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Obama, Boehner trade barbs, hints of compromise

By David Espo

AP Special Correspondent

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 01:20 p.m. HST, Oct 08, 2013


WASHINGTON >> President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner offered hints of possible compromise but also traded heated rhetoric today, a frustratingly inconclusive combination that left the eight-day partial government shutdown firmly in place and the threat of an unprecedented national default drawing closer.

"There's a crack there," Republican Boehner said of the impasse in a brief interview near the end of a day of maneuvering at the White House and the Capitol. But he added that it was not enough to warrant optimism.

Stocks fell significantly -- the Dow Jones average by 159 points -- as political gridlock endured. And, in the latest in a string of dire warnings, the International Monetary Fund said failure to raise America's debt limit could lead to default and disrupt worldwide financial markets, raise interest rates and push the U.S economy back into recession.

Republicans "don't get to demand ransom in exchange for doing their jobs," Obama said at the White House. "They don't also get to say, you know, unless you give me what the voters rejected in the last election, I'm going to cause a recession."

Even the deaths of U.S. servicemen over the weekend in Afghanistan were grist for the politicians. The Pentagon said that because of the partial shutdown it was unable to pay the customary death benefits to the survivors.

Boehner said Congress had passed and Obama signed legislation last week permitting the payments, adding it was "disgraceful" for the administration to interpret the measure otherwise. He said the House would clarify the issue with a new bill on Wednesday.

In Congress, a plan by Senate Democrats to raise the debt limit by $1 trillion to stave off a possible default drew little evidence of support from Republicans.

And a proposal by the House Republicans to create a working group of 20 lawmakers to tackle deficit issues drew a veto threat from the White House, the latest in a string of them as the administration insists the GOP reopen the government and avert default before any negotiations on deficit reduction or the three-year-old health care law can take place.

On a day in which both Obama and Boehner appeared on live television, both men appeared to be giving ground yet yielding little if anything of substance.

At midmorning, Boehner and other Republicans seemed to soften their demands.

"I suspect we can work out a mechanism to raise the debt ceiling while a negotiation is underway," said Rep. Tom Cole, an Oklahoma Republican who is close to Boehner.

The speaker, who had previously insisted on specific changes in the health care law as the price for preventing the shutdown, told reporters, "I want to have a conversation (with Obama and Democrats.) I'm not drawing any lines in the sand. It's time for us to just sit down and resolve our differences."

Asked if he was willing to raise the debt ceiling and fund the government for a short period, the Ohio Republican sidestepped. "I'm not going to get into a whole lot of speculation," he said.

A few hours later, Obama told a news conference he was willing to negotiate with Republicans on budget and other issues if Congress passed even short-term legislation to end the crisis.

"I'll even spring for dinner again," he said, referring to his courtship of Republican senators last winter, and attempting to inject humor into a political impasse where invective has been the norm.

Ninety minutes later, Boehner was unsmiling.

"What the president said today was if there's unconditional surrender by Republicans, he'll sit down and talk," he said. Renewing his call for "a conversation" about key issues facing the country, the Ohio Republican said, "Not next week. Not next month. The conversation ought to start today."

Boehner added, "The long and short of it is, there is going to be a negotiation here. We can't raise the debt ceiling without doing something about what's driving us to borrow more money and to live beyond our means."

Privately, officials said deeply suspicious Republicans were attempting to gauge Obama's comments to see whether they might represent a concession.

Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has said the deadline for Congress to act is Oct., 17, setting that as the day the government will exhaust its ability to borrow funds and will have to rely day-to-day on tax and other receipts to pay its bills.

Some Republicans have downplayed the significance of the Oct. 17 deadline, saying that even then, the United States would be able to pay China and other holders of U.S. debt and avoid widespread economic dislocation.

But Obama said they were badly misguided, warning that default would harm the economy, cause retirement accounts to shrivel and houses to lose value. Still other Republicans have made it clear in recent days they agree with the threat posed by default and are determined to prevent it.

Inside a closed-door meeting of the Republican rank and file, Boehner had told his fellow Republicans they were in the midst of a tough battle and that Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were trying to "annihilate us," according to one official in attendance.

Boehner's tone was different when he spoke to reporters.

"There's no boundaries here. There's nothing on the table. There's nothing off the table. I'm trying to do everything I can to bring people together and to have a conversation," he said.

In the back-and-forth, the threat of a default overshadowed the continuing partial government shutdown. An estimated 450,000 federal workers are idled at agencies responsible for items as diverse as food inspection and national parks, although all employees are eventually expected to receive full back pay.

The House approved legislation during the day to pay for a resumption of Head Start, the pre-school program for disadvantaged children. The vote was 248-168. The bill was the latest in a string of measures to end the shutdown in one corner of government or another in hopes of forcing Democrats to abandon their own demands for a full reopening of the federal establishment.

Republicans also announced they would vote to make sure federal workers on the job don't miss their next regularly scheduled paycheck on Oct. 15.

