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Republicans, who continue to get hammered in polls for forcing the sequester upon an unappreciative American public, think they have finally come up with the perfect political ploy to blame it all on President Barack Obama—they'll simply pass legislation giving him the authority to make the cuts wherever he wants.

Why would they do such a thing? The answer is obvious: because they think it will allow them to blame Obama for every negative consequence from the spending cuts. Furloughs in Virginia? "Damn Obama for choosing to attack Virginia," they'd say. Disabled kids lose their teacher? "Why didn't the president give them more priority? We never would have done that."

In other words, the GOP gambit is a transparent piece of B.S. designed to allow Republicans to claim that spending cuts are painless—or at least would be painless if there weren't an evil president named Barack Obama sitting in the Oval Office. It's the kind of thing Democrats would be insane to embrace and the White House is pushing back hard. Tuesday afternoon, President Obama made his case, speaking at Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia:

Now, lately, some people have been saying, well, maybe we'll just give the President some flexibility.  He could make the cuts the way he wants and that way it won't be as damaging.  The problem is when you're cutting $85 billion in seven months, which represents over a 10-percent cut in the defense budget in seven months, there's no smart way to do that.  There's no smart way to do that.  You don't want to have to choose between, let's see, do I close funding for the disabled kid, or the poor kid?  Do I close this Navy shipyard or some other one?  When you're doing things in a way that's not smart, you can't gloss over the pain and the impact it's going to have on the economy.  

And the broader point is, Virginia, we can’t just cut our way to prosperity.

The tragic thing here is that Republicans know this. They know the cuts will hurt the country and its citizens. That's why they've spent so much time developing Twitter hashtags like #Obamaquester and dreaming up harebarained schemes like giving Obama the authority to spend money however he sees fit. But they have yet to do the one thing that would be the most obvious thing of all: to throw in the towel and give up on jamming the sequester down our throat.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 02:04 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I love this and he keeps saying it. (20+ / 0-)
    we can’t just cut our way to prosperity

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 02:21:17 PM PST

  •  Hence the plan (8+ / 0-)

    That's just it:

    They know the cuts will hurt the country and its citizens.
    How else can they prove Obama sucks? They can't, because he doesn't, and plans & efforts from the Democrats have put us on the road to recovery. Can't have that happen! Republican leadership has been pulling this shit for 4+ years now and successfully blamed it on the Tea Party (not that the freaks elected in 2010 haven't helped obstruct/destruct)

    Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

    by hulibow on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 02:22:14 PM PST

  •  Brilliant! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, shoeless, irmaly

    Now if Obama were to be given carte blanche, could he just, say, choose to cut say 5 cents here, 3 cents there, etc, and call it a day?

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 02:24:09 PM PST

    •  I'd suggest (7+ / 0-)

      he start by cutting 100% of federal spending in Texas.  Then keep going down the line of red states until the total mandated by the sequester is reached.

      “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

      by jrooth on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 07:06:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's a de facto line item veto... (0+ / 0-)

      Hey, why not give him carte blanche taxing authority as well and just send the congress home?

      The GOP has demonstrated they're about that responsible in how they think about governing.

      When tyrants speak, only nonsense is heard.

      by Beastly Fool on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 10:54:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  And, Line Item Veto has been tried and failed (0+ / 0-)

        The Republicans passed it in 1996 and then had a collective hissy fit when it turned out that the president that got to use LIV was Bill Clinton. So, they whined their way to the Supreme Court, which overturned the law.

        OTOH, if the president really did have LIV, it would be really easy to kill certain pork-fed monsters, like the F-35. The chances of the Republicans actually letting the president have such authority are nil, however.

  •  The President has actually produced (7+ / 0-)

    ...a budget with the mandatory sequestered cuts, as specified across the board. (PDF)

    If it goes through on Friday, it will impact many parts of our economy and as many as a million jobs will be lost -- as I detailed in my Diary last night.

    It's a simple as that.



    Denial is a drug.

    by Pluto on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 03:33:07 PM PST

  •  Newport News isn't in Cantor's district but, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KayCeSF, commonmass, DuzT

    I still hope this "slap" leaves a mark.

