democratic Party..

    2. The GOP is so damn good at obstructing the agenda of the Democratic Party.

    As to the former, I really can't say I blame them. Look where the agenda of the Democratic Party has brought us.. Can you imagine how bad things would be if the Democrats were actually able to use their lock (when they had it) on Government effectively??

    Apparently the majority of Americans agree with that. What other explanation is there for the Great Shellacking Of 2010??

    As to the latter, what can I say?? If the Democratic Party could get their shit together, they would be a lot more effective in pushing their agenda.

    Apparently they can't, so their not..

    But I really can't find the outrage over the GOP obstructionism because A> it's just politics as usual and 2> obstructing the Democrat's agenda is what's best for this country.

    IMNSHO of course... :D

    Michale

  72. [72] 
    dsws wrote:

    dsws [57] wrote:...
    The Senate says the Senate is in recess. The House nominally is in session,

    Oops. I looked on the calendar at senate.gov, and it shows a recess. So I was thinking it was the House that's in pro-forma session. But the Senate is.

    One thing that's clear is that the Senate doesn't have quorum.

    Article I Section 5.

    Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

  73. [73] 
    akadjian wrote:

    But that still doesn't address why the GOP has a problem with it.

    See what CW said above.

    The GOP's "reforms" for the agency would all make it less effective or, in effect, neuter the agency.

    Is this any surprise? No. The GOP party is the party of supply-side economics and trickle down theory. They don't fight for consumers. They fight for handouts for businesses and this would be another one. Let's get rid of the agency that wants to make sure you conduct business honestly. Because ... let's be honest, you can make more money by sticking it to people.

    Example #1: Payday lenders (a fancy name for legalized loan sharking)

    Who do you think their campaign contributions are going to? My guess is any politician who is against the CPB.

    -David

    http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/07/18/271075/mchenry-predatory-payday/?mobile=nc

  74. [74] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    The GOP's "reforms" for the agency would all make it less effective or, in effect, neuter the agency.

    In YOUR opinion...

    I am still wanting to read the GOP's complaints, not ya'alls interpretation of the GOP's complaints..

    No offence whatsoever... :D

    Let's get rid of the agency that wants to make sure you conduct business honestly.

    Again, that the IDEA behind the agency...

    But why on earth would you believe that's how it's going to be??

    Because of Obama's stellar record on follow thru??? :^/ If you believe that, I have some swampland around here I could sell you.. :D

    Michale

  75. [75] 
    Michale wrote:

    One thing that's clear is that the Senate doesn't have quorum.

    Not having a quorum does not a recess make...

    You said it yourself. The Senate makes the Senate's rules.

    Senate Democrats decided to do these Pro Forma sessions...

    Established Precedence (helped established by the Obama Administration) was that, when these Pro Forma sessions are going on, the Senate is not in recess..

    "These are the facts. And they are undisputed."
    -Captain Jack Ross, A FEW GOOD MEN

    Why couldn't this have happened a couple weeks ago!! I would have gone WAY over the top of 500 posts!! :D

    Michale

  76. [76] 
    Michale wrote:

    Homeland Security monitors journalists
    Last month the Boston Police Department and the Suffolk Massachusetts District Attorney subpoenaed Twitter over details pertaining to recent tweets involving the Occupy Boston protests.

    http://rt.com/usa/news/homeland-security-journalists-monitoring-321/

    {{{chiiirrrrrpppppp}}}} {{{chiiiiiirrrrrrrrppppp}}}

    I'm just sayin'....

    Michale

  77. [77] 
    Michale wrote:

    We can always turn to President Obama's Foreign Policy record..

    Always a strong point....

    Or is it?

    America And The Solitude Of The Syrians
    Deep down, the Obama administration seems to believe that Assad's tyranny is preferable to the opposition.

    Syrian rulers and protesters alike ought to be able to read the wind: An American president ceding strategic ground in the Greater Middle East is no threat to the Damascus regime. With an eye on his bid for re-election, President Obama will boast that he brought the Iraq war to an end, as he promised he would. That applause line precludes taking on Syrian burdens. In Obamaland, foreign policy is full of false choices: either boots on the ground or utter abdication. Libya showed the defect of that choice, yet this remains the worldview of the current steward of American power.

    Hafez al-Assad bequeathed power to his son, Bashar. Now Bashar, in turn, has a son named Hafez. From this bondage, the Syrian people are determined to release themselves. As of now, they are on their own.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203462304577139434278336136.html

  78. [78] 
    dsws wrote:

    Minority parties don't have to limit themselves to obstruction. They can negotiate to have some influence on what the majority implements.

    Only in this case, they can't. Negotiating with Democrats would be like having a boxing match with a spoonful of jelly. You can pound on the smear all you want, but it's just not a boxing match.

  79. [79] 
    Michale wrote:

    Only in this case, they can't. Negotiating with Democrats would be like having a boxing match with a spoonful of jelly. You can pound on the smear all you want, but it's just not a boxing match.

    Can't argue with that..

    It's senseless to negotiate with Democrats...

    Look how well it worked out for the GOP with CrapCare??

    So much for "compromise" eh??

    Michale

  80. [80] 
    akadjian wrote:

    But why on earth would you believe that's how it's going to be?

    Well for starters, both of his picks to head the agency have been successful consumer advocates.

    Warren, you know. Cordray, as attorney general in Ohio.

    I am still wanting to read the GOP's complaints, not ya'alls interpretation of the GOP's complaints.

    CW hit it pretty much on the mark. They think it will be too powerful and want to replace the single director with a board. If you don't believe us, ask some Republicans.

    http://blog.al.com/sweethome/2012/01/alabama_republicans_richard_sh.html

    What Shelby and Bachus say is pretty much the Republican line. "Too powerful" in Republican language typically means not letting companies do whatever they want.

    How come you never hear Republicans talking about how Wall Street or lobbying organizations are "too powerful"?

    -David

  81. [81] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale [70] -

    I didn't read the GOP's objections, I heard them on political (teevee) chat shows, so I don't have a link handy. I would suggest going back to the Sunday after it happened, and reading the transcripts of (say) Fox News Sunday. You'll probably find them there.

    Or, perhaps, Google "CFPB" and "congressional oversight" as a lot of their argument hinged on the lack of Congress' ability to "oversee" (read: gut and hamstring) the new agency. Also, maybe Google "unaccountable" or "power" with that... just a guess.

    -CW

  82. [82] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    So, I would say that I won the bet... :D

    i think we need an independent arbiter to settle who won that bet. i bet that they'd still be there and active at new years, and they were. you bet that they'd be gone and disbanded. they were forcibly removed, but they didn't leave and haven't disappeared.

    Democrats withheld funds, just like the GOP withheld confirmation...

    the vietnam conflict was already going on for eight years prior to congress withholding funds, and involved passage of the case-church amendment. to be comparable to today's conflict, the congress would have had to stop the gulf of tonkin resolution from being enforced in the first place. for today's congress to be comparable to vietnam, they would have to first pass an amendment to dodd-frank, which they haven't.

    Basically ya'alls argument here is two fold..
    1. The GOP is obstructing the agenda of the Democratic Party..
    2. The GOP is so damn good at obstructing the agenda of the Democratic Party.

    incorrect. my argument has nothing to do with which agenda is being obstructed, it has to do with three important differences:

    1. the difference between before and after
    2. the difference between a lot and a little
    3. the difference between legislative and executive powers

    congress may obstruct a law before it's passed, not after. once it's been sent to the president to sign, enforcement is out of their hands. it's perfectly fine to obstruct a nominee, but it's not okay to use the blanket obstruction of all nominees to prevent a law from being executed.

    Again, that the IDEA behind the agency...
    But why on earth would you believe that's how it's going to be??

    one way or the other, we're obligated to find out. the agency is out of the senate's hands. it's the law, and except for passing amendments to it, congress has no business using other means to try to prevent the president from following it.

    Now, if you are going to make the argument that "a little" obstructionism is OK, then who gets to define "a little".. The Democrats???

    nobody can define a lot and a little unilaterally, but there are percentiles that can provide pretty objective measurements and gauge deviation from the norm. we have 44 presidents and 112 congresses to compare, to determine how many nominees must be held up to constitute "a lot" or how many recess appointments are "a little."

    Established Precedence (helped established by the Obama Administration) was that, when these Pro Forma sessions are going on, the Senate is not in recess...

    okay, so the senate broke the statutory law by refusing to let a director be appointed, and the president broke the common-law by appointing a director when the senate were legally (if not physically) in session.

    deductively, it must be true that obama must wants courts to sort it out for a reason. however, i think it's to soon to make assumptions as to what that reason is.

  83. [83] 
    nypoet22 wrote:
  84. [84] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    Awwwwww, I gotta read Fox News!!!

