Say What? July 17, 2011 edition [Reader Post]



President Barack Obama: “I cannot guarantee that those [social security] checks go out on August 3rd if we haven’t resolved this [debt ceiling] issue.”

President Obama: “It turns out we don’t have to do anything radical to solve this problem. Contrary to what some folks say, we’re not Greece, we’re not Portugal. It turns out that our problem is we cut taxes without paying for them over the last decade. We ended up instituting new programs, like a prescription drug program for seniors that was not paid for. We fought two wars, we didn’t pay for them. We had a bad recession that required a Recovery Act and stimulus spending and helping states, accumulated, and there’s interest on top of that. And to unwind that, what’s required is that we roll back those tax cuts on the wealthiest individuals.”  President Obama has spent over $4.5 trillion dollars in only 2 ½ years which is two trillion more than Bush did during his eight years in office.

Obama: “[Coming to an agreement on raising the debt ceiling is] not going to get easier.  It’s going to get harder.  So we might as well do it now — pull off the Band-Aid; eat our peas.  Now is the time to do it.”

Obama: “You have 80 percent of the American people who support a balanced approach. Eighty percent of the American people support an approach that includes revenues and includes cuts. So the notion that somehow the American people aren’t sold is not the problem.”  Unfortunately, 65–70% seem to favor this approach.

Obama: “The truth is, you can’t solve our deficit without cutting spending. But you also can’t solve it without asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share”

President Obama to Republican Eric Cantor, after 5 days of a budget impasse: “Eric, don’t call my bluff.  I’m going to the American people on this.”

Obama: “I’ll be turning 50 in a week.”  He said this about 3 weeks before his birthday, which is August 4th.

The head of the Democratic Governors Association Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley: “I think that there is an extreme wing within their party who have as their primary goal not the jobs recovery, but the defeat of President Obama in 2012.  They know that their formulations, their policies of less revenues and less regulation badly failed our country and plunged us into this recession. So their only way of evening the playing field is to keep the president from being successful in the jobs recovery.”

President Bill Clinton: “There has never been in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and all the voter Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit a franchise that we see today…[Voter ID laws are designed to] keep most of you [young people] from voting next time.”  Jim Crow laws were all about racial segregation.

Congressman Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.): “The fact that all these states came up with these [voter ID laws] laws at the same time was not spontaneous generation, it was Rovian…This was an obvious Republican attempt to hurt our vote in 2012 and to hurt the President of the United States’ chances of reelection, which is the entire agenda of the Republican House, is to defeat Barack Obama even if they take down the United States economy while they do it.”

Congresswoman Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio): “I guess they don’t think that we understand that they’re trying to keep poor people from voting, minorities from voting, the elderly from voting, students from voting, we are not stupid.”  Who apparently thinks that poor, minority and elderly Democrats are too stupid to have ID cards.

GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt and Obama jobs man: “The people who are part of the business sector, the people in this room, have got to stop complaining about government and get some action underway.  There’s no excuse today for lack of leadership. The truth is we all need to be part of the solution.”

Chris Van Hollen: “I did not vote for the corporate jet loophole.” who voted for the corporate jet loopholes in the Stimulus Bill.

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas): “I do not understand what I think is the maligning and maliciousness [toward] this president.  Why is he different? And in my community, that is the question that we raise. In the minority community that is question that is being raised. Why is this president being treated so disrespectfully? Why has the debt limit been raised 60 times? Why did the leader of the Senate continually talk about his job is to bring the president down to make sure he is unelected?”  In case you do not understand what Black caucus member Lee is saying, she is saying that Republicans are voting against raising the debt ceiling because Obama is Black.

Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee: “Today for the first time, President Obama made clear that he’s considering benefit cuts – even for Americans that currently depend on Medicaid and Medicare. Even Paul Ryan didn’t say that much publicly.  President Obama needs to support the overwhelming will of the American people.  Our position is the position of the overwhelming majority of Americans: It’s time to raise taxes on the rich.”