    "Remember, Republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before I took office and doubled it after I left. We simply can't afford to double-down on trickle-down." Bill Clinton

    by irate on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 04:27:52 PM PST

    •  Unfortunately (0+ / 0-)

      Cantor's district is about as far from Newport News as you can get socially and economically.  You're talking the difference between a working-class district and a highly-compensated professional area, the occupants of which look down their noses at people who merely open their mouths with the typical speech of the shipyard areas.

      Cantor's district will be patting themselves on the back for being "smart" and buying real estate above the fall line that the working classes couldn't afford, when a hurricane washes through Hampton Roads and puts a couple of million people under water.

  •  Not a new idea but bears repeating - if they pass (10+ / 0-)

    this silly idea to allow President Obama to designate where the cuts go, then he should 1) target programs located in the districts of the tea party members who voted for the sequester and now won't let it be dealt with, 2) federal programs in the red states, and 3) pet programs of these same legislators.

    Obviously this is unworkable and 2) would probably hit the wrong people the hardest but it sure feels right.

    Good Sense is Seldom Common

    •  Nope (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ET3117, commonmass, DuzT

      It's perfect.  Let those morons feel the pain of their own stupidity.  

      Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

      by Mark Mywurtz on Tue Feb 26, 2013 at 05:52:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I live in a red state... (3+ / 0-)

      President Obama has said he is the president of ALL the people, not just those who voted for him. This is the same approach Abraham Lincoln took, and it is the right one.

      On a practical level, how to win the hearts and minds of your opponents? Screwing them will help, how??

      How about a Marshall Plan to the oppressed states like Mississippi, to raise their economy to a level more similar to the rest of the country... this is my dream.

      During the Depression American citizens like my great-grandparents were fervently grateful to FDR, for (in their case) literally saving their lives. Multiply that times millions of people who could SEE how Democratic policies improved their lives, and you will understand why Democrats held power for decades.

      I love it that Obama's channeling Harry Truman: "I don't give 'em hell; I just tell the truth and they think it's hell!"

      by sillia on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 07:22:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Leverage (2+ / 0-)

        When you're dealing with people with no conscience, you need some leverage over them. If Obama were to get the power to decide where the cuts come from, he should go on a huge publicity tour, associating the legislators and their unwillingness to pay for government services with the cuts being imposed on their districts. Shut down the military facilities in the most red states first. Stop paying contractors in those red states. Stop paying for infrastructure projects that improve their lives and provide lots of jobs.

        But he needs to be ahead of Repubs, making it clear that this is punishment for them refusing to fund these government services. If they won't fund them, those areas don't get the services. Make the red states stop being net beneficiaries.

      •  Wht are you doing to realize it? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sillia
        How about a Marshall Plan to the oppressed states like Mississippi, to raise their economy to a level more similar to the rest of the country... this is my dream.
        And how can we help?

        -7.75 -4.67

        "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

        There are no Christians in foxholes.

        by Odysseus on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:15:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good question... (3+ / 0-)

          I've been thinking about this for a while. It seems like some sort of public works program, or a set of these, would help, but this doesn't seem realizable in the current climate in Washington.

          I wonder, how did we ever manage to pass the Marshall Plan?? It was so, so, so brilliant--help Germany rebuild so they understand our humanity. Pick the good parts out of the ashes and start over. But these were our enemies!!?

          Well, when I lived in Germany in the 1980's I met people who remembered getting assistance in the decades after the War, and also during the Berlin airlift, and the gratitude was very powerful. And in the six decades since then Germany has been a powerful ally of the U.S. This didn't happen by magic...

          I think we realized that the "austerity" imposed after WWI was a huge, disastrous, terrible mistake and tried to do the opposite after WWII. It worked!!!

          I love it that Obama's channeling Harry Truman: "I don't give 'em hell; I just tell the truth and they think it's hell!"

          by sillia on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 09:13:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  A better answer to your question (2+ / 0-)

          Upon reflection, there IS something that Kossacks could do toward this goal (rehabilitating red states). We need the 50-State project that Howard Dean initiated when he headed the DNC. Repeat, we NEED this, for progress in the long term.

          In Nebraska for example there is almost no viable Democratic Party (that I know about, anyway) and few good candidates at any level. Omaha may be the exception. For states like this, we need a MASSIVE, energetic influx, a FLOOD of activism, training, money, student clubs, etc, etc. We need someone showing an interest in every election in the state, from school board to county office to state leg to governor.