    That sux!!! :D

    Or, perhaps, Google "CFPB" and "congressional oversight" as a lot of their argument hinged on the lack of Congress' ability to "oversee" (read: gut and hamstring) the new agency. Also, maybe Google "unaccountable" or "power" with that... just a guess.

    The only reason I wanted your links was so I could read exactly what you read.. That way, we're not talking about two different reports but rather able to derive our respective opinions from the same facts...

    Joshua,

    i think we need an independent arbiter to settle who won that bet. i bet that they'd still be there and active at new years, and they were. you bet that they'd be gone and disbanded. they were forcibly removed, but they didn't leave and haven't disappeared.

    Yes, you could LOOK and probably find a local report here and there..

    But my position was the the Oowzers (rhymes with "luzers") would be gone from the national scene by New Years..

    As I didn't make that clear I would accept CW's take on things... :D

    It's not as if I ain't use to losing quatloos! :D

    the vietnam conflict was already going on for eight years prior to congress withholding funds, and involved passage of the case-church amendment. to be comparable to today's conflict, the congress would have had to stop the gulf of tonkin resolution from being enforced in the first place. for today's congress to be comparable to vietnam, they would have to first pass an amendment to dodd-frank, which they haven't.

    While the tit for tat then may not be identical to the here and now, you have to admit.... Democrats in Congress tried an end run around established law... Much like Republicans are doing (or, more accurately, TRIED to do) with the CPFB)

    however, i think it's to soon to make assumptions as to what that reason is.

    Based on the actions before and after, it's clear what Obama's reasons were...

    This was a bold move, and should be seen as the president hauling off and smacking the Republican Party upside the head... and then taunting: "What are you going to do about it, huh?"
    -Chris Weigant, FTP, 6 Jan 2012

    :D

    Michale

  85. [85] 
    Michale wrote:

    here's a good anti-cfpb argument:

    http://www.noozhawk.com/article/122711_tom_donohue_unaccountable_cfpb

    Yer right..

    It IS a good argument... :D

    Michale

  86. [86] 
    Michale wrote:

    OK, I'll answer the rest of these tomorrow, but in response to your question, the things I heard GOPers complaining about were: the size of the CFPB budget, the fact that it was run by one man instead of a committee, and the fact that its budget cannot be touched by Congress.

    OK, let me give you an alternate scenario...

    During the Bush years, circa 2003-2005..... Republicans want to create an agency that has ONE person at the top calling the shots. This person is accountable to absolutely NO ONE...

    This agency has a budget of 500 million dollars which is also completely unaccountable to absolutely NO one..

    Further, there are absolutely NO checks and balances to this agency.. It has sole and supreme authority, it's decisions are final and there are absolutely NO appeals...

    Finally, this agency operates without ANY transparency and oversight whatsoever...

    Republicans pass the law creating this agency because they have control of both Houses of Congress. This law is passed with great and hysterical opposition from Democrats...

    The Director of this agency must be confirmed by the Senate before he can assume his duties...

    The new agency???

    Department of Anti-Sedition. It's sole function is to determine who are loyal Americans and who are not...

    Now are you going to tell me that Democrats will simply ignore the grave threat that this new agency represents and confirm President Bush's nominee for this department, Bernard Kerik??

    Or is it more likely that Democrats will use every possible obstructionist tool in their arsenal to prevent this heinous and despicable agency from getting off the ground??

    You tell me... :D

    Michale

  87. [87] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    Re. Michale[70] & Chris[81]

    Forget about talk show transcripts. If you want to know what the Republicans really think about the CFPB, then all you have to do is go watch the confirmation hearing for Cordray.

    I don't have a link for you but you can find it in the C-SPAN video library.

    Suffice to say that Chris is right, as per usual. But, I know you already know that. :)

  88. [88] 
    akadjian wrote:

    It's sole function is to determine who are loyal Americans and who are not.

    Really? You're comparing consumer protection with anti-sedition?

    Puh-leez.

    Ok. Before you fall for any of that crap about accountability, read how the CFPB is accountable.

    http://www.treasury.gov/connect/blog/Pages/Setting-the-Record-Straight-on-CFPB-Accountability.aspx

    But let me ask another question. How come you've made up your mind without knowing what your argument is going to be?

    You claim to not be against the CFPB, just some parts of the law. But you don't really know what those are. So you're out trying to figure out what portions of it you're against.

    How does this work?

    It sure looks to me like the cart before the horse - you're against the CFPB and are just trying to find ways to justify it without saying you're against consumer protection.

    Your going to have a hard time convincing me that conservatives are somehow "pro consumer" when their entire philosophy is anti-consumer. They're against regulations which protect consumers. They're against laws that protect consumers. This is their definition of supply side economics.

    Which is why you see them fumbling around with different arguments to try and justify their agenda. They start with what they want, no CFPB. And then try to find ways to justify it.

    Let's be honest. That is what is going on here. You can pretend that Republicans care about accountability. But long before they found that argument, they were trying to find a way to block the CFPB.

    -David

  89. [89] 
    Michale wrote:

    Joshua,

    the vietnam conflict was already going on for eight years prior to congress withholding funds, and involved passage of the case-church amendment. to be comparable to today's conflict, t

    Do you see what you are doing here???

    I mention that obstructionism is obstructionism and you say, "Well, it's not the same because Republicans do it more than Democrats"...

    I mention the Vietnam War as an example of Democrats trying to end run around an already approved law and you bring up the time frame..

    You are mitigating up the wazoo....

    The numbers don't matter. Obstructionism is either OK or it's not OK...

    The time frame doesn't matter. It's either OK to use political "gimmicks" to thwart an approved law or it's not....

    David,

    Really? You're comparing consumer protection with anti-sedition?

    Puh-leez.

    No, I am not comparing the agencies..

    I am comparing the two Partys and their *reaction* to the agencies..

    Wouldn't Democrats use every tool in their arsenal to prevent such an agency from becoming operational???

    The answer is, OF COURSE they would.... Democrats would do exactly what the Republicans are doing to prevent the Anti Sedition agency from coming online...

    You claim to not be against the CFPB, just some parts of the law. But you don't really know what those are. So you're out trying to figure out what portions of it you're against.

    *I* am not against or for ANYTHING about the CFPB...

    I am simply trying to show you that this is nothing but politics as usual..

    That, given the proper incentive, Democrats would act JUST like Republicans are acting...

    That Democrats are not the "pure as the driven snow" Party you want me to believe it is..

    It sure looks to me like the cart before the horse - you're against the CFPB and are just trying to find ways to justify it without saying you're against consumer protection.

    First off, *I* haven't said I am against the CFPB..

    We're discussing the GOP's reaction to the CFPB and the Democrats reaction to the GOP's reaction...

    I have stated, however, that the ONLY thing we have to go on, insofar as the effectiveness of the CFPB is Obama's lofty words...

    And, as has been amply proven, Obama's lofty words have a tendency to come crashing down once the rubber hits the road...

    Let's be honest. That is what is going on here. You can pretend that Republicans care about accountability. But long before they found that argument, they were trying to find a way to block the CFPB.

    WHY!!????

    That's been my whole point...

    WHY are the GOP trying to block the CFPB..

    Do you even care WHY??? Or do you simply believe that, 'It's the GOP, so it's bad, regardless of why'...

    I have given you an agency that has all the earmarks, all the "specs" of the CFPB... And I have amply proven that, if THAT agency was the agency we are talking about instead of the CFPB, then Democrats would be reacting EXACTLY like the Republicans are..

    True or False???

    This entire debate hasn't been about the CFPB at all...

    It's about the GOP's reaction to the CFPB and the Democrat's reaction to the GOP's reaction..

    If the Republicans are being that adamant about the CFPB, then I think it would behoove us to all wonder why...

    Or is it your view that the GOP is being obstructionist over the CFPB because they are unpatriotic and want to screw over each and every American and want to hurt this country??

    That's Obama's opinion, so if that is yours as well, I guess your in... ahem... "good" company.. :^/

    Michale.....

  90. [90] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am also constrained to point out that Obama has a history of just ignoring the law and established precedent whenever it suits him..

    Anyone want to discuss Obama's ignoring the War Powers Act??

    Again, I have to wonder how the Left would react if Bush had forced a "Recess Appointment" when the Senate wasn't in Recess. I have to wonder how the Left would react if Bush ignored the War Powers Act with the excuse, "...it's not a war, it's a kinetic military action..."

    Can you imagine the outcry from the Left???

    But Obama gets a pass.....

    Strange how that is, eh?? :D

    Michale

  91. [91] 
    dsws wrote:

    Obstructionism is either OK or it's not OK.

    False dichotomy. Obstructionism is normally not as good as negotiation, but some things deserve to be obstructed. The filibuster should be fixed, not eliminated. Republicans' gratuitous obstructionism is a minor part of what's evil about them.