Rep. Keith Ellison: “This is an era of extremism. These same people that want to shrink government so that you can drown it in a bathtub also want Mom to get back in the kitchen and take her shoes off and get pregnant. You understand? They are offended by strong, powerful women.  And here’s the sad part: some of them are women themselves.  Michele Bachmann would be an example.”

Jesse Jackson: “Here we are at this time trying to strip the number of days [allowed for voting], make voting more expensive and less accessible. This is the part of the anti-Barack Obama-mania that’s sweeping the country. These are the same people, you know who, under Bush, raised the debt limit 19 times, 4 trillion dollars . . . this is not about raising the debt limit, this is about in fact another way to undermine this President. We as a people, as a nation, ought fight back.”

CNN political analyst Paul Begala: “[Michele Bachmann] should be asked about this theory. She’s a candidate for president. One out of 10 Americans is gay. She should be asked if she wants to lead a country where at least 10 percent of us are gay or lesbian, does she believe in this crackpot, bigoted theory that somehow there’s something to be repaired in our brothers and sisters and sons and daughters who happen to be born gay?”   In all actuality, about 1.7% of the population are lesbian or gay and 1.8% of the population identify as bisexual.

Jane Fonda’s blog: “Bottom line, this has gone on far too long, this spreading of lies about me! None of it is true. NONE OF IT! I love my country. I have never done anything to hurt my country or the men and women who have fought and continue to fight for us.”   Hanoi Jane was photographed sitting on an enemy anti-aircraft gun during a visit to Vietnam in 1972.

Ma Zhaoxu, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry: “By allowing the Dalai Lama to visit the U.S. and arranging the top leader [President Obama] to meet him, the United States has seriously violated basic principles of international relations and its own repeated solemn pledges, and harmed Sino-U.S. relations.  China therefore expresses its strong indignation and firm opposition.”

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, when leaving for Cuba to begin chemotherapy: “It’s not time to die. It’s time to live.”

The Liberal Press:

Charlie Rose: How is he [President Obama]  doing overall in your judgment, the president?

George Stephanopoulos: Solid. I mean, it`s hard to imagine — I`m trying to think in our lifetime if anybody has been dealt a tougher hand coming into the White House. And given that, I think he has done remarkably well.  The fact, if you just looking at the politics first, the fact that he`s been able over the course of two years now to maintain a personality favorability for most of the time above 50 percent when he has had most of the time nine percent unemployment, that is pretty remarkable. That’s pretty steady. I think people respect him even more than they like him.”


ABC correspondent Jeffrey Kofman, about Rupert Murdoch apologizing to the family of the 13-year-old murder victim whose phone had been tapped by his newspaper: “You know, I was trying to figure out what analogy works here – is this Shakespearean, his fall?  But, actually, it reminds me of A Christmas Carol when Ebenezer Scrooge comes and approaches Tiny Tim and tries to atone for his past sins.”

Entertainment Tonight anchor Thomas Roberts framed a question about tax policy in this way: “Why do you think the top 2% of America has a chokehold on the other 98%?”

ET anchor Contessa Brewer on the Republican position against raising tax rates: “They ignore the fact that we’ve been under Bush-era tax cuts and we’ve seen the unemployment rate skyrocket. The big corporations are sitting on megabucks in cash, they’re not spending it on hiring.”

NBC4 (local Washington, D.C. station) anchor Jim Vance asks President Obama the “tough” questions:  “Mr. President, you are in a titanic struggle with Eric Cantor and others over the debt ceiling, but just a couple of miles from here, are thousands of people, a lot of them black men, who are in another struggle: for their lives, for dignity, don’t have a job, can’t find a job, don’t have skill sets to even get one and keep one if they could. What do you tell those people with regard to what you’re going through with your struggle, about their struggle and why they should be hopeful?”

Vance: “ You mention Washington and one of the things that I have to take advantage of with this opportunity, even with the half a million people here, those who may have a job, what we don’t have is what most of this country takes for granted. We don’t have a vote. What can you tell those half a million people that would make them feel better about being Americans in a democracy where they can’t vote?”

Vance: “When you get done with Karzai and Cantor and others, will you be able to be our public champion on that regard, do you think?”