          Here's what I do--every single time I get a phone call from the DNC for money, I refuse to donate, saying that I donate to good candidates directly instead. I emphasize that we need the 50-state project implemented, because the DNC is not helping my state. Well, I'm not sure how effective this is, as oftentimes the person calling doesn't really know what I'm talking about, they're just following a script. But at least I try.

          In other words, we need to change how we think about elections--we need to plan for the long term. What's our 60-year plan??? There should be an answer in place.

          With more Dems in elected office, my dream of bringing economic equality to all parts of the country is more possible. There would still need to be pressure from the left, probably, like Occupy or climate activists. For example, how about major solar installations in Mississippi? Wind farms in Nebraska? Subsidized in order to a) bring  more prosperity and positive thinking to the public and b) reduce burning carbon fuels, at the same time.

          I love it that Obama's channeling Harry Truman: "I don't give 'em hell; I just tell the truth and they think it's hell!"

          by sillia on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 09:56:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Retrofitting for solar and energy efficiency (4+ / 0-)

            creates jobs and saves money and resources over time. It works in every climate, whether Mississippi or Minnesota, Hawaii or Maine. We use more fossil fuel than necessary and each child getting a proper education is learning this, so our culture is embracing this more and more.

            A no brainer. Not just cost effective, but saves money over time - AND the environment.

            When tyrants speak, only nonsense is heard.

            by Beastly Fool on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 11:06:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Right, in any climate (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Odysseus

              I'm just saying start putting such projects in Mississippi (or other economically distressed states, regardless of how
              Republican they are) as a public works project, for better jobs and prosperity in the state. The level of poverty there is unacceptable. Gee, I sound like a New Dealer...because I am!

              I love it that Obama's channeling Harry Truman: "I don't give 'em hell; I just tell the truth and they think it's hell!"

              by sillia on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 02:29:20 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Luckily (2+ / 0-)

        that hair can be split.

        Because the Republican constituency is economic rather than geographic, the Democrats could help (or not harm) the rural poor who make up much of their voting block, while socking it to the wealthy urban elites who make up their donor list.  Who do you wanna bet squeals?

        •  Good point (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cynndara

          There is a lot of populist and libertarian thinking among the working class in Nebraska, that I have noticed--in other words, they don't necessarily fit comfortably into the Republican agenda but will just vote that way out of tradition and knee-jerk conservatism. But if you talk to most people, they seem to share a more democratic (small d) viewpoint than you'd expect.

          I think the Republicans here made excellent use of religiosity, getting people to the polls about abortion and gay rights. But now these issues are fading in importance (at least I think/hope they are), they don't have much left to fool people with.

          I do think the 99% here would welcome taxing the rich and corporations! But even so, people here will keep voting Republican regardless, if there are no clear alternatives on the ballot.

          I love it that Obama's channeling Harry Truman: "I don't give 'em hell; I just tell the truth and they think it's hell!"

          by sillia on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 10:11:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  You can't win the hearts (0+ / 0-)

        and minds of people who don't even think you belong in the White House.  The red states are already eating up more federal dollars than they give...why reward them some more?   It's time to bring the freeking hammer down.

        •  thinking long-term, (1+ / 0-)

          not about getting people to appreciate Obama, that doesn't matter so much any more. But we do need them to appreciate that there is one party that generally looks out for their interests and one party that only looks out for the 1%.

          Seems obvious to us, but to a lot of people it just isn't real. How to make it real?

          I love it that Obama's channeling Harry Truman: "I don't give 'em hell; I just tell the truth and they think it's hell!"

          by sillia on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 10:40:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm afraid you're dreaming (0+ / 0-)

            If the last election didn't get them to understand, nothing will.  They care more about keeping minorities down, keeping women under control and making everyone believe the same crap they do.  They're a lost cause.

            •  Who's "they"? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              leftynyc

              Your average person doesn't share those values. It is a freakish, far-right extremist Xtian Taliban fringe with disproportionate influence in the media who promotes that stuff. Even in Nazi Germany the fanatics never had a majority, they terrorized the public to get control.

