I read a recent Three Musketeers’ column about the Fair Tax (“The Fair Tax is the way to go,” March 17, The Daily News) and how if only the Koch brothers and Dick Cheney paid the same income and sales tax on their Big Macs as I pay, our nation’s fiscal woes would soon be over. 

The “Obama deficit,” 95 percent of which happened before his pictures went up, of course, would evaporate.

Then I remembered the columns with patriotic lessons on Pearl Harbor — the malevolent Fed, the education conspiracy, etc. 

I decided enough of all this New Right government-hate and freedom-love — this stuff needs to be seriously challenged.

So, here’s a checklist for a group that seems to be isolating itself more everyday from the modern American mainstream — Texas Republicans and all their recent New Right followers:

• If you can’t name one candidate you supported from 1998 to 2008 who lost, yet in 2007 started inventing new political parties and whining about how the system had broken and abandoned the Constitution and all your lofty ideals — you may be a tea partyer. 

• If you joined the 94 percent that unified behind the president when our biggest city got blown apart, but now accuse the president of conspiracy when four diplomats extend themselves in an African desert — you may be a Texas Republican. I suspect you actually hate President Barack Obama way more than you love America, harsh though that sounds.

• If you were a Vietnam dodger in the ’70s like every one of your radio-blab heroes, but still defend Cheney’s phony WMD hunt and torture and Chicom assault weapons all across our streets and malls — you may be an National Rifle Association member.

• If you swallowed every nuthead conspiracy fairy tale FOX News looped hourly — Swiftboat, birtherism, Climategate, Muslim Obama, Hillary did Benghazi — years after they’d failed to produce one iota of evidence, you may be a straight-ticket Republican.

• If you think the richest country on Earth suddenly went bust because we gave teenagers condoms, preschoolers food stamps and low-income folks medical help; if you thought it had nothing to do with worshipping a military bigger than the next 18 on Earth, occupying and “rebuilding,” right after destroying desert postholes for decades; if you think it had nothing to do with letting Wall Street slimebags steal billions, then having to bail them out and letting Mitt Romney’s job-exporting billionaire buds pay 13 percent or no income tax — you may be a Christian conservative.

Texas Republicanism now somehow involves teaching kids religious folklore instead of accepted biology in schools, forcing medical procedures on teens and encouraging every goober-head at the mall to pack heat. You wonder why your ideology is losing out and your few good ideas never seem to get done by the most do-nothing Congress in our history, which you re-elect term after term.

History’s never worked the way the Musketeers and Gov. Rick Perry sermonize about, folks. Like their science, civics and Bible “knowledge,” it’s all cherry-picked to find tiny bits supporting their steroid-strong beliefs. Nothing wrong with strong beliefs, but the New Rights have become so inflexible and outdated they now override actual events, dates and modern science.

Phil Glass is a semiretired biologist living in Galveston.

(52) comments

Carlos Ponce

Phil Glass, who do you think you're fooling? "The 'Obama deficit,' 95 percent of which happened before his pictures went up....." Of course all deficits and debts were there before he took office. But since he has taken office, the debt has almost doubled. That includes ALL debt from George W. to George W. (Washington to Bush). That's like saying "before I got there I wasn't there". Playing mind games, Phil?
And there you go again. Why do most Leftists forget Bill Clinton's December 1998 speech where he mentions WMD as the reason for bombing Iraq in Operation Desert Fox? I agree with President Clinton in this operation. Why do you and others forget and hang WMD on Bush and Cheney like an Albatross?
Phil check your glass. It's not empty, just filled with hot air.

Raif Smith

Same old drivel. This is the last post of carlosponce I wli read. Heis so unhinged

Carlos Ponce

Your loss. It seems you are the one "unhinged". Check your spelling before you submit!

Carlos Ponce

Drivel? raifm must be referring to Phil Glass' letter. If there is anything in MY post that is not true please feel free to point it out. My information is factual and verifiable even using liberal websites like CNN. Here's one:
http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1998/12/16/transcripts/clinton.html
and another:
http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/02/politics/btn-federal-budget/index.html
and for the current debt: http://www.usdebtclock.org/
When George W. Bush took office the debt was $5,676,989,904,887.
When he left it was $10,626,877,048,913.08.
It is now $17,590,117,600,000 and climbing.

