Boehner and Read the Bill: A sign that Congressional Republicans are starting to get it and the media isn't

I have argued for a while that Repubicans need to pick up the mantle of transparency. It is useful tactically and strategically. On the tactical level, the guys in leadership always play "hide the ball with what they are doing". This gives Republicans a morally secure high-ground to attack whatever the Democrats do. Strategically, it gives us an issue that can both rally our base and makes good sense to independents and many Democrats.

On Friday, House Republican Leader John Boehner issued a statement on transparency. The key passage:

It’s just common sense: Americans should be allowed to read the text of major bills before Congress votes on them.  Previous Congresses, including Republican ones, failed to live up to this standard.  But never before has the failure been as blatant as it has been in the past nine months under Speaker Pelosi.   Things have to change.

There are two key parts to this. First, he grabbed the policy issue and framed it in the adult and serious way "Americans" (not "Members of Congress", which seems like only a populist argument, although some in the media have grabbed the straw man to give the Democrats aircover) should know what Congress is doing so that we can hold them accountable.

The second part is, perhaps, more important. John Boehner has now explicitly rejected the way that he ran the House, said "we have learned", and established a new line in the sand. Furthermore, one of the reforms that he advocates, in this case, a waiting period before legislation can be acted on, actually may impact many of the wasteful spending concerns that actually helped drive him out of office. 

What is so fascinating is the rejection by Senate Democrats and the silence of lefty advocacy groups other than the Sunlight Foundation. In an effort to get a public copy of the healthcare bill before a vote, John Kerry said:

"This is fundamentally a delay tactic," the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate said. "I mean, let's be honest about it. The legislative language, everybody knows, is relatively arcane, legalistic, and most people don't read the legislative language."

That's right. But people who are interested do. People who are experts or people being impacted do, or they hire people to.

And this gets to the final point. Where is the press? Huffington Post is being sent around by Demcorats, because they are giving cover to Democrats. But they aren't really press. But where is the Fourth Estate demanding that they have the information to tell the American people what the debate is about.

Crickets.

You would think that John Boehner repudiating how Republicans ran the House would be worthy of news.

Crickets.

You would think that John Kerry giving cover to the Senate acting without even having legislation (I'm not talking about reading the bill here ...) would be newsworthy.

Crickets outside of Fox and the Washington Times.

4.4
Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (5 votes)

Comments

Unless you have a staff

access to the text of the bill will be useless. Ever seen one? Legislative language is drafted by highly specialized lawyers in the House and Senate Legislative Counsel offices, and is all but incomprehensible. It needs interpretation, and since any piece of "new" legislation impacts dozens of existing laws, understanding it also requires knowledge of and access to the those as well.

What would be really useful would be a CBO-style body to issue an official summary/interpretation.

 

 

CBO OK but not in lieu citizen review

Unless you have a staff access to the text of the bill will be useless. Ever seen one? 

 I’ve not only seen one but have had to interpret legislation so my bureaucracy could comply with its provisions.  

Legislative language is drafted by highly specialized lawyers in the House and Senate Legislative Counsel offices, and is all but incomprehensible. 

 Many times legislation is drafted in purposefully vague language. Why? In my opinion it is usually because the drafters are trying to be deceptive. Vagueness itself is another factor that could be corrected if the citizens had a chance to critique the legislation before it’s passed. In other instances something that might be termed “legislative finesse” is utilized. You want something to happen, say, insurance companies to slowly disappear. So what you do is design the legislation to make sure it happens indirectly. The language doesn’t explicitly direct that insurance companies go away, but if more and more employers are forced to stop providing insurance and their employees are necessarily forced to choose the public option over a period of time the insurance companies will fade away. And no one can point to any specific language in any legislation you sponsored or voted for that explicitly directed that it should happen.    

It needs interpretation, and since any piece of "new" legislation impacts dozens of existing laws, understanding it also requires knowledge of and access to the those as well.

 No problem. All enacted legislation is available for reference on the internet. It shouldn’t be too much trouble to read it and acquire the “knowledge.”   

What would be really useful would be a CBO-style body to issue an official summary/interpretation.

 That would just be putting official obfuscation on top of official obfuscation. There are thousands of interested individuals who can read legislation, just like they did with HR3200. Just have it available for critique before it is enacted. That’s all we need. 

 

you don't neccessarily need staff

Look at all the people who crowded the town halls this summer.

People were quoting page, paragraph and line to their elected representative.

If people care enough, or are worked up enough - they'll read the bill.

It's just that our elected officials have gotten sloppy and lazy - and they haven't bothered reading the bill. They probably have a staffer read it - and then say "give me the gist".

I also think that if more and more people started reading the actual bills (both on the left and on the right) - you'd see some of that dry legalease get replace with "normal" wording. 