The shutdown began more than a week ago after Obama and Senate Democrats rejected Republican demands to defund "Obamacare," then to delay it, and finally to force a one-year delay in the requirement for individuals to purchase health care coverage or face a financial penalty.

It was not a course Boehner and the leadership had recommended -- preferring a less confrontational approach and hoping to defer a showdown for the debt limit. Their hand was forced by a strategy advanced by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and tea party-aligned House members determined to eradicate the health care law before it fully took root.

That portion of the strategy was doomed to failure, since money for the health care program was never cut off.

With the government partially shut down, Boehner and the GOP leadership decided to allow the closure showdown to merge with one over the debt limit.

___

Associated Press writers Donna Cassata, Andrew Taylor, Alan Fram, Martin Crutsinger, Julie Pace and Chuck Babington contributed to this story.







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HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Finally a white flag from The White House. Thank you ... very much !
on October 8,2013 | 10:02AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Dear Mr. President:

As a concerned citizen from your State of Birth, which in essence gave u the opportunity to run for Political Office, I have some thoughts about this crisis. First, the Affordable Care Act simply adds a layer of government intervention that may increase the national debt, so from that standpoint, I question any need for it. I rather not call it ObamaCare, simply because I am addressing this letter directly to u, Mr. President.

Secondly, I question the need for ACA, simply because we already have Medicaid. If citizens will not take the initiative to apply for Medicaid, how is ACA going to help them? This is a free enterprise country, so we cannot demand that every person become President of our country, simply because that cannot happen. By definition, a President is someone who leads, and listens to their constituency, not simply impose upon their constituency, programs that are unnecessary, and hence a waste of resources (money).

Third, do u think The Miami Heat will win their third consecutive NBA Championship ??

