Has John Boehner scrapped the Hastert Rule for good? And I do mean "for good" -- in both senses of the term.
Archive of Articles for February, 2013
President Obama seems to be playing a long game in the budget negotiations, as evidenced by the press blitz over the past few weeks. So far, the White House has been very effective in setting the direction of the conversation taking place over the budget. By doing so, they have laid the groundwork for a much more realistic conversation on the federal budget which is long overdue -- the specifics of what to cut. This gets into territory the Republicans have been shying away from for a very long time, for very good reason. Because when you get down to the details of what, exactly, to cut from the federal budget, the questions get a lot tougher than easily-tossed-off campaign rhetoric. To put this another way: Obama is opening a conversation with the American people into what our federal priorities should be. That's what has been missing from the political debate for a long time. So far, Obama seems to be dominating this argument.
I'd like to welcome everyone to the first annual Pentagon bake sale. This event was made necessary, of course, because Congress pulled the "trigger" on cutting a half a trillion dollars of the Pentagon's budget over the next ten years. [audible booing from crowd] We all know the Pentagon simply cannot accept this slower rate of the growth of their budget, which in the same period is going to total at least six or seven trillion dollars -- and more, if we have anything to say about it! [loud applause]
Every once in a while I get an idea that is so crazy it just might work. What with all the sequester talk in Washington, it occurred to me that the Obama administration has a better option for pressuring Congress than they may have thus considered. Instead of making life hard for Americans everywhere with the across-the-board cuts (in the hopes that enough citizens will complain to the elected representatives), why not get rid of the middleman, and just make life hard for those in Congress? Announce that the very first budget cuts to be implemented will be sequestering the living heck out of National Airport.
We've got a number of oddities to dispense with before we get started this week.
Are Americans getting to the point where they've got "crisis fatigue" and just want to shut out the neverending economic hostage-taking in Washington? I have to admit, I don't have the answer to that question, which means that this is likely going to be a very short column.
Republican politicians seem to be making less sense than usual these days, especially when the subject being discussed is President Obama. No matter what Obama does -- or does not do -- it is wrong, according to Republicans. Oh, and everything bad is Obama's fault -- can't forget that one, either.
So, Karl, how does it feel to face the extremists in your own party?
I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.
Can anyone tell me why, exactly, Dick Cheney is on my television screen? Was there a shortage of cranky old Republican jingoist men this week, or what? Was John McCain too busy, or something?