  92. [92] 
    Michale wrote:

    Obstructionism is normally not as good as negotiation, but some things deserve to be obstructed.

    OK.. NOW we're getting somewhere...

    So, it's your opinion that obstructionism in and of itself, is not the problem here...

    Republicans' gratuitous obstructionism is a minor part of what's evil about them.

    And THERE it is....

    Republicans are "evil"....

    Therefore, when Republicans use obstruction, it's "evil"..

    Conversely, when Democrats use obstruction, it's "good"...

    And therein lies the crux of my entire argument.

    It's all about political and ideological bias. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with what is really right and what is really wrong.

    "THEY think different than we do, so THEY are evil and WE are good"

    THAT is what it is all about..

    And THAT is what is wrong with this country today...

    THAT was something Obama promised to change...

    Instead he has made it twenty times worse...

    I know, I know..

    It's all the Republicans fault.

    Democrats are pure as the driven snow... :^/

    Michale

  93. [93] 
    Michale wrote:

    What I am trying to say is that, when ya'all start getting pissy about Democrat obstructionism, then I'll concede that political obstructionism is likely a problem..

    Until that time, it's nothing but same ol' same ol' partisan politics games..

    Which shouldn't be confused with partisan Reindeer games.. :D

    Michale

  94. [94] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    You are mitigating up the wazoo....

    The numbers don't matter. Obstructionism is either OK or it's not OK...

    michale,

    that's insane, of course the numbers matter, and timing, and rationale. vietnam was obstructed to make the executive enforce a law (case-church amendment), NOT to nullify a law. the reductive argument is completely inappropriate here.

    let's put this in terms you might more easily understand. it's like beer. if you have three beers it's not the same as having fifteen. if you have five beers without any food, it's not the same as having them with a meal or after. if you have five beers after dinner on a friday night when you can sleep late saturday, it's NOT the same as having twelve beers with no food when you're supposed to be the designated driver. there's no way in hades it's okay to reduce the argument to beer being good or bad.

  95. [95] 
    Michale wrote:

    that's insane, of course the numbers matter, and timing, and rationale. vietnam was obstructed to make the executive enforce a law (case-church amendment), NOT to nullify a law. the reductive argument is completely inappropriate here.

    See #93

    let's put this in terms you might more easily understand. it's like beer. if you have three beers it's not the same as having fifteen. if you have five beers without any food, it's not the same as having them with a meal or after. if you have five beers after dinner on a friday night when you can sleep late saturday, it's NOT the same as having twelve beers with no food when you're supposed to be the designated driver. there's no way in hades it's okay to reduce the argument to beer being good or bad.

    Reminds me of the time I was in a religious debate with a guy over the existence of god...

    He said take a box filled with a thousand watches all dissassembled to their most minute component.. Then shake the box around over and over and over.. What are the chances that a fully assembled watch will happen? He said that, because that is impossible, it's "proof" that god had a hand in the creation of life...

    I had to mull that over, but the answer became clear. With his thousand watches example, he was talking about a MECHANICAL process... A process that requires exacting measurments and everything just so...

    When it comes to the formation of life, we're talking about a CHEMICAL process... A process where minute changes in just about everything can produce surprising, yet utterly coincidental, results..

    Now in YOUR example, you are talking about a chemical process that has absoutly NOTHING to do with the idea of obstructionism...

    In YOUR example, numbers matter..

    In MY previous example of torturing terrorists, numbers DO not matter. It would be your opinion that torturing ONE terrorist is as wrong as torturing a thousand terrorists.. True??

    So, basically, the disagreement here (vis a vis) obstructionism is that YOU claim that numbers DO matter in obstructionism.. That a LITTLE obstructionism is OK...

    MY claim is that if obstructionism is bad for ONE Party that does it a lot, it's also bad for the OTHER Party that doesn't do it as much..

    I also remind you of my argument that, if the Democrats could be as organized as Republicans when it comes to obstructionism, then the Democrats would ALSO do it as much as Republicans do..

    In other words, the simple fact that Democrats do it less is NOT because of some conscious desire to limit gridlock, but rather because they really REALLY suck at it... :D

    Michale

  96. [96] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Or is it your view that the GOP is being obstructionist over the CFPB because they are unpatriotic and want to screw over each and every American and want to hurt this country?

    You're so silly. Any time anyone has an objection, you try to turn it into a straw man.

    Republicans are against the CFPB because they believe in supply side economics. This is the view that government should only help producers and not consumers. They believe in this view because it is the view of those who supported their election. It is how big business gets big handouts.

    Now Republicans can't say this very loudly right now because supply side economics and it's step child deregulation are not very popular (see Wall Street crash).

    So they have to invent reasons to not like the CFPB. Cue the marketing department. This is where you get things like "it's not accountable" (even though accountability is built into the law, see link previously provided).

    All the arguments I've seen against the CFPB fall into this category of marketing. The real reason Republicans don't want the CFPB is because the lobbyists hate it (Payday cash lenders for one).

    But does that sound good to the American people? Not so much.

    -David

  97. [97] 
    Michale wrote:

    Republicans are against the CFPB because they believe in supply side economics.

    As opposed to the OTHER kind of economics that Democrats prefer and have been soooooo successful in the last 3 years??? :D

    So they have to invent reasons to not like the CFPB. Cue the marketing department. This is where you get things like "it's not accountable" (even though accountability is built into the law, see link previously provided).

    I did read your link and IF (real big IF) it's accurate, I do agree with your assessment.

    However, my agreement on accountability doesn't change the argument a bit...

    All the arguments I've seen against the CFPB fall into this category of marketing. The real reason Republicans don't want the CFPB is because the lobbyists hate it (Payday cash lenders for one).

    As opposed to DEMOCRAT lobbyists who LOVE the things Democrats do.. :D

    But does that sound good to the American people? Not so much.

    You know, these same kind of DEMONIZATION and divisive arguments were used against Insurance companies during CrapCare...

    CrapCare was supposed to save us all from the evil insurance companies..

    Did it work out that way???

    As you say.... "not so much"....

    So why do you believe that this CFPB is going to be any different than another regulatory failure by the Obama Administration??

    Regardless of the specifics of the CFPB, it still doesn't change the fact that everything I said in #89, #90, #92, #93 and #95 is dead on ballz accurate...

    Michale

  98. [98] 
    Michale wrote:

    All I am saying is that, despite the accusations of being "evil" or being "terrorists", isn't it possible that Republicans are nothing more than fellow Americans who believe as passionately as ya'all do in their particular political ideology..

    Isn't that possible???

    Yea, I know.. I know.. I am definitely not the Poster Child for such sentiment...

    But hay.. SOMEONE has to make the argument..

    Might as well be me... :D

    Michale

  99. [99] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    In MY previous example of torturing terrorists, numbers DO not matter. It would be your opinion that torturing ONE terrorist is as wrong as torturing a thousand terrorists.. True??

    false. even something as extreme as torturing alleged terrorists is subject to degrees of wrongness and mitigating factors, such as whether or not they're already proven to be a terrorist, whether or not there's suspicion of a plot to blow something up, how severe the torture is, etc. etc. - of course, something that extreme may be considered wrong if it's done even once, but the more you do it, the worse it is, still applies.

    Now in YOUR example, you are talking about a chemical process that has absoutly NOTHING to do with the idea of obstructionism...

    on the scale of lame counter-arguments, that's in the high 90th percentile. i thought beer would be a more fun example, but there are thousands of comparable examples that don't involve chemical processes. if you don't do your homework once or twice because your teachers gave you more than you could handle, it probably won't hurt anyone and is easily forgivable. if you never do your homework, it'll have severe academic consequences. if you play computer games dawn to dusk five days a year, no harm done. if you do it five days a week, you get fired and lose your house. with few exceptions, the principle of moderation applies to just about everything. are you arguing this issue sincerely, or just being contrarian for its own sake?

    Regardless of the specifics of the CFPB, it still doesn't change the fact that everything I said in #89, #90, #92, #93 and #95 is dead on ballz accurate...

    it's completely inappropriate to disregard the specifics, so the remainder of the statement can be safely disregarded.

  100. [100] 
    Michale wrote:

    The problem, Joshua, is you and David are trying to change the argument from 'Was Obama right in totally ignoring established precedent' to 'is the CFPB a worthwhile organization'..

    I suspect the reason you and David are trying to do this is because you don't have a leg to stand on arguing Obama's actions..

    This is supported by the fact that ya'all refuse to address the past history of Obama's actions in this regard...

    Let me make it easy for ya'all...

    The CFPB is better than frozen pizza!! It's the greatest thing since skimmed milk!! I LOVE the CFPB and, if it were a person, I would want to carry it's child!!!

