Friday, July 29, 2011

Harry Situation

As House Speaker John Boehner struggled unsuccessfully to pull together votes for his economic bill last night (postponing any vote until today at the earliest), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made it very clear that the GOP's last-ditch effort to save the country from possible economic default would come to nothing. "Boehner's bill dies tonight," said Harry, while cackling and rubbing his grubby little mitts together.

Amazingly, Reid was able to make this pronouncement despite
not having read what is in Boehner's bill...although we suppose if the democrats can routinely vote in favor of bills without reading them, there's no reason to believe they'd bother to read the ones they already know they're against thanks to their awesome psychic powers.

And just
why are the democrats and Barack Obama so opposed to Boehner's bill, after they've described the potentially devastating effects of not passing something? (For instance, Nancy Pelosi says that the debt ceiling must be raised to "save life on this planet as we know it," although in fairness she may not realize that the planet she's currently on is Earth).

Harry Reid says that he's against the Boehner plan because he doesn't want to be "back in this untenable situation a few months from now." When, presumably, he'll be much too busy
not reading more potential legislation. Not to mention his need to attend the Cowboy Poetry festival.

Meanwhile, the Whitehouse says the reason that Boehner's temporary funding measure isn't acceptable is because the next round of negotiations would come late in the year and spoil Christmas... although they didn't actually
say "Christmas," preferring to use the more politically correct term "holidays" which includes Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and the Obama family's "Death to Israel" feast. But no question, talking about saving the economy would really put a damper on the holiday fun, as well as cutting into the president's precious fundraising time.

Of course, the biggest obstacle to Boehner's bill (in the House, anyway) is actually the Tea Party conservatives who want no part of raising the debt ceiling now in return for promises of spending cuts later. And who can blame them? We've all seen this game played out innumerable times and the promised spending cuts never materialize. Moreover, the Tea Party types realize that with Harry Reid and Barack Obama promising to scuttle the Boehner bill, a vote to pass it is really an act of pure political gamesmanship...and they're rightly sick of Washington's games.

And so the flood waters are rising rapidly and, like our little beaver friend in the cartoon above, there's not much we can do now but wait...and continue to dam to the best of our abilities.

Harry Reid, dam Barack Obama, and dam every other free-spending politician who has left this country drowning in their debts.

Amazing nature fact: Beaver dams, much like Democrats, can block almost anything!


Anonymous said...

Yes, this is all going to be very interesting. Personally, I wonder why the do-gooders at the UN aren't calling on China/the IMF/the Rothschilds to "forgive" the US it's know, just like how not long ago they were demanding that the US let every Third World banana republic out of owing the US money.

Angry Hoosier Dad said...

I believe that Boehner is trying to do two different things: Make sure the Democrats bear the people's anger over the economy they demolished while, at the same time, kicking the can down the road a little further. He may believe that's the best he can do for now, but those "dam" tea party conservatives keep getting in his way by insisting on responsible governance. What the hell are they thinking?

Anonymous said...

@AHD - Yes, "dam" them... xD

John the Econ said...

Of course, Stilton is right. The Tea Party, or at least anyone with a memory know well that this was one of the few big mistakes that Reagan made with the Democrats; Never make a deal now that is contingent upon promises of spending cuts later. They'll just never happen. Even when "spending cuts" do happen now, they're rarely even real cuts, but accounting gimmicks anyway.

But it doesn't matter anymore. It's all theater now. Actually, it has been for quite some time. The real power regarding our economic future no longer lays with Congress or the President, or even Moody's and S&P; It lays entirely with those who are lending us the 40% of every Federal dollar now being spent. The minute that relatively small group of people/countries decide that we've been feeding long enough at their trough, it will all be over. It really doesn't matter all that much anymore what anyone in Washington does. The People's Army in China actually has a bigger say now.

Like is says in the bible; the borrower IS slave to the lender. Washington is just too clueless to figure that out.

Pete(Detroit) said...

John - don't have the figures handy, but had heard that the INTEREST we're paying to China is roughly equal to the amount they spend on military, annually.
That's right, not only are we paying for OUR armed forces, but theirs as well..

Suzy said...