              I agree the fanatics are a lost cause. But you have to keep speaking up for mainstream values to give the average person something to identify with. Most non-political people, I find, have values that are more or less reasonable. The majority of Nebraskans, for example, are not racist, misogynist haters.

              You say I'm a dreamer? Well, I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one! ...

              :-)

              I love it that Obama's channeling Harry Truman: "I don't give 'em hell; I just tell the truth and they think it's hell!"

              by sillia on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 02:39:54 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Only if you can target so it hits only Republicans (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sillia

        For example, why can't the FAA ban flights by private planes and helicopters? After all, each plane in the air requires the same amount of air traffic control resources, so it only makes sense to favor commercial flights. But, the people who fly, or ride in, those planes, are predominantly rich Republicans.

        •  Okay, good thinking. (0+ / 0-)

          Under the sillia administration, you'll be nominated for Transportation Secretary. We may have to get you a different alias to get it through the Senate, though...

          I love it that Obama's channeling Harry Truman: "I don't give 'em hell; I just tell the truth and they think it's hell!"

          by sillia on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 02:43:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Question- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass

    I know the gop  house has passed 1 (maybe 2?) plans to avoid the sequester. Has the Senate voted on an alternative plan? They should and present a stark contrast.

    •  Remember that the so-called plan by the House (3+ / 0-)

      was in the PREVIOUS Congress and therefore has no existence at this time - if B. thinks he has something, let him try and pass it now; it won't - he's lost the margin of votes that would have been required to get it passed.  Now he will have to rely on Democratic votes to get any plan passed (since the Teahaddist won't vote for anything) and that means a plan that the GOP base won't accept. B. has effectively painted himself into a corner and the country as a whole has been covered with incandescent orange.  He is hoping that the Senate will have to fight the filibuster and accept everything that the GOP wanted in order to just get something through - then he will be able to claim victory.  Personally, I think he and many of the GOP legislators should be charged with treason.

      Good Sense is Seldom Common

      •  Ahhh but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass

        as with a budget: They at least HAVE passed one (or several I think). What do the Dems have? Zero.

        The game they always play is just to wait out the gop. On a budget, on the sequester, on taxes... I wish they would actually do something for a change. Harry Reid said he is fine with the sequester as well. That's so much easier than actually working I guess.

        •  Well, if you think you know how the Democratic (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          commonmass

          leadership can get something by the filibuster from the GOP I suggest you contact Harry Reid.  And you may not like it, but the GOP does NOT have any plan - budget or otherwise - now because this is a NEW Congress and anything from the last Congress is now gone.  IF B. wants to be able to claim that they have something, he will have to hold a vote and get it passed.  As it now stands he doesn't have the votes for anything.

          Good Sense is Seldom Common

          •  3 things (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            commonmass, BlueEyed In NC

            Reid ("we don;t need a budget") could put something in writing and hold votes. That is his job. I reject the mantra, since 2010 that because w don't have a supermajority it isn't worth trying anything. That's abdication not leadership. I could sit up there and say we aren't even going to try because the gop could block it.

            boner does have something in writing that passed his chamber. Which is a lot more than Reid or the President can claim.

            I suspect boner can get another plan if he wanted to on a party line vote.

            •  Why waste his time (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              commonmass

              Just so you can feel that he's doing something - even if its ultimately just for show (since it would have no shot at passing the filibuster.)

              The government is majority Democrats - until Republicans start acting like that is the case, there is no point in even bothering to pretend that you are trying to get something done.

              If they are going to continue to obstruct then why even give them the chance to improve their conservative credentials by voting down a bill that raises taxes, etc.

              •  Reid did nothing about the filibuster because he (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                zinger99

                did not want to interfere with the Senate's cush schedule, 2-3 days a week and not much to do on those days.....and $170,000 to boot.....let's not kid ourselves on why the Senate Dem's did not support the filibuster.  They are only a bit less corrupt than the republicans.

                •  Congress only works at Lawmaking 2-3 days/week (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  lakehillsliberal

                  The rest of the time, they're fundraising. The problem is especially acute for Representatives since they have a two-year election cycle.

                  If you're a newly-elected House member, you literally have to be shilling for bucks the day after you get elected and you can never stop.