George Croix

"four diplomats extend themselves in an African desert —"
Is that what 'progressives' call getting killed in a terrorist attack while their emporers fiddle?
I must admit, that one P's me off.
But, the rest is so utterly silly, it's actually pretty entertaining.
I was going to try to fix it, but I can't...
[wink]

Raif Smith

There you go again

Spins that the right wing were spewing out have been proven unfounded.

Not 4 diplomats, 1 diplomat that was warned not to go there, 3 u s mercenaries

George Croix

Is Mr. glass a 'right wing' guy?
Those were his words, not mine.
Is it less important that 3 of the 4 dead Americans were not diplomats?
Ambassador Stevens was warned not to go to there?
Doesn't that contradict the spin that there was no need for additional security?
How does the death of 4 Americans at the hands of terrorists become a right or left wing issue?

Carlos Ponce

raifm wrote: "Not 4 diplomats, 1 diplomat that was warned not to go there, 3 u s mercenaries."
In addition to Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens there was Sean Smith, an information management officer with the United States Foreign Service, former Navy SEAL Glen Anthony Doherty, a contractor with the State Department and Tyrone Snowden Woods, who as a Navy SEAL in 2005–06, was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with combat "V" Device for valor in Iraq and served with distinction at the Naval Medical Center San Diego as a registered nurse and certified paramedic. To call them "mercenaries is insensitive, an insult to their families and wrong.
President Obama called them “Four Americans, four patriots, they loved this country and they chose to serve it, and they served it well.”
"Glen Doherty never shied from adventure. He believed that, in his life, he could make a difference -- a calling he fulfilled as a Navy SEAL. He served with distinction in Iraq and worked in Afghanistan. And there, in Benghazi, as he tended to others, he laid down his life, loyal as always, protecting his friends. Today, Glen is home.Tyrone Woods devoted 20 years of his life to the SEALs -- the consummate “quiet professional.”And he laid down his life, as he would have for them, protecting his friends. And today, Rone is home. Sean Smith, it seems, lived to serve -- first, in the Air Force, then, with you at the State Department. He knew the perils of this calling from his time in Baghdad. And there, in Benghazi, far from home, he surely thought of Heather and Samantha and Nathan. And he laid down his life in service to us all. Today, Sean is home." President Obama did not call them "mercenaries".
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/text-obama-remarks-return-u-s-bodies-diplomats-killed-libya-article-1.1159937#ixzz26TqqgfaI

George Croix

No answer? Not even one out of a possible three.
No strength of convictions?
No....well, anyway...
Over in that other story, a coyote is assumed to have killed a pet.
Looks like here, a cat got your tongue...[beam][beam]

Raif Smith

Good writing

Carlos Ponce

At least he knows how to spell.

Chris Gimenez

Whack job liberal.

npappous
Norman Pappous

"The “Obama deficit,” 95 percent of which happened before his pictures went up, of course, would evaporate."

The debt has doubled under this President.

Check for yourself at treasury.gov

GW Cornelius

The three blind mice have never made any sense so I would assume their party does not either.

Carlos Ponce

Are the Three Musketeers Talking Over your Head Again Island Runner?

kevjlang
Kevin Lang

I think people are misreading what was written about the deficits evaporating. The pretense is that IF we had the Flat Tax, the Deficit and the Debt would evaporate.

And, I think it should be noted that the Debt and the Deficits, while to some degree or another may be at the president's request, they are pretty much all authorized by Congress. So, technically, the debt and deficits, while Obama owns a lot of responsibility for them, are Congress's, and therefore Ours.

