A detailed account of who was present at the dinner on that January 20, 2009, night and the plan they worked out to bring down Obama is provided by Robert Draper in 'Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the US House of Representatives', published this week.
In his book, Draper opens with the heady atmosphere in Washington on the days running up to the inauguration and the day itself, which attracted 1.8 million to the mall to witness Obama being sworn in as America's first black president.
Attending the dinner were House members Eric Cantor, Jeb Hensarling, Pete Hoekstra, Dan Lungren, Kevin McCarthy, Vice Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan and Pete Sessions.
From the Senate were Tom Coburn, Bob Corker, Jim DeMint, Adulterer and Briber John Ensign and Jon Kyl.
Others present were former House Speaker and future - and failed - presidential candidate Newt Gingrich and the Republican strategist Frank Luntz.
Republicans have proven they can't be trusted to uphold their legislative responsibilities. Republicans have proven they can't be trusted negotiators. Republicans have proven they do not respect the will of the people as demonstrated in multiple elections across the country.
Democrats, especially those in the United States Senate, should show the same respect and consideration Republican leaders have shown to them and us the last 4 years: NONE.
During last night's debate, Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan told 24 lies during his 40 minutes of speaking time. But in one instance, he was aided by debate moderator Martha Raddatz, who asserted that Social Security "is going broke":
RADDATZ: Let's talk about Medicare and entitlements. Both Medicare and Social Security are going broke and taking a larger share of the budget in the process. Will benefits for Americans under these programs have to change for the programs to survive? Mr. Ryan.
RYAN: Absolutely. Medicare and Social Security are going bankrupt. These are indisputable facts.
Mark Udall and Michael Bennet also subscribe to those lies and repeat them constantly.
Social Security is not broke and does not contribute one dime to our nation's deficit or debt.
It is a scandal of modern American politics that a vital program presently needing no change at all, as far as solvency goes, is widely believed to be on a path to bankruptcy.
The program's unappreciated health can be verified by reference to the most recent annual report of the Social Security Trustees. If you trouble to look at Table VI.F4 you can see the cash shortfall in the program over the next 75 years is never more than 1.6 percent of GDP. There is no program deficit until 2033. How much is 1.6 percent of GDP?
Conventional Wisdom in DC held by politicians, pundits and the press is wrong. Yet they persist is perpetuating the lie, preparing to slash those programs, and pulling a "Bain" on all American citizens.
See, Dems (or anyone, for that matter, even nuns) are divisive when they point out the facts on policy outcomes, but Repubs are good with throwing the 47% leeches off unemployment, Medicare, Social Security, SNAP, SCHIP and any number of government programs because they are unworthy yet somehow feel entitled.
Raise taxes on 18 million hardworking low-income families while cutting taxes for millionaires and big corporations.
Push the families of 2 million children into poverty.
Kick 8 million people off food stamps and 30 million off health care.
Sister Simone Campbell, said in a recent media interview that Catholic Sisters "know the real-life struggles of real-life Americans." It is this knowledge that impelled us to organize this bus trip. When the federal government cuts funding to programs that serve people in poverty, we see the effects in our daily work.
KEYES: What did you think about the nuns who are going out and barnstorming across the country, campaigning against the Ryan budget?
TIPTON: I think one of the important things is that we often get people that want to try and divide. No one, Republican or Democrat, wants to hurt any individual.
KEYES: Do you think they're being divisive?
TIPTON: I think pointing to this without the understanding apparently that we've got to be able to pay for those different programs.
Yes, we've got to be able to pay for these programs without asking the richest among us to pay their fair share. Because that is divisive and everyone knows that once you have that first Billion, you absolutely must have the second, come hell or high water.
So Scott Tipton, and most Republicans, and enough Democrats like our own 2 senators, believe we should cement the divide between rich and poor and make sure Them that's got shall get, Them that's not shall lose. Because those are the principles America was founded upon...
"Money, you've got lots of friends, they're crowding 'round your door."
When a politician makes himself available to the press, and reporters, in turn, ask good questions, everyone benefits.
Case in point, GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan's interviews with Denver TV stations.
He's now sat down for one-on-one conversations with Channel's 7, 9, and 31, and what's left on the table? A trail of information that's actually useful for voters on both sides of the aisle.
In his latest Denver TV interview, aired yesterday, Ryan was interviewed by New7's Theresa Marchetta. Here's a segment of her report:
"For women voters who are fiscally conservative.. but pro choice.. what do you say to those voters?" Marchetta asked.