Vance: “I gotta ask you one more question. You’re a Chicago guy. Have you found it in any way, can you call Washington at least maybe your part-time home now? I mean, you’ve been here a couple of years. Are you in the groove?”

Vance: “There’s some people that asked me to ask this question. You have a Congress that has proudly proclaimed the posture of “just say no.” You have haters out there unconscionable in their expressions. You have two wars. You have crazy people with their fingers on bomb weapons and others who are trying to get them. It’s assumed that you want to run again but the question is: Why would you want to put up with that for four more years, that and more?”

MSNBC. co-host Mika Brzezinski criticizing Republicans for not caving on tax increases to make a debt-limit deal: “I think the Republicans look stupid and mean. I’m sorry, this is stupid. This is a no-brainer in terms of a deal. This is a no brainer and they look mean and they look difficult and they’re going to lose this.”

MSNBC host Chris Matthews: “And to say there’s no issue with climate? You know, a friend of mine is talking about, she lives up in Alaska, she says we’re going to be able to, maybe this is good for shipping, we’re going to start having trade routes across the Arctic Circle! We’re going to start having, you know what I mean?, people are going to be going to Norway in boats and we’re going to have shipping lanes doing it. Don’t tell me we don’t have a climate thing going on. There’s something strange going on.”

Liberals being civil:

Liberal columnist Dan Savage: “I Wish they [Republicans] were all f___g dead.”

Marc Maron on the Bill Maher show speaking of the Bachmann marriage: “I hope [he—Bachmann’s husband] takes all that rage that comes from repression and denial into the bedroom with her. . . and I hope he f___ her angrily, because that’s how I would.”

Bill Maher: “Republicans have to stop thinking up intricate psychological explanations for why liberals don’t like Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann. Let me save you all some time. Are you ready? Because they’re crazy people, people who are not that bright and full of awful ideas. Pretty much the exact same reasons we didn’t care for George Bush and made jokes about him. So trust me, it’s not because they have breast. It’s because they are boobs…[when I say] Sarah Palin is a vainglorious braggart, a liar, a whiner, a professional victim, a scold, a know-it-all, a chiseler, a bully who sells patriotism like a pimp, and the leader of a strange family of inbred weirdos straight out of “The Hills Have Eyes,” that’s not sexist. I’m saying it because it’s true, not because it’s true of a woman.”

Liberals making sense:

President John Kennedy: “It is a paradoxical truth that tax rates are too high today and tax revenues are too low and the soundest way to raise revenues in the long run is to cut rates now.”

Muslim views:

Ahmed Ezz el-Arab, vice chairman of Egypt’s flagship Liberal party: “The Holocaust is a lie.”


David Brooks, who poses as a conservative on liberal media, wrote: “Republican leaders have also proved to be effective negotiators. They have been tough and inflexible and forced the Democrats to come to them. The Democrats have agreed to tie budget cuts to the debt ceiling bill. They have agreed not to raise tax rates. They have agreed to a roughly 3-to-1 rate of spending cuts to revenue increases, an astonishing concession.”

Goldman Sachs pronouncement: “Following another week of weak economic data, we have cut our estimates for real GDP growth in the second and third quarter of 2011 to 1.5% and 2.5%, respectively, from 2% and 3.25%. Our forecasts for Q4 and 2012 are under review, but even excluding any further changes we now expect the unemployment rate to come down only modestly to 8¾% at the end of 2012…But the slowdown of recent months goes well beyond what can be explained with these temporary effects….final demand growth has slowed to a pace that is typically only seen in recessions… Moreover, if the economy returns to recession – not our forecast, but clearly a possibility given the recent numbers.”


California Governor Jerry Brown, in signing the FAIR Act: “History should be honest.  This bill revises existing laws that prohibit discrimination in education and ensures that the important contributions of Americans from all backgrounds and walks of life are included in our history books.”

