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Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta John A. Boehner. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando entradas con la etiqueta John A. Boehner. Mostrar todas las entradas

lunes, abril 20, 2015

Speaker Boehner: House Will Respond to Obama's Cuba Policy

In an interview today on Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) discussed Cuba policy:

On the President’s Recent Actions Toward Cuba & the House’s Response:

The president keeps giving, and giving, and giving and I want to see what the Castro brothers are giving.  They’ve done nothing.  I think this is unwise, unhelpful, and I think will lead to almost nowhere... There’s an appropriation process that’ll be started here by the end of the month and I expect when it comes to the appropriation bills there will be riders added that will freeze the president’s ability to do a lot of the things that he says he’s going to do. It’ll be a hotly contested issue here in the House and the Senate.”

On the President’s Executive Overreach:

Presidents have the ability to take executive action but they don’t have the ability to change the law. And whether it was immigration, where I believe the president clearly overreached. Whether it was the 38 changes to ObamaCare that the president made, I think those – most of those – exceeded his authority to do. And we’re in litigation on both of those issues. But when it comes to some of the issues with regard to Cuba he has the ability to do some of this. But, the Congress has an ability to speak as well, and we will probably through the appropriation process.”

martes, enero 20, 2015

Antunez to Join Speaker Boehner at State of the Union

From The Washington Examiner:

Boehner's SOTU guest is top Cuban dissident

House Speaker John Boehner will broadcast his opposition to President Obama’s executive action to normalize relations with Cuba to an international audience by bringing a top leader of the Cuban resistance movement to the State of the Union speech.

One of Boehner’s confirmed guests for the evening is Jorge Luis Garcia Perez, who is known as “Antunez.”

Antunez, the 43-year-old leader of Cuba’s civic resistance movement, served more than 17 years in prison, with the Castro regime releasing him in 2007 ahead of expected European sanctions. He lives in Cuba and will return there in two weeks.

He was imprisoned in 1990 after participating in a pro-democracy march. In prison, he refused to wear the uniform provided and rejected communist re-education lessons, which resulted in guards sending him to solitary confinement and adding more years to his original five-year sentence.

Already in Washington ahead of Obama’s speech, Antunez thanked Boehner for inviting him and said his presence at the speech is an “important recognition to the Cuban resistance” about the significance of their plight — especially now, just a few days after the administration eased major sanctions on the island nation for the first time in 50 years.

“He is an ambassador for the Cuban resistance — for those struggling inside Cuba,” Antunez told the Washington Examiner on Monday night through an interpreter. “He especially feels that he is here representing all of those prisoners who are not released in response to the Obama-Castro” agreement.

He also highlighted a document, the Agreement for Democracy, signed by top Cuban resistance leaders in 1998, laying out their demands from the Castro regime, including free and fair elections and the release of all political prisoners. He specifically named Ciro Alexis Casanova, Ernesto Borges Perez and Armando Sosa Fortuny as two resistance leaders who remain in prison that should be immediately released.

Antunez also had a strong message for Obama.

“He would tell President Barack Obama that the way to change Cuba is not by engaging the Castro regime — and that Cuba is not the Castro regime,” he said, making the point that “the stronger the regime becomes economically because of investment, the weaker the resistance becomes.”

He also took issue with what he regarded as Obama’s “secret negotiations” with the Castro regime, describing them as “illegitimate” because they did not involve resistance leaders or average Cubans.

“The future of Cuba should not have been agreed to in secret — as these secret negotiations between Cuba and the regime have been carried out,” he said. “No agreement that excludes the Cuban resistance and the Cuban people can be considered legitimate.”

A Cuban of African-American descent, fellow inmates nicknamed him the “black diamond” to recognize what they considered his courage and unbreakable spirit, and many Cuban’s refer to him as the island’s Nelson Mandela.

In his essay “A Word From the Opposition,” in the January 2009 issue of the Journal of Democracy, Antunez highlighted the Cuban resistance movement’s adherence to the non-violent principles set forth by Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King.

He is married to Iris Tamara Pérez Aguilera, president of the Rosa Parks Women’s Movement.

Prominent members of the Cuban-American community in Congress, Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, both Republicans from Florida, also have Cuban dissidents as their guests to the State of the Union.

Rubio has invited Rosa Maria Paya Acevedo as his personal guest to Obama’s annual speech to Congress on Tuesday, his office confirmed Monday.

Paya Acevedo is a Cuban Christian Liberation Movement activist whose father, Oswaldo Paya, one of Cuba’s best-known dissidents, was killed in 2012 in a car crash under suspicious circumstances.

The Paya family argues that the Castro brothers orchestrated the crash and that it had been driven off the road, while the Cuban government asserts that the driver lost control of the vehicle and hit a tree. The Cuban government has refused to allow an investigation and has withheld a copy of the autopsy report from the family.

Ros-Lehtinen, a former chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, is bringing a representative of the family members whose relatives were killed by Castro regime in 1996.

In February of that year, members of the anti-Castro group Brothers to the Rescue were in a pair of Cessnas flying over international waters near the island. The Cuban Air Force shot the planes out of the sky, killing three American pilots.

Ros-Lehtinen has invited Marlene Alejandre Triana, the daughter of Armando Alejandre, a decorated Vietnam veteran and one of the pilots who died in the 1996 shoot-down.

Earlier Monday, the White House announced that Alan Gross, a subcontractor recently freed by the Cuban government after five years of imprisonment, will be one of first lady Michelle Obama’s guests at the State of the Union address, along with Gross’s wife Judy.

