Sunday, July 31, 2011

Obama says there is a debt deal

Blogging from the Paul McCartney concert at Wrigley Field.

MSNBC is reporting that President Obama says that leaders of both parties have reached a deal on the debt-ceiling limit.

Oh, the show hasn't started yet.
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Video: Sessions says any ceiling deal is "only the first step" in reversing our debt trajectory

This morning Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, reminds us that we've stumbled along for "823 days without a budget." He says that any debt-ceiling deal is "only the first step" in reversing our debt trajectory.

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Video: Durbin deflects when asked why Senate hasn't passed a budget in over 800 days

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranking Democratic embarrasment in the upper chamber of Congress, deflects Bret Baier's question when he asks the Springfield liberal why the Senate hasn't passed a budget in over 800 days.

"It's called 60 votes," he replied.

Durbin has spent almost entire adult life either as a legislator or working for one. Does he really believe what he uttered this morning? Odd thing: until 2010 Congress passed a budget every year since 1974. Durbin has served either in the House or the Senate since 1983.


Related post:

Durbin: If Obama showed leadership on budget he would be rejected

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Ronald Reagan Trail: Lowell Park and 78 lives saved

My penultimate post in my Ronald Reagan Trail series covers Dixon's Lowell Park, where Dutch worked as a lifeguard, "One of the best jobs I ever had," on the shores of the Rock River.

"I worked seven days a week, ten to twelve hours a day, for $15--later $20--a week," Reagan wrote in An American Life, "and one of the proudest statistics of my life is seventy-seven--the number of people I saved during those summers." He once retrieved a swimmer's dentures, which earned him a $10 tip.

Rock River in Lowell Park
Reagan saved 77 lives at Lowell Park. But the lifeguard had one more life to save, which I will discuss in a bit.

Even though Reagan called Lowell Park "a forested sanctuary" in American Life, I expected a Midwestern "picnic savanna," large oaks with open spaces. But it really is a forested sanctuary.

The park opened in 1907 and is named for the poet and diplomat James Russell Lowell, his family donated the property to Dixon.

Lowell Park
Lowell Park is likely teeming with wildlife, but the only animals I encountered on the hot summer evening of my trip were mosquitoes--and plenty of them. Mosquitoes probably made the end of Dutch's lifeguard shifts very uncomfortable. Which could be why at the end of the day when swimmers wouldn't leave the water, Reagan would throw pebbles, according to CNN's Krya Phillips, and yell, "river rat!"

Oh, the 78th life Reagan saved was in Sacramento on July 4, 1967. The daughter of a California assemblyman was struggling in a pool and the governor dove in--fully clothed--and rescued her.

Next: Conclusion

Related posts:
Where Reagan saved 77 lives

Earlier posts:
Sunset east of Dixon--June 6, 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Liberal Schakowsky accuses GOP of "fragging" American people

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) nominally represents me in the House of Representatives. She's arguably the most liberal member of the lower chamber. While complaining about "Tea Party radicals," the denizen of the far-left emitted this bile on the House floor today: "In battle, when you accidentally shoot your own, it's called friendly fire. When you deliberately shoot your own it's called fragging. Republicans, stop fragging the American economy and the American people!"

RealClearPolitics has the video.

Schakowsky was unaware that two weeks ago over 800,000 Chicago area residents, many of them like myself residents over her district, suffered a multi-day power outage.

Related post:

Audio of clueless Schakowsky on Chicago's massive power outage

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ABC News: Tentative deal on debt-ceiling between GOP and White House

ABC News' The Note blog is reporting that a tentative deal between the White House and House Republicans has been struck. The blog says it includes:

•Debt ceiling increase of up to $2.8 trillion
•Spending cuts of roughly $1 trillion
•Special committee to recommend cuts of $1.8 trillion (or whatever it takes to add up to the total of the debt ceiling increase)
•Committee must make recommendations before Thanksgiving recess
•If Congress does not approve those cuts by late December, automatic across-the-board cuts go into effect, including cuts to Defense and Medicare.
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Reid debt-ceiling bill defeated in House; Kinzinger statement

Hennepin Feeder Canal,
Illinois' 11th congressional district
This afternoon the House of Representatives voted down the Harry Reid debt-ceiling bill 173-246. No Republicans voted for Reid's smoke-and-mirrors bill, which does not include a balanced budget amendment.

House Republican freshman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) made his thoughts known about the Reid bill in a press release.

Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Adam Kinzinger (IL-11) issued the following statement after voting against H.R. 2693, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's debt limit increase plan that fails to offer spending cuts greater than the increase and authorizes the largest debt limit increase in history. The measure failed in the House by a vote of 173-246.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's plan offers phantom savings, accounting gimmicks and hands a blank check to the President, signed by the taxpayers. It fails to cut more in spending than it increases in the debt ceiling and the deep slashes to our defense, threaten the security of our country.

General Martin E. Dempsey, President Obama's nominee to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also cautioned that these cuts to the military budget would be "extraordinarily difficult and very high risk."

Over the last two weeks, the House passed two plans that would end the debt limit crisis, cut trillions of dollars in spending, remove barriers to job growth and refuel our economy.

Yesterday the House passed the Budget Control Act, legislation that was created during bipartisan discussions between House and Senate leaders. Unfortunately, Senator Reid abruptly abandoned this legislation to work on a partisan plan, knowing full well that it would never pass the House.

The House Republicans' Budget Control Act upholds the promises made – it cuts more spending than the increase in the debt limit and it does not raise any taxes. This plan cuts and caps spending by $917 billion over 10 years and would prevent a national default which threatens our economic growth as well as the national security of our country.

Additionally, the House-passed legislation forces Washington to maintain a strong focus on cutting spending and requires a plan by December that cuts at least $1.8 trillion more. Upon passage, this plan would mark the deepest spending cuts since World War II.
Kinzinger is a captain in the Air Force Reserves from Manteno.

Related Post:

Ronald Reagan Trail: Hennepin Feeder Canal

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