                  Both parties have to do this, and successful Congress members have to "dial for dollars" or otherwise whore themselves to donors for hours each day.

              •  I disagree (0+ / 0-)

                That is a defeatist attitude, just like you describe "why even try?". If that's the case then go the hell home and stop taking  a check and stop whining like little children.

                And you point out something else. it IS majority Democrats and yet they act like they are powerless. They simply do NOT want to lead when it comes to tough issues. Again, at least the gop put something in writing and voted on it. The Dems are all talk. I think Democratic leadership (including the President) has been awful when it come to negotiating too. Dems have to realize as well that the gop needs a bone to chew on now and again to get something done. They have to remember half a loaf is better than nothing. The notion that we have to have complete control to get anything done is silly.

                •  Ignorance (0+ / 0-)

                  The Democrats are NOT powerless, but when you are dealing with spoiled little brats who say NO to everything what do you do?  Please enlighten us.  I really want an answer.  Since you made such a big deal about it.  PROVE your nonsense.

                  •  This is what they do (0+ / 0-)

                    I'm guessing I am just not an experienced for life Senator with a trillion dollars and all the hours in the day to ponder these things. But:

                    You forcefully set out your positions AFTER you have a strategy and the backing of your caucus.

                    You engage the WH to pull in the opposition, cajole and even court them- good cop, bad cop.

                    you find out where you can horse trade- I'll give you x you give me Y

                    you put something on paper- so the public can see it and know you have a plan.

                    You vote - to put your principles in stark relief to theirs.

                    You don't whine and throw your hands in the air and proclaim- "well they wont do what we want" so whahahahaha.

                    But again I'm not a millionaire Senator. But funny, Clinton had success with a GOP Senate. Bush had success with Dem chambers.

            •  Mr T (0+ / 0-)

              About as smart as him as well.  Get some knowlege before you post again.

        •  BIG LIE (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BlueEyed In NC

          You just repeated the BIG LIE.  President Obama has submitted a BUDGET PLAN to Congress EVERY year since he has been President.  Frankly, you have no critical thinking skills or you would know that EVERY bit of this political theater is THE REPUBLICANS/BAGGERS and their TOTAL obstruction of EVERYTHING.

          The ONLY thing the President wants is REVENUE INCREASES and the GOP has NOT budged one inch on revenues.  They have blackmailed the entire country which amounts to TREASON.

  •  Wouldn't the Senate have to pass (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Siri

    ...this silly idea for it to beome law? Even if they did, Obama could still veto it.
    It seems like the Republcans just want to waste our time. Boehner has o control of his caucus; this feels like a legislative version of the movie Speed.

  •  Give them what they want. (6+ / 0-)

    Let them shift all of the responsibility to the President, and he can take the entire $85 billion out of the military.

    Just when you thought there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between the two parties, the Republicans go and prove you're wrong.

    by shoeless on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 06:41:48 AM PST

    •  Yeah, how would this work? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Helpless

      So Congress passes a budget (or a continuing resolution) with spending levels for various areas.  Is their idea to give the President just a blank check on all federal spending?  If so, putting aside that would completely go against the spirit of our Constitutional system and make the President more like a King, should the President take them up on their dare?  

  •  If they give him the power (4+ / 0-)

    He should reduce Congress' budget to zero first thing.  I know Congess can't  vote themselves a pay cut, but what if Obama reduces their budget to zero.  So there's no money for salaries?  If we can default on our debt we should be able to defund Congress!

    Even Democrats can be asses. Look at Rahm Emanuel.

    by Helpless on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 06:44:18 AM PST

    •  They can't vote themselves a pay cut but (0+ / 0-)

      they can vote themselves a raise? Something is wrong with this...

    •  Umm, not such a good idea (0+ / 0-)

      Congressional staff members do a lot of constituent services and do vital research on various bills. Getting rid of them would make it even harder for Congress to act.

      Also, the Republicans in the House could make certain that cuts to staff hit the Democrats first and worst.

      Even just cutting congressional salaries favors the Republicans, since just about every Republican member of Congress is rich enough that they can live without the relatively trivial salary they get (in comparison to their net worth). By contrast, there are still some Democrats who aren't rolling in money and who actually need the income.