Lamestream media and Dem Congress - a conspiracy of ignorance

When the lamestream media lamely ignores real stories outside the 'narrative' of the DNC, they become no more than agents of dis-information and ignorance peddling.

As for the DNC parrott-head saying "access to the text of the bill will be useless"  ... this is a 'let them eat cake' response.

It arrogantly assumes that everyone outside the beltway is an ignorant yahoo incapable of reading text and comprehending it. It arrogantly assumes there are no lawyers outside of Congress, no people versed in legislative language. Wrong. There are millions of us out here with advanced degrees and well-honed BS detectors. There are experts galore, at state and local level, in think tanks, and just private citizens with knowledge and background to handle the rigors of reading bad bills written by Waxman et al.

The Lamestream media and Democrats in Congress are engaged in a conspiracy of ignorance. Hide the facts and the reality.

It wont last. We find the truth through other means and the information hoarders will become discredited and disreputable.

The days of mushroom govt and mushroom media ('feed 'em s*** and keep em in the dark') are over.

 

Jim Bunning

It arrogantly assumes that everyone outside the beltway is an ignorant yahoo incapable of reading text and comprehending it.

Jim Bunning recently tried some grandstanding on this issue. So Kent Conrad read to him a portion of the bill which had been translated from conceptual to legislative language. Bunning was unable to correctly interpret it - he thought the language had to do with home health, when in fact it was about Medicare Advantage.

Now...if a member of the committee that has been wrangling with the subject for weeks can't do, what hopes for your average citizen who can spare an hour in an evening?

A CBO-style summary - official, and officially neutral - would provide infinitely more transparency than the legislative language.

Poor Jim Bunning

 Hey, guess what - I think I may have a higher reading comprehension than Jim Bunning. But that said, much depends on context. Without context almost any written material is more difficult to interpret. 

 

Circular logic: So you won’t know what I’m doing I’ll write legislation using deceptive language and when you are deceived I’ll say – “See, told you so!” 

 

I think that if the folks who write the legislation want to use a clear and concrete style they can do so. 

 

No, they can't.

Any new piece of legislation modifies many others that went before it, and therefore it has to be written in the way it is. You might as well say that computer programmers write software in code simply to preserve their jobs.

As someone who's written hundreds of state laws...

I can tell you, Mead 50, you're so full of it there's no room left for the usual pile dropped by Classic Liberal Democrat.

Most state chambers require the bill written before it comes to committee, amendments written to specifically be amended into the language where the sponsors want the language placed and bills are always printed and available --in hard copy or electronically-- in at least 93 of the state legislative bodies (house and senate) according to ALEC.

Legislative drafters in those states do an excellent job of keeping the text focused, relevant and refined.

You're just full of it again, here, on this thread. 

Can Congressional staffers drafting language do a better job communicating/articulating what the sections and bill do?  Heck yes.  And Americans ought to be able to read it, lobby their Congressperson and listen to what others --outside of govt-- think about the bill and the language.

I think we're all missing a big point...

whether or not a single American goes to the website and checks out a pending Congressional bill... by requiring the prospective legislation be written and available for review before either Chamber votes on the legislation is good public policy --sunshine, light, transparency helps Americans be better democratic agents.  To argue against it, as Mead 50 and the far left Democrats do, is anti-democratic and yet another reason why we shouldn't call the Democrat Party anything else until they return to being democratic -with a small "d".

Not only that, but for the last 40 major pieces of legislation --39, if you count the House Democrat's nonsense about Rep Joe Wilson's rebuke as one of their major pieces-- most of the House and Senate members didn't have the bill before them when voting.  Amendments were written into the context of the section being amended, they were just freely floating and got cobbled together by faceless partisan staffers AFTER the vote.  And the bills themselves, sometimes they still weren't written when the Pres had to sign them and he'd sign a ancillary document agreeing to the notion that disputes on the bill's language would be worked out later.

That doesn't happen in the majority of state chambers.  That didn't happen when the great minds of the Senate and House debated monumental issues like the War in Vietnam, the Great Society, Civil Rights, Clean Water, various treaties, the SuperFund legislation, even the Kuwait Desert Shield/Storm resolutions.  It's not beyond smart Americans to read and comprehend what a bill says --or doesn't say.

Why Democrats want would argue against transparency and citizen input is bizzare... oh, wait... the Democrats don't want input from "The Mob".  I forgot.

Soran, you are 100% right.  The GOP can make a principled stand by doing whatever it need do to stop the blind-eyed juggernaut on major legislation UNTIL the bill is printed and has been posted at least 72 hours online.  Principles held firm is what will help us back into power and trust by the American voter.

I have offered

a simple, concrete proposal for actually helping citizens participate more fully in the process.

And it's meaningless given that the CBO has proven...

it can be lobbied by the powerful, "mmmm, mmm, mm Obama" and knuckle under to the weight of partisan arm-twisting by the White House.