    NOW... Does the fact that the CFPB is the greatest achievement in the whole wide universe justify Obama ignoring established precedent and doing a "Recess Appointment" when the Senate is not in Recess??

    I say "NO"....

    You, obviously, disagree....

    That's pretty much the status of this debate...

    I just can't wait until we have a GOP president that pulls the same kind of crap... I get to watch ya'all backpedal... :D

    Michale

  101. [101] 
    Michale wrote:

    it's completely inappropriate to disregard the specifics, so the remainder of the statement can be safely disregarded.

    First dsws and now you..

    I said "Regardless of the specifics of the CFPB,....

    The CFPB and the validity or non-validity of the agency is NOT the point of this discussion...

    The point of this discussion is does Obama have the right to ignore the law (in the case of the WPA) and ignore established precedent (in the case of the "Recess Appointment") and do whatever the hell he wants...

    I say "NO"..

    You say "YES"...

    If it were a GOP President, you would THEN say "NO"...

    Of course, MY answer would be the same...

    That's this entire discussion minus all the extraneous BS..

    Michale

  102. [102] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    The CFPB is better than frozen pizza!! It's the greatest thing since skimmed milk!! I LOVE the CFPB and, if it were a person, I would want to carry it's child!!!

    NOW... Does the fact that the CFPB is the greatest achievement in the whole wide universe justify Obama ignoring established precedent and doing a "Recess Appointment" when the Senate is not in Recess??

    or, we could take it the other way, say it's the worst agency ever made, and will totally cripple our economic recovery. oh wait, we already have... well in any case, it's a statute, which means it is in the domain of the executive branch. does the fact that it was spawned by satan make it okay for the senate to prevent the president from enforcing it?

    see, you're attempting to narrow the argument, when there are really three or four different arguments going on at once. you can't isolate them as if one were the only one that mattered.

    actions by the president and the senate were both basically illegal and both basically unnecessary. right and wrong is a different question, because not all justifications are equal. the senate has essentially cried wolf on every other nomination this president has ever made, so even if this particular obstruction should in theory be 100% justified, they have no ethical leg left to stand on. the president has made relatively few nominations, and even fewer recess appointments, and had thus far (to the consternation of his political base) used his powers sparingly in support of his nominees. so even if this is the worst, most illegal and most unnecessary nomination ever, he is still more justified in making it than the senate is in obstructing it.

  103. [103] 
    Michale wrote:

    see, you're attempting to narrow the argument, when there are really three or four different arguments going on at once. you can't isolate them as if one were the only one that mattered.

    No, I am trying to keep the argument centered on the point...

    The point being were the actions of the president right or wrong..

    Considering that the Obama Administration, on two separate occasions, established the 3-day rule for purposes of "Recess Appointments" and then ignored that seems to me to put Obama's actions firmly in the WRONG category...

    Speaking of right and wrong... I had an epiphany on the drive home....

    I have been posting here to CW.COM for going on 6 years now... And in that almost 6 years, in EVERY instance where the Democrats and Republicans were on opposite sides of an issue, the DEMOCRATS were ALWAYS right!!!

    And the Republicans were ALWAYS wrong!!!

    I mean, that's amazing, iddn't it!!!!???

    What a track record!!! The Democrats are ALWAYS right and the Republicans are ALWAYS wrong!!!

    What perfection!! Forget Democrats!! These people must be Borg!!! :D

    Michale

  104. [104] 
    Michale wrote:

    Just to make sure it was caught, the latter part of #103 was sarcasm...

    Want to make sure it's not mistaken as a "lame counter argument" in the 90th percentile.. :D

    Michale

  105. [105] 
    akadjian wrote:

    NOW... Does the fact that the CFPB is the greatest achievement in the whole wide universe justify Obama ignoring established precedent and doing a "Recess Appointment" when the Senate is not in Recess?

    We get it. Your point is established precedent.

    So following established precedent is the end all and the be all.

    How then do you feel about the GOP breaking established precedent and blocking the implementation of a law passed by Congress?

    -David

  106. [106] 
    Michale wrote:

    How then do you feel about the GOP breaking established precedent and blocking the implementation of a law passed by Congress?

    Really!!!!

    Congress has NEVER stooped to using the Nomination Confirmation process to exact a political price!!???

    NEVER!!!????? EVER!!!????

    OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    :D

    So following established precedent is the end all and the be all.

    If an Administration states, in a legal/court venue, that a certain precedence is established, then I would think it would behoove said Administration to FOLLOW the precedent they establish..

    If you can't trust an Administration to follow it's own precedents, then that naturally follows that the Administration is not trustworthy...

    Michale

  107. [107] 
    Michale wrote:

    I also must ask again, because it has never been answered......

    Would ya'all have the same attitude towards a non-Recess Recess Appointment, if it were done by a Republican President for the purposes of advancing an agency that Democrats where whole-heartedly and across-the-board opposed to??

    "It's OK, you can say it. They know the answer"
    -Joe Pesci, MY COUSIN VINNY

    :D

    Michale

  108. [108] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    Be careful with your "precedent" argument. The precedent in question is only a few years old, not some centuries-long legislative tradition. As for the WPA, all presidents have ignored it to some degree or another. It's never been tested in court, because both sides are afraid of what SCOTUS might have to say about its constitutionality.

    If you want to talk about ignoring precedent, and trampling on tradition, we can talk about how the GOP is misusing the precedent of the filibuster. They've used the tactic more times in the past few years than in our entire previous history combined. THAT is ignoring precedent, which is precisely what has put Obama and the Dems in the situation they found themselves in vis-a-vis the CFPB nomination. Previously, filibusters were only used for extraordinary circumstances, and not for every freakin' bill and nomination the other side put forward. So the GOP is the one trampling on this tradition and precedent in the first place...

    :-)

    -CW

  109. [109] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    No, I am trying to keep the argument centered on the point...
    The point being were the actions of the president right or wrong...

    that point is phrased in absolutes, so i refuse to acknowledge it as "the point." you're trying to convince everyone else here to answer what we consider to be an invalid question. given the inadequacy of the question, in [102] i gave the best answer i could.

    Congress has NEVER stooped to using the Nomination Confirmation process to exact a political price!!???

    not in an attempt to nullify the execution of a law that has already been passed. it's also a democratic majority senate, so in addition to rejecting the premise that any absolute right or wrong exists in this situation, i also reject the premise that it is a conflict between the democrats and the republicans. sure, more R's want the bureau gone than D's, but the real conflict is not between parties, it's between branches. if it weren't, people from different parties wouldn't be split on the issue. for example:

    Mr. Reid implemented the practice to block the appointment of Steven Bradbury as the permanent director of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel amid controversies surrounding his legal opinions on interrogation techniques. Mr. Bradbury has become an advocate of the move Mr. Obama made.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/08/us/politics/experts-say-obamas-recess-appointments-could-signify-end-to-a-senate-role.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

  110. [110] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    . As for the WPA, all presidents have ignored it to some degree or another.

    No president has ignored it in it's entirety...

    Especially with such a lame excuse as "It's not a war, it's a kinetic military action"... I mean, seriously!!! :D

    But what Presidents have ignored it to some degree?? And what degree??

    If you want to talk about ignoring precedent, and trampling on tradition, we can talk about how the GOP is misusing the precedent of the filibuster. They've used the tactic more times in the past few years than in our entire previous history combined. THAT is ignoring precedent, which is precisely what has put Obama and the Dems in the situation they found themselves in vis-a-vis the CFPB nomination. Previously, filibusters were only used for extraordinary circumstances, and not for every freakin' bill and nomination the other side put forward. So the GOP is the one trampling on this tradition and precedent in the first place...

    As I said, it's not as if Democrats don't use filibusters and obstruction out of some noble gesture or some such.

    The ONLY reason that Democrats don't obstruct and filibuster as much or more than Republicans is because they don't have the Party discipline to do so..

    You and I both know that, if Democrats had the Party discipline, their numbers would be right on up there with the GOPs...

    So, let's not pretend that Democrats are restraining themselves out of the goodness of their hearts and love of country.. :D

    Regardless, this puts us smack dab in the middle of it being a question of "numbers"...

    Despite NYpoet's awesome Beer example (Of course numbers matters when one is talking beer!! :D) the simple fact is, if a little obstruction and filibustering is OK, then a lot is just as OK..

    "How many people does it take, Admiral, before it becomes wrong? Hmm? A thousand, fifty thousand, a million? How many people does it take, Admiral? "
    -Captain Jean Luc Picard, STAR TREK 9 INSURRECTION

    When it comes to filibustering and obstruction, numbers don't matter. If a little is OK, then a lot is OK.

    That's my opinion...

    If it's OK for Democrats to do a "little" filibustering and a "little" obstruction, then it's OK for Republicans to do a lot...