    •  He has no control over the congressional (0+ / 0-)

      Budget... It is only the executive agencies that he has control over...

      Takin it to the Streets! time to GOTV

      by totallynext on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 12:22:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So, here your congressmen/women (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, tb mare, DuzT

    have spent millions to get elected to have their shot at influencing policy, and then they pass a bill saying "let's let the president do our job." Hilarious.

    Watching  American politics is the best entertainment there is.

    Dissolve Israel; stop distinguishing between jew and non-jew in Palestine.

    by high5 on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 06:44:38 AM PST

  •  GOP, party of "personal responsibility"? (5+ / 0-)

    More like party of cowardice and cheap shots:

    Can't make the call on Bin Laden or GM, but rushing to claim credit!

    They crave for cuts, cuts, cuts, then blame Obama for sequestration cuts impact, before accusing Obama of overstating said impact to scare people! (Talk about talking from both sides of the mouth!!)

    Wants more cuts, cuts, cuts...but sure not ready to take the heat from the population. Then guess what, they'd take credit for any ensuing reduced deficit...while blaming Obama for any ensuing increase!!

    That's the Republican Party for you!

  •  Would that be Constitutional (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass

    Wouldn't Sequester Cuts really be a power spelled out for the Legislative branch in the constitution.

    Can we say that's not constitutional? I doubt there's much precedent other than Agencies (ie Congress enacting agencies but they have to give guidance how to spend- Agencies report to executive as quasi-judicial and quasi-executive).

    Or blame them for running from their constitutional obligations under the spending clause?

    I can't think of any real precedent. Could Obama say "we hvae to look into whether we have the Power to do this?"

    •  Sorry (0+ / 0-)

      Agencies: Legislature basically enacts, then there is a lot of law on how they are operated, but they have to have a guidance principle from Congress, but their "boss" is the Executive really they are quasi Legislative/Executive and Judicial (see the EPA until Sackett).

  •  Perhaps the sequester will give the GOP (4+ / 0-)

    a reality check. You know, I bet there are a lot of guys up at Bath Iron Works (here in Maine) who will get laid off if the sequester goes into effect (they repair coast guard and navy vessels, mostly). Some of those guys vote Republican. How much do you want to bet they won't vote that way in 2014?

    What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

    by commonmass on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 06:45:57 AM PST

  •  riddle me this GOP (5+ / 0-)

    if "$85 billion is not hard to find" then why are you holding the economy hostage for it?

    Barack Obama for President

    by looty on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 06:48:20 AM PST

  •  Senate would never go for it... (0+ / 0-)

    And House would look like cowards for trying to pass the buck.  I don't think it could get half the GOP Senate Caucus to vote for that - it would be them voting to give up power to the President.  

    And Pres Obama would veto it in a very public way and tell them to do their damn jobs.  

    If you're not talking about what billionaire hedgefund bankster Peter G. Peterson is up to you're having the wrong conversations.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 06:52:47 AM PST

  •  A quick congressional email for anyone... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DuzT

    in a district where the local economy is significantly dependent on federal government spending, such as military-heavy districts with many DoD and related jobs:

    I write this morning to urgently request that Rep. [last name] follow in the footsteps of Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va, Virginia Beach) by supporting any legislative measure that avoids implementation of sequestration.  Our congressional district is simply too dependent on federal spending [specify DoD or other affected government agency] to avoid a severe economic hit should sequestration take effect.  There will be no such thing as "minor pain" in our district.  This area has already been experiencing severe economic pain for six months as federal contractors, employers, and suppliers have cut back spending and hiring in anticipation of sequestration cuts.  

    When federal employees start getting furloughed, it's going to be devastating to the local economy.  Once again, because of the unique nature of the dependency of our local economies on federal government spending, I urge Rep. [last name] to support any measure that will end the threat of sequestration once and for all.

    You can easily cut-and-paste the above email into the contact form on your congressman's website, make tiny changes, and hit the "send" button.  Easy, peasy.  Five seconds.

    "Mitt who? That's an odd name. Like an oven mitt, you mean? Oh, yeah, I've got one of those. Used it at the Atlas Society BBQ last summer when I was flipping ribs."

    by Richard Cranium on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 06:53:26 AM PST

  •  The wheels are flying off the GOP's tricycle. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    The GOP's losing their collective minds as the vast majority of the country stops falling for their tired schtick. Imagine an elephant on a tricycle, pedaling at full speed in ever-tightening circles....and then the wheels begin to come off.