If the White House could gag CBO like it tries with other groups, it would. You'd be perfectly happy with a group like CBO being strong-armed or gagged on ObamaCare, the deficit and other Left-Democrat proposals because you know CBO'd eventually sucumb to pressure... or the House Speaker and Senate Leader would replace their leadership with more willing and subservient staff.

Your "proposal" isn't a concrete nor a realistic proposal to bring transparency to Congressional actions.  It's more shape-shifting, arm-twisting, inside the beltway answers intended to divert attention away from the folly that is Congress under the Democrats.

You are so true-to-form is it frightening sometimes.  What a tool.

Isn't it interesting

that no one criticized these aspects of the legislative process or impugned the integrity of the CBO until the other party got into power?

 

Not "interesting" just predictable...

since no other President has engaged in the kind of wide-spread, frequent, public and private intimidation of political opponents the way that Obama does since... since... well, since Nixon.

Obama and Nixon; same peas, two pods.

It not surprising this president would summon the non-partisan, highly regarded CBO to the Obama White House "wood shed" for some serious whooping-time from da' Masta to his new slave... yes-sa, a serious wood shed whooping is what Obama done did to the CBO.

I'll get a photoshopped image of said whooping by da'Masta ready for tomorrow.

 

What has Obama done that compares to

Cheney blowing Valerie Plame's cover to get back at Joe Wilson...to pick the first example that comes to mind.

If you can't come up with an example that reaches that level, then I'll be happy to see just a single example of an untoward piece of intimidation, no matter how significant or how petty.

 

Mead just keeps trying...

Some things are just too outrageous to ignore, although there may be some wisdom in the idea that a response dignifies the allegation. Anyway - Cheney did not out Valerie Plame. Former deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage did that, to recently deceased columnist Robert Novak. Not that it was a big deal, she wasn't involved in anything clandestine and never had been. Scooter Libby was indicted on perjury charges, but that had nothing to do with Plame.

Another attempt at liberal revisionist history.

What a bit of irony - in that episode, Joe Wilson was the liar. (Plame's husband)

read more at http://commonconservativesense.com

As is well known

Armitage's leak was the first one to make it in to print, but it was not the first one made - that distinction belongs to the one that Scooter Libby made at his boss' request. If Cheney had no culpability, why did Libby feel compelled to perjure himself to cover for him?

However, I'm happy to put all of this aside in return for the offer of one example of outrageous political retaliation/intimidation by Obama against one of his political rivals. Heck, it doesn't even have to be all that outrageous. I'll settle for middle of the road. garden variety intimidation.

A point of factual clarification... not that Mead 50 would care

but for the fair readers of this blog, Vice President Cheney did not leak any information about Plame to anyone.  It's dishonest to say or imply that was the case, as is done by Mead 50.

Mr Libby, Cheney's chief of staff, was convicted of perjury charges because he misled federal agents about his conduct and involvement in the effort to discredit Wilson's "findings".  Not because, as Mead 50 tries to imply, he was "covering up" for Cheney.  That's the stuff of pure far Left partisan wet dreams.

Tim Russert, an icon of the liberal MSM and a former Left Democrat worker, was identified as the one who leaked the true identity of Plame to Libby and Libby repeated Russert's claim to other journalists... but not to all journalists Libby spoke with during the timeframe under review.  It was well known in DC that Russert had it out for Libby and Cheney; two men he hated with a passion better suited for Democrat Underground conspiracy conventions.

Russert denied, on the stand, that observation.  Russert died and took his own perjury to the grave... unlike fellow perjurer Bill Clinton who still gets to chase underage skirts when Hillary's out of town.

 

Patrick Fitzerald

Patrick Fitzgerald in his closing arguments in Libby's trial:

We'll talk straight. There is a cloud over the vice president. He sent Libby off to Judith Miller at the St. Regis Hotel. At that meeting, the two hour meeting, the defendant talked about the wife. We didn't put that cloud there. That cloud remains because the defendant obstructed justice and lied about what happened."

So is he just having "a pure far Left partisan wet dream"?

Nice try, but you've logged another "miss"

The wet dream was referring to you, Mead 50, trying to link Libby's perjury conviction to a leak by VP Cheney.  It didn't happen.  Libby was convicted because he unintentionally misled federal agents investigating the leak and, equally important, Tim Russert then lied and committed perjury on the witness stand and in depositions to assist Fitzgerald in his one-man show in the limelight.  The same prosecutor who screwed up the Tony Rezko case and didn't indict Obama for graft and bribe taking. The same prosecutor who has royally screwed up the Blagojevich investigation.

The only cloud that remains from the Fitzgerald investigation, because both the civil lawsuit by Plame and the follow-up civil lawsuit by a fringe Bush Hate element were tossed out on merit, is why Fitzgerald didn't pursue the real liar in the case, Joe Wilson, who claimed that "Vice-President Cheney" sent him on the trip to Niger.

