WASHINGTON ? Social Security payments to millions of retirees and people with disabilities could be threatened if President Obama and Congress can't agree to increase the government's debt limit by Aug. 2, a new analysis shows.
Although the Treasury Department likely could avoid delaying Social Security checks, the analysis by the Bipartisan Policy Center points up the depth of the cuts that would be needed if the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling isn't raised.
It shows that in August, the government could not afford to meet 44% of its obligations. Since the $134 billion deficit for that month couldn't be covered with more borrowing, programs would have to be cut.
If Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment benefits, payments to defense contractors and interest payments on Treasury bonds were exempt, that would be all the government could afford for the month. No money for troops or veterans. No tax refunds. No food stamps or welfare. No federal salaries or benefits.
The problem here is obviously congressional Republicans who have steadfastly refused to increase the debt limit. There are now 22 House Republicans who have effectively pledged to oppose any increase whatsoever. If John Boehner loses six Republicans, then he won't be able to muster enough votes to increase the debt limit without Democratic support.
The thing to keep in mind here is that if we do reach the debt limit, it's not entirely clear what the legal obligations of the White House would be?in other words, whether they would actually be legally obligated to restrain spending. The issue is that reaching the debt limit involves the collision of contradictory legislation (the conflict between legislation that authorized spending and legislation limiting the debt limit). Plus, you also have constitutional questions about whether the debt ceiling is constitutional in the first place. So it's not entirely clear what the law requires, and the Obama administration should be reserving every legal option it has in order to avoid the damage that could be caused if Republicans fail to raise the debt limit.
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This discussion on Fox News.com Live the other day caught my attention, mainly because it featured a hopeful discussion by a Latino conservative, the Heritage Foundation's Israel Ortega, who was insisting that Republicans stand a lot to gain in the coming election cycle if they bash President Obama for his manifest failures at passing not just meaningful immigration reform, but even a simple measure like the DREAM Act.
Now, it's certainly true that Obama has abjectly failed on that front. Latinos know it better than anyone. And there's little doubt that pointing that out repeatedly to Latinos will help depress Latino turnout for his re-election.
On the other hand, it's hard to see -- as Ellis Henican gently tried to point out to Ortega -- how Republicans can stand to gain from pointing it out too loudly or too often: After all, it doesn't take much to remind Latinos just why Obama couldn't pass anything: Across-the-board Republican lockstep obstructionism, accompanied by a loud chorus of vicious right-wing Latino-bashing.
I think the Anonymous Radicalized Marginal House Democrat (who is an actual House Democrat) put it about perfectly in his discussion awhile back with the Paranoid Self-Loathing GOP Lobbyist (who is an actual GOP lobbyist) on this very topic:
PSLGOPL asked why "a filibuster proof Senate, bullet proof liberal Majority in the House and a President dedicated to Change" hasn't done anything about "Comprehensive Immigration Reform, or better yet, just the DREAM Act." ARMHD responded:
"Easy: because desperate Republicans two years ago had to swap dog whistles for bull horns to reach their virulent nativist base voters, and now nativism has become a litmus test for Republicans.
"Anti-immigrant groups were building blocks of the Tea Party. Tea Party Republicans foam at the mouth when they have to press one for English.They want to arrest and deport anyone buying Tecate beer with cash at WalMart. It's the culture, stupid.
"Republicans' open bigotry toward Latinos will be more and more of an electoral problem for them, of course, but when their party was in shambles two years ago they weren't thinking about the long run, they had to fire up their base right away, including their crazies...especially their crazies. So the people that Karl Rove tried to keep hidden because he was afraid they would completely creep out soccer moms are front and center.
"The Tea Party has made cowards of Republican politicians who used to hold themselves out as courageous statesmen, or more likely, revealed them to be cowards. The sainted John McCain, who worked with Ted Kennedy on a 'grand bargain' on immigration, beat J.D. Hayworth by making a hard right turn. Remember the 'danged fence' ad?