Sincerely yours, Thomas Jefferson


on October 8,2013 | 10:10AM
EightOEight wrote:
What are you talking about, honoluluhawaii? This has been the President's position all along! YOU are the one who is confused.
on October 8,2013 | 11:08AM
serious wrote:
As one of the CEO's from a huge company said after the speech, "I agree with the President, we need leadership." Blame your inadequacy on the R's. Cut spending, take a grip on the economy, no need to continue campaigning--$7 Trillion deficit in 4 1/2 years---enough is enough!! When the middle class subsists on welfare we have a D problem!!!
on October 8,2013 | 11:19AM
EightOEight wrote:
There are many CEOs (and even conservative pundits) who feel the tying of the federal shutdown to the defunding or delay of Obamacare and the raising of the debt ceiling to spending cuts by Tpublicans is lunacy. You don't have to take my word for it, just check online. By the way, where's the Tpublican leaders lately....Cruz, Cantor, Rubio, Ryan? Where's the leadership?? Oh, right...just blame Obama.
on October 8,2013 | 11:43AM
Dolphin743 wrote:
Wow, independent thoughts among Republicans! You seem to think that's good. The Democratic party hasn't had any public dissention from the Official Party Line. So it appears that Democrats don't see any need to think for themselves. Whatever Obama says, goes.
on October 8,2013 | 11:52AM
EightOEight wrote:
Right, Tpublicans can keep on thinking "the 47%ers" are all uneducated Obamabots. That's how we'll win the House next year. In the now immortal words of Devin Nunes (R-Calif), his fellow House Republicans are "lemmings with suicide vests". I couldn't agree more...
on October 8,2013 | 12:08PM
CriticalReader wrote:
It is so telling that GOP members criticize their own party members, while the Democrats are unusually united. The GOP refrain has been progressively, "WE ABSOLUTELY NEED THIS!" followed by "Well, OK, we don't ABSOLUTELY need that, but we ABSOLUTELY NEED THIS!" followed by, "ok, ok, we didn't ABSOLUTELY need those things, but now we ABSOTLUTELY NEED THIS!" (repeat refrain of the song entitled, "OK, we're stupid, but reward us for our stupidity").
on October 8,2013 | 12:41PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
This is TwoOneTwo, whatever u say my friend.
on October 8,2013 | 12:50PM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Yep the Republicans are folding like the house of cards they are. Affordable Care Act remains intact, government to reopen, debt ceiling open. Obama stood firm.
on October 8,2013 | 12:51PM
thepartyfirst wrote:
What about balancing the budget like he said he would?
on October 8,2013 | 01:32PM
GONEGOLFIN wrote:
HH, I'm pretty sure BO didn'g get this letter. You should try writing to him directly instead of pleading your case amongst your fellow people. Of course BO may not want to hear your rant any worse than we do.
on October 8,2013 | 12:56PM
dontbelieveinmyths wrote:
Why have a ceiling?
on October 8,2013 | 10:04AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Keeps the rain from falling to the floor.
on October 8,2013 | 10:11AM
EightOEight wrote:
Good question, they should get rid of it. If Congress approves a budget and expenses are incurred up to what was approved the bills should just be paid!
on October 8,2013 | 11:10AM
NITRO08 wrote:
Exactly!!
on October 8,2013 | 11:28AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Right, and your credit card limit should be $12billion.
on October 8,2013 | 01:28PM
EightOEight wrote:
If the credit limit is approved by Congress, so be it.
on October 8,2013 | 01:54PM
CriticalReader wrote:
The GOP is looking more and more pathetic as time wears on. Their approaches reflect only pride and avarice, and seem completely devoid of the wisdom and sense of responsibility America expects of its elected officials. They brought this on themselves by choosing to hold the lives of federal workers and our collective economic well being hostage. Make no mistake about it. The GOP and Tea Party strategy here has been, "give us what we want, or else we will HURT YOU ALL." That's the approach of terrorrists and criminals.
on October 8,2013 | 10:09AM
AhiPoke wrote:
I'm guessing you are a democrat, right? Anyway, from an independent's perspective, I think both parties and the president have been "pathetic". Up till now, and probably going forward it's been more about politics than doing what's right. As an example, the closing of national parks (a hugely profitable operation) and monuments (open spaces that aren't normally staffed) didn't have to be done other than to make it painful for Americans. You're right, "that's the approach for terrorist and criminals".
on October 8,2013 | 10:33AM
CriticalReader wrote:
I'm an independent too. And, I agree with you. The parks shouldn't have been closed. But, neither should anything else have been closed by this GOP strategy. The nature of this battle between the President and Congress, GOP v. President, GOP v. Democrats, however you might characterize is, was started and waged by the GOP in a way that simply requires a tough response. ANYONE or ANY ENTITY in the world that made such demands upon the US would earn the same response. The President is the elected leader of the Government, with the constitutionally granted, and voter established authority and power to simply tell the GOP Tea Party House faction, "No". Considering the tactics, considering the potential use of those tactics in the future on the full spectrum of laws and political process. The President must say no, and refuse to capitulate in any way, just as he would toward external terrorists.
on October 8,2013 | 10:47AM
Dolphin743 wrote:
CriticalReader...You are basically saying that the President is defending the US against Republicans in the House? You now consider Republicans in Congress to be equivalent to foreign forces or terrorists? The President is given wide latitude in conducting foreign affairs, but he has nowhere near the same level of autonomy when dealing with the American people. The President is not the "leader of the Government", He is one elected official placed in charge of one of three equal branches of government. You are ascribing to the President (or is it just to Obama) the definition of a dictator. I suspect your misunderstanding of the nature of our country's government is common. There seem to be many who think that it would be much easier to govern if the President were just given ultimate authority to make things happen. The limits on Presidential power are a feature, not a bug, in the American government system.