While there may be some merit to changing our tax strategy, I think one thing we should all be able to agree on is that by itself, no tax strategy will fix our deficit and debt problem. As long as we have a spending strategy that involves spending more than we collect in tax revenues, the debt and deficits will remain with us. The only difference would be the set of people screaming about the unfairness of the tax codes.

kevjlang
Kevin Lang

Now, I don't recall if the Musketeers actually ever wrote that the flat tax would fix our debt and deficit. I only recall them suggesting it as a simpler, and, perhaps, fairer tax strategy. I hope they never billed it as some kind of magic pill that would fix all of our fiscal issues.

Carlos Ponce

kevjlang, the column was "The Fair Tax is the Way To Go" on March 17, 2014. Here is the link:
http://www.galvestondailynews.com/opinion/columns/article_01363196-ad7d-11e3-94a8-001a4bcf6878.html
They stated "The Flat Tax doesn’t address many of our issues because it is still an income-based tax, doesn’t repeal the 16th Amendment, nor does it eliminate the IRS."

kevjlang
Kevin Lang

carlosrponce, that's essentially what I remembered. However, it appears the author remembered something else, so I was wondering if I had missed one of the articles where it was decreed that it would wipe away all traces of our past fiscal transgressions.

I'm glad to see that at least one other person also seems to have missed the statements that the author alludes to.

George Croix

As with all our other problems, like, for example, a lack of refining because "but, it'll take 10 years to see results", tjhe more we jaw jack about how long it will take to get done, and never start doing anything, then the prediction becomes self-fulfilling, as 10 years later, we're still jaw jacking, and the problem still exists, and the same 'but it'll take...." excuses continue.
'Progressive' is certainly an odd moniker for people who do all they possible can to halt progress, except for the progression of dependency and having other people pay for their ideas....

kevjlang
Kevin Lang

gecroix, I know you prefer to pound on 'progressives', but I think that if they were the sole problem, our electorate--or at least enough to make a difference--would see through the facade and vote for an alternative.

Unless you mean that the 'con' in 'conservative' is assumed to mean 'against', and due to that we shouldn't expect them to get anything done. However, nothing in your previous writings indicates that's your belief, so I'm guessing that your use of 'progressive' is in the most generic of uses, and it encompasses just about everyone elected to work for us in DC.

George Croix

You like 'con'...OK, how about in CONgress. That place that consists of a Senate AND a House of Representatives, in the United States Constitution, but only a 'Republican' part of the House to the President, and his...base.
Right now, there are over 3 dozen bills sitting in the Senate that have passed the House, gathering dust. Not even debated. Not even brought to the floor. The Senate, is essentially shutdown, except for occasional crazy speeches by the Majority Leader blaming 'his Republican colleagues' for doing nothing...world class chutzpah...
Yet, the mantra is 'Republican obstructionism' blah blah blah "Republicans don't do anything" blah blah blah "Republicans have blocked every serious idea" blah blah blah. The last one got the President another Washington Post set of three Pinochios for lying...again.
What an honor. The awards for lying will go well on the mantle with the Nobel for doing nothing.
Get anything done? How? Unless that means surrender and give POTUS whatever he asks for, which is POTUS definition of it, then a 12 year old non-'progressive' who pays attention in civics class knows that unless the Senate participates, something it hasn't done much of in nearly 4 years now, there is not going to be 'anything done'.
You'd think by now enough people would be tired of being insulted by a POTUS that assumes they are stupid and will continue to believe his 'obstruction' BS, rather than actually LOOK at who's refusing to govern, but, no, they simply continue to prove that he's got them pegged.
Pound on 'progressives'?
In East Texas we'd simply say that it's not suffering fools gladly.

You really need to stop guessing....

kevjlang
Kevin Lang

Yet, in the Republican-controlled body, there lie a number of bills passed by the Senate that the House Speaker has seen fit to have gather dust rather than bring them up for debate, vote, committee, or whatever.

We have geese and ganders, pots and kettles. Lots of racket coming from both sides, but productivity ceases because neither wants to follow through on the work done by the other, party due to the fact that both bodies like to send stuff across that might otherwise be tempting, but they include that one key ingredient that they know the other side is deathly allergic to.

Now, if I sent you a case of Diet Coke, but had it formulated with arsenic (and labeled it as such), I doubt you'd think my gesture was one that invited cooperation, now would you?