Its too bad that our politicians worry more about themselves than our country. They don't dare do anything to hurt their voters...illegals, those on welfare, anyone needing the help of the system. Therefore its very difficult for them to agree to spending cuts, because spending cuts lose votes. It would be SO easy to just cut back on all this BIG government and let people loose to make their own way, while paying back the money we owe and becoming more self sufficient, so that we are not destroyed, like John says, when the other countries decide with a smirk to pull the rug out from under us.

Speaking of smirks...I feel like the whole world is already watching us with one.

Chuck said...

@Pete(Detroit) - I read that as well, and it ought to scare the dam crap out of everyone ... and probably would, if it got any dam press. But the fluffers are just too dam busy fluffing. Dam them, too!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Readers- Yes, it's all theater now. So just to make it perfectly clear (in case it wasn't), I support the position of the Tea Party representatives who aren't willing to put on the grease paint and clown noses and play pointless blame-affixing games.

@Anonymous (top)- I like the idea of a UN resolution to forgive our debts! It would remind the world how frickin' toothless UN resolutions are.

@Angry Hoosier Dad- I think Boehner is trying his best (after all, what CAN be pushed through when Reid and Obama hold all the cards?) but it's still the same old game: "we'll make things a little better today by making them a lot worse tomorrow."

@John the Econ- That "small group of people" who can decide that the US has been at the trough too long have surely made that decision already. Looking at today's GDP figures and the Kabuki show in Washington, it's clear that we can never pay back what we've borrowed already...let alone anything more we could get our hands on. Still, China will probably keep the financial drip coming to keep our economy (barely) alive, so we can continue to make payments to them as long as possible before we go toes up.

@Pete(Detroit)- Ironically, even though we're funding the Chinese military, we don't need to worry about them: they already own us.

@Suzy- "Spending cuts lose votes" will fit nicely on America's tombstone. And I think the stonemason doing the carving can start on the dates now.

@Chuck- This is as good a place as any to just mention that there was no deep meaning to today's cartoon. I just liked having a beaver say "dam you," because when we put all the smoke and mirrors aside, that's pretty much all that there's left to say.

Anonymous said...

I think some of you are missing the point. It isn't that Washington is clueless about the consequences of what they do (or don't do); they just don't care.

Colby said...

It's going to come down to this...

Anything that comes out of the house will be shitcanned by Harry Reid. It makes no difference what it is; Reid will not allow a vote because that might shift a teensy bit of blame onto the socialists (sorry ,I refuse to call them Democrats anymore).

Barry-O isn't going to sign ANYTHING that doesn't give him a blank check through the next election, and he can easily place blame on the conservatives because the press is constantly sucking his.... well, you know.

We are screwed either way, folks. If the Tea Partiers in congress get their way and send a bill that actually cuts back on spending, it goes down the toilet and we take the blame for starving grandma. If we cave in and give Barry O his trillions, he is going to put that money into the hands of the morons that put him in office so they will repeat the favor.

Given these two choices, I say, "What the hell." I would rather be accused of starving grandma that have another four years of rampant socialism. I hope the Americans in congress are ready to take the hit and dam up the river of money flowing from China to the US. It's going to get way more ugly in the next few days. Thank goodness I have some beer in the fridge and a bottle of hooch in the cupboard. Y'all are welcome to stop by for a cold one.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Colby- I'm perversely optimistic that even if everything goes to hell, the Tea Party types will be able to say "we promised not to play games, and fight for real solutions. And that's what we did."

And that's important because it might not ony reinforce the spines of the Tea Party supporters, but make other voters realize that finally, someone is actually telling the truth. Finally there is a party (or segment of a party) that will make the hard and painful choices that are our country's only hope.

And with that realization comes the possibility that if we can elect a Tea Party President and Senate...that promises will be kept for the first time ever. And that's exciting.

Currently, the Tea Party representatives are grabbing the whiskey bottle away from the already drunken Dems and Republicans...and will get the blame for the inevitable painful hangover. But that PAIN is an unavoidable step in recovery, and is long overdue.

I'm perversely encouraged and hope the Tea Party stands strong. And if I hear Barry Soetoro mention "compromise" one more time, I'm going to scream. Or I would if you hadn't invited us all over for happy hour. I'll bring the pretzels!

Doktor Paulie said...