"People may not agree with us on these social issues [Ryan is against all abortion, even in the case of rape and incest]. Let's just agree to disagree and be respectful of each other at that time. But right now, we've got to get people back to work," Ryan said.
In an interview with 9News Political Reporter Brandon Rittiman, GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan replied, "Oh, heaven's no," when asked if he wants to "abolish" birth control completely.
But, as we know from our long and losing history with personhood amendments here in Colorado, the phrase "birth control" has multiple meanings, depending on where you come down on personhood, which would give legal rights to fertilized eggs and ban all abortion.
Other forms of "birth control," like some forms of the pill and IUD's, are not considered "birth control" at all by personhood supporters, but abortifacients, which are zygote killers, chemicals that cause "abortion." And these would be banned, if fertilized eggs received legal protections under personhood laws.
So, in the following exchange with Rittiman, if you want understand Ryan's real position on birth control, you have to get biological with him (as in, what about forms of birth control that threaten or kill fertilized eggs?)
Rittiman: I've got a few questions from viewers...Holly asked us on our Facebook page about women's issues, which have been in the campaign dialogue. She wants to know if you're simply opposed to public funding of things like birth control or if you want to abolish them completely?
Ryan: Oh, heaven's no. People should be free to have birth control all they want. But what we don't want to do is force taxpayers or groups, like religious charities, churches, and hospitals, to have to provide and pay for benefits that violates their religious teachings and conscience. Of course we believe people should have the freedom to use birth control. Nobody's talking about that. The question is, can the federal government require churches and charities, people of religious conviction, to violate their religious liberties, which is our First Amendment in the Constitution.
(This exchange occureed a couple weeks ago on Your Show, which airs on Channel 20 in Denver.)
I've discussed previously reporters need to beware of the "birth-control" rhetoric of politicians who want to support personhood AND support "birth control." Politicians can certainly have it both ways, because some forms of birth control would not be banned under personhood, but some common forms would be banned. So, it's important for reporters to clarify what people like Paul Ryan are talking about when they use the phrase "birth control."
As to which forms of birth control threaten fertilized eggs and which would do not, I interviewed Nanette Santoro, MD, chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, at the University of Colorado about this back in 2010, and, the way I interpreted her comments, a number of types of birth control, including forms of the pill will, or have the potential to, destroy fertilized eggs. And if you believe that killing a fertilized egg amounts to murder, then you wouldn't want to risk it and, I'd say, it would be illegal to do so. It would be like playing Russian roulette.
I asked Santoro if the science had changed since my 2010 interview, and she said, through a spokesperson, that it had not.
So, unless scientists tell us differently down the road, reporters will be left to sort out the linguistic gymnastics they see from evasive personhood supporters.
[T]he GOP has purposefully obstructed President Obama and gone so far as to sabotage the economy to destroy his presidency. ... There's now proof that on Inauguration Day, a cabal of some of the most loathsome right-wing operatives in the GOP-- Eric Cantor (VA), Kevin McCarthy (CA), Paul Ryan (WI), Pete Sessions (TX), Jeb Hensarling (TX), Pete Hoekstra (MI), Dan Lungren (CA), Jim DeMint (SC), Jon Kyl (AZ), Tom Coburn (OK), John Ensign (NV), Bob Corker (TN), along with Newt Gingrich and Frank Luntz - met for several hours in the Caucus Room to plot out a plan of obstructionism for the newly elected president and increasing pain for American working families. From Robert Draper's new book, Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives:
The dinner lasted nearly four hours. They parted company almost giddily. The Republicans had agreed on a way forward:
Go after Geithner. (And indeed Kyl did, the next day: 'Would you answer my question rather than dancing around it-- please?')
Show united and unyielding opposition to the president's economic policies. (Eight days later, Minority Whip Cantor would hold the House Republicans to a unanimous No against Obama's economic stimulus plan.)
Begin attacking vulnerable Democrats on the airwaves. (The first National Republican Congressional Committee attack ads would run in less than two months.)
Win the spear point of the House in 2010. Jab Obama relentlessly in 2011. Win the White House and the Senate in 2012.
These Traitors haven't been called out by their Congressional peers like Udall or Bennet. Sadly, our two senators would almost surely brush aside these reports and still yearn to pass anything that can be called bipartisan.