Carlos Ponce

"Yet, in the Republican-controlled body, there lie a number of bills passed by the Senate that the House Speaker has seen fit to have gather dust rather than bring them up for debate, vote, committee, or whatever."
I provided you with that list Did you count them? Less than a dozen. Now compare that to the number the House has passed and the Senate (really Harry Reid) has not worked on. Over 40 jobs bills alone. Truth be known, the Senate Bills that the House has not worked on are pure politics, Political Grandstanding. I gave you the website, read the Bills. Decide for yourself.

George Croix

'A number' is one, or more. That makes the phrase very popular when 'proving a point' that's pretty much pointless.

"Out of the 195 House-passed bills that are now stalled in the Senate, 31 were written by Democrats, and many have been awaiting Senate approval for close to a year."
The Hill, 3/14
I believe Carlos provided the number from the other side.
Of course, the biggest 'racket' comes from the Executive Branch, where not day one goes by that we don't hear two things:
1) "I stand ready to work with Republicans to solve our problems."
2) "Republicans are to blame for everything".
As a supervisor, when I had people at each other on both sides of any issue or situation we ALL sat down together and tried to talk it out, almost always successfully.
It's called leadership.
We elect a guy to do that.
Still waiting...
BTW, your 'poison pill' thingy sort of ignores that a threat of veto before anything is even on paper pretty well nullifies 'debate'...part of it.
I'd at least wait until I got the Diet Coke, and at least bother to read the label...before I went to shoot pool...

Carlos Ponce

Make that 40 Bills the House has passed to help the Middle Class that Harry Reid has sat on. The Washington Post gives President Obama THREE PINOCCHIOS for saying,“So far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked every serious idea to strengthen the middle class.”
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2014/07/15/obamas-claim-that-the-gop-has-blocked-every-serious-idea/

kevjlang
Kevin Lang

I wish you two could point me to the place where I've defended the tactics of either party. Whether the numbers are 1:1, 10:1, 50:1, or 5000:1, it's still the pot calling the kettle black. I'm not sure that someone that cheats on his wife one day a month really has some moral advantage over someone that cheats on his wife every day. Both houses are employing the tactic, and if it's bad that one does it, it's bad that both do it. If you're going to give Boehner a free pass for the tactic, I don't know how you avoid rationalizing it for Reid. And, if you're going to blast Reid for it, I don't know how you rationalize that Boehner's behavior is good.

I didn't bring up the President's role in these stalled bids solely because I don't know of any role he has in telling either body what bills they need to take on. He certainly can ask, but he can't order. The only leadership applicable is within the House and Senate. In my opinion, the leadership in both is lacking if the expectation is to solve the country's problems.

George Croix

"I didn't bring up the President's role in these stalled bids solely because I don't know of any role he has in telling either body what bills they need to take on. He certainly can ask, but he can't order. The only leadership applicable is within the House and Senate."
????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Then, whattheheck do we have a President for, if it's not to act as the overall leader, and offer guidance, direction, suggestion, and help build concensus??????????????????
You know, that job thingy that a real President is expected to do, with partying second...
I think that one does it for me. I see no point whatsoever in continuing.

kevjlang
Kevin Lang

He's not hired as a legislator. He's the Chief Executive, but, per the constitution, he doesn't even get to vote in either chamber. He's not a part of the their business processes. Like I said, he can request certain priorities, but he cannot ensure they work his priorities, or the order in which they're addressed. Sure, he can veto anything that doesn't fit in his plans, but he has no other recourse with respect to what Congress works on--or doesn't.

Now, if you can show me where the Constitution gives him those privileges, rights, and responsibilities, I'll stand corrected.

I'm not going to argue about the leadership issues beyond the fact that if Congress--supposedly a large group of supposed adults--requires a strong and agreeable leader in order to figure out what their job is, perhaps the problem isn't just Obama. Or, maybe I'm just some wacky goofball that doesn't feel that I necessarily have to like, admire, or agree with my leaders in order to do my job, and do it well.