That, and the very black cloud that swirls around your suspect comments in this and other threads.

So not only was Cheney in no way involved in

blowing Valerie Plame's cover, but also Patrick Fitzgerald is a useless incompetent.

Thanks for clearing that up.

Anything else?

If we're recapping... you forgot your role as

the village idiot, Mead 50.  (smile)

No one said Fitzgerald is a "useless incompetent" except you.  I said he blew the Chicago-Graft investigation of Obama's buddy Tony Rezko and Obama's political peer Gov Blagojevich... and he didn't catch the two guys who really lied in the Libby case: Joe Wilson and Tim Russert.  And he didn't nab Obama for his graft, bribes and corruption.

Fitzgerald performed about as well as most federal Spec Prosecutors... it's why the Independent Counsel statute died its well-earned death in 1999.  He has two stars on his personal career flag right now: the '93 WTC bombing mastermind and Gov Ryan.

Remember, again (sigh), Mead 50 that you started by deliberately misstating my point that Libby's perjury charge stemmed from a cover up to aid Cheney.  It's still a lie on your part even after-- or in spite of-- all this spinning of yours.

 

I'm finding it difficult to keep up

So now the position is that lately Fitzgerald has been incompatible? He used to be OK, but now he screws up everything?

So when he said this:

We'll talk straight. There is a cloud over the vice president. He sent Libby off to Judith Miller at the St. Regis Hotel. At that meeting, the two hour meeting, the defendant talked about the wife. We didn't put that cloud there. That cloud remains because the defendant obstructed justice and lied about what happened."

was he having a good day or a bad day?

And, out of curiosity - why did Scooter Libby perjure himself?

I think you're making it harder to appear confused...

than you really need to, Mead.  Matt explained that you were wrong to imply Cheney leaked anything to the press about Plame's true identity; that Wilson and Russert were the ones who lied; that Scooter Libby perjured himself by mis-remembering a complicated series of discussions with a variety of people and retelling or trying to reconstruct his daily calendar and all the conversations he had on the topic many months later.

I think you guys are still smarting over the fact that you didn't get Cheney or Rove frog-marched out of the EOB... that there wasn't a perp walk with gleaming handcuffs.  You were denied and are, like the muttering legion of far Left Democrats, still pissed off that Bush wasn't caught in a Watergate-like coverup or Cheney or Rove indicted.

But then, they didn't do anything wrong... and to you, that doesn't matter.  Fry 'em anyway! is your charge.

You didn't answer either question.

n/t

I thought they answered you well, Mead50

Especially so given your tired ol' penchant for not answering anyone else's questions, avoiding the truth like an ostrich, and spinning DailyKos talking points into "fact".

Nice little touch there to play the "oooow, I'm a confused little tweety bird" line.  Is that fresh out of the Democrat Party's "Play the Victim, then call 'em a racist: How to beat your opponent in a debate"?

Mead50 has done of good job...

...of preventing you from sidetracking this part of the thread. I'll just jump in with a few other corrections about the Plame matter:

Fitzgerald didn't pursue the real liar in the case, Joe Wilson, who claimed that "Vice-President Cheney" sent him on the trip to Niger.

Wilson said the mission was undertaken to answer a request by Cheney's office, and that is a documented fact.

The notion of Tim Russert having some secret grudge exists only in  your own rancid fantasies, and this...

Tim Russert... was identified as the one who leaked the true identity of Plame to Libby and Libby repeated Russert's claim to other journalists

...was nonsense advanced by Libby, then shot to pieces by Fitzgerald--Libby had, in fact, discussed Plame in half a dozen prior meetings with various people, including Cheney, who talked about Plame and Libby over a month before the Russert converstation. Libby's own handwritten notes of the Cheney conversation proved it. Libby said he'd just "forgotten" all of those prior occasions. If you believe that, you're making a prima facie case that you're actually a cartoon character created by some clever liberal as an over-the-top-of-the-top caricature conservative idiocy, rather than an actual person.

(Libby rode that Russert lie for quite some time. When pretending he'd only learned of Plame from Russert, he even said he'd asked Cheney if the VP wanted to hear what he'd learned about Plame from his conversations with the press, and that Cheney had told him he didn't want to know.)

Oh please, ClassicDemocrat... you'll hurt yourself

with creating any more of your supposed-thoughts... go back to quoting DailyKos polls and the Enquirer.  It better suits your talents.

Matt made his points very clearly, he argued them with restraint and erred on the side of caution, and at then end of the day, he's right.  It's why all those fake, unfounded, silly civil suits by Plame and her skirt-chasing hubbie were dismissed by reasonable judges.

Fitzgerald did what he always does... he prosecuted this case to make a name for himself; not to find justice.  Fitz wouldn't know justice if the scales dropped on his thick Irish skull.