By pretending politics should stop at the Senate's Antechamber, and that their Republican opponents will compromise in the same spirit, and they'll actually negotiate in good faith, when all indications are otherwise, is to play a fool's game while serving in the "greatest deliberative body in the world." We should have no fools representing us in the U.S. Senate.
Udall and Bennet ran for office, they wanted the job whose responsibilities now frighten them so, and they've tried to evade those solemn responsibilities almost every time the heat got turned up (ref. Harry Truman). They outsourced it to a commission, to the other side, to a phantom fix like "filibuster reform" or an impossible dream like the balanced-budget amendment.
If Obama is re-elected, and I think he will be, they need to quit playing dumb, start representing those who put them in office, and standing up for the values represented by the (D) behind their names.
Here's Deval Patrick one more time with the second best quote of the DNC Convetion:
It's time for Democrats to grow a backbone and stand up for what we believe.
Yes, I am being repetitive, but it seems quite clear our so-called "leaders" are not listening to the people who hired them to lead. The day they start leading is the day I'll shut up....
This is from Politico's conventional-wisdom setting morning email newsletter:
GOP PROS PRIVATELY PANICKING ABOUT RYAN PICK: "Away from the cameras, and with all the usual assurances that people aren't being quoted by name, there is an unmistakable consensus among Republican operatives in Washington:Romney has taken a risk with Ryan that has only a modest chance of going right - and a huge chance of going horribly wrong ," Alex Burns, Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin report. "In more than three dozen interviews with Republican strategists and campaign operatives - old hands and rising next-generation conservatives alike - the most common reactions to Ryan ranged from gnawing apprehension to hair-on-fire anger that Romney has practically ceded the election.
We were winning, and now we're winning even more thanks to Ryan. It's no big secret. Everyone knows it. Only, it used to be just Romney who was doomed. Now, the House is in play and the Senate isn't going anywhere near Mitch McConnell's grasp.
Get ready to have the most fun since 2008. There's nothing like Republicans in disarray to spice things up. And best of all? When they go down in defeat in November, the internal GOP battle over who lost the election-the squishy liberal Romney or the firebrand conservative ideologue Ryan-will keep things spicy for a long, long time.
Though his predictions and analyses are so correct and so profound so often, many of the pros who advise our side still don't understand the world the way Markos does. They dismiss him and his words and tell their subjects to ignore him.
But just because the Republicans are in a full-blown clusterf*** and are sure to lose this election does not mean Democrats by default are perfect - or even close.
Democrats should still be held to a higher standard by us.
Markos is right, we will win, but winning because the other side has gone over the cliff is not the same as winning on the strength of your ideas and principles, the ability to communicate them adequately to voters, or the skill to get them passed into law and turned into policy.
I'm still waiting for that from our representatives in Washington, DC. My advice is that if they get another mandate from voters like they did in 2008, then they should start acting like real Democrats and quit acting like Republicans.
Under Paul Ryan's plan, Mitt Romney wouldn't pay any taxes for the next ten years - or any of the years after that. Now, do I know that that's true. Yes, I'm certain.
Well, maybe not quite nothing. In 2010 - the only year we have seen a full return from him - Romney would have paid an effective tax rate of around 0.82 percent under the Ryan plan, rather than the 13.9 percent he actually did. How would someone with more than $21 million in taxable income pay so little? Well, the vast majority of Romney's income came from capital gains, interest, and dividends. And Ryan wants to eliminate all taxes on capital gains, interest and dividends [...]
Romney did earn $593,996 in author and speaking fees in 2010 that would still be taxed under the Ryan plan. Just not much. Ryan would cut the top marginal tax rate from 35 to 25 percent and get rid of the Alternative Minimum Tax - saving Romney another $292,389 or so on his 2010 tax bill. Now, Romney would still owe self-employment taxes on his author and speaking fees, but that only amounts to $29,151. Add it all up, and Romney would have paid $177,650 out of a taxable income of $21,661,344, for a cool effective rate of 0.82 percent.
There's no doubt why Ryan is so popular among conservatives today. He'll surely get a nervous welcome fraught with the fears of the 1% that they might lose some of their wealth.
They need not fear under Romney-Ryan, nor if they had any brains, Obama-Biden.
The wealth of the 1%-ers in Cherry Creek is secure in the America of today - no matter who is in the White House.
"This is the greatest destruction of individual liberty since Dred Scott. This is the end of America as we know it. No exaggeration." - Some Conservative Moran*
Is the "middle" really halfway between Democratic and Republican policies and rhetoric, Madam and Mr. Press?