"Lindsey Graham will be practicing law with Bob Inglis unless he can get way right by 2014. Orrin Hatch and Dick Lugar are in deep trouble. Chuck Grassley is trying to explain that when he called for an 'individual mandate' for health care, he meant an individual mandate to prove citizenship in the emergency room.
"What a bunch of wusses.
"With every Republican opposing reform, whether from conviction or from cowardice, it only took one skittish Democrat to kill anything even in that brief window when Democrats had the 60 votes needed to defeat a filibuster, and Republicans filibustered everything.
"The good news for Democrats is that the electorate will be browner and browner, Latinos see the anti-immigration rhetoric as thinly veiled appeals to bigotry against them, and Asians and other minority groups are watching it all and wondering whether Republicans really like them any better. So enjoy anti-immigration politics now, PSLGOP, anchor babies will be voting soon, and so will their friends."
Republicans may want to wish away all the ugly rhetoric and right-wing lawmaking directed at Latinos (see the new Alabama laws for the most recent example). Lots of moderate Republicans have tried to point this out too. But they know, too, that bigotry pays dividends -- in the short run. That's what they do it.
By Doug Hornig, Casey Research
You know an asset class is hot when the scam artists start coming out of the woodwork. Such was the case during the real estate bubble of this century’s first decade, as those selling mortgages packaged them in ever more complex vehicles, many of which are now known to have been utterly fraudulent.
Is gold where real estate was?
No, not quite. But the notion that we are approaching the same ballpark seems borne out by one of the more creative scams we’ve seen recently. And we’re not talking about all those hucksters now trying to separate you from your old jewelry for a fraction of its value.
We’re talking about the great nugget . . . → Read More: The Great Nugget Scam
Read The Full Article:
The National Organization for Women wrapped up its 45th National Conference in Tampa, Fla. on Sunday, June 26, setting NOW's policy and agenda for the coming year and looking toward the 2012 elections and beyond. Topping NOW's policy agenda are improved Social Security benefits for women and a "Medicare for All" single-payer health care system as the solution to our health and fiscal crisis, including supporting Sen. Bernie Sanders' American Health Security Act of 2011 (S 915).
"Women need jobs, not cuts," said NOW President Terry O'Neill. "We oppose any cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and any health benefits derived from the Social Security Act. And candidates who want women's support need to stand with us in support of single-payer healthcare legislation on the state and federal levels."
Celebrations erupted throughout the conference when the New York state senate passed the marriage equality bill by a 33-29 vote. "This was a historic moment," said O'Neill, "New York is the largest state to recognize same-sex marriage and we want other states to follow suit quickly. I'm proud of NOW's long-standing support for LGBT rights and even prouder that the conference passed a resolution calling for stepped-up activism for marriage equality."
Other resolutions passed on the final day of the conference included pressing for reproductive civil rights legislation, using Title IX action networks to help end sex discrimination in education, ensuring inclusion of women and girls with disabilities in the U.S. Department of State programming and more.
The conference presenters, speakers and honorees, who included influential women in politics, groundbreaking activists and leaders in the medical field, were inspiring and motivating to the hundreds of NOW leaders gathered in Tampa.
O'Neill concluded: "The energy of the women that filled the rooms made this year's NOW conference one to remember. I'm thrilled by the success of our gathering, and re-energized to win women's longtime struggle for equality."
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Rep. Brandon Jones (D-Pascagoula), has just been endorsed by the National Rifle Association in his race against local cable TV hunting show host Charles Busby. Jones also received an "A" rating from the NRA for his legislative efforts.
When a bully meets a bully: Dirty Harry tortures the already-shot Scorpio.
I live in New York. I don?t love it, but sometimes it has a way of jumping up and biting its dirtbags in the ass. Maybe it?s the rats on the subway platforms that set the tone. In any event, Glenn Beck?s Romper Room TV show for asylum escapees ends Thursday after damaging this country for years. So it?s time for him to go back to his hole. As evidence, I point to a little tale of Beck?s recent night out at the movies. Glenn, you dish it out, but you can?t take it when you?re treated in kind.