@SJ: absolutely concur, especially with your last comment, just above. When people realize we really MEAN it and won't back down, it will become possible to begin, just begin, the process of real, positive change in Washington. We have to think beyond the next election to elections 10 and 20 years out.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Doktor Paulie- Exactly. As much as I'd love a substantive victory sooner, Step One is convincing people that it is possible to change the rules of Washington. There can be an end to the lies, the dog and pony shows, and the smoke and mirrors.

We can try our best to educate people, but the Tea Party is still going to get smeared by the media and the "less than intelligent" voting population. Which is why those can't be considerations anymore: we must do what's right and what's hard...or we've already lost.

John the Econ said...

@Pete: It hasn't happened yet, but will will before too long on the present course. Our interest payments will literally counter our military investments.

Prediction: In the not so distant future, expect China to make a move on Taiwan. And we will just let it happen. Why? Because China will make it clear to our leaders that if we raise an arm, they will collapse the dollar if we don't let them do what they like.

That will be the next undeniable sign that America's global dominance is on the decline.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@John the Econ- The only thing I'd disagree with you on is that it won't be a sign that America's global dominance is "on the decline," but rather that it is over in a very big way.

John the Econ said...

I've been corrected. And you are right.

The "decline" signs have been there for a very long time. What I described is the "over" sign, which will have psychological, social, and economic implications that make 911 seem insignificant.

Doktor Paulie said...

Guys! Guy! (And you sweet wonderful gals, too!)

Enough of this doom and gloom! Here's what's REALLY going to happen:

The Chinese, who are about as creative, flexible, and innovative as my pet rock, are going to make a move on Taiwan or the Spratly Islands (look it up).

We are going to yell, um, uh, "Bullmanor!"

They are going to threaten the dollar.

We are going to yell "Fill your hands you feeble sons of Mao!"

They are going to try it. They are going to come to understand the true meaning of the words, "The bolus has hit the rotating member." Once again, like in the 1940's, the fat, lazy, stupid, Americans win.

Why? Because we have more rednecks and seriously rude boys and girls than everybody else in the world combined! What!? A Chinese army, navy, air force, marines is going to whip our redneck Army, Navy, Air Force, MARINES!? Pull the other one.

Of course if the Chinese waited long enough we would weaken ourselves enough that they could defeat us. But those sorts are NEVER patient enough. They'll jump fairly soon, too soon, well before they can be assured of defeating us, about as soon as they can talk themselves into believing they can, and then our rednecks will pay the usual high toll that Liberty demands from time-to-time. Too bad for all the unnecessary casualties! Oh, too bad!

Hell's a comin'! We will prevail.

Disclaimer: just because I have that nice red, blotchy birthmark all down the back of my neck does not mean I am anything but rational and totally onjective on the subject of American Rednecks. Noooooooo!

Doktor Paulie said...

PS: Anyone of you who has not yet jumped out of a perfectly good airplane at high altitude should immediately go and do so. You will thank me. You will feel wonderful no matter what sort of news out of wherever. It is loud, it is windy, it is scary. You will love it! How do I know? You are ALL seriously rude boys and girls! It's what we do!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Doktor Paulie- I enjoyed your "True Grit" scenario of how we could deal with China. Of course, there's reason to worry that under the current commander in chief, our military might be forbidden to deploy.

And you continue to make leaping out of an airplane sound fun. Depending on what the stock market does in the next days and weeks, I may try it. Parachute optional (grin).

Doktor Paulie said...

@SJ: Yes, the Obaminator might order the military to stand down, or he might just as ineffectively engage in the usual dithering. However, it's just AMAZING how our military guys, in particular, our submariners, can get themselves "accidentally" sucked into a fight if they really think it's necessary. And after the success with the Bin Laden operation, who ever actually gave the order, BO is liable to want to engage in Operation Frequent Manhood anyway and so he might not wimp out fast enough. Time will tell.