on October 8,2013 | 11:02AM
CriticalReader wrote:
"You now consider Republicans in Congress to be equivalent to foreign forces or terrorists?" Yes.
on October 8,2013 | 12:20PM
Dolphin743 wrote:
And therein lies the heart of the problem. You've created yourself a perfectly evil enemy that needs to be destroyed by any means possible (once again, see below note about working "with" Obama) . The fact that these people are your fellow citizens and are honestly trying to make the country better just like you are means nothing. Your attitude, when it infects a large enough portion of the population (usually when pushed by "adored" partisan government leaders) leads ultimately to an attempt to eliminate or outlaw those who hold opposing viewpoints. It's happened to many countries throughout history, including the US (civil war). It's something that should be avoided in all but the most extreme situations. Discussions about how much money the country is borrowing and spending don't really rise to a high enough level to invoke this type of rhetoric. The fact that Democrats are resorting to this level of demonization implies they are really trying to hide the weakness of their own arguments.
on October 8,2013 | 01:09PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Wrong. I certainly did not like the Tea Party, but eradication of it, either completely from US government or at least from behind any portion of the steering wheel of the US government is a direct and constant reaction to the current Tea Party tactics. So, I haven't "created a perfectly evil enemy", I am merely reacting to one that has created itself.
on October 8,2013 | 01:28PM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Absolutely, who else but a terrorist threatens the economic stability of our country by putting our full faith and credit at risk? Who else but a terrorist would deliberately through people out of work, withhold much needed benefits to people in need, and shut down the critical services our people depend on? Yep the were terrorist pure and simple.
on October 8,2013 | 12:54PM
Pacej001 wrote:
Fails the logic test. How? Answer this question: Which parties could end the budget impasse? Answer the democrats, the republicans, or (effectively) the president. Any one of these could reopen the government. It's perfectly legitimate for these three parties to disagree on spending or on Federal programs. It's a central feature of the constitution. Negotiations and compromise is the answer, yet the president and the democrats refuse. Until they sit down and talk, they deserve the blame.
on October 8,2013 | 01:32PM
AhiPoke wrote:
"The President is the elected leader of the Government, with the constitutionally granted, and voter established authority and power to simply tell the GOP Tea Party House faction, "No"." - Actually, the power that you've described that the president has does not exist. Our government has three branches: the president, the legislative and the judicial, each with limited rights. That's to prevent what the president is doing now, which is to act as a dictator. I'm not siding with the tea party and BTW, I think both the republicans and democrats are disfunctional, but I also think obama has been the worst president in my lifetime. Every president before him has been willing to negotiate, but not him.
on October 8,2013 | 11:12AM
NITRO08 wrote:
Wrong you have a hand full of people trying to over run the government (THE TEA PARTY) that is being funded by the Koch brothers and other rich people to rig the government for there benefit that's the problem. Also I don't agree with you Bush was the worst president. Open your eyes who started two unfunded wars!
on October 8,2013 | 11:39AM
Dolphin743 wrote:
Strange, but 15 of the 17 government shutdowns in the last 30 years occurred when Democrats were in control of both houses. Are we to assume that the Democrats were just crazy at the time to stick to their guns? Or should we assume that they believed they were acting responsibly?
on October 8,2013 | 11:56AM
CriticalReader wrote:
Investigative reports point to the Kochs and BIG TOBACCO generally as being the seminal and sustaining sources of the Tea Party.
on October 8,2013 | 11:58AM
Dolphin743 wrote:
HAHAHAHA. When all else fails....just say "KOCH Brothers and Big Tobacco"!!!!
on October 8,2013 | 12:22PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Yeah, but it's true if you follow the money. And considering the Tea Party positions, it makes sense.
on October 8,2013 | 12:39PM
Dolphin743 wrote:
So how much are we suffering? The only bad stories seem to revolve around the National Park Service Gestapo force who have gone far beyond the level of work they usually do to harass and threaten citizens who dare to set foot upon the King's land...I mean National Parks. Republicans didn't require the NPS to actively persecute people on their land, and it really hasn't been done this way in previous shutdowns. The democrats are proving to be petulant children who can't accept the concept that any money being spent by government might not be necessary. So you have one side trying to stage an intervention, and one side denying that they need one. The result is pretty predictable. Both sides feel morally superior to the other right now and think they are working in the best interests of their constituents.
on October 8,2013 | 10:38AM
EightOEight wrote:
If you stopped watching only Fox News on the "slimdown" you would know that veterans, poor families, the working poor, the elderly, science and medical researchers, the furloughed workers etc etc etc are all being negatively affected. When it's all about you and you're doing okay, the heck with everybody else, right? Yeah, we get it...Paul Ayn Rand Ryan World.
on October 8,2013 | 11:50AM
Dolphin743 wrote:
I fall into several of those categories you mention. No government worker has yet missed a paycheck, and it is almost certain they will be paid for the time they are furloughed (House bill passed and Obama pledged support). The only VA issue is that some case workers are not working overtime, leading to a lull in the meager progress being made to catch up on overdue claim processing. Programs for the poor are completely unaffected because they are not funded by the discretionary budget, and the discretionary budget is the only portion of the federal budget that is affected by the shutdown. You can argue that a failure to approve new borrowing (debt limit hike) in the next couple weeks might affect those programs, but it hasn't yet.