    Michale

  111. [111] 
    Michale wrote:

    Congress has NEVER stooped to using the Nomination Confirmation process to exact a political price!!???

    not in an attempt to nullify the execution of a law that has already been passed.

    Each player gets six cards, except for the player on the dealer's right, who gets seven.
    The second card is turned up, except on Tuesdays.
    Two jacks are a "half-fizzbin".
    If you have a half-fizzbin:

    a third jack is a "shralk" and results in disqualification;
    one wants a king and a deuce, except at night, when one wants a queen and a four;
    if a king had been dealt, the player would get another card, except when it is dark, in which case he'd have to give it back.

    The top hand is a "royal fizzbin", but the odds against getting one are said to be "astronomical".

    Like I said, if you want to get down to specifics, we could probably come to the conclusion that NOTHING ever done has EVER been done before...

    But the simple fact is, Democrats have used this gimmick to their political advantage, just as Republicans have used it to THEIR advantage...

    Ho, hum... Nothing new here...

    Would ya'all have the same attitude towards a non-Recess Recess Appointment, if it were done by a Republican President for the purposes of advancing an agency that Democrats where whole-heartedly and across-the-board opposed to??

    Michale

  112. [112] 
    Michale wrote:

    Would ya'all have the same attitude towards a non-Recess Recess Appointment, if it were done by a Republican President for the purposes of advancing an agency that Democrats where whole-heartedly and across-the-board opposed to??

    I don't know why I bother asking this?? :D

    Even if you said, "yes" I wouldn't believe ya'all... :D

    But then again, YA'LL wouldn't believe ya'all! :D

    Michale

  113. [113] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Especially with such a lame excuse as "It's not a war, it's a kinetic military action"... I mean, seriously!!! :D

    ahem. *cough*cough* "enhanced interrogation techniques" *cough*cough*

  114. [114] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Would ya'all have the same attitude towards a non-Recess Recess Appointment, if it were done by a Republican President for the purposes of advancing an agency that Democrats where whole-heartedly and across-the-board opposed to??

    bush and cheney did so many things that were legally, ethically and morally questionable during their term in office, to be honest i'm shocked that they didn't do this one too. if they had, it wouldn't be much more than a blip by comparison. if romney gets elected and does it, my attitude will be resignation, because it's not as if we have come to expect anything else of anyone in washington.

  115. [115] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I thought it was about precedent, Michale. Oh right, it's about precedent until it isn't.

    What about Bush breaking precedent to use recess appointments as a first option? Nypoet's point with the number of appointees.

    What about, as CW mentioned, the use of the filibuster on a continuous basis? Breaking precedent.

    The problem is you and David are trying to change the argument from 'Was Obama right in totally ignoring established precedent' to 'is the CFPB a worthwhile organization'.

    Perhaps, but the worth of something is always going to be an argument when it comes to precedent.

    Otherwise, you would blindly do the same things that you've always done for no reason.

    The other thing that gets me is that this is really not a huge precedent breaker. Its obvious the Senate is not really holding sessions. And recess appointments have been a precedent for a while. Also, none of this has been actually fought out in the courts.

    There is, however, another reason for talking about the CFPB and that is that this is really what's going on. Republicans are opposed to the CFPB. They're not concerned about accountability, or precedent, or anything else for that matter.

    Except making sure the CFPB can't do it's job and maybe blocking everything else Obama wants to do too.

    -David

  116. [116] 
    Michale wrote:

    bush and cheney did so many things that were legally, ethically and morally questionable during their term in office, to be honest i'm shocked that they didn't do this one too.

    And yet, they never tried a recess appointment when there was no recess...

    The never tried to ignore the War Powers Act...

    But yet, with what the DID do....

    How the Left did scream.. How the Left did yell.. How the Left did accuse "War Criminal" and "Hitler" and all the other stuff....

    So, it would seem that the Left DOES react when a GOP president does things "wrong".

    Just not when a Dem president does things wrong... :D

    That's all I wanted to "hear"....

    David,

    What about, as CW mentioned, the use of the filibuster on a continuous basis? Breaking precedent.

    Who established the "precedent" that filibusters can only be used so many times??

    No one. There is no such precedent..

    Its obvious the Senate is not really holding sessions.

    Yet they were when Democrats did it...

    THAT'S my whole point. It was Democrats who perfected the "Pro Forma" sessions during the Bush years..

    NOW that it messes with the Dem agenda, all of the sudden NOW it's "the Senate is not really holding sessions"...

    Don't you see the partisanship???

    Michale

  117. [117] 
    Michale wrote:

    Joshua,

    ahem. *cough*cough* "enhanced interrogation techniques" *cough*cough*

    Touche.... :D

    But still, that is NO WHERE near as lame as "kinetic military action"..

    Plus it wasn't used to violate the War Powers Act...

    It wasn't even used to violate the law because Congress did authorise torture...

    Yes, your Democrats too.... :D

    Michale

  118. [118] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Don't you see the partisanship?

    I thought we were talking about precedent.

    But yes, I do see the partisanship. Republicans have become a do nothing Congress. And when the President does something which highlights their do nothingness, they whine about it.

    -David

  119. [119] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    And yet, they never tried a recess appointment when there was no recess...
    The never tried to ignore the War Powers Act...

    those two things about obama's actions in libya and last week really are kind-of puzzling, especially since he had other, less-murky options in both cases. he could easily have obtained congressional approval for libya, even a couple days after the fact. he could have used his constitutional power to declare congress adjourned, and made as many recess appointments as he pleased.

    those are far from the only things obama has done wrong, but he still has a ton of catching up to do to get anywhere near the same galaxy as his predecessor. once i wrote a song with all of the major bush administration lies and screw-ups, and i had to cut about half of it out because it was too long to play.

  120. [120] 
    dsws wrote:

    Obstructionism is normally not as good as negotiation ...

    OK.. NOW we're getting somewhere...

    So, it's your opinion that obstructionism in and of itself, is not the problem here.

    Well, if calling it the problem to be construed as saying that it's the only significant problem, then ok. There's no one thing that's the problem.

    But make no mistake, obstructionism is a problem.

    There are diverse interests and beliefs in any society. If they don't meet in open conflict, they meet in politics. The dynamics of that meeting can take any of three forms: deliberation, negotiation, and obstructionism.

    Deliberation is what should happen. The sides should come to understand each other's positions, and arrive at a deeper understanding of the issues at stake, so that each side is influenced by the others in a process that would ultimately lead to agreement. Deliberation, even very good deliberation, often doesn't lead to agreement. Situations change faster than they can be thoroughly considered by mere humans. But good deliberation also can lead to an understanding that a particular issue is a conundrum, where reasonable minds can differ, and can come up with a reasonable way of carrying on with such a matter unresolved.

    Negotiation is when the sides can't communicate well enough to arrive at a common set of preferences, but they can usefully work toward a mutual accommodation where all sides take each other's preferences into account and work together to come up with something that will satisfy all as well as may be. As such, it's a failure, but no shame. We can't reasonably expect deliberation to succeed so completely that there's nothing left to be negotiated.

    Obstructionism comes into play when the sides can't even communicate well enough to negotiate. As such, it's a shame, but not an abomination. There are courses of action that would be far worse than a mere failure to negotiate.

    Republicans have nothing to say that's worth deliberating about, as far as I can tell. Old-fashioned Burkean conservatism has a point, but right-radicals like the contemporary Republicans wouldn't know old-fashioned Burkean conservatism if it bit them on the anatomy. Honest libertarianism often has a point, but despite the Party's pseudo-libertarian wing, contemporary Republicanism is as authoritarian an outlook as you could ask for.

    Republicans have had no need to negotiate, for so long that they've forgotten how. Blame the Democrats for that one if you want, but blame the electorate too. Turnout votes count half as much as swing votes, but these days there are always more than twice as many turnout votes to be gained as swing votes. There are historical reasons why the Republicans figured that out first, and left the Democrats scrambling for swing votes they abandoned, but the fact is that they did.

    Republicans are "evil"....

    Therefore, when Republicans use obstruction, it's "evil".

    Nope. Republicans are evil, and Republicans breathe, but breathing still isn't evil. Gratuitous obstructionism is bad, and can be evil depending on the motivation behind it.

    "THEY think different than we do, so THEY are evil and WE are good"

    By putting that in quotation marks, you seem to be attributing it to me. It is not my position, at all. I recognize a wide range of issues about which reasonable minds can differ. I believe that good is good, no matter what anyone thinks of it; likewise evil is evil, no matter what anyone thinks of it.