A big deal

Not that it was a big deal, she wasn't involved in anything clandestine and never had been.

We don't know everything she did at CIA, but that, alone, points to both the lie in your comment, and the nature of her work--the latter was, in fact, so highly classified that, at first, she couldn't even admit she'd worked for the CIA before 2002. Bush's CIA chief Michael Hayden confirmed she'd been a covert agent, and Newsweek's Michael Isikoff reported that she'd secretly worked, for a while, as the head of the Counterproliferation Division's task-force on Iraq, which is a part of the agencie's clandestine operations directorate. That's also what Bob Novak was told.

Worhtless conservatives ran around for months spouting the lie that Plame had never been a covert agent. Hayden set the record straight on that, then Henry Waxman invited before his committee Victoria Toensing, the right's top mythologist on the Plame-wasn't-covert school, and completely destroyed her.

Plame is, of course, only one example of how the Bush White House handled such matters. That administration, in fact, undertook wholesale political purges of entire agencies. In utter violation of the law, career employees were screened for political beliefs; if they were found to be less than fanatically loyal to Bush, they found themselves unemployed, and replaced by some clown whose only experience was frequently that fanatical devotion to their "president" (or a history of making big contributions to he and his worthless party). The U.S. Attorneys who refused to drum up baseless--but politically beneficial--cases against ACORN and other targets of the right met the same fate as those who pursued well-founded but politically damaging cases against Republicans--they were placed on an enemies' list and fired. The White House, in those years, acted more like organized crime than any sort of executive administration.

I think Mead and CLD2 need some apology making time...

First, even die-hard far Left trolls on Democrat sites no longer hold that Cheney leaked anything about Plame/Wilson that wasn't already out there.  The leak came from Dick Armitage via Bob Novak --proven in the released records & comments of the SpecPros Fitzgerald.

Armitage, not Cheney.  Not Libby.  Not Bush.  Armitage.

Second, Plame/Wilson was a bureaucratic analyst, not a covert agent or anyone doing clandestine action for over 11 yrs.  She had used the Plame name and Wilson name readily throughout Washington DC social activities --from the daycare school to the neighborhood watch group.  Her position was known to Democrat Party fundraisers because she used both names with them --her civil suit against Cheney was tossed out of Fed Dis Ct for that very reason.  The tag-along, oh-she's-given-up-let's-get-Dems-to-continue civil lawsuit got tossed on similar grounds.

Third, it's silly to think that VP Cheney, the lone voice inside the former Administration working to defend the CIA from the partisan excesses of Obama's wrecking crew, would knowingly or willfully "out" any CIA employee --even a third rate, low level, conflict-of-interest bureaucrat who used questionable judgment in sending her hubbie on a mission anywhere other than to pick up her drycleaning.

Finally, let's take Mead50's request to identify any instance where Obama has used intimidation against his opponents... setting aside the flaws in Mead50's onerous example above.

Case 1: Obama-as-candidate was confronted by lingering rumors of a close, deep, abiding relationship with convicted terrorist Bill Ayers and his bomb-making wife.  Ads were run in several states after Obama publically claimed he barely knew Bill Ayers and he wasn't a friend of the Obamas (even if they let him babysit the Obama girls).  When opponents ran political ads calling Obama's veracity into question, Obama went ballistic and tried to shut down the ads, intimidate TV stations that ran the ads, pressure station owners to 2nd guess their station mgrs when the mgrs said "go jump" to Obama.

Obama '08 Urges DOJ to Quash McCain Ads

"Barack Obama's campaign is urging the U.S. Department of Justice to take legal action against a recent ad tying Obama to Weather Underground Organization (WUO) terrorist William Ayers - currently a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago."

(...)

"According to Politico.com [follow the links to pdf files of the letters] Barack Obama is also threatening to "punish the stations" that run the AIP ads by organizing Obama activists to boycott the station's advertisers."

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/259032

Case 2: Obama, to my memory, is the first president ever use a joint session of Congress to publicly intimidate his opponents with finger wagging threats of "calling out" for a thrashing, a whooping, a new woodshed indoctrination program if you oppose ObamaCare or challenge the 'truthiness' of what he and his minions say about ObamaCare.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kx_B-qk2hJM&feature=related

Case 3: Obama, in an earlier and now discredited move, had his White House staff openly organize his collection of loyal trolls and thugs to keep track of what people were saying about ObamaCare, send copies of their comments to the White House, document webpages and websites, inform on fellow citizens who were exercising their 1st Amendment rights.  His WH staff noted the purpose of the FLAG was to ferret out fishy rumors about ObamaCare to the White House.  Didn't Nixon use the WH to intimidate his opponents?

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Facts-Are-Stubborn-Things/

What's interesting is the WH and Linda Douglass, Communications Director (no Mead50, she's not a covert agent for the CIA) tried to delete the webpage and were informed by WH Counsel that the Presidential Papers Act forbids them from sanitizing this unseemly little dance into Gestapo like tactics from Brave New World.