Gross’s release came the same day Obama announced his unilateral action to reestablish diplomatic ties to the one-party Communist island nation, which is viewed by those supporting the new relationship with Cuba as a positive outgrowth of loosening restrictions on the island nation.

jueves, diciembre 18, 2014

Speaker Boehner on Changes in U.S. Policy Toward Cuba

Speaker Boehner on Changes in U.S. Policy Toward Cuba

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s announcement of changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba:

“Relations with the Castro regime should not be revisited, let alone normalized, until the Cuban people enjoy freedom – and not one second sooner. There is no ‘new course’ here, only another in a long line of mindless concessions to a dictatorship that brutalizes its people and schemes with our enemies. If anything, this emboldens all state sponsors of terrorism, as they now have an even better idea of what the president meant when he once told Russian leaders he would have ‘more flexibility’ after his re-election. We have seen this before, and I fear we will see it again. Despite these reservations about the president’s changes in our policy toward this communist regime, we all feel great joy and relief for Alan Gross and his family. Americans do not forget our own, and we speak out today because we have a moral responsibility not to forget anyone anywhere who longs for liberty and dignity.”

miércoles, junio 25, 2014

Boehner Confirms Lawsuit Against Obama for Executive Actions

House Speaker John Boehner will file a lawsuit against the Obama administration for its use of executive actions to change laws, he formally announced Wednesday.
"I believe the President is not faithfully executing the laws of our country, and on behalf of the institution and our constitution standing up and fighting for this is in the best long term interest of the Congress," he said.

Boehner would not say which executive action the lawsuit would target specifically.
The specifics and mechanics of the suit have yet to be worked out, but Boehner could enlist an organization called the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group (BLAG) to carry it out.
Because that body is controlled by the Speaker, the Majority Leader, the Majority Whip, the Minority Leader and the Minority Whip, Republicans could order the lawsuit to go ahead even if Democrats objected.
The speaker insisted Wednesday that the lawsuit does not amount to an effort to impeach the president.
"This is not about impeachment, this is about his faithfully executing the laws of our country," Boehner said.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Wednesday said he is confident the president has operated well within the confines of the law and that Republicans have brought the suit simply because they disagree with Obama's policies.
"This lawsuit is not going to consume the attention of the White House," Earnest said.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Wednesday called the lawsuit "subterfuge."
"They're doing nothing here and so they have to give some aura of activity," she said.

viernes, octubre 11, 2013

Obama Balks at Boehner's Debt Ceiling Offer

After House Republicans gave a little breathing room on the debt ceiling, offering a “clean” six-week increase with nothing in return, President Barack Obama rejected their plan.

Obama’s and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s decision to completely reject any offer of a compromise from House Republicans confirms what most conservatives already know: Obama will not negotiate on anything (he has said as much numerous times over the past couple of weeks) unless he faces consequences for failing to do so.
The whole point of this fight, as most congressional Republicans including House Speaker John Boehner have said, has been to expose how President Obama has never compromised on anything, always gets his way or the highway, and will not negotiate with Congress—though he will try to make deals with American rivals or enemies like Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iran’s new leaders. In the process, conservatives hoped that Republicans would use their negotiating power to shred Obamacare, or at least burn parts of it.
While Obama says he would not negotiate under the circumstances of a government shutdown, or under the threat of a potential default, he has shown time and again that he will never negotiate outside of those circumstances. So, what are congressional Republicans to do? As Tea Party Patriots co-founder Jenny Beth Martin laid out in an op-ed for Breitbart News on Thursday morning, the only way to know whether President Obama will ever negotiate with Congress on anything is if the GOP in Congress stands it ground.
Obama was slipping in the government shutdown battle. His approval rating had been plummeting, down to 37 percent. Obamacare was becoming ever more unpopular, as its early implementation continued failing. Conservatives were winning the shutdown fight much more so than anyone in the establishment expected; polling data showed voters were blaming President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats as much as they are Republicans for it.
What has happened, instead? Congressional Republicans, led by Boehner and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), have blinked. They attempted to decouple the debt ceiling battle from the CR battle against Obamacare, instead of using all the leverage they have available to keep their figurative boot on the president’s throat.
They offered a six-week “clean,” no-strings-attached debt ceiling increase. On paper, and in the policy wonk world of conservatism, that negotiating tactic might have seemed like a solid strategy. Sure, Republicans would have been able to reorganize the order in which they fight their fiscal fights over the last few months of 2013, keep Wall Street from having a meltdown aimed at them and likely splitting the party as the ongoing government shutdown continues and, most importantly, they would have been able to keep the focus on Obamacare. In the process, the government would remain shut down and the song and dance of the Obama administration’s shutdown theater would continue.
But here is the problem with that logic: we do not live in a perfect world. We live in a world where, as we have already established, President Obama does not negotiate. Obama is no Bill Clinton; he is not interested in a mere deal. President Obama and Harry Reid want to fry the Republican Party and literally took the government into a shutdown—threatening a default to do so. They now refuse to take up a House-passed bill that would provide paychecks to the 3 million government employees (many of whom live paycheck to paycheck in the Obama economy) who will not be getting paid on Monday, the first scheduled payday for government employees during shutdown.
Obama is a man whose administration put barricades up to keep World War II veterans out of their open-air memorial, preventing the brave men who put their lives on the line for America from entering a memorial to their military service perhaps for the first or last time in their lives, while allowing illegal immigrants to protest across the street on the supposedly-closed National Mall. To win against someone like this, you must fight fire with fire. 
Obama actually has to believe House Republicans when they visit him to “talk.” Right now, Obama has no reason to believe Republicans will stand strong. Why should he? They have caved every other time they “negotiated” with him over the past three years since the Tea Party movement gave Boehner the speakership.
In response to Boehner’s Paul-Ryan-driven blink, what happened? That same man rejected the plan he had been saying he wanted for weeks, then added preconditions to raising the debt ceiling. Obama has stated for weeks he thinks a debt ceiling increase should not have any conditions; well, after Boehner blinked, Obama added a condition: open the government with the debt ceiling increase.
Martin sums it best in her piece on Breitbart News: “Leave it to establishment Republicans to sacrifice policy on the altar of tactics. As the partial government shutdown rolls into its second week and the so-called debt ceiling deadline draws nearer, we're beginning to see cracks in a previously unified GOP front against the Affordable Care Act.”
Now Obama knows: Republicans are willing to cave.