    I insist that the particulars of what is good or evil is the kind of question that I may be wrong about, and by the same token so may you or anyone else. I believe that to be true, even though I don't claim to have a convincing argument for it. But it's absolutely vital as a working assumption. We must proceed on the premise that there's something to discuss. If we engage in futile discussion, little is lost by it. But if we proceed directly to conflict when fruitful discussion is possible, that's a step on the long road toward nuclear omnicide.

  121. [121] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    Republicans have become a do nothing Congress.

    And Democrats are blameless??

    {{{{{sssssiiiiiiiiiggggggghhhhhh}}}}}

    Democrats controlled Congress for two years.

    Granted, it wasn't a DO nothing Congress back then. It was a disaster for this country...

    I would much prefer Congress do nothing rather than take actions that make things twenty times worse...

    I also remind you that Democrats still control the Senate..

    So, if it's a "do nothing" Senate, then Democrats are to blame..

    Or, as we back to the idea that everything is the fault of the Republicans when it's a Republican Congress and everything is STILL the fault of Republicans when it's a Democrat Congress..

    Are Democrats *EVER* at fault for anything at any time??

    Joshua,

    those two things about obama's actions in libya and last week really are kind-of puzzling,

    OK, I'll take it!! :D

    That's sooooo much better than the "Obama can do no wrong" vibe I usually get from ya'all... :D I say "usually" because your objections to some of Obama's actions are well known.. :D

    those are far from the only things obama has done wrong, but he still has a ton of catching up to do to get anywhere near the same galaxy as his predecessor.

    We'll just have to agree to disagree on that point. Obama has done sooo much more to expand Executive Power at the expense of Checks And Balances than Bush was ever even ACCUSED of doing...

    dsws,

    By putting that in quotation marks, you seem to be attributing it to me.

    No, I didn't mean it came from you.. Usually my direct quotes are italicized..

    I mean that as a general quote as to what ya'all appear to believe..

    I insist that the particulars of what is good or evil is the kind of question that I may be wrong about, and by the same token so may you or anyone else. I believe that to be true, even though I don't claim to have a convincing argument for it.

    That's always been my position as well, which explains a lot of the frustration I feel around here sometimes..

    No one seems to think that Obama just MIGHT be the totally crappy leader and President that some people say he is and Democrats might be as bad for this country as some people say they are.....

    I'll be the first to admit that I *MIGHT* be wrong..

    But, up until now, I thought I was the ONLY one who could admit that.

    But it's absolutely vital as a working assumption. We must proceed on the premise that there's something to discuss. If we engage in futile discussion, little is lost by it. But if we proceed directly to conflict when fruitful discussion is possible, that's a step on the long road toward nuclear omnicide.

    Well said...

    "omnicide"?? That's a new one...

    "Endangered dirt. That's a new one."
    -Christian Slater, BROKEN ARROW

    :D

    Michale

  122. [122] 
    Michale wrote:
  123. [123] 
    akadjian wrote:

    And Democrats are blameless?

    Again. And again. And again. No one said this. No one said Democrats are all sweetness and light. How long have you read CW? Everyone is saying you have to look at things situation by situation. You as well as anyone should know we have many issues with Democrats.

    In the situation of this Congress, however, Republicans have blocked as much legislation as they can and that is the reason the Congress hasn't accomplished anything.

    In the Senate, Dems do have a majority, but Republicans have used the filibuster and "60 votes" to block everything they can.

    While in the House, well, in the House, Republicans have a majority and have used it at every chance to advance their agenda w/o looking at compromising.

    In each situation, Republicans have a choice. They can choose to try to work together or they can choose to block. In many situations, they have done nothing but block.

    Let's look at things from the Democratic perspective. What could they do to make the Congress do more? Well, they could simply pass the Republican agenda. This is not compromise. Or they could use the bully pulpit to try to rally public opinion. This has been done. Or they can use checks and balances to try to accomplish what they can. This was the case in the recess appointments. Or they can call the Republican bluff. This was the case in the budget ceiling standoff. What else can they do? They can work to elect more Democrats. They will try this as well.

    Summary. If you look at the situation, the Republican strategy is to force Democrats to 1) do 100% of what we want, or 2) we're going to sit here and block things.

    What else could Democrats do to work with Republicans?

    You would likely say "work with them," but you can't work with someone who is unwilling to compromise.

    You yourself have stated their strategy. You'd rather see Congress do nothing than work with Democrats. Well, they are. You've got that.

    But give me a break with trying to blame the gridlock on Democrats. Unless you can tell me how you work with a party that refuses to work with you.

    I have many criticisms of Democrats, but in this situation, there is one party responsible.

    -David

  124. [124] 
    akadjian wrote:

    No one seems to think that Obama just MIGHT be the totally crappy leader and President that some people say he is and Democrats might be as bad for this country as some people say they are.

    If we would implement the Democratic agenda and it failed, I would admit it. So far, I've seen little which Democrats have done which I would put in the "fail" category.

    Fail category = deregulation of financial industry (see Wall St crash). Fail category = overreach on foreign policy (see wars).

    You will yell "health care"! Well health care hasn't even been implemented yet. There's no evidence of a fail.

    You'll also likely say "economy"! But the economy has improved under Obama. It just hasn't improved enough. And Republicans are blocking further stimulus as this is their election plan. Block further economic improvements and use this to un-elect Obama.

    When there is clear evidence to show how Democratic ideas have failed, then I'll believe it. Right now, I see lots of people saying "it's the end of world" and no end of world.

    -David

  125. [125] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    Your entire premise rides on one false assumption..

    That Democrats want to work with Republicans..

    There is simply NO evidence beyond lip service to support such a claim.

    CrapCare is a perfect example..

    Democrats paid a LOT of lip service to bi partisanship, but when the rubber hit the road, Democrats just gave the GOP the bird and did what the Democrats wanted to do...

    During that two years, Democrats simply steamrolled over the GOP because they could.

    And NOW that the GOP has the power to push back, NOW Democrats whine and cry and want to talk "compromise"...

    Maybe if Democrats showed willingness to compromise back then, the GOP would be willing to compromise now.

    Democrats have reaped what they have sown... Their chickens have come home to roost..

    I have many criticisms of Democrats, but in this situation, there is one party responsible.

    While it's true that you have many criticisms of Democrats, most of them are of the "they don't beat up enough on the Republicans" variety.. :D

    But it's also fair to say that, around here, when the Democrats and the Republicans are on opposite sides of an issue, the Democrats are right each and every time.. Without fail...

    That is simply not logical...

    But give me a break with trying to blame the gridlock on Democrats. Unless you can tell me how you work with a party that refuses to work with you.

    Simple.. Democrats shouldn't have steamrolled over the GOP just because they could...

    Any recalcitrance on the GOP's part is a direct result of the Democrat's actions during 2009-2010..

    In shorter terms....

    Payback's a bitch... :D

    Michale

  126. [126] 
    Michale wrote:

    If we would implement the Democratic agenda and it failed, I would admit it.

    We have had 3 years of the Democratic agenda...

    Even OBAMA himself said Americans were better off before the "Democratic agenda"..

    What more evidence do you need???

    Michale

  127. [127] 
    Michale wrote:

    And, apropos of absolutely nothing, save that it's really REALLY kewl!! :D

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nCpEr09wtP4

    Michale

  128. [128] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Maybe if Democrats showed willingness to compromise back then, the GOP would be willing to compromise now.

    Bullcrap. The GOP got everything they wanted. That's why they provided the tipping vote. If they didn't want it, they could have blocked it.

    Dems compromised single payer and the public option. Everything I and most progressives wanted.

    How did Republicans compromise? Well, they moved some to actually vote on health care at all. They accepted a market solution. So they did compromise.

    This is what most people forget. The Affordable Care Act was a compromise.

    They forget this because Republicans then turned around and blamed it all on Obama.

    The one thing you cannot say is that "Democrats were unwilling to compromise."

    Well, you can say it. But it has no basis in reality.

    What more evidence do you need?

    Something much better than an out of context quote.

    -David

  129. [129] 
    Michale wrote:

    Bullcrap. The GOP got everything they wanted. That's why they provided the tipping vote. If they didn't want it, they could have blocked it.

    Exactly WHAT did the GOP get out of CrapCare???

    Tort Reform??? Nope, not in there...

    Name ONE thing that CrapCare has that came from the GOP..

    The one thing you cannot say is that "Democrats were unwilling to compromise."

    To use your phrase... "Bull Crap".. :D

    Democrats always SAY they are willing to compromise..

    But they only SAY it when they don't have the numbers to steamroll the GOP..

    Even then, it's just lip service...

    Something much better than an out of context quote.

    How about every poll that shows the majority of Americans giving Obama low numbers on just about everything..

    These polls ALL seem to agree with Obama's own words..

    That Americans were better off before Democrats came to power..

    The evidence is all around us.

    The majority of Americans simply don't like and don't agree where Democrats have taken this country..