Excellent idea to go jump out of that airplane. As they strap you into that harness and you realize you're really going to go do it, you will curse me. As you walk over to the airplane with its engines turning over loudly, you will curse me. As the airplane climbs up and up and you stare in terrified fascination out the open door at the ground getting smaller and smaller, you will curse me. As your tandem jumper straps himself onto your back and the two of you waddle together over to that great gaping hole in the side of the airplane, yawning into the vast abyss of the sky, you will whimper weak vain curses at me. Your tandem jumper will then hurl the both of you out the door and you will be too busy remembering how to breathe to curse me anymore. After about a minute, the parachute will open and you'll curse me roundly and richly one last time and then LAUGH and whoop and possibly even bless me. You'll feel tremendous when you're back on the ground with that smug smile on your face, and just a trifle sorry it was over so fast. But you can always catch your breath and go do it again. After the second time you actually can breathe during free fall.

John the Econ said...

@Doktor Paulie, although I have complete faith in our military to deal with such an event, they still Constitutionally take orders from the Administration, which does not.

And the reality is that when the price of food and fuel inevitably quadruples, American rednecks will not be paying any attention at all to what's taking place in the East China Sea.

Pete(Detroit) said...

John - True - some o' dem good ol' folks jest might be tempted to take matters into their own hands... I'm thinking a million folks sitting down in DC, blocking streets, buildings.
Shut the bastards DOWN

Mike said...

"Nothing personal Senator Reid, but your debt ceiling plan sleeps with the fishes". Luca Brassi

Pete(Detroit) said...

Mike - I think perhaps you mean 'Stinks like the Fishes' mebbee, no?

Angry Hoosier Dad said...

Doctor Paulie:
Don't neglect your equipment. Just because my gear was sitting in a closet for the past four years doesn't mean that entropy was on vacation.
I completed a 2-way with an old friend yesterday, turning about 5 points...ugly, but we got it done. On opening, one of my center suspension lines snapped. I did a control check and practice flare and everything seemed nominal, so I decided to land the canopy rather that cut away. When I flared for landing I got a rude surprise in that, rather than slowing to a stall, the canopy assumed a V-shape, lurched forward and seemed to speed up. My foot touched the ground then I was thrown forward and the top of my head bounced off the grass (thank God for my hard shell helmet) and I tumbled for a while. I knew I was hurt but I didn't know how badly. Luckily all my fingers and toes worked and I definitely felt pain all through the upper half of my body. That's a good thing. I collected myself and my damaged canopy and headed to the hangar. The rigger examined my suspension line and told me it was "old and tired" and that's why it broke. I knew how it felt! Now I am grounded until I heal and until I can pay to have all my suspension lines replaced. Still it's probably less expensive than having me replaced (I emphasize "probably"). I'm pretty confident I didn't break anything - and since I landed on my head I didn't damage anything important. Still, I feel like I've been in a traffic collision without a seat belt. I always pray when I get in the plane for God to bring us all back to earth safely. I sometimes forget that God expects us to do our part in the deal. I won't forget again. Check your gear.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Angry Hoosier Dad- Glad you're still with us! In a show of solitarity, I hereby swear not to jump out of an airplane until you've fully recovered.

Doktor Paulie said...

@Johnthe Econ: Time will tell. Unfortunately, sadly, I think we will get a chance to try the experiment. Time will tell.

While I'm at it, let me clarify one thing: the term "redneck" does NOT apply exclusively to persons of the caucasian persuasion, but generally describes anyone with a glorious lack of sophistication combined with an innocent attitude that carefully contemplates any mess and then says, "I can fix that."

@AHD: Whoop! YOU BET! Check your equipment! Paranoia pays! Murphy's Law: If it can go wrong, it will. Doktor Paulie's Law: Even if it can't go wrong, it will. Nature ALWAYS sides with the hidden flaw. Thanks be to our Ever-Kindly Heavenly Father that He got you safely home again.

The famous hunter of man-eating tigers , Jim Corbett, wrote about how he would obsessively check that he had a round in the chamber, over and over again, even though he KNEW that he had just checked it a few minutes before. He must have known what he was doing . When you hunt a man-eater, it hunts you right back.And they are GOOD at it. But over 25 years of it, Jim lived and they didn't.

Check your equipment.

Heal fast friend! Any landing you can walk away from...

Angry Hoosier Dad said...

I fear you will always remain a "wuffo" and that's OK. My wife is one and I married her anyway.
Doktor Paulie:
"Nature always sides with the hidden flaw"?
Hadn't heard that but now I won't forget it.