miércoles, mayo 15, 2013

Boehner: "My question is who is going to jail over this scandal?” IRS disciplines 2 in probe into conservative targeting

usnews
A senior official at the Internal Revenue Service has told congressional investigators that two IRS employees have been disciplined in relation to the special scrutiny applied to conservative groups, Congressional sources told NBC News on Wednesday.
The disciplined employees are from the IRS’s Cincinnati office, which was responsible at the time for reviewing the applications of groups that wanted tax exemption, the sources said.
An internal report faulted the IRS for using “inappropriate criteria” in the screening and for bad management. The disclosure has angered members of both parties in Congress, and President Barack Obama has said it was inexcusable. The Justice Department has opened an investigation.
In testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday that prosecutors are looking at several different criminal statutes, including one that requires IRS employees to do their jobs without favoritism.
“The facts will take us wherever they take us,” Holder said.
He said that the investigation, while based in Washington, will be nationwide in scope and not limited to the offices that have been the subject of complaints so far.
IRS employees used to terms search as “Tea Party” and “Patriots” to determine which organizations would be allowed tax exemption under federal law. An IRS official has apologized, but lawmakers want to know who within the organization, and perhaps elsewhere in government, was aware of the screening.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, demanded earlier Wednesday: “My question isn’t who is going to resign. My question is who is going to jail over this scandal?”

jueves, mayo 09, 2013

Boehner calls for release of Benghazi emails as pressure grows on administration


Pressure on the Obama administration to release more information about the Benghazi attack grew Thursday, as House Speaker John Boehner demanded officials turn over emails pertaining to the controversial "talking points" and another top Republican appealed for more whistle-blowers to come forward.
On the heels of a dramatic hearing where three whistle-blowers testified, Fox News has learned that former Vice President Dick Cheney on Thursday, on the Hill for a meeting with House Republicans, also told lawmakers: "I think Hillary (Clinton) should be subpoenaed if necessary."
The comments and developments signal that Republicans will continue to press for answers on the deadly Sept. 11 attack. Despite arguments from Democrats that the hearing was not nearly as shocking as Republicans made it out to be, GOP lawmakers said it raised troubling questions that need to be investigated.
"The truth shouldn't be hidden from the American people behind a White House firewall," Boehner said Thursday. "Four Americans lost their lives in this terrorist attack. Congress will continue to investigate this issue, using all of the resources at our disposal."
Boehner specifically urged the Obama administration to make public a set of internal emails that some lawmakers had been able to review but not keep.
One of the emails apparently showed a top State Department official saying a group affiliated with Islamic terrorists was responsible for the strike. Separate emails, though, allegedly depict the White House and State Department pressing lower-level officials to remove references to terrorism in talking points about the attacks.
Based on those talking points, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice would go on five Sunday talk shows shortly after the attacks to claim they were triggered by protests over an anti-Islam film. Top officials would later claim the flawed assessment was based on the best intelligence at the time, but the testimony from whistle-blowers Wednesday indicated that those on the ground knew the attack was terrorism.
"The YouTube video was a non-event in Libya," Greg Hicks, deputy chief of mission in Libya, testified Wednesday.
After the hearing, Republican Rep. Darrell Issa said he will continue to seek whistle-blowers to "come forward."
"Candidly, as quickly as possible, we simply want to have the whistleblowers that are still out there, in fact witnesses that are still out there to come forward, tell us their story. We will get it out and we will close up this investigation," he told Fox News.
Issa, R-Calif., is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which held the hearing.
The wide-ranging and dramatic testimony Wednesday raised several fresh questions about the attack. Witnesses questioned why security had not been tightened in Benghazi in the months leading up to the assault and why U.S. military assets did not respond sooner that night, with one alleging a military team was not given permission to fly from Tripoli to Benghazi the next morning.
Further, they raised serious concerns about the administration's initial decision to describe the attack as a protest gone awry despite evidence on the ground to the contrary.
In startling testimony, Hicks also claimed the State Department retaliated against him after he raised questions about that decision. He claimed that Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Elizabeth Jones delivered a "blistering critique" of his management style after he criticized Rice's initial claim that the attack was tied to anger over an anti-Islam film. He also claimed that he was counseled to avoid personally discussing the attack with Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz and was "effectively demoted" to a desk officer in the end.
Issa, in a written statement after Wednesday's hearing, called the alleged retaliation and intimidation "perhaps most troubling."
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., top Democrat on the committee, vowed to protect the whistle-blowers while criticizing his Republican colleagues for allegedly trying to politicize the tragedy. He claimed afterward that the testimony only served to undercut Republican allegations.
"What should have been a bipartisan investigation involving our national security was another sorry example of Republicans promising explosive new facts but delivering only a press spectacle," he said in a statement.
The committee may move to hear testimony next from at least one leader of the State Department's internal review of the Benghazi attack. Though the leaders, former Joints Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen and former Ambassador Thomas Pickering, apparently declined to testify, Pickering told MSNBC on Wednesday that he is willing to speak.
Issa spokesman Frederick Hill on Thursday noted the "change of heart" -- but also said neither Pickering nor the administration has contacted the committee about possible testimony.
Several claims from Wednesday's hearing could open up new lines of inquiry on the attack and its aftermath. Among them, Hicks claimed that Rice's faulty claims about the nature of the attack hurt the FBI investigation.
Hicks argued that Rice's comments so insulted the Libyan president -- since they contradicted his Sept. 16 claims that the attack was premeditated -- that it slowed the FBI's investigation.
"President Magariaf was insulted in front of his own people, in front of the world. His credibility was reduced," Hicks said, adding that the president was apparently "still steamed" two weeks later.
This bad blood, he claimed, contributed to the FBI team being stuck in Tripoli for about 17-18 days.
"I definitely believe that it negatively affected our ability to get the FBI team quickly to Benghazi," he said, adding that the U.S. could not even get the Libyans to secure the crime scene during that time.