on October 8,2013 | 12:20PM
EightOEight wrote:
Ok, no backlash to worry about...all is peachy keen. Ok, if you say so, nothing to worry about, right?
on October 8,2013 | 12:30PM
Dolphin743 wrote:
As of now, the primary problem is fear stoked by Democrats over what "mght" happen if the shutdown continues. Not exactly a convincing argument. The backlash is a political issue, and given the makeup of the house and senate, it's not clear that any backlash would significantly affect the net result of the next congressional elections. There are certainly other issues that crop up within government agencies involving things that aren't happening because of the shutdown, but I think that few of them are much more than inconveniences that will take time to recover from once things are started up again.
on October 8,2013 | 01:19PM
EightOEight wrote:
I guess the clowns in lab coats wearing stethoscopes did the press conference asking to reinstate funding for the NIH were just doing it for the heck of it, and all the specific CRs the Tpublicans keep proposing are just for fun, too, right?
on October 8,2013 | 04:42PM
Ronin006 wrote:
The GOP is looking more and more PRINCIPLED as time wears on and needs to stick to its guns..
on October 8,2013 | 10:58AM
hanalei395 wrote:
"stick to its guns" ........meaning .....shutdown Obamacare.
on October 8,2013 | 11:46AM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Did the GOP say they would never allow a debt ceiling increase without "concessions". What did they get, a promise to talk. Yea real principled. Here is what they found out - Obama was more principled, the Affordable Care Act was not on the table and it never will be so long he is president. Look six months down the road by friend, million of Americans will have health insurance through the ACA, yea you may hate the ACA, but get used to it because it will be ingrained into our society within a year and there will be no turning back.
on October 8,2013 | 12:57PM
Ronin006 wrote:
HawaiiCheeseBall, you apparently believe it is ok for Obama to pick and chose which provisions of the ACA he is going to implement and when as he has done. He has granted exceptions to members of congress and their staffs, cabinet members and their staffs, the White House and its staff and to other politically-connected cronies. He also has delayed implementing Obamacare for one year for corporations employing 50 or more people, for unions, and other politically-connected organization. Republications are rightfully demanding no exceptions and to delay the individual mandate for one year like he has done for everyone else. Why do you not have a problem with that? Americans should be outraged by what Obama has done.
on October 8,2013 | 01:18PM
Dolphin743 wrote:
The net outcome of the ACA should not be assumed. You should be prepared for outcomes other than "millions of people's lives are better now". It is very easy to find real problems and weaknesses with ACA that should be addressed. By refusing to negotiate, Obama also refuses to improve it (other than by illegally modifying the most inconvenient parts of the law without congressional authority).
on October 8,2013 | 01:24PM
AhiPoke wrote:
If you read between the lines, the president is saying,"I'm willing to have talks as long as you idiots agree to do it my way." This president has not and will not negotiate.
on October 8,2013 | 10:27AM
Dolphin743 wrote:
AhiPoke-True. The last 5 years have proven that you cannot work "with" Obama, you either work "for" him or you are an enemy to be trampled.
on October 8,2013 | 10:52AM
EightOEight wrote:
Being melodramatic does not make your delusions fact.
on October 8,2013 | 11:18AM
Dolphin743 wrote:
Nor does a snarky rebuttlal influence the inherent truth of the original statement. "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away".
on October 8,2013 | 12:01PM
EightOEight wrote:
Sorry, delusion is not reality either.
on October 8,2013 | 12:15PM
EightOEight wrote:
Excuse me, the debt ceiling is not part of the budget process. If the debt ceiling needs to be raised it is to pay for expenses already approved by Congress (yes, including Tpublicans!) and costs have been incurred. To tie the two together is nothing but extortion by Tpublicans.
on October 8,2013 | 11:17AM
hanalei395 wrote:
"The President has not and will negotiate". ........"Negotiate" to Republicans means.....shutdown Obamacare.
on October 8,2013 | 11:23AM
South76 wrote:
So you would rather go along with SPEND, SPEND, and SPEND and to hell with the next generations? This government needs to stop buying votes with social programs we can not afford/maintain. We are maxing out on our credit card, it is time to prioritize and spend only on the things we need or can afford.
on October 8,2013 | 10:29AM
CriticalReader wrote:
Hyperbole. That's not what's going on now, and has not gone on throughout the Obama Administration. We have a sequester in place. That is firm evidence of an Obama compromise toward cutting spending. But, it is also reflective of GOP dishonesty, stupidity. and the tendency to cut off its nose to spite its face. Sequester cut GOP darling programs (like the military), just the same as the ones it loathes. And, they promised to work toward a budget IN EXCHANGE FOR, and in light of the sequester, but reneged. Additionally, this shutdown was not supposed to happen under a deal Boehner made previously. He reneged on that too. With that track record, Obama has no upside "negotiating" with the GOP. Can't negotiate with dishonorable people.
on October 8,2013 | 11:45AM
Dolphin743 wrote:
CriticalReader, Actually, it was Obama that torpedoed the deal with Boehner by straight-out misrepresenting the status and content of their negotiations...That one event is one of the key events that drove my above comment regarding not being able to work "with" Obama. Seems like you have something in common with Nancy Pelosi: you can't conceive that an event in history occurred if it doesn't fit in with your current world view. Instead you work to rewrite history to make it consistent inside your reality.
on October 8,2013 | 12:07PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Boehner agreed to a clean CR in exchange for the Senate keeping spending the spending number at $968 billion. Reid in the Senate delivered, Boehner reneged. Obama had nothing to do with it. Quit the false GOP talking points. This is a fiasco of GOP dishonesty and lack of honor served up with inflicting terror on America. Plain and simple.