Randy Thomasson, president of, a conservative family group “Jerry Brown has trampled the parental rights of the overwhelming majority of California fathers and mothers who don’t want their children to be sexually brainwashed at school,”

David Brooks: “If the debt ceiling talks fail, independent voters will see that Democrats were willing to compromise but Republicans were not. If responsible Republicans don’t take control, independents will conclude that Republican fanaticism caused this default. They will conclude that Republicans are not fit to govern. ”

Sean Hannity: “David Brooks has never been a conservative.”

Yay to Candy Crowley of CNN for this interview:

CNN‘s Candy Crowley: “More immediately, you’d have to make some spending priorities – payment priority decisions: Social Security benefits, and federal worker pay, and defense contractors. What are your priorities should the debt ceiling not be raised on the 2nd, when you have the bills that immediately come due? Social Security checks, federal worker pay, defense contractors?”

Jacob Lew, WH Budget Director: “Our plan is for Congress to do its work and the President to sign into law legislation that will make it possible for the United States as it always has, to keep its obligations. We’ll be ready to deal with whatever happens. There is no plan other than meeting our obligations.”

Crowley: “Surely you must have discussed priorities, though, we have to pay this?”

Lew: “The truth is this is a different situation the United States has ever faced. We’ve never gone into a situation where we didn’t have enough money to pay our bills. We borrow 40 cents on a dollar right now. And if the time comes when we lose the ability to pay our bills, there will be a cash flow issue that is very real, and that’s why it’s critical that Congress take action before August 2nd.”

Crowley: “Would you allow it to happen that those the Social Security checks would not go out? Would you allow that to happen?”

Lew: “As the President has indicated, it’s not a question of what we allow and what we don’t allow -”

Crowley: “But you get to decide priorities. There will be some money -”

Lew: “There will not be enough money to pay all the bills.”

Crowley: “Of course not, that’s why I’m talking about priorities.”

Lew: “I think that once someone gets into the business of trying to ask about setting priorities it misses the question. Which is that it’s unacceptable for the United States to be in a place whether it’s Social Security recipients, or a soldier or somebody who is just owed money by the government can’t be paid because we have not done our job.”

Thumbs up to Jake Tapper as well for asking the question which must be asked:

Jake Tapper to Jay Carney: Which Is Worse? Default or Voting to Raise the Debt Ceiling Again in 2012? . . . The worst-case scenario here is a default, right?

Jay Carney, WH Press Secretary: That is a bad scenario. I’m not sure – I mean –

Tapper: Is it worse –

Carney: You know, there are things you could anticipate. But I – yes.

Tapper: Is it worse than voting on the debt ceiling again next year?

Carney: The uncertainty created by regular votes on whether or not, for the first time – you know, and if you think it’s – there’s – there are political –

Carney: So – but Jake, let me answer the question. We do not think that that is the way that this country should operate. The president’s made it very clear.

Tapper: What the president made clear in the meeting was that he will not –

Carney: Both are bad; I can’t choose which is worse for you.

Tapper: Really? They – it – you can’t. Default might not be as bad as voting on this next year?

Carney: Jake, I’ve answered the question.

Tapper: No, you guys are painting a very cataclysmic picture.


When Speaker of the House John Boehner was asked if the debt talks impasse was mostly political, he answered: “There’s a difference between Republicans and Democrats. You know, I sit in this room, over the last several weeks – and frankly, over the last several years – and it’s like two groups of people from two different planets, who barely understand the language of the other one. Two remarkably different visions for what the appropriate role of the Government should be in our society – how our country operates – it’s stark, and it would shock most Americans.”

John Boehner, regarding dealing with President Obama on the debt ceiling: “Dealing with them [the Democrats] the last couple months has been like dealing with Jell-o; some days it’s firmer than others.”

Mich McConnell: “I have little question that as long as this president is in the Oval Office a real solution is probably unattainable.”

Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell: “If we go into default, [the president] will say that Republicans are making the economy worse … The president will have the bully pulpit to blame the Republicans for all of this destruction…I refuse to help Barack Obama get reelected by marching Republicans into a position where we have co-ownership of a bad economy.”