Nothing intimidating and chilling and repressive about those three examples --all three of which easily come to mind, Mead50.  Compelling, on-target and factual examples.

Your false example of Cheney supposedly outing Plame/Wilson as an example of intimidation of political opponents by Bush Admin is both weak and not factual in any sense. How do you even get up in the morning and stand to look at yourself to shave?

Or does ClassicLiberalDemocrat2 come over and you guys shave each other so you can avoid mirrors?

So that is what over the top intimidation looks like?

Seems more like beanbag to me.

 

Can't find a different play in the Daily Kos playbook, Mead?

Deny, deny, deny; you sound like an official for ACORN.

Of course you dismiss them, Mead.  To accept them or admit they are real where your example is pure puffery and wished-for-dreams, would be to deny yourself the little bit of security all that delusion affords you.

Flagging citizens for reprisals by the White House. Threatening members of Congress with sanctions.  Hammering TV stations, mgrs and owners with lawsuits... yep, that's intimidation.  That's Chicago-style politics as usual.  That's your Thug President.

Case 4: Obama strong-arming the bond holders at auto companies feeding at the ObamaBailOut trough.  Pure Chicago-style intimidation...

A leading bankruptcy attorney representing hedge funds and money managers told ABC News Saturday that Steve Rattner, the leader of the Obama administration’s Auto Industry Task Force, threatened one of the firms, an investment bank, that if it continued to oppose the administration’s Chrysler bankruptcy plan, the White House would use the White House press corps to destroy its reputation.

Thomas Lauria, Global Practice Head of the Financial Restructuring and Insolvency Group at White & Case, told ABC News that Rattner suggested to an official of the boutique investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners that officials of the Obama White House would embarrass the firm for opposing the Obama administration plan, which President Obama announced Thursday, and which requires creditors to accept roughly 29 cents on the dollar for an estimated $6.8 billion owed by Chrysler.

Lauria first told the story, without naming Rattner, to Frank Beckmann on Detroit’s WJR-AM radio.

Perella Weinberg Partners, Lauria said, “was directly threatened by the White House and in essence compelled to withdraw its opposition to the deal under the threat that the full force of the White House press corps would destroy its reputation if it continued to fight. That’s how hard it is to stand on this side of the fence.”

The sources, who represent creditors to Chrysler, say they were taken aback by the hardball tactics that the Obama administration employed to cajole them into acquiescing to plans to restructure Chrysler. One person described the administration as the most shocking “end justifies the means” group they have ever encountered.  Another characterized Obama was “the most dangerous smooth talker on the planet- and I knew Kissinger.” Both were voters for Obama in the last election.

One participant in negotiations said that the administration’s tactic was to present what one described as a  “madman theory of the presidency” in which the President is someone to be feared because he was willing to do anything to get his way. The person said this threat was taken very seriously by his firm.

Ouch, when investment banking lawyers --who play a rough game of intimidation all on their own every day in court or the boardrooms-- think your president is a threat --an intimidator supreme... it's a bad day for Obama and his pals.

Care to provide that apology now sought by others, Mead?

4 dubious examples

of politics as it has always been conducted.

I am still unimpressed.

"Dubious" --with a str8 face you can use that term...

after ranting about how terrible Cheney was to supposedly "out" Plame-Wilson?

Sir, that is the epitome of dubious claims... and wild fantasy spin str8 out of DailyKos and MoveOn.org

Mead50, you have no shame; no honor.  You're making NMDem look good by comparison.

Mi-GOP; way too funny!

 

Deny, deny, deny; you (Mead50) sound like an official for ACORN.

OK, you owe me a fresh cup of coffee... I blasted mine out on the keyboard when I read your pithy retort to Mead50's tiresome, predictable and unoriginal reply to all those cases of Obama-as-Thug-president.

Obama-Jimmy-Carter-in-thug.jpg image by itsforthechildren

Good job; Obama is a thug street brawler from Chicago

Each of those four cases prove that Obama is a thuggish president.  Nixon and Johnson and Kennedy were using the IRS, the Army, the FBI, Treasury agents and others to spy on US citizens, intimidate opponents and strong-arm people beyond any standard of conduct normally expected in politics.

Obama is just another man drunk on the power of the Oval Office and he, too, will continue to engage in the type of intimidation and personal character assassination that embodies the idiom that should be his motto: "the ends justify any means necessary".

We should never elect men to office who are so narcisstic and self-consumed that it makes them more interested in the vain glory of campaigning and not the hard work of governing.  And we should never elect that kind because, to them and from history's proof, they consider the govt is their's to rule as a right, not as a steward or public servant.

Like, um...

We should never elect men to office who are so narcisstic and self-consumed that it makes them more interested in the vain glory (sic) of campaigning and not the hard work of governing.