Here's hoping Mike Rosen, bless his little heart, completely loses his beans over this and David Sirota becomes the primary local host at 850KOA. Rosen's head almost exploded, and many of his listeners' did, last week while discussing The Dread Justice Roberts and his traitorous act.
This is the best test of their theory, because Democrats are too cowardly and inept to make the case that everyone benefits from a fair tax system and that almost everyone benefits from the institutions built up in our society over the yearsdecadescenturies.
With all taxes at 0% we can test how the functions of society and government work within that Republican worldview.
Though that's the last piece of advice Republicans will ever take Obama's criticisms were exact and moral. He was cheered on the left, scorned on the right (what's new?) and left only one thing to be answered: will he follow his tough words with the deeds to salvage something of this economy and will he instill a bit of confidence in others with (D)'s behind their names I'm looking at you, Senators) who congenitally cave in to Washington, DC's conventional wisdom on taxes and the budget?
So, now that House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan has unveiled his steaming tightly coiled pile of a budget the argument in the media is starting. It is to be strongly hoped that the Traditional Media outlets will look at the facts of this budget.
You know the little problems like the draconian cuts are not going to actual deficit reduction because they are being used to pay for tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires. Just to raise your blood pressure a little this morning, let me give you and example. Under this budget a single person making $75,000 a year (a nice chunk of change) would pay the same tax rates as people who make multiple millions a year.
Another issue that has to be brought up again and again is that this budget would gut the newly minted financial regulations, would gut the EPA, would gut the Social Security Administration (setting up the argument that it is poorly run and needs to be ended all together) as well as ending Medicare and Medicaid as we know them within ten years.
As if all that shite were not enough, there is the fact that like all of the proposals that Rep. Ryan puts forward, the numbers don't work. He assumes that if we pass his budget in 4 years, just 48 months, the unemployment rate will fall to 4%.
I'd love that to happen, but I have this mental defect, I can't get behind something that has no basis in reality, or as in this case is actually counter factual. Over the last two years the only thing that has kept the economy afloat was major federal spending. Business is sitting on 1.4 trillion in cash and has shown no sign of wanting to use it to stimulate demand. Rep. Ryan wants to slash hundreds of billions from the budget every year for the next decade. Is there really anyone out there who thinks that the resultant loss of jobs is going to improve the growth rate or the unemployment numbers?
If there was anything to this, then we would have had the boom that Rep. Ryan and the Heritage Foundation both predicted from the original Bush tax cuts. Instead of job growth we lost 600,000 private sector jobs in that time period. I think we have been "trickled down" upon enough to show that it is insane and does not work.
There is one piece of the Republican push that I do agree with; there is no plan from the Democrats, yet. For all its flaws (and lets face it they are legion) the Republicans have put forward an ideological marker for budgets. Everyone can see they want to slash government at the expense of the young, the poor and the elderly. I think it is more than a little bit of political suicide, but this is what you get when the inmates run the asylum as has happened with the modern Republican Party.
It seems like a never ending story. We're on the brink of a government shut down, due to the complete and utter intransigence of the Republicans (you can't call it anything else when the Dems have caved and caved again and there is still no deal) to take anything but the completely arbitrary 61 billion in cuts and the riders that would defund EPA's control of greenhouse gasses (which Congress refused to make legislation on) and Heads Start and Planned Parenthood and public broadcasting (both NPR and PBS).
They insist, loudly and contrary to the facts, that this will improve our economy by reducing the deficit. When confronted with the fact that it this budget would cost between 200,000 and 1 million jobs, this year, Speaker Boehner (Spray Tan, OH) said "So be it".
Before this fight is even done the Republicans, in the form of Rep. Paul Ryan, are introducing their budget resolution. It would cut4 trillion ($4,000,000,000,000,000)in federal spending over the next 10 years.
Take a minute to think about that. We are talking about draconian cuts to programs that really help the middle class at an annualized rate of 100 billion this year (that is what the 61 billion the Republicans want to cut would be over a full year), and this guy wants to cut 400 billion a year in spending over the next 10 years.
Of course, this is the same Rep. Ryan who last year proposed a deficit reduction plan that was spread over 50 years and at the end of that time would not have balanced the budget. It is hard to understand how anyone can take someone like this seriously. I guess it comes down to the fact that he is the highest ranking Republican in budget matters so when he speaks, even if it is gibberish, it is news.