    I don't know who's Etsy shop this is, but I think this is a good starting image:

    http://www.etsy.com/...

    ...now we just need the subsequent "wheels coming off" bits. Or send Congress a bunch of stuffed elephants on two-wheeled tricycles.

  •  Obama is meeting with Boehner, McConnell, Reid, (0+ / 0-)

    Pelosi at WH on FRIDAY!  Meaning he expects the sequester is going to happen, or wants to send that message to GOP leadership that he's fine with how things are playing out and show GOP that he's not stressing and that a last minute offer is coming.  

    If you're not talking about what billionaire hedgefund bankster Peter G. Peterson is up to you're having the wrong conversations.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 06:59:45 AM PST

  •  I don't get it. I'd LOVE to have that power. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DuzT, Odysseus

    If I were in the White House, I'd be saying "please please please...give me that authority!"

    Then I'd just start closing down shit in all the states that I lost big. I'd start with Oklahoma and Utah and just work my way on down leaving the smallest cuts for Vermont and Massacusetts. I'd give the GOP a big old "FUCK YOU" and it would be targeted in Congressional districts. Watch em howl. Rest assured, they'd be begging for mercy in 24 hours.

    Really doesn't have to be smart. Just has to be politically expedient.

  •  "..in seven months.." Uhm not necessarily a WH NO (0+ / 0-)

    not completly convinced the WH is pushing back against = NO

    the "..in seven months.." bit sounds more like the WH could be open to such if allowed to make the choices over a year+

    That could be smart vs the 7 months being stupid

    with enough time to go in and go through every line of evey book it might be doable in a non painful way  

  •  Earth to people (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dynamohum, Whatithink

    We are not cutting anything we are slowing the rate of growth.  

  •  Take all cuts out of Welfare (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DuzT

    Corporate Welfare, that is.  To Exxon, banks and all the other corporations receiving welfare.

    The struggle of today, is not altogether for today--it is for a vast future also. - Lincoln

    by estamm on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 07:17:51 AM PST

  •  the gop has developed the same problem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DuzT

    all pathological denials of reality creates......you start believing your own bullshit

    In the time that I have been given,
    I am what I am

    by duhban on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 07:19:16 AM PST

  •  The Republicans want these cuts (0+ / 0-)

    Everything they're saying is just pretending they don't.

    I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

    by jhecht on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 07:24:22 AM PST

  •  They Won't Do It (0+ / 0-)

    "But they have yet to do the one thing that would be the most obvious thing of all: to throw in the towel and give up on jamming the sequester down our throat."

    But with Fox and NBC banging the drum for them, the Republicans won't give up the opportunity to ram the sequester down our throats.  Everyone knows that Fox is the Republican media pipeline and -- to me at least -- NBC sounds more and more like it is feeding at the same trough as Fox "news."

    So let the sequester happen.  There will come a time when the Republicans come with their hats in their hands to restore funding for their precious Pentagon.  THAT is when Obama will need a spine of steel to tell them that if they want to restore defense spending, then the only way to do so is to raise taxes on the wealthy.  Whether Obama has the guts to do this is a mystery -- frankly, I have my doubts that he does -- but the Republicans need someone who can play just as rough and dirty as they can.

    •  NBC/MSNBC OWNED BY COMCAST CABLE NOW (0+ / 0-)

      Comcast just bought ALL of GE's Controlling shares in NBC, which means Comcasts owns a "public" network now.  Talk about the slippery slope.  Comcast IS in the bag for Republicans and Corporate bottom line.

  •  I was thinking (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    about the whole #Obamaquester thing last night. I mean, seriously? We have an imminent event (of our own making) that may stall our economy and trigger a new recession, and that's what the House GOP clowns came up with. A f*cking hashtag??? It still blows my mind, the sheer stupidity of it all.

    It's not the breaths you take - it's how you breathe.

    by frsbdg on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 07:44:22 AM PST

  •  #StupidOrangeTeabagMan (0+ / 0-)

    is Stuck between a Rock and a Hard Place.