Like "Mission Accomplished"?

Not impressed by the example...

Mission accomplished referred to the efforts of the military to defeat the Iraq govt of Saddam and an end to conventional battle.  Bush said so in his remarks on the deck of the carrier.

At least Bush had some contact with the military and his commanders in the field.  Obama's gone 9 months and had 1 meeting with the commander of the "Good War" as Obama terms it.

Candidate Obama did the same thing.  As you know, Obama took a lot of heat from Hillary and Bill Clinton for not visiting Iraq or Afghanistan in a long time... which Obama tried to fix and got caught asking the Iraqi govt to hold off signing any agreements to further his partisan election interests.

I think that's narcissistic in the extreme -to put your country's interests, the military's interests, the interests of the Iraqi people we're suppose to protect behind your own, cheap political concerns.  Obama as Narcissist-in-Chief?  It may be so.

But you'll still be the Village Idiot.

 

In the Mission Accomplished speech

In his "Mission Accomplished speech", Bush said:

  • major combat operations in Iraq have ended.
  • In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.
  • claimed that the Taliban had been destroyed in Afghanistan.

and yet, six and half years later, American soldiers are still dying in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

Shall we go a bit slower for the Village Idiot?

You almost had a grasp on the truth on your first point, Mead.  The speech underscored the contribution of our military in the conventional combat battle stage to oust Saddam Hussein --a tyrant who your people were willing to act as "Human Shields" for before the conventional combat battle stage began and who were called "heroes" by Obama Czar Van Jones.  Pres Bush, our last real Commander-in-Chief, talked about the end of the conventional battle in Iraq.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pj2-zpHerrY

On your final ending point, regretably, you're right.  More American soldiers will be likely killed in both Iraq and Afghanistan because Obama has sent a message this week to the insurgents in Iraq and to the Taliban fighters in Afghanistan that the US is getting ready to adopt the normal Democrat Party strategy of Cut & Run.  And it's not just in Iraq or Afghainstan where that Democrat Party strategy of "Cut & Run" on our allies will do severe harm to the troops, Americans abroad and our friends... it'll hurt us in the Phillipines, in Pakistan, in SE Asia generally, in S. America and throughout the MIddle East.

Obama's artful deceit of his far Left wing (by dubiously declaring combat troops are leaving Iraq) is no security for those brave men and women, either.  Obama and his team are now pointing out that "combat" troops will soon be gone from Iraq... what Obama doesn't say is that thousands of US soldiers and diplomats will remain in Iraq, stripped of their defenses, relying upon inferior Iraqi security forces to do the work that US troops and US commanders should be doing as long as any type of US troops remain in Iraq.

In Afghanistan, the so-called "Good War" in Obama's inexperienced eyes, our troops have not secured the promised troop additions from other NATO countries that Obama pledged in the campaign to deliver.  In fact, our allies -unsure if Obama's Iraq policy of Cut & Run will slide over to Afghanistan- have been withdrawing their troops, limiting their engagement rules, avoiding combat situations and leaving all that to understaffed, under-equipped and now undercut US troops.  And now it looks like Obama will not provide the necessary troop levels requested by the commanders in the field.  Talk about revisiting VietNam mistakes!

Care to continue, Mead 50?  Village Idiot is too good a label for you.

 

6 years after "Mission Accomplished"

what Obama doesn't say is that thousands of US soldiers and diplomats will remain in Iraq, stripped of their defenses, relying upon inferior Iraqi security forces to do the work that US troops and US commanders should be doing as long as any type of US troops remain in Iraq.

6 years after "Mission Accomplished", after we "prevailed", why is Iraq such a dangerous place? After all, the battle is "over", the battle was a "victory", and Iraq is "free", a fact which Iraqis "celebrated". I know all these things are true, because I read them in the Mission Accomplished speech.

It is almost as if George Bush's vastly "experienced eyes" led him into an almighty cock-up!

I used to really worry about the fact that our troops were not sufficient in number and not adequately supplied. I see you still have these concerns. Oh well, don't worry - "you go to war with the army you have" - D. Rumsfeld.

And speaking of revisiting Vietnam mistakes - isn't that the domino theory I see in your 2nd paragraph?

And the Village Idiot now drives the pace car, it seems

To answer your question, Iraq is dangerous because we're pulling out for political purposes -a decision made by Obama- rather than for strategic reasons.  Iraq sectionalism, fueled partly by the intense animosity in Islamic sects, is to blame.  A well-entrenched criminal element of former Ba'athist thugs --someone who Obama has more in common than he does with average Americans-- and a decidedly uncivilized, undemocratic culture makes Iraq a dangerous place for Americans and others.

The far Left Democrats and their pundit pals in the MSM often use "Mission Accomplished" just like you do, here, my Village Idiot friend.  Usually it's limited to the fringe "journalists" at MSNBC, NBC and Comedy Central... or the DailyKos.  Seems you have all their talking points internalized in that little space between your ears.