on October 8,2013 | 12:34PM
Dolphin743 wrote:
My discussion has to do with previous Obama-Boehner negotiations leading ultimately to the sequester. You're referring to reports from Harry Reid about what Boehner and he discussed in early September (actually $988B). The words that Reid used make it clear that the "clean CR" was something Boehner said he would lobby for within the house R caucus as a possible compromise. Even Reid doesn't say that he was told House Republicans as a whole would support the bill, although he certainly doesn't work to correct anyone who says that Boehner lied about a deal. The incident shows that Boehner didn't have the power to convince enough of the Republicans to allow a clean CR back in early September--still a clear weakness--and an indication of divided opinions in the house Republicans, but not a broken deal.
on October 8,2013 | 01:47PM
AhiPoke wrote:
CriticalReader, I'm having difficulty believing you're an "independent", as you stated. The sequestration is a joke. Under squestration, the federal government's budget will rise $110B more over the next ten years. In addition, if the obama's budget gets approved the amount will go up even higher. You must have swallowed the kool-aid. I believe bush (another terrible president) started this debacle but obama has taken it beyond reality.
on October 8,2013 | 12:45PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Process is process. Compromise is compromise. In my view, the Obama Administration and the Democrats have compromised (given) in exchange for nothing but more and more numerically, and more and more unreasonable, and more and more "we want it all" type demands. In my view, the objective of compromise is a good one, so long as there are two parties at a table willing to compromise in good faith. My reaction would be the same toward Democrats if I thought they could not be trusted to act in good faith and with honor. Obama's reaction, in my view, is the rational one, if for no other reason than it squarely confronts the irrationality and lack of honor of the GOP, Tea Party led, position. My view, although perhaps unrealistic, is that the best solution would be for House Democrats (exercising significant restraint and respect for GOP majority numbers) and GOP moderates (requiring significant courage) coalesce to break the gridlock, and eradicate the far right wing Tea Partiers from any power and influence role in the US Government. There are two things coming out of the Tea Party right now: 1. Deny the potential to provide all Ameriicans affordable health care; 2) shutdown our federal government; and, 3) throw the US and world economies into chaos by refusing to raise the debt celing unconditionally. None of those, in my view, is in any way good for America, and all of those rest squarely in the Tea Party's lap.
on October 8,2013 | 01:07PM
sailfish1 wrote:
Why do we keep raising the debt ceiling? It has been raised 78 times since 1960! The government needs to reduce expenditures. We will never be debt free.
on October 8,2013 | 10:32AM
EightOEight wrote:
For God's sake I'll you please educate yourself on the debt ceiling and the federal budget process? You clearly have no idea what you're commenting on.
on October 8,2013 | 11:56AM
EightOEight wrote:
"will" not "I'll"...dang spellcheck.
on October 8,2013 | 11:58AM
NoFire wrote:
Lets open the talks to include congressional term limits, reduction of congressional medical benefits and the ridiculous retirement benefits! How about some taxpayer concessions there DC!
on October 8,2013 | 10:53AM
Ronin006 wrote:
History has shown that Democrats have consistently reneged on promises to talk about issues and negotiate with Republicans only AFTER legislation has been passed. Republicans have the upper hand and should not fall for Obama’s promise to negotiate after passing the spending and debt ceiling bills. The issues need to be negotiated and resolved before passing the legislation.
on October 8,2013 | 10:55AM
EightOEight wrote:
I guess you consider being blamed by most Americans for the shutdown and in danger of losing House seats next year as having the upper hand.
on October 8,2013 | 11:24AM
Ronin006 wrote:
EightOEight, anyone with half a brain knows the shutdown was caused by Obama’s refusal to give one inch and compromise on anything. Yes, there are some dimwits who do not understand that, but it does not matter because dimwits always blindly vote Democrat.
on October 8,2013 | 01:38PM
EightOEight wrote:
Call us any name you want, Ronin, if that makes you feel better. Right now the majority...more than 47%...of "Dimwits" being polled blame the shutdown and impending debt ceiling fiasco on Tpublicans. Have you forgotten that "Dimwits" vote?
on October 8,2013 | 02:02PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Right, EightOEight, and the 47% you mention most likely are those living off the government dole who are upset about their welfare payments being delayed. And, yes, I know dimwits vote and always for Democrats who give them free stuff.
on October 8,2013 | 02:21PM
EightOEight wrote:
And that kind of thinking is precisely why Tpublicans lost the last presidential election and will lose the next.
on October 8,2013 | 02:40PM
hawaiikone wrote:
You're probably right. I won't ever forget that "lady" shouting at the news camera, "Obama got us free phones" over and over. Well, it worked.... Wonder how the phones are doing?
on October 8,2013 | 03:31PM
EightOEight wrote:
As if the right doesn't have it's share of crackpots...
on October 8,2013 | 04:28PM
EightOEight wrote:
And by the way, hawaiikone, so tired of the Tpublican lies about the phones...http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/barackobama/a/obama_phone_free_cell_phones.htm
on October 8,2013 | 04:31PM
hawaiikone wrote:
So now you're saying the repubs got her to say that. Ok, believe whatever you want to if it works for you.
on October 8,2013 | 08:02PM
EightOEight wrote:
No, hawaiikone, I'm saying Tpublicans are fond of lying.
on October 8,2013 | 10:33PM
hawaiikone wrote:
808, everyone knows by now that Obama never bought anyone a phone. What democrats like to ignore is the fact that so many "voters" at election time thought he did. Had Obama come forth right away and cleared it up, no one could complain. Also, if you'd actually read what I said, I did not say Obama bought them, but the lady, and cointless others, did. So who's the liar now?