    Can the GOP do any better??

    We're likely to find out next year..

    Can the GOP do worse???

    I can't see how...

    Michale

  130. [130] 
    Michale wrote:

    Dems compromised single payer and the public option. Everything I and most progressives wanted.

    But 75% of Americans did NOT want...

    Dems didn't compromise single payer and public option to appease Republicans.

    Dems compromised on single payer and public option because they knew the American people wouldn't stand for it...

    Michale

  131. [131] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Dems compromised on single payer and public option because they knew the American people wouldn't stand for it...

    now that really is moose poop. the public option WAS the compromise, and a majority of americans DID support it.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/12/03/us-healthcare-usa-poll-idUSTRE5B20OL20091203

    democrats gave up on it because campaign funding from insurance companies wouldn't stand for it. regardless of who has a majority, neither democrats nor republicans are the ones in charge.

  132. [132] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Name ONE thing that CrapCare has that came from the GOP.

    Here they are again ...

    1. A market driven solution w/ no competing public or government option.

    2. No single payer plan.

    Remember, compromise is not getting everything you ask for.

    -David

  133. [133] 
    Michale wrote:

    Joshua,

    And according to a brand-new NBC News poll, 47% of Americans -- a plurality -- oppose the public plan, versus 43% who support it. That's a shift from last month's NBC/WSJ poll, when 46% said they backed it and 44% were opposed.
    http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2009/08/18/4431178-nbc-poll-plurality-opposes-public-option

    That's the problem with polls... :D You can always find a poll to say just what you want..

    However, if you take a look at ALL the polls from that time frame, it's clear the majority of Americans were against CrapCare....

    regardless of who has a majority, neither democrats nor republicans are the ones in charge.

    That would seem to bolster the case that Republicans are not responsible for the gridlock.. :D

    Michale

  134. [134] 
    akadjian wrote:

    You can always find a poll to say just what you want.

    You can change the subject, but you can't say that Democrats did not compromise.

    If they didn't compromise, we would have a much better single payer plan.

    -David

  135. [135] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    1. A market driven solution w/ no competing public or government option.

    2. No single payer plan.

    Both of which Democrats knew the American people were against.. :D On the other hand, the American people were (and are) against CrapCare in general, so.......

    We can go round and round on this.. Matter of fact, we have... :D

    But we (again) seem to have lost sight of the original issue...

    Again, you seem to want me to be outraged by the obstruction of the GOP...

    I simply can't because I know that, given the right circumstances, Democrats can be (and HAVE been) just as stubborn....

    You seem to believe that Democrats have all the right answers and Republicans have all the wrong ones...

    Is there ANY issue that you side with Republicans and against the Democrats???

    I don't think there is..

    And THAT is the crux of our disagreement... The idea that Democrats have all the right answers and Republicans have no right answers...

    Michale

  136. [136] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Both of which Democrats knew the American people were against.. :D On the other hand, the American people were (and are) against CrapCare in general, so.......

    We don't have to go around and around on it. It has no bearing on your argument that "Democrats refuse to compromise" whatsoever.

    Is there ANY issue that you side with Republicans and against the Democrats?

    Again. You are changing the subject. Whether or not I agree w/ Republicans against Democrats has nothing to do with your "Democrats never compromise" argument.

    Which is absolutely ridiculous.

    You can't say Democrats "refuse to compromise" when an actual compromise was signed into law (which Republicans could have blocked).

    But I understand why you keep trying to change the subject.

    -David

  137. [137] 
    Michale wrote:

    I never said "Democrats refuse to compromise"... Or, if I did, it was in the context of a specific issue, like CrapCare..

    There is also a BIG difference between compromising for the good of the country and compromising because you know you're going to lose everything if you don't..

    The CrapCare "compromise" was the latter and you know it..

    I said "Democrats HAVE refused to compromise"... And that is true.. They have..

    I have also said that Democrats have been obstructive of the Republican agenda. And that's true... They have..

    So, pardon my if I don't get all outraged at the GOP obstruction that you seem to hate so much.

    Republicans obstruct Democrats..

    Democrats obstruct Republicans..

    These are the facts...

    It's just that Republicans do it so much better than Democrats...

    This is all becoming much too much like a game of Fizzbin for my tastes..

    You can nuance things to death all you want...

    But it won't change the fact that Obama's actions have considerably weakened the Checks and Balances system that makes our government work...

    Michale

  138. [138] 
    Michale wrote:

    And a year from now, when we have a GOP President and a GOP Congress, then it will be the Democrats who obstruct things to hell and back...

    Then ya'all will be FOR obstruction and I will remind ya'all of this conversation.. :D

    Michale

  139. [139] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I said "Democrats HAVE refused to compromise"... And that is true.. They have..

    Which I'm sure is true on something. Nothing I've seen though. And not health care.

    On health care, they gave away the farm. That's one of my big issues w/ the bill.

    Now if you want to make the case that Democrats could be better negotiators, I'm right there with you :)

    -David

    Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't one today. - Groundhog Day

  140. [140] 
    dsws wrote:

    Again. And again. And again. No one said this. No one said Democrats are all sweetness and light.

    There's no point in repeating this any more. He'll never stop pushing that straw man.

  141. [141] 
    akadjian wrote:

    There's no point in repeating this any more. He'll never stop pushing that straw man.

    You never know. Michale might actually surprise you. Every time I think I've got him figured out, he throws me a curve.

    I mean who else would put up with us for all these years :)

    -David

  142. [142] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, I have to admit..

    I was wrong...

    According to Eric FAST-AND-FURIOUS/THEY'RE-JUST-PICKING-ON-ME-BECAUSE-I'M-BLACK Holder, Obama's Non-Recess Recess Appointments were perfectly legal..

    How could I be so wrong???

    There's no point in repeating this any more. He'll never stop pushing that straw man.

    This coming from the guy who claimed that Republicans are terrorists.. :D

    I mean who else would put up with us for all these years :)

    Funny... I was asking myself the same thing.. 'How could these guys put up with me all these years' :D

    Michale

  143. [143] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, what if there is no tomorrow? There wasn't one today. - Groundhog Day

    Now THAT was funny!!! :D

    "The lines are down?? What about the satellites?? Is it snowing in outer space?? Don't you have special lines for emergencies or celebrities or something???.... I'm both! I'm a celebrity in an emergency!"

    :D

    Michale

  144. [144] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Funny... I was asking myself the same thing.. 'How could these guys put up with me all these years' :D

    Heheh. At the end of the day, it's just politics. It's not like we're arguing about anything important like beer.

    :)

  145. [145] 
    Michale wrote:

    Yea, argue about beer and watch me REALLY get irrational!! :D

    Burns: "Homer? I want to be loved."
    Homer: "I see. Oookaaay.... Well, I'll need some beer......."

    "Beer.. The cause of... AND solution to... All of life's problems!"
    -Homer Simpson

    Michale

  146. [146] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    And according to a brand-new NBC News poll, 47% of Americans -- a plurality -- oppose the public plan, versus 43% who support it. That's a shift from last month's NBC/WSJ poll, when 46% said they backed it and 44% were opposed.
    [snip]
    That's the problem with polls... :D You can always find a poll to say just what you want..

    first of all, that WSJ misinterpretation was debunked at the time by none other than CW. about a third of the 47% who didn't think the public option would accomplish its stated goals, thought so because they supported single payer - they thought the public option wasn't liberal enough, but they WERE willing to settle for it, which brings the number back to the initial 60% depending on how the survey was worded. you can manipulate polls all you want, but underneath it there exists a truth. you said 75% were against public options; the fact is almost 60% were in favor - they were just divided on which public option they wanted.

    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.
    ~Daniel Patrick Moynihan

  147. [147] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    He said take a box filled with a thousand watches all dissassembled to their most minute component.. Then shake the box around over and over and over.. What are the chances that a fully assembled watch will happen? He said that, because that is impossible, it's "proof" that god had a hand in the creation of life...

    all i have to say about that:

    http://youtu.be/PTSLGCCowWk

  148. [148] 
    Michale wrote:

    all i have to say about that:

    youtu.be/PTSLGCCowWk

    I tried to post my response on YouTube, but it didna work...

    So I'll have to do it here....

    Oh my frackin' gods!!!!! Yer crazy!!!!! :D That's awesome!!!!! Michale

    :D

    Speaking of YouTube, did you catch this one:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAIQWzW1MIc

    :D

    Michale

  149. [149] 
    dsws wrote:

    This coming from the guy who claimed that Republicans are terrorists.. :D

    I don't remember saying that. Got a link?