Your comments remind me of this guy:

And that's an apt image of your failure to be germane, to stay on task, to admit error or offer an apology when needed, Mead 50.

Why do people put up with your uncivil conduct that disrespects the public square?

Can we get back to a discussion about transparency and sunshine inherent in posting Congressional bills before a vote on passage?

So Iraq wasn't a dangerous place before January?

To answer your question, Iraq is dangerous because we're pulling out for political purposes -a decision made by Obama- rather than for strategic reasons.

So Iraq wasn't a dangerous place before January? There were over 300 American military deaths in Iraq in 2008 - which is over 300 too many. Are they Obama's fault as well?

Can you be germane?

It's an easy question for one to answer and you already know the answer but want to bait and foul the discussion about Boehner's radical idea that Congressmen, Senators and Americans know what they're voting on before the vote occurs. Why is that, Mead?

To answer your off-topic question, in 2008 the US was fighting a counter-insurgency strategy with necessary tactics which, by volition, required forward-placement of troops.

The strategy was one that Obama embraced for Afghanistan before he got cold feet and began his effort to undercut our troops and our mission there and in Iraq. 

Iraq is a dangerous place, my Village Idiot friend.  It was so even before Saddam seized power and it is so today; one would think that apparent until you compare the death toll in Iraq with the murder rates in Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, DC, Atlanta, LA, New Orleans, St Louis, Gary, Flint Michigan, Denver.  Guess how many of those American cities, which are more dangerous than ALL OF WAR-BATTERED IRAQ, are controlled by Democrats?

It isn't a trick question, my Village Idiot friend.

Iraq's danger has been heightened for our troops and other Americans in Iraq because Obama has fatally communicated to the enemy that we don't have the resolve to stay the course, help establish a democracy in the Arab world, help free people of the slavish bonds of radical Islam. In fact, the latter goal isn't even on America's list because of Obama's kindred spirit with the radical muslims is now setting the agenda. 

Not only is it less safe because of Obama's inexperienced missteps and negligence, the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan may ultimately make America and Europe less safe as well as terrorists will be able to find safe havens for training, development and weapons manufacture.

I think you might want to redirect some of that outrage about US troop deaths to something you can affect: removing corrupt Democrat leaders from American cities where the death toll and violent crime rate exceeds that of all of Iraq.

I might think that a more worthy goal for you than to endlessly quibble small points here.  Yes?

Just so I am clear

You had 7 comments consisting of about 30 paragraphs discussing topics ranging from Cheney's innocence to Patrick Fitzgerald's incompetence to Obama being a thug to a defense of Bush's Mission Accomplished speech and Obama being a cut-and-run domino-toppler - all before you even mentioned, in passing, Boehner, and "read-the-bill".

So...it is OK for you to talk about whatever you want, but I can only work within the confines of the OP?

Is that about right?

Please don't

I'll get a photoshopped image of said whooping by da'Masta ready for tomorrow.

Please don't.

You're insulting Nixon

He had more decency and class, IMHO.

Put not your trust in the CBO

 Isn't it interesting that no one criticized these aspects of the legislative process or impugned the integrity of the CBO until the other party got into power?

 The CBO is just another governmental entity. It seems to do a good job now of avoiding bias but that’s no guarantee of future honesty. Things have a way of evolving over a period of time.  

 

Dems voted no on this...

 

SEPTEMBER 23, 2009 - 07:21 PM

 

ARE THERE 720 REPUBLICANS THAT THINK 

…That the American people should have the right to read the cost analysis of the health care bill 72 hours before the Senate votes on a $1 trillion+ bill? Today Senate Democrats led by Max Baucus stopped an amendment requiring the cost analysis details of the health care bill be made available to the public 72 hours before it is voted on. Apparently they don’t want anyone in the public to know what they are voting on. Tonight, I am kicking off a 72 hour fundraiser with a goal of identifying 720 Republicans willing to make a donation before midnight Saturday. Our goal is to show Republicans in the Senate and the House that they must stand firm against the government takeover of health care and continue fighting for the American people. Huck PAC will not endorse any Republican candidate that votes for the government takeover of health care. And if we have endorsed your campaign, and you vote for this monstrosity of a bill, we will revoke your endorsement immediately. Your endorsement of our stand will give Huck PAC the dollars we need to support fiscally responsible candidates who are willing to fight back against the government takeover of health care. 

 

 http://www.huckpac.com/?Fuseaction=Blogs.View&Blog_id=2828

Embarrassing

How much more embarrassing can it get. Politicians do not read the bills that they vote on that affect our lives? What good are they? Some of them almost take pride in not reading them so they can say to us "Well, I don't have time for that!" Maybe they need to make time. I think this legislation needs more attention than that. This is important stuff. online casino