on October 9,2013 | 03:45PM
Kailuaraised wrote:
Good old Obama. Do what I say because I'm the president! I'm glad the republicans finally found an avenue to put a stop Obama's and Harry's madness. Obama needs to realize that he's can't just do what he feels like.
on October 8,2013 | 10:57AM
hanalei395 wrote:
"Obama needs to realize that he can't just do what he feels like" ......Obama CAN DO what he feels like, because the people who voted for him and made him President, WANT him to do what he feels like.
on October 8,2013 | 11:38AM
Kailuaraised wrote:
That's not how the government works. He's the president, not a dictator. He must work with congress to run the country.
on October 8,2013 | 12:11PM
hanalei395 wrote:
The Senate will work with him, BUT NOT THE HOUSE.
on October 8,2013 | 12:16PM
Pacej001 wrote:
Once again, that's a feature not a bug. The House has no obligation to simply do whatever the Senate or president tells them to do. If you can find some fact of law or common practice that proves me wrong, I'd like to see it. Otherwise, the only thing on your side of the argument is your opinion.
on October 8,2013 | 01:26PM
Pacej001 wrote:
Did you skip your civics lessons? (Don't they teach civics, the functioning of our national government, anymore?). The framers of the constitution designed a government of checks and balances which divided power between the three branches. It also went further to divide the power for Federal spending between the House and Senate. Why is this so hard to get? Neither the president or his political party control the prioritization of spending. The GOP has no obligation to agree with the Senate OR the president. What they all have a moral obligation to do is to negotiate a solution. So far, the House is willing, the president and Senate aren't. Untill they drop the juvenile temper tantrum and begin talks they are primarily responsible for the government shutdown.
on October 8,2013 | 01:24PM
Rainbowgran wrote:
Right now I wish there was a fast acting remedy for the PEOPLE to fire all or most of the people in congress and the President. Our debt ceiling should not have to be raised and our debts should be taken care of but not in cuts to Social Security or Medicare. These are not entitlements but actually what we as citizens were forced to pay into thus should be there for us. Why isn't the government reeling in unneccessary spending ie stuff for special interest groups and look for ways to cut expenses at every level of government??? I feel the delay tactics are only for the people in government to figure out how they can put more $$$$$ in their own pocketbooks.
on October 8,2013 | 11:08AM
Dolphin743 wrote:
Sadly, most Americans have an overwhelmingly negative view of congress as a whole, but for some reason still generally like their own senators and representatives. Doesn't make sense, but there you have it.
on October 8,2013 | 12:53PM
Pacej001 wrote:
The worst public performance by a President in my lifetime: Petulant, trash talking, destructive and one transparently false straw man after another. Paraphrasing: "you wouldn't just stop paying your credit card bill, would you?" Answer: No, and you wouldn't just keep adding to that bill and raising your credit limit indefinitely, either. Then he whined about how "workers in a factory wouldn't just stop work and shut the business down, would they?" Unions? Strikes? Contract negotiations? Sound familiar, Mr. President? He refuses to even acknowledge the shutdown tactics of his favorite constituency, the unions?------- And the bit about cutting our deficit in half, down to a mere $600 billion, as though we're on the right track by his doing. It's like a doctor telling a patient with cancer and congestive heart failure, "Good news, your cancer is in remission (but that heart thing, you're still going to die.) - Our Deficit is unsustainable. The most reasonable CBO estimate says so. What is our president doing about it? Nothing, other than blaming someone else.
on October 8,2013 | 11:42AM
CriticalReader wrote:
The Iraq war justification? "WMD!"? "They have WMD"? "Let's go to war because Sadaam has WMD"? Remember that pace? or has all that Tea you drink led to selective amnesia? Howabout "trickle down economics"? Remember that? You should, it's effects are our reality today.
on October 8,2013 | 11:56AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Do I need to remind you that this was a position taken by the Clinton administration before Bush was even running for the presidency, that regime change in Iraq was also part of that Clinton administration policy, that the Clinton administration held the position that Iraqi WMD programs were a growing threat?----- Are you talking about Reagan economics, after whose presidential term we had the longest economic boom in the history of our country and whose recovery from sharp recession made the current "recovery" look like a wake? That what you're talking about.
on October 8,2013 | 01:13PM
CriticalReader wrote:
In reverse order. The "boom" occurred AFTER Reagan relented on requiring tax breaks for the wealthy because that approach had caused a recession in the first part of his Presidency (something Reaganites simply cannot remember). WMD? Always assess the threat, and deal with it. Was it OK to translate that "threat" into war as Bush did (and Clinton DID NOT)??? No. But that's what Bush did. Trying to lay the Iraq war off on Clinton or to suggest that Reagan's initially proposed trickle down in any way worked is laughable.
on October 8,2013 | 01:52PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Oh yeah, even I almost forgot: The 2007 Financial Crisis? Who was President then? Who had been president for the prior 7 years?
on October 8,2013 | 12:01PM
Pacej001 wrote:
Bush does get some blame, as do democrats who championed the expansion of the Federally backed credit bubble, as, especially, does Clinton for pushing the Community Reinvestment act to blow up the real estate bubble, as to do the criminals (mainly democrat appointees) who set quotas for subprime loans, as does Clinton administration for allowing the deregulation of exotic financial instruments that got the banks in trouble. Lots of fathers of that disaster, not just GWB