domingo, marzo 03, 2013

Boehner: ‘I don’t think anyone quite understands’ how sequester gets resolved

In an exclusive interview with NBC’s Meet the Press, House Speaker John Boehner said there is no easy way to stop the budget cuts -- known as the “sequester” -- that began taking effect Friday night, and voiced uncertainty over how Washington can solve the overall fiscal problems that have consumed the nation’s politics for more than two years.
In an exclusive interview on Meet the Press, House Speaker John Boehner weighs in the economic impact of the sequester and whether or not it will hurt the country's economy.
“I don't think anyone quite understands how it gets resolved,” Boehner admitted in his interview with NBC’s David Gregory.
Boehner explained his strategy in the Republicans’ tax-and-spending standoff with President Barack Obama, saying that he didn’t want to “arbitrarily pull out a couple of tax expenditures” just to raise the revenue needed to avert $85 billion in spending cuts which are being made this year.
The president and many of his administration officials have warned of dire consequences to government services and national security if the sequester happens as planned.  But to avoid them and reach a deal, the president wants new tax increases, something Boehner and his fellow Republicans have insisted are off the table.
The spending cuts – which were intended to spur a bipartisan “grand bargain” on deficit reduction, entitlement reform and tax increases -- are part of the 2011 Budget Control Act which Obama signed into law.
Boehner voted for the law and urged his members to do likewise.
But now that the spending cuts are beginning, neither Boehner nor Obama wants them to continue. Yet they have been unable to reach an accord on an alternative measure.
More on nbcpolitics >>

martes, febrero 26, 2013

Get 'off your ass': Boehner blasts Senate Democrats


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firstread
House Speaker John Boehner addresses the ongoing sequester standoff on Capitol Hill.
Echoing the frustration of lawmakers throughout Washington hoping for a last-minute swerve to avoid impending budget cuts, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, used some PG-13 phraseology Tuesday to urge the Senate to action. "We have moved a bill in the House twice," Boehner said at a press conference Tuesday. "We should not have to move a third bill before the Senate gets off their ass and begins to do something." The refrain of urging Senate action comes from Boehner just four days before the sequestration cuts are slated to kick in. President Barack Obama will travel to Newport News, Va. this afternoon to highlight the cuts' effect on the region's shipbuilding community. He will be joined by the area's Rep. Scott Rigell, a Republican. The White House's road trips to warn of the sequester's impact have drawn criticism from foes. "He has traveled over 5000 miles the last two weeks, and we challenge him travel a mile and half and come to Capitol Hill," said Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers of Washington on Tuesday. "Sit down with Harry Reid and urge the Senate Democrats to take action."
Boehner said Obama's event this afternoon will reduce the nation's military to a campaign "prop."
"I don't think the president is focused on finding a solution to the sequester," he said. "The president has been traveling all over the country, today by going down to Newport News in order to use our military men and women as a prop in yet another campaign rally to support his tax hikes."

lunes, febrero 25, 2013

Washington's sequester standoff drags on: 'Mr. President, you got your tax increase'

The nation’s capital was enveloped in a familiar kind of gridlock late Monday, as Republicans again demanded that President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats act first to put off $85 billion in automatic cuts slated to take effect on Friday.
“The president says we have to have another tax increase to avoid the sequester,” House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said of the hefty and indiscriminate spending cuts. “Well, Mr. President, you got your tax increase. It's time to cut spending.”
As Congress returned to work following a weeklong recess, the Obama administration and lawmakers appeared no closer to resolving the automatic spending cuts before their Friday deadline. While both Democrats and Republicans bemoan the cuts as potentially catastrophic for the economy and the national defense, both sides have been locked in a virtual staring match over the sequester.