    He can't Pass Anything without Help from the Democrats.

    Anything acceptable to the Democrats will make the
    Teabag Village Idiot's heads Explode.

    218 Repugnicants VOTED for It.

    John Bone-Head got 98 Percent of what He Wanted.

    Now, President Obama Owns It?  WTF?

    Looks like a LOT of folks are going to Get Screwed.  Again.

    Don't Forget to Send your thanks and warmest regards
    to #StupidOrangeTeabagMan.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 07:47:23 AM PST

  •  If he's forced to decide, here are a few (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, BlueEyed In NC

    money-saving tips:

    Eliminate ALL subsidies to oil companies
    Eliminate all subsidies to companies that send jobs overseas
    Eliminate subsidies to corporate agriculture
    Bring our military home from Afghanistan on a highly-escalated schedule
    Make some hefty cuts in the Homeland Security budget, including domestic spying and militarization equipment for local police departments
    Stop enforcement of medical marijuana
    Put a hold on all Congressional salaries/perks

    "Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don’t pretend to understand." ~ Atticus Finch, "To Kill a Mockingbird"

    by SottoVoce on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 07:47:47 AM PST

  •  Bye bye, oil industry subsidies (n/t) (0+ / 0-)

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 08:21:37 AM PST

  •  Look no one party should take all the suffering, (0+ / 0-)

    But the cuts should come in ways to prevent long dragged out ways to suck the life out of Medicare, instead of upping the age.  I believe in the targeted "Keep Yourself Healthy" to approach Medicare and like the ACA, keep healthcare costs down.  What I am trying to say here is that Doctors who take Medicare, and I should know, living in FL do many, many unnecessary tests on the elderly.

  •  Sorry. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    totallynext

    It's the President's job to execute the laws and the budget that Congress passes.  If they're willing to give him the flexibility to mitigate the damage, then that's what he needs to do.  I understand the politics of making them eat their program.  But it's still his job to do the best for the country.  And he isn't running for re-election.

    I'd say TAKE that flexibility, and run with it.  Because in fact we CAN manage with this much in cuts, especially in the military.  This is a great way to eradicate all that old pork that nobody actually wants but nobody can get rid of, either.  And to lower the hammer on defense contractors and megabanks.  Take that money out of the contracts for the Joint Strike Fighter, the Osprey, and the widespread mercenary operations that substitute for uniformed troops bound by military law and national interest.  Shutter the redundant government giveaways that we DON'T need.  And slow down everything that services the banks to a barest drip, so that they aren't excused from making regulatory filings but have to wait five times as long for anything and everything.

    There are things that can be done with executive power, if one is a manager and administrator rather than a glorified salesman.  I think it's time for Obama to get off the campaign trail and into the office and do some work.

  •  Look on the bright side (0+ / 0-)

    Let the repubs give Obama authority for where all the cuts come from. Progressive wet dream!! Totally eliminate the F35 program. In fact 100% of cuts could then come from defense. Make sure all base closings are in red states with special emphasis on Texas, Georgia, Kentucky and Arizona. Or Cut all farm subsidy programs that entail corporate welfare, eliminate any school voucher programs, deciminate border patrol programs-in your face Brewer.

    Let REPUBS squeel its so preferential--yea so??? You want sequester well here ya go!!

  •  It should be remembered that... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    demjim

    Obama is one of the parents of the sequestration monster. The folly of negotiating a compromise so bad that it would have to be undone should also now be apparent to all who lauded it at the time.

  •  Cut the red states (0+ / 0-)

    to the bare bones.  They hate him anyway.

  •  View from the reality base...ie people (0+ / 0-)

    Who are impacted by the furlough...they ain't in obamas court

    In fact they plane him...since my family will be impacted by this directly, here is a reality check

    Don't have a freakin photo op at some shipyard... Be at your desk with pen in hand that says,,,BRING ME A SOLUTION.

    I am hearing over and over the talking points of we expect the president to lead...oh I  know the nuances of how spending legislation gets done...but the people impacted I.e. me don't want to see a stupid photo op,,,,oh and how much did that little trio cost to fly airforce one to Norfolk?

    Takin it to the Streets! time to GOTV

    by totallynext on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 12:16:55 PM PST

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