on October 8,2013 | 01:17PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Bush embrased the expansion of credit, but took it a "pro business" step further by discarding any notion of responsible regulation, and permitting his Adminsitration to operate blinded by the greed that changed "extension of credit" into head in the sand permission for the mortgage backed security to build into a world economy crippling behemoth. That was the problem in the end, and it was all Bush II's.
on October 8,2013 | 01:55PM
Dolphin743 wrote:
Actually Bush directly confronted Congress in multiple ways beginning several years before the bubble burst, telling them that the Fannie and Freddie were too big and too unregulated. Barney Frank and Harry Reid pointedly ignored the warnings and ridiculed the concepts that proved to be correct. http://georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov/news/releases/2008/10/20081009-10.html
on October 8,2013 | 04:51PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Again it was another Democrat, Bill, who contributed enormously to our national debt, so what makes us think ObamaCare will keep deficits in check. Citizens mistakenly blame GBush for the ratching up of our national debt. ObamaCare is not needed because we already have Medicaid. In fact a scathing front page story on the New York Times a few days ago stated that Medicaid will not be able to help Poor Blacks, due to Medicaid not expanding as a result of ObamaCare. Anytime one throws an unknown piece of legislation into the picture, future deficits are inevitable.
on October 8,2013 | 01:04PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Basically, all Presidents since Eisenhower have increased the National Debt. Clinton lowered the rate of increase dramatically by creating budget surpluses. The Bushes, and Bush II (with the able assistance of GOP controlled Congress) in particular are the reason the National debt skyrocketed. Bush II's "gifts"? 1) A failure of national security that led to 9/11; 2) Causing lowered tax rates despite the historical economic evidence that it would create defitics and accelerated debt numbers; 3) Permitting the 2007 financial meltdown to occur; 4) leaving the combination of the 2007 started great recession, and lower tax rates along with the lowered tax revenues caused by the ailing economy in place so that deficits under the Obama Adminisitration were inevitable.
on October 8,2013 | 01:16PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
We were writing this at the same time. See my comment below.
on October 8,2013 | 01:22PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
The Clinton Administration during the 1990s supported an intiative to allow easing of mortgage application criteria so many more Ameicans could own homes, including no down payment. The housing crisis of 2007 was all the while brewing while GBush was in a The White House, including all those esoteric Mortgage Backed Securities which brought the financial world to its knees. These facts were reported in many documentaries on CNBC and CNN. Many including innocent Americans lost a substantial portion of their net wealth as a result of this housing crisis. Obama was fortunate that the Financial Crisis hit during September 2008 and particularly October 2008, in the midst of his presidential election. Otherwise we may be talking about President McCain. The saving of corporations such as General Motors, AIG, Citibank, and essentially our American Way of Life began in the GBush Administration and continued in The Obama Administration. Someone made out really well during this crisis, and the US Treasury is holding the bag.
on October 8,2013 | 01:18PM
CriticalReader wrote:
It wasn't the easing of credit availability as much as what was permitted to e done with credit tools. The mistake was for the Bushies to permit and close their eyes to the weakness of morgtage backed securities and the practices of bundling and peddling them.
on October 8,2013 | 01:57PM
Dolphin743 wrote:
See my comment above. Bush warned congress of the lax regulation of Fannie and freddie for years before the fall. Barney Frank and Harry Reid ridiculed the warnings.
on October 8,2013 | 04:53PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Clinton didn't say, "here, expand credit, package the credit documents into securities, convince people there is actually value in these securities, and then defraud them if you have into investing in them". He said, expand "credit availability". It is the second, third and fourth parts, what he didn't say and no one really knew about except the Bushies and the securities packagers and sellers (those supposed to be regulated by the bushies). Your logic is kinda like saying, "eh, George Washington started this whole mess, it's his fault where we're at now".
on October 8,2013 | 02:13PM
Dolphin743 wrote:
Clinton's minions in the FHA and other agencies also said things like: if you place requirements on loans that, on average, result in "minorities" getting loans at a lower rate than non-minorities, then you will be prosecuted. After the threat, there was no check to see how it was suddenly possible for groups with decidedly low credit scores to get loans that clearly could only be paid back through a "pyramid" scheme fueled by constantly increasing home prices.
on October 8,2013 | 04:58PM
AhiPoke wrote:
CR come out of the closet and admit you're a flaming liberal democrat. Every comment you've made has been critical of republicans and defensive of democrats. I know independents are you're not one.
on October 8,2013 | 06:41PM
EightOEight wrote:
You claimed before that you're an independent, but your comments say otherwise. Another pot calling a kettle black.
on October 8,2013 | 07:29PM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
""They claim they want to talk about deficit reduction, but their bill immediately rules out talking about closing tax loopholes to help get our fiscal house in order," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.." This fact just shows what the TeaPublicans are after. When the original demands were made, the TeaPublicans said that Obamacare was not the only issue. The other issue, said quietly, is that they want to put an end to the higher taxes on the rich. The rich do not want to subsidize health care for those who cannot afford health insurance.
on October 8,2013 | 11:50AM
retire wrote:
Until both sides, legislative and executive, sit down and come to a workable solution to these problems, they are just a bunch of overpaid, mathmatically challenged parasites.
on October 8,2013 | 01:27PM
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