    More to the point, however, I never said that everyone here considers Republicans terrorists. You claim, constantly, that we all think Democrats are just fine. Then we bitch about Democrats some more, and you claim we think Democrats are wonderful again. The pattern never ends, and never will until you stop posting here or the rest of the population of commenters changes so drastically that your Republican-talking-points approach is solidly in the majority. Trying to change it is futile, so it's for the best if the rest of us just ignore it. (He says, utterly failing to heed his own recommendation.)

    Sure, most of us think Republicans are much worse. But none of us have every given one shred of any reason to believe that we think Democrats are flawless.

  150. [150] 
    Michale wrote:

    I don't remember saying that. Got a link?

    It was back during the Debt Ceiling crisis. CW did an FTP and condemned a couple of Dems and Biden for calling Republicans terrorists..

    I am pretty sure you agreed with the term and said something like "the ARE terrorists" or some such..

    If I'm wrong, then I definitely do apologize.

    It's really not that important anymore..

    I DID say it with a smile :D after all... :D

    More to the point, however, I never said that everyone here considers Republicans terrorists.

    I never said you did. But, other than me, no one else joined in the condemnation of the accusation... So.....

    Sure, most of us think Republicans are much worse. But none of us have every given one shred of any reason to believe that we think Democrats are flawless.

    As I indicated above... Aside from the MDDOTW awards, usually when people here bitch about Democrats' actions, it's about not sticking it to the Republicans enough.

    I honestly do believe that, in an issue that has the Dems on one side and the GOP on the other, NEVER has there been a time that anyone here (save me) took the GOP's side...

    Not once...

    Now, if that recollection is accurate, you have to admit it's pretty ludicrous..

    Can you?? Can you think of ANY issue that had the GOP on one side and the Dems on the other, that someone here said, "Ya know... As much as I hate to admit it, I think the GOP is right and the Dems are wrong.."

    I honestly don't think anyone ever has... Well, except our fearless leader, of course. Everyone knows he is the epitome of objectivity and un-biased-ness.. (Damn, there's that brown stuff again, all over my nose!!) :D

    Anyways it is, of course, ridiculous to think that the Democrats are ALWAYS right and the Republicans are always wrong..

    But it sure seems like that, around here, that's how it is... :D

    Michale

  151. [151] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Hey Michale,

    You do realize that you're hanging out at a progressive website ... :)

    I honestly do believe that, in an issue that has the Dems on one side and the GOP on the other, NEVER has there been a time that anyone here (save me) took the GOP's side.

    Kidding aside. Let's flip the question around. I've never seen you fight for the Democratic side. What are your thoughts?

    This is not to say that there aren't areas where we've found common ground over the years, but you've never fought for the "Democratic side".

    I have some thoughts but interested in what you think.

    -David

  152. [152] 
    Michale wrote:

    Kidding aside. Let's flip the question around. I've never seen you fight for the Democratic side. What are your thoughts?

    While it is somewhat fair to say that I haven't "fought" for the Dem side, it is undeniable that I have staked positions that are the Dems' positions as well. I have also whole-heartedly condemned Republican positions when appropriate.

    But I don't think I have ever heard anyone here say, "Ya know, I think the Dems are wrong and the GOP is right.."

    I might be mistaken in that, but I can't think of a single time...

    Michale

  153. [153] 
    Michale wrote:
  154. [154] 
    akadjian wrote:

    While it is somewhat fair to say that I haven't "fought" for the Dem side, it is undeniable that I have staked positions that are the Dems' positions as well. I have also whole-heartedly condemned Republican positions when appropriate.

    Exactly. I'd say the same about Democratic positions and staking positions which are in the Republican favor as well. For example, I was writing about the deficit long before it became a fashionable topic for Republicans.

    The trick is that there needs to be a balance. The GOP took the issue and said this is our only issue (for political reasons). And, the time to do deficit reduction is when you're in a boom, not a recession (it tanks the economy).

    But I don't think I have ever heard anyone here say, "Ya know, I think the Dems are wrong and the GOP is right.."

    And you likely won't. Just as we're not likely to hear you say "I think the GOP is wrong and the Dems are right."

    It's what happens when we get stuck in Dem/Republican mode. Which is why I usually try to avoid this, though in this thread, the topic was about the 2 parties so we went down that path.

    My 2 cents anyways ...
    -David

  155. [155] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    regardless of who has a majority, neither democrats nor republicans are the ones in charge.

    That would seem to bolster the case that Republicans are not responsible for the gridlock.. :D

    certainly not 100% responsible. in my personal experience, both parties have some nice people and some not-so-nice people. they all behave the way campaign finance dictates they must.

    when republicans play zero-sum politics, their corporate campaign contributors reward them for it. when they compromise at all, they get hammered. when democrats compromise their professed values, they get rewarded with campaign contributions; when they take their positions to the mat, their corporate campaign funds get hammered.

    although democrats are slightly more for consumers and republicans slightly more for corporate interests, there's a huge incentive for dems to compromise and republicans to play chicken, knowing that the dems will always be the first to cave. for years, money from labor helped strike a balance with money from corporate interests. as organized labor declined, that balance ceased to exist. except in those few remaining states with very strong labor unions, it's nearly impossible for a democrat to avoid being a giant hypocrite and still get re-elected. after the citizens united ruling, the few remaining pockets of backbone in the democratic party will cease to exist.

    that's the root of democratic hypocrisy. self-interest prevents them from doing what they claim to believe. the campaign finance structure makes republicans much more prone to extremism than hypocrisy, except in cases where they accuse democrats of extremism equivalent to their own. which i might add, michale, you seem far too anxious to buy into.

    the assertion that democratic obstruction has been equivalent to republican obstruction is not true, will not be true, and CANNOT be true. republicans aren't "better at it," they're just incentive-bound to take every tactic to the furthest extreme possible. the democrats used the pro-forma session to enforce moderation on a president who was recess-appointing immoderately. the reps used it to force extreme measures upon a president trying to appoint moderately. i don't so much blame either side as the system that forces them both to behave the way they have.

  156. [156] 
    akadjian wrote:

    that's the root of democratic hypocrisy. self-interest prevents them from doing what they claim to believe.

    It all comes down to how politicians are incentivized (a business .

    This is the reason why campaign finance reform is so important.

    Well said, nypoet!

    -David

  157. [157] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    Oh my frackin' gods!!!!! Yer crazy!!!!! :D That's awesome!!!!! Michale

    thanks! :)

    damn, i wish the comment had shown up. well feel free to click the thumbs up. the "saint tebow's fire" video was hilarious as well.

    ~joshua

  158. [158] 
    dsws wrote:

    I honestly do believe that, in an issue that has the Dems on one side and the GOP on the other, NEVER has there been a time that anyone here (save me) took the GOP's side.

    Every interesting issue has at least three wrong sides. The Democrats are wrong on a lot where they largely agree with the Republicans. The Democrats are wrong on a lot where they disagree with Republicans, who are also wrong but in a different way. Most Democrats are wrong on a lot where they disagree with each other. Most Democrats are wrong where the most Republicans are also wrong but some individual Republicans at least take sort-of the right side for rhetorical purposes some of the time.

    But there is no issue where the Republicans are right and the Democrats are wrong. Face it: the Republicans are way, way more wrong. They're so wrong they would kick Nixon out of the Party for being too far left (he imposed wage and price controls, and signed the EPA into law). They're so wrong they would run Reagan out of the Party with full tar-and-feathers (he raised taxes). And you know what they would do to a certain someone if He showed up and started fomenting rebellion and kicking the money changers out of the temples.

    So yes, a bunch of us are never on the GOP side. But that doesn't mean we think the Democrats are the bee's knees, or that the Dems' only failure is not beating up on the Republicans hard enough.

    [154] akadjian:
    For example, I was writing about the deficit long before it became a fashionable topic for Republicans.

    Hasn't fretting about the deficit been fashionable for both parties, whenever the other party's spending happened to be on the table, ever since "both parties" meant Federalists and Anti-federalists?

  159. [159] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Hasn't fretting about the deficit been fashionable for both parties, whenever the other party's spending happened to be on the table, ever since "both parties" meant Federalists and Anti-federalists?

    Heh. Most likely.

    But if you look at it from an economic perspective, the time to pay down deficits is during good times. Not during a recession or depression.

    I share a conservative economic concern about deficits. But if you ask economists, they will say there is a good time for this and a bad time. If you do it during a recession, it will make the recession worse.

    -David

  160. [160] 
    dsws wrote:

    the time to pay down deficits is during good times. Not during a recession or depression.

    Agreed.

    I share a conservative economic concern about deficits.

    But "conservatives" for this past generation are all about tax cuts. Until very recently, none of them have challenged the Norquist starve-the-beast strategy at all. The "big government" they rail against is much smaller than the stuff they want to spend without limit on. And "Reagan proved that deficits don't matter".

    Look what law they hate most, and what it's projected to do to the deficit. That's the main reason they hate it.

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