Allen West: “What people have to understand, there’s one simple reason why we’re in this situation right now.  There has been close to $4-and-a-half trillion dollars of new debt that has come about in two-and-a-half years since President Obama took office.  So this is a catastrophic situation. That’s more debt than from, I believe, 1776 up to 1994 almost. So that’s what we’re contending with.  We’re also contending with three years of an exorbitant amount of deficits – $1.42 trillion, $1.29 trillion, and then this year possibly $1.65 trillion. So those are the types of things that the president needs to admit: that his economic policies, his tax policies have failed this country.”

Jonathan Hoenig (FoxNews commentator and small business head): “Business wants to profit; they want to provide a value and make a profit; they are self-interested.  The president kinda doesn’t like self-interest—he likes self-sacrifice—that’s why his version of the free market has government as an integral role, subsidizing this and demeaning that.  Jeff Immelt is a big part of that.  If you don’t have political pull these days, you’re screwed.”

John Layfield (FoxNews commentator and business owner), referring to government being concerned to the private business has not been hiring enough: “Is their only job plan to hire workers they don’t need?”

Herman Cain: “[My name is spelled] Cain, like in the Bible, but I didn’t kill anybody.”

Sarah Palin tweet: “Obama lies, economy dies. He says “default’s catastrophic” then opposes deal to avert it. Nonsense. Gold stars to GOP trying to deal w/this.”
James Taranto, news commentator: “No one has said that requiring an ID in any other context than voting is discriminatory.” (Quote from memory).

Rush Limbaugh: “After running up all this debt, after breaking the bank, after destroying the US economy, Obama gets to sit up there like he had nothing to do with any of this and gets to play the adult while the kids who broke it come in here and have to fix it with his approval.”

Rush Limbaugh: “Obama knows that John Boehner is his lifeline — and if Boehner caves, Obama gets reelected.”

Rush: “All we are saying is, ‘Give peas a chance.’ ”

Rush: “We know exactly who we’re up against.  We know exactly the kind of people the liberals are, and we know that the last thing they have on their side is the truth.  We know that we have the truth on our side.”

From Conservative Review #187  (HTML)  (PDF)

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Herman Cain: “[My name is spelled] Cain, like in the Bible, but I didn’t kill anybody.”

I laughed at this one. Good man, as is West.

A virtuoso compilation!

Don’t you just wish the United States had perfected LASER Guidance in 1972? Ted would have been out a squeeze.

Obama: “The truth is, you can’t solve our deficit without cutting spending. But you also can’t solve it without asking the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share”

MSNBC. co-host Mika Brzezinski criticizing Republicans for not caving on tax increases to make a debt-limit deal: “I think the Republicans look stupid and mean. I’m sorry, this is stupid. This is a no-brainer in terms of a deal. This is a no brainer and they look mean and they look difficult and they’re going to lose this.”

Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee: “Today for the first time, President Obama made clear that he’s considering benefit cuts – even for Americans that currently depend on Medicaid and Medicare. Even Paul Ryan didn’t say that much publicly. President Obama needs to support the overwhelming will of the American people. Our position is the position of the overwhelming majority of Americans: It’s time to raise taxes on the rich.”

The projected “cost” of continuing the Bush tax cuts for those “rich” people(the top 5%), is in the neighborhood of $700 Billion over ten years. On average, that is $70 Billion per year, and that is being generous in the first few years of that decade long period. It is more likely that the figure is only$60 Billion or so, initially, and goes up from there, based on projections of the economic growth. But for the sake of argument, we will use the $70 Billion figure.

What does this mean? Well, if the government was to raise taxes on that top 5%, the government’s increase in revenues would be $70 Billion more per year, at a time where the deficit is projected to be over $1.3 Trillion this year, and average around $1 Trillion over the next decade.

Did these people fail their math courses in school? Even if the ENTIRE Bush tax cuts were rescinded, the figure only comes to $3.4 Trillion or so over 10 years. That is roughly $340 Billion a year, which would take the deficit this year down to roughly $1 Trillion, and average, over the course of that 10 years, a deficit of roughly $660 Billion.

And what kind of spending cuts have they actually talked about? Nothing of substance. Everything, to them, is raise taxes now and put off the spending cuts til later.