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More on firstread >>

miércoles, febrero 20, 2013

YOU MADE IT, NOW FIX IT: Boehner Says Obama Must Own Up to Sequester Crisis

House Speaker John Boehner had a simple message Wednesday for President Obama after he used the bully pulpit to blame Republicans for the "meat cleaver" of looming spending cuts: You created it, you fix it.
"Having first proposed and demanded the sequester, it would make sense that the president lead the effort to replace it," Boehner wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.
The "sequester" is the Washington word for the $85 billion in 2013 spending cuts set to hit starting March 1, with more than $1 trillion in cuts on tap over the next decade. Boehner and Obama both agree that the federal budget needs that level of deficit reduction and more, but sharply disagree over how to achieve it. In the absence of any compromise, the set of indiscriminate cuts which would hit the military hardest are set to take hold in less than two weeks.
The president on Tuesday, surrounded by first responders who are among those who would see cutbacks, called on House Republicans to drop their resistance to tax increases and steer the country away from the budget "meat cleaver."
But Boehner reminded Obama that the automatic cut idea was originally proffered by the White House during the debt-ceiling talks of 2011. He said Congress "reluctantly accepted the president's demand" and claimed it's now up to Obama to find the escape hatch.
"So, as the president's outrage about the sequester grows in coming days, Republicans have a simple response: Mr. President, we agree that your sequester is bad policy. What spending are you willing to cut to replace it?" Boehner asked.
White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer rejected what he described as "revisionist history." The White House acknowledges the "sequester" came from their office, but argues that Congress was on board at the time. The original plan was to tee up cuts so Draconian that Congress would be compelled to strike a deal to replace them -- Congress, though, failed to do so.
While Boehner blames Democratic resistance to spending and entitlement cuts, Obama blames GOP resistance to closing tax loopholes.
"(Obama) is willing to make tough choices. Now it's time for the speaker to do the same. The speaker has yet to name one tax loophole he's willing to close. Not one," Pfeiffer said.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney also said Tuesday that Congress "must act" to avert the spending cuts, putting the onus on congressional Republicans. "It is bad policy," he said.
The back-and-forth was further evidence that the two sides are drifting further apart as the deadline nears, and that chances of a deal in the near-term are fading.
The president spoke Tuesday at the White House, urging Congress to come up with a short-term fix to cancel sweeping cuts to defense and other programs set to hit March 1.
"These cuts are not smart. They are not fair. They will hurt our economy. They will add hundreds of thousands of Americans to the unemployment rolls," Obama said. "This is not an abstraction -- people will lose their jobs."
The president ticked off a host of expected repercussions should the $85 billion in cuts for this year take effect. He said Border Patrol, emergency responders, FBI agents, airport controllers and others would all face cutbacks. He said teachers would be laid off by the thousands and America's military would be degraded.
But Congress is out for the week, effectively leaving one more workweek to reach a deal, or a stopgap, before the deadline.
Shortly before he spoke, Obama was also dealt a blunt warning by former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson, who co-chaired the president's deficit-reduction commission.
Simpson warned that Obama "will have a failed presidency" unless he deals "honestly" with entitlements, saying programs like Medicare and Social Security must be dealt with in order to get the country on a sustainable path.
"If he wants to leave it alone and not deal with those two biggies, forget the rest of the stuff -- he'll have a failed presidency," Simpson told Fox News.
While Obama says opposition to tax hikes is holding up a deal, Republicans say Democrats' resistance to major changes to entitlements are a big part of the problem.
Simpson and Erskine Bowles, the former co-chairmen of the president's deficit-reduction commission who for years have been urging Washington to stop kicking the can, got in front of the president early Tuesday morning to push a plan of their own.
The two fiscal hawks pitched a plan to avert the looming spending cuts -- heavy cuts to defense and other programs that they describe as "abrupt" and "mindless" -- and instead enact a $2.4 trillion deficit reduction plan over 10 years.
A quarter would come from changes to health care spending, a quarter would come from closing tax loopholes and the rest would come from spending reductions including a stingier adjustment of Social Security's cost of living increases.
On tax reform, the plan presents a middle ground -- by using the savings from closing loopholes to both lower rates and bring down the deficit. By contrast, Obama has pushed to use that savings mostly to reduce the deficit, while Republicans have pushed to use it to bring down rates. 

martes, febrero 12, 2013

Boehner's blast: Obama doesn't have 'the guts' to cut spending

UPDATED 11:49 AM ET:  House Speaker John Boehner Tuesday repeatedly challenged the president's willingness to go against his own party on issues that include reforms to social programs and spending.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP
"I think he'd like to deal with it [fiscal problems], but to do the kind of heavy lifting that needs to be done, I don't think he's got the guts to do it,” the Ohio Republican said in a meeting with a small group of reporters for nearly an hour Tuesday morning. “He understands there is a spending problem. He understands that we need changes and reforms, and we need to solve these problems."
When pressed about the severity of that statement, he modified, saying the president does not have the "courage."
Washington is in the midst of yet another fiscal crisis, facing a political showdown over so-called "sequestration," the self-imposed round of across-the-board spending cuts to domestic programs and the Pentagon. The sequester was supported by both the White House and Congress as a way to encourage lawmakers to find common ground. Instead, they have been mired in a stalemate, unable to find an equitable solution for both sides. 
"I am not suggesting that this is easy,” Boehner said, “but what I am suggesting is that he is the President of the United States. This is the biggest threat to our society."
President Obama campaigned on raising taxes on the wealthy and got that in the showdown over the fiscal cliff. He wants more revenue -- from what he says are "loopholes and deductions" for the wealthy. Republicans have balked at that notion, saying he already got all the revenue he was going to get.
The White House has accused Boehner of walking away from "grand bargains," deals to reduce the country's deficits, in both 2011 and 2012 because he could not sell it to his base. Boehner's office vehemently disagrees with that notion, instead pointing the finger back at the president.
Republicans also feel as if they have already given in and do not want to give more, particularly after passing the tax increase and punting on the debt ceiling, voting to suspend it temporarily until the Democratic-controlled Senate passes a budget, something it has not done in years.
But those maneuvers have not been without staunch GOP opposition and misfires. President Obama and Boehner were thought to be, once again, close to a deal when Boehner abruptly announced "Plan B," an initiative pushed by House leadership, including Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), that would have let tax cuts expire for millionaires. But Boehner pulled the measure after he realized it did not have majority support within his conference.
President Barack Obama is expected to ask for more tax revenue and fewer spending cuts during Tuesday's speech but can his plan pass Congress. Gene Sperling, the director of the White House Economic Council, Bloomberg Businessweek's Josh Green and Bloomberg View's Margaret Carlson discuss.
Instead, Boehner issued a statement urging President Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate to pass something to avert the fiscal cliff. Boehner eventually brought the Senate-passed measure to the House floor. It passed without majority GOP support.
On immigration, Boehner claimed in the meeting, "The thing I am most concerned about immigration reform is the president getting in the way. Sometimes I think he'd rather have an issue than a solution. Here's the guy who four years ago said he was going to have immigration reform, and he's done absolutely nothing for four years. I hope the president will play a constructive role."
Democrats say that prior to the 2012 presidential election, they have faced a brick wall of opposition on immigration, despite President Obama's promises, especially from House Republicans. But since Obama's re-election, in which he won 71 percent of the Hispanic vote, Republicans have sounded a different tune on immigration.

