Dear Friends,I’m worried.
I hope you have been following the debate in Washington. If so, you know that failure to reach a deal on the debt limit would mean our country, for the first time in history, would not be able to pay its bills. We could run out of money for important programs like Social Security or even paying our troops.
We’ve been warned by the credit ratings agencies that we’re dangerously close to the precipice, and both parties know the consequences of what could happen as a result. This week, the Gang of Six in the Senate released a bipartisan plan. Although it’s gaining momentum in the Senate, House leaders, so far, won’t evenagree to consider it.
We have House leaders from one party saying “no cuts, period” and the other saying “our deal, only.” There are a lot of us in the middle who disagree with both, but there aren’t enough of us to form a majority.
This issue is so important and cannot be ignored. From now until the debt limit is reached on August 2, I’ll send you a daily update on what’s going on in Washington. Please continue to pay close attention, because we will all suffer if our nation cannot pay its bills.
I’m looking for a balanced approach, but default is NOT an option. What can you do? Write letters to the editor, hit the blogs, call the radio talk shows, stage a protest in your community. We’ve all got to do something.
COUNTDOWN: 11 Days Until We Reach the Debt Limit [ed. ℞ – ZOMG!!!!!!!!!ELEVENTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DEBTPOCALYPSE]
– Although I’ve voted consistently for plans from both parties to avoid default, every vote on the debt ceiling to this point has been purely symbolic because nothing proposed so far can pass both the House and Senate.
– The best chance for a bipartisan deal hinges on the recently released ‘Gang of Six’ plan and I’ve co-signed a letterto urge leadership to bring the plan to a vote on the floor.
– We don’t know if the ‘Gang of Six’ plan will come for a vote, but it’s our best hope. And even if it does, we don’t know if there is enough time to prevent rating agencies from still downgrading the credit rating of the United States.
Tomorrow, I’ll send information on what specifically could happen on August 3rd, the day after we reach the deadline.
It’s scary, folks.
Congressman Jim Cooper
Now Congressman Cooper portrays himself as a blue-dog Democrat, the allegedly fiscally responsible Democrats. And Dr. J. is not nearly as scared as the Congressman is.
To his credit, he voted yesterday FOR Cut, Cap and Balance. For that he receives a thank you from Dr. J. Indeed, the bipartisan Cut, Cap and Balance bill, passed in the house with more Democrat votes than Obamacare (aka what we are reminded is the law of the land) received from it’s opposition party, and yet it is killed by Senator Reid.
Indeed, the Daily Kos, the progressive blog that does not share the same quality readership that the Gormogons enjoy called him a rather unchoice name for his actions (Link withheld due to the fact that they do not deserve the traffic).
The reality is that Congressman Cooper is trying to have it both ways. He cast votes that got us to this point here and now. He voted for TARP, though some can argue that we should be forgiving of any TARP vote because no one knew what the heck was going on. He voted against the stimulus initially but then voted for it after the Senate and conference committee added a couple of warm steaming turds to it, and ultimately, he voted in favor of Obamacare. He voted for the Fannie/Freddie bailout, Cash for Clunkers, and the Obama budget. His work, with regard to being a fiscal conservative has been by working around the edges and stripping away little pieces of other peoples pork. In other words, he’s pennywise but pound foolish.
Sadly, he describes his vote yesterday as ‘symbolic’ since it can’t pass the Senate, and indeed Senator Reid publically buried the bill via a tabling maneuver rather than his usual behinds the scenes maneuvering.
If Congressman Cooper and the other so-called Blue-dogs showed courage, saying that the vote was more than symbolic, and actually part of being a responsible Congressman rather than trying to be a duplicitious mealy mouthed lap-dog for the progressive wing of the Democratic Party (is there any other wing left?), perhaps momentum and public support could have risen to a point that would have permitted legitimate debate and amendments of Cut Cap and Balance in the Senate, ultimately resulting in something reasonable and permanent reaching President Obama’s desk in time for his birthday.
Sadly, however, such was not the case.
Dr. J. shared this email with The Czar, and he, rather eruditely pointed out that the missive was rife with horse-pucky. The Treasury can clearly pay the interest on the debt, social security and military pay without delay, the August 2 date is arbitrary (indeed it is largely there, in all likelihood, so that President Obama can get back to Chi-town for his birthday). The Czar was also none-too-pleased (which usually involves axes), Congressman Cooper’s praise for the Gang-o-six plan that isn’t a plan yet.
Congressman Cooper needs to either embrace his inner progressive, or his inner blue-dog, and not try to have it both ways. His votes have not demonstrated a clear moral compass (e.g. Ron Paul, or Dennis Kucinich). Congressman Cooper is in a safe, blue district, he will win either way, he just needs to be more forthright and be true to himself. Dr. J. knows he has that in him.
Dr. J. hasn’t seen a true blue dog since Zell Miller gave a speech at the Republican Convention several years ago. Now Zell was a real blue dog.