Glenn Beck?s Wife Attacked in NYC Park
Tuesday, 28 Jun 2011 05:46 PM
By Hiram Reisner
Glenn Beck says his family was accosted while watching a movie in a New York City park Monday night. On his radio show and his website today, Beck described the incident and said an angry moviegoer kicked a glass of wine onto his wife Tania?s back, and as she got up to walk away, a man shouted: ?We hate conservatives here.?
?We didn?t leave. My staff this morning said: ?Why didn?t you leave right away.? That was uncomfortable,? Beck said, as he described the incident, which occurred while he and his family were watching a screening of Alfred Hitchcock?s ?The 39 Steps? in New York?s Bryant Park. ?I said because I have a right to watch a movie and enjoy a movie with my family in the park. I have a right.?
Beck said while he doesn?t expect ?a warm welcome in New York City,? what bothered him ?was the cowardly behavior of the hateful crowd,? he wrote on his website, glennbeck.com. . . .
A new poll shows President Obama beating Mama Grizzly in her homestate. When asked if they preferred Obama or Palin, 42% of responders leaned towards Obama, while only 36% chose Palin.
Of those who preferred Obama, 35% said they felt strongly about their choice. 24% felt similarly about Palin.
Debunking any accusations of a liberal survey bias, the Anchorage Daily News reported that conservative radio host Mike Porcaro paid for the poll.
President Obama was asked if he believes that civil marriage is a constitutional right during his press conference this morning. Rather than answering that question, Obama reiterated his record on LGBT issues and argued that marriage is best left to the states. What happened in New York “was a good thing,” Obama said. “I think that’s exactly how things should work. I think it’s important for us to work through these issues because each state is going to be different and each community is going to be different”:
OBAMA: What we’ve also done is we’ve said that DOMA — the Defense of Marriage Act — is unconstitutional and so we’ve said that we cannot defend the federal government poking its nose into what states are doing and putting our thumb on the scale against same-sex couples. What I’ve seen happen over the last several years and what happened in New York last week, I think was a good thing. Because what you saw was the people of New York having a debate, talking through these issues. It was contentious, it was emotional, but ultimately they made a decision to recognize civil marriages and I think that’s exactly how things should work. I think it’s important for us to work through these issues because each state is going to be different and each community is going to be different.
The Wall Street Journal’s Laura Meckler asked Obama if he personally supports marriage equality — given his belief that the New York law was “a good thing.” Obama replied, “I’m not going to make news on that today. Good try though.” Meckler followed up, but Obama again passed up the opportunity, saying, “I’ll keep on giving you the same answer until I get a different one.” Watch that exchange:
The questions come at an uncomfortable time for the White House, which is scheduled to host an LGBT pride event later this evening.
Yesterday, the Ohio Assembly passed the “heartbeat abortion bill,” a measure that would prohibit doctors from performing abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, thus outlawing the procedure as early as ?six to seven weeks into pregnancy.? Republicans admitted that the measure would likely fall to a constitutional challenge, but offered a myriad of wacky reasons for rolling back a woman?s right to choose:
– REP. ROBERT MECKLENBORG: The easiest way is also to look at it in the context of Nazi Germany, where during the 1920s, these were the arguments postulated by the proponents of abortion as the Third Reich was growing in power. Note they will sound very similar to you because they are exactly the same arguments put forth to support the current positions in support of the abortion laws as we have them on the books.
– REP. RON YOUNG: I’m afraid in 1973, the Supreme Court took a different tact [and didn't consider life.] If fetuses had been allowed to vote, if they had formed a voting block and they were organizing in front of the court house that day, the vote probably would have been much different.
– REP. CHRISTINA HAGAN: Teens who aborted were also three times more likely to report having trouble sleeping and nine times more likely to report subsequent marijuana use.
Watch a compilation:
Unfortunately, the heartbeat bill — which is one of the most radical anti-abortion bills in the country — was just one of three anti-abortion measures to pass the House. Lawmakers also approved legislation outlawing abortion after 20 weeks and prohibited insurers from offering abortion coverage in the health care exchanges established under the Affordable Care Act.