miércoles, enero 30, 2013

How President Obama Lost His Shirt to John Boehner

Forbes/ Ralph Benko
The House, under the leadership of Speaker John Boehner, has precipitated a postponement in the debt ceiling fight until May. This represents a strategic choice by Boehner to make the Sequester fight, not the debt ceiling fight, the next major engagement. Much of the mainstream media now is accusing Congress of “kicking the can down the road.” They are missing the strategic implications.
In retrospect, at the Battle at Fiscal Cliff, Boehner took President Obama to the cleaners. He did it suavely, without histrionics. While Obama churlishly, and in a politically amateurish manner, publicly strutted about having forced the Republicans to raise tax rates on “the wealthiest Americans” Boehner, quietly, was pocketing his winnings.
Dazzled by Obama’s Ozymandias-scale sneer most liberals failed to notice that Boehner quietly made 99% of the Bush tax cuts permanent. As Boehner himself dryly observed, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board member Steve Moore, “”Who would have ever guessed that we could make 99% of the Bush tax cuts permanent? When we had a Republican House and Senate and a Republican in the White House, we couldn’t get that. And so, not bad.’”
“Not bad” is a resounding understatement. Dealt a weak hand, Boehner managed to 99% outfox, on tax policy, a president who had the massive apparatus of the executive branch, the Senate majority, and a left-leaning national elite media whooping it up for a whopping tax increase. Even more impressively, Boehner pulled it off with steady nerves while under heavy pressure from the anti-spending hawks in his own caucus.
Boehner, deftly, also dramatically raised the threshold, on which Obama had campaigned, at which the modest 3.6% rate increase kicked in. Yet his biggest win may have been in making the Alternative Minimum Tax patch permanent. This changes the baseline with profoundly positive implications for future tax reform and economic growth.
Boehner thereby won a triple jackpot, a bonanza for conservatives and supply-siders … while Obama, giving up all that for a trivial symbolic victory, lost his Progressive shirt. The mainstream media, with a few exceptions such as Howard Kurtz at the Daily Beast, was too deep in the tank to report that the Emperor has no clothes.
But Obama ended up, at least, shirtless. Next … off come the pants. Here come the real spending cuts. As reported by Moore, Boehner privately told Obama “’Mr. President, we have a very serious spending problem.’ He repeated this message so often, he says, that toward the end of the negotiations, the president became irritated and said: ‘I’m getting tired of hearing you say that.’”
Boehner, last week, again bested Obama by pushing the debt ceiling fight back to May. This is a double whammy by Boehner. According to specialists, by structuring the law to allow new borrowing only to the extent of obligations “outstanding on May 19, 2013, exceeds the face amount of such obligations outstanding on the date of the enactment of this Act” Boehner effectively instituted a spending freeze. This, in the face of Obama’s relentless demand for even more spending, is a victory for anti-profligacy hawks.
There’s a much bigger whammy embedded. Pushing the debt ceiling fight back to May, as the New York Times put it, “re-sequenced” the fight. Re-sequencing was not an idle gesture. It was a major tactical win by the House. The Times reported that “’The president stared down the Republicans. They blinked,’ said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York.” Schumer speaks with macho naiveté.
The Democrats, apparently, still don’t know what Boehner has hit them with. Thanks to the Sequester anti-profligacy conservatives now negotiate from strength. What are the implications of putting the Sequester fight before the debt ceiling fight? Steve Moore:
“The Republicans’ stronger card, Mr. Boehner believes, will be the automatic spending sequester trigger that trims all discretionary programs—defense and domestic. It now appears that the president made a severe political miscalculation when he came up with the sequester idea in 2011.
“As Mr. Boehner tells the story: Mr. Obama was sure Republicans would call for ending the sequester—the other ‘cliff’—because it included deep defense cuts. But Republicans never raised the issue. ‘It wasn’t until literally last week [columnist’s note: just before the deadline] that the White House brought up replacing the sequester,’ Mr. Boehner says. ‘They said, ‘We can’t have the sequester.’ They were always counting on us to bring this to the table.”
“Mr. Boehner says he has significant Republican support, including GOP defense hawks, on his side for letting the sequester do its work. ‘I got that in my back pocket,’ the speaker says. He is counting on the president’s liberal base putting pressure on him when cherished domestic programs face the sequester’s sharp knife. Republican willingness to support the sequester, Mr. Boehner says, is ‘as much leverage as we’re going to get.’”
Will the support of the defense hawks hold? It appears Boehner’s not bluffing. Although Obama’s outgoing defense secretary, Leon Panetta, infamously called the sequester “catastrophic,” the secretary obviously is falling back on the old bureaucratic tactic called “squealing louder than it hurts.” The Washington Post afterward called Panetta “the former (emphasis added) deficit hawk.”
As the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and nobody’s patsy, crisply notes about the Sequester: “This cut is significant to be sure, but it does not reach that of previous postwar drawdowns.”
Catastrophic? Oh please. Panetta surely knows better. The Post reprised a younger Panetta who, at a 1992 hearing (when the deficit was less than half its current size), stated “I think the most dangerous threat to our national security right now is debt, very heavy debt, that we confront in this country.”
“As chairman of the House Budget Committee and later as budget director in the Clinton administration, Panetta was an unforgiving enforcer of the bottom line as the United States grappled with record-size debts. As the largest government agency, the Pentagon found itself a frequent target of his whip, especially as it struggled to justify its missions in the aftermath of the Cold War.
“’I think the most dangerous threat to our national security right now is debt, very heavy debt, that we confront in this country,’ Panetta lectured then-Defense Secretary Richard B. Cheney and Gen. Colin L. Powell, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, during a hearing in 1992.”
It now should be clear to every Tea Party Patriot that Boehner is acting with integrity, with acute political sophistication, as an authentic conservative serious about reducing the debt by reducing spending. His claim, to Moore, that “he has significant Republican support, including GOP defense hawks … for letting the sequester do its work,” promises to be a game changer.
Given the assessments by sober defense analysts — and according to other, private, reports from Capitol Hill — there is no reason to think that Boehner is bluffing about having the support he needs to take the Sequester or barter it for even better cuts. And Boehner’s abhorrence of debt appears completely authentic. Moore: “He sees debt as almost a moral failing, noting that when he grew up in a little middle-class, blue-collar neighborhood’ outside of Cincinnati, ‘nobody had debt. It was unheard of. I just don’t do debt’.”
Boehner, having shrewdly identified the conservatives’ point of maximum leverage, appears poised for an historic victory. Boehner may prove himself to be the guy big enough and smart enough finally to engineer something that eluded even the great Reagan: pushing federal spending onto a downward trajectory.
If Boehner succeeds in closing the deal as he, with a critical assist from Senate Minority Leader McConnell, seems about to do he will go down in history as having brought about “the moment when the rise of the oceans (of debt) began to slow” … and our republic “began to heal.” If so John Boehner will deserve to be more than a Republican, conservative, and tea party, hero. He will go up in popular esteem, and down in history, as the master who staunched Washington’s hemorrhaging of America’s wealth.

martes, enero 22, 2013

First Lady Caught Rolling Eyes Twice at Boehner

It was a video clip in desperate need of a caption.
During the inaugural luncheon Monday, Michelle Obama could be seen blatantly rolling her eyes at something House Speaker John Boehner told her husband. 
The moment was fleeting. As Michelle Obama was seated in the middle, Boehner leaned back for a word -- and apparently a laugh -- with President Obama. 
There was no audio on the three of them, but the first lady's face said it all. As Boehner addressed the president, he tapped Michelle Obama's arm. She glanced up, and quickly looked back down.
Then Boehner appeared to crack a joke. He smiled, the president laughed -- whatever Boehner said, it made Michelle Obama pause from her lunch for a few seconds, visibly shaking her head and giving the speaker's comment a hearty eye-roll.
The moment was then interrupted when Sen. Chuck Schumer had everyone join in a round of applause for the chef and caterer.
President Obama and Boehner have been at odds for months over a string of budget issues. After the latest deal to avert the fiscal crisis, Boehner said he would no longer negotiate with the president one-on-one. 
Whether the two were getting chummy again at Monday's lunch is unclear -- but it didn't look like the first lady was buying it.
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"Hablame"

"EN TIEMPOS DIFÍCILES" - Heberto Padilla

A aquel hombre le pidieron su tiempo

para que lo juntara al tiempo de la Historia.

Le pidieron las manos,

porque para una época difícil

nada hay mejor que un par de buenas manos.

Le pidieron los ojos

que alguna vez tuvieron lágrimas

para que contemplara el lado claro

(especialmente el lado claro de la vida)

porque para el horror basta un ojo de asombro.

Le pidieron sus labios

resecos y cuarteados para afirmar,

para erigir, con cada afirmación, un sueño

(el-alto-sueño);

le pidieron las piernas

duras y nudosas

(sus viejas piernas andariegas),

porque en tiempos difíciles

¿algo hay mejor que un par de piernas

para la construcción o la trinchera?

Le pidieron el bosque que lo nutrió de niño,

con su árbol obediente.

Le pidieron el pecho, el corazón, los hombros.

Le dijeron

que eso era estrictamente necesario.

Le explicaron después

que toda esta donación resultaria inútil.

sin entregar la lengua,

porque en tiempos difíciles

nada es tan útil para atajar el odio o la mentira.

Y finalmente le rogaron

que, por favor, echase a andar,

porque en tiempos difíciles

esta es, sin duda, la prueba decisiva.

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La columna de Cubanalisis

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]

NEOCASTRISMO [Hacer click en la imagen]
¨Saturno jugando con sus hijos¨/ Pedro Pablo Oliva

Seguidores

Carta desde la carcel de Fidel Castro Ruz

“…después de todo, para mí la cárcel es un buen descanso, que sólo tiene de malo el que es obligatorio. Leo mucho y estudio mucho. Parece increíble, las horas pasan como si fuesen minutos y yo, que soy de temperamento intranquilo, me paso el día leyendo, apenas sin moverme para nada. La correspondencia llega normalmente…”

“…Como soy cocinero, de vez en cuando me entretengo preparando algún pisto. Hace poco me mandó mi hermana desde Oriente un pequeño jamón y preparé un bisté con jalea de guayaba. También preparo spaghettis de vez en cuando, de distintas formas, inventadas todas por mí; o bien tortilla de queso. ¡Ah! ¡Qué bien me quedan! por supuesto, que el repertorio no se queda ahí. Cuelo también café que me queda muy sabroso”.
“…En cuanto a fumar, en estos días pasados he estado rico: una caja de tabacos H. Upman del doctor Miró Cardona, dos cajas muy buenas de mi hermano Ramón….”.
“Me voy a cenar: spaghettis con calamares, bombones italianos de postre, café acabadito de colar y después un H. Upman #4. ¿No me envidias?”.
“…Me cuidan, me cuidan un poquito entre todos. No le hacen caso a uno, siempre estoy peleando para que no me manden nada. Cuando cojo el sol por la mañana en shorts y siento el aire de mar, me parece que estoy en una playa… ¡Me van a hacer creer que estoy de vacaciones! ¿Qué diría Carlos Marx de semejantes revolucionarios?”.
¨La patria es dicha de todos, y dolor de todos, y cielo para todos, y no feudo ni capellaní­a de nadie¨ - Marti

"No temas ni a la prision, ni a la pobreza, ni a la muerte. Teme al miedo"
-
Giacomo Leopardi

¨Por eso es muy importante, Vicky, hijo mío, que recuerdes siempre para qué sirve la cabeza: para atravesar paredes¨Halvar de Flake [El vikingo]

"Como no me he preocupado de nacer, no me preocupo de morir" - Lorca

"Al final, no os preguntarán qué habéis sabido, sino qué habéis hecho" - Jean de Gerson

"Si queremos que todo siga como está, es necesario que todo cambie" - Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

"Todo hombre paga su grandeza con muchas pequeñeces, su victoria con muchas derrotas, su riqueza con múltiples quiebras" - Giovanni Papini


"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans" - John Lennon

"Habla bajo, lleva siempre un gran palo y llegarás lejos" - Proverbio Africano

"No hay medicina para el miedo" - Proverbio escoces

"El supremo arte de la guerra es doblegar al enemigo sin luchar"
- Sun Tzu

"You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother" - Albert Einstein

"It is inaccurate to say I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office" - H. L. Menken

"I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented" - Elie Wiesel

"Stay hungry, stay foolish" -
Steve Jobs

"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert , in five years ther'ed be a shortage of sand" - Milton Friedman

"The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less" - Vaclav Havel

"No se puede controlar el resultado, pero si lo que uno haga para alcanzarlo" -
Vitor Belfort [MMA Fighter]

Liborio

Liborio
A la puerta de la gloria está San Pedro sentado y ve llegar a su lado a un hombre de cierta historia. No consigue hacer memoria y le pregunta con celo: ¿Quién eras allá en el suelo? Era Liborio mi nombre. Has sufrido mucho, hombre, entra, te has ganado el cielo.

Para Raul Castro

Cuba ocupa el penultimo lugar en el mundo en libertad economica solo superada por Corea del Norte.

Cuba ocupa el lugar 147 entre 153 paises evaluados en "Democracia, Mercado y Transparencia 2007"

Cuando vinieron

Cuando vinieron a buscar a los comunistas, Callé: yo no soy comunista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los sindicalistas, Callé: yo no soy sindicalista.
Cuando vinieron a buscar a los judíos, Callé: yo no soy judío. Cuando vinieron a buscar a los católicos, Callé: yo no soy “tan católico”.
Cuando vinieron a buscarme a mí, Callé: no había quien me escuchara.

Reverendo Martin Niemöller

Martha Colmenares

Martha Colmenares
Un sitio donde los hechos y sus huellas nos conmueven o cautivan

CUBA LLORA Y EL MUNDO Y NOSOTROS NO ESCUCHAMOS

Donde esta el Mundo, donde los Democratas, donde los Liberales? El pueblo de Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan los Green, los Socialdemocratas, los Ricos y los Pobres, los Con Voz y Sin Voz? Cuba llora y nadie escucha.
Donde estan el Jet Set, los Reyes y Principes, Patricios y Plebeyos? Cuba desesperada clama por solidaridad.
Donde Bob Dylan, donde Martin Luther King, donde Hollywood y sus estrellas? Donde la Middle Class democrata y conservadora, o acaso tambien liberal a ratos? Y Gandhi? Y el Dios de Todos?
Donde los Santos y Virgenes; los Dioses de Cristianos, Protestantes, Musulmanes, Budistas, Testigos de Jehova y Adventistas del Septimo Dia. Donde estan Ochun y todas las deidades del Panteon Yoruba que no acuden a nuestro llanto? Donde Juan Pablo II que no exige mas que Cuba se abra al Mundo y que el Mundo se abra a Cuba?
Que hacen ahora mismo Alberto de Monaco y el Principe Felipe que no los escuchamos? Donde Madonna, donde Angelina Jolie y sus adoptados around de world; o nos hara falta un Brando erguido en un Oscar por Cuba? Donde Sean Penn?
Donde esta la Aristocracia Obrera y los Obreros menos Aristocraticos, donde los Working Class que no estan junto a un pueblo que lanquidece, sufre y llora por la ignominia?
Que hacen ahora mismo Zapatero y Rajoy que no los escuchamos, y Harper y Dion, e Hillary y Obama; donde McCain que no los escuchamos? Y los muertos? Y los que estan muriendo? Y los que van a morir? Y los que se lanzan desesperados al mar?
Donde estan el minero cantabrico o el pescador de percebes gijonese? Los Canarios donde estan? A los africanos no los oimos, y a los australianos con su acento de hombres duros tampoco. Y aquellos chinos milenarios de Canton que fundaron raices eternas en la Isla? Y que de la Queen Elizabeth y los Lords y Gentlemen? Que hace ahora mismo el combativo Principe Harry que no lo escuchamos?
Donde los Rockefellers? Donde los Duponts? Donde Kate Moss? Donde el Presidente de la ONU? Y Solana donde esta? Y los Generales y Doctores? Y los Lam y los Fabelo, y los Sivio y los Fito Paez?
Y que de Canseco y Miñoso? Y de los veteranos de Bahia de Cochinos y de los balseros y de los recien llegados? Y Carlos Otero y Susana Perez? Y el Bola, y Pancho Cespedes? Y YO y TU?
Y todos nosotros que estamos aqui y alla rumiando frustaciones y resquemores, envidias y sinsabores; autoelogios y nostalgias, en tanto Louis Michel comulga con Perez Roque mientras Biscet y una NACION lanquidecen?
Donde Maceo, donde Marti; donde aquel Villena con su carga para matar bribones?
Cuba llora y clama y el Mundo NO ESCUCHA!!!

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