There are lots of things that are certainly fair to criticize Obama for. I just don't think that he's as responsible for the ineffectiveness of Congress as you do. I also don't think he's responsible for me finding a slice of bread that was thicker than the others in the loaf. I agree that it's not a very good parliamentary tactic to be on record so frequently with statements about how much the other party is to blame for what's not going on. Especially in an operation like our government where you really do need cooperation from a wide cross-section in order to find meaningful solutions to problems.

Of course, not only do I not hear liberals/progressives/Democrats calling for an end to the hyper-partisan BS being blown out the pie holes of Obama and the Democratic legislators, I also do not hear conservatives/Tea Partiers/Republicans trying to set a better example in these regards. As you've stated, demonizing the people you claim to want to work with is not a very good prescription for getting them working with you. However, both sides do it, while complaining about the other side doing it.

Carlos Ponce

Section 3 The Constitution of The United States of America
He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

JBG JBG

This guy called somebody a "Goober Head!" "Own" like that! Naw Sir! "Own" like that ah-Tall! People might think he from over "yonder"....talking like that! That is how we talk![smile]

JBG JBG

It has been a while since I've heard the name..... "Goober-Head!" Ahhhhhhhahahah,hooooooo! That is from way back in the bottoms!

jmkieslich
James Kieslich

Typical liberal attack on conservative principals and faith. The writer tries to paint all conservatives as extreme in thought and action. If the facts reported on Fox don't suit you, paint the organization as extreme and dismiss them. Never mind that more people watch Fox news programs than many of the other channels programs combined. Also, typical in that the writer paints the positions of individuals as extreme and attempts to dismiss them. For once I would like to see a liberal present a counter position without dismissing the other side as extreme. I don't believe that it is "extreme" to believe in the constitution and our rights and freedoms that some gave all for. I don't believe that Christian values are extreme. I do believe that God should not be pushed out of our society. I don't believe that it is wrong or extreme to question our government and petition that our beliefs be considered by our representatives. Isn't that what democracy is about? I suggest the writer needs to show some "tolerance" for positions other than his own.

George Croix

"Sure, he can veto anything that doesn't fit in his plans, but he has no other recourse with respect to what Congress works on--or doesn't.
Now, if you can show me where the Constitution gives him those privileges, rights, and responsibilities, I'll stand corrected."
No problem.
The First Amendment.
Freedom of speech.
That gives POTUS the privelage, right, and doesn't remove his responsibility to ASK the houses of Congress, BOTH of them, that branch of government co-equal to his own, and full of people also elected, to do some legislating, or compromising, or both.
'We won', and a daily litany of idiotic 'Republican bashing' and Pinochio awards winning is also First Amendment sanctioned, but the Amendment was never meant to fix stupid.
Just ASK!!! Politely.
He can sure talk a blue streak any other time.

Enjoy your stand....[whistling]

kevjlang
Kevin Lang

Yep, can't fix it.

I clearly said he can ask, request, whatever. Show me where he can ORDER Congress to take up legislation. Every single one of us can ASK for anything we want. However, asking for a Lamborghini isn't what's going to plant one of those in my driveway, now is it?

Your premise is that Obama is an ineffective, if not terrible, leader. If we choose to agree to it, and at least one house of Congress has, the Constitution still provides for Congress to take a lead. The only thing that Congress seems to have taken a lead on in years is their next campaign and the associated rhetoric surrounding it. And, that's not new since Obama was elected.

Congress has lots of work that it SHOULD be doing. They KNOW they should be doing it. Most of the big issues have been around for at least a decade or two. Don't give me the BS that Congress can't do anything without a President they like and agree with and that guides them in the right direction. If you think otherwise, then, perhaps we should pass a Constitutional Amendment that states that if we elect an ineffective president, we should call Congress home until the president becomes effective, or we elect one that is.

Carlos Ponce

The president can use the "bully pulpit" of the presidency to unify the people and to garner consensus on proposed legislation. Instead of the "bully pulpit" President Obama acts as a bully to belittle and ridicule the House of Representatives and any opposition to his way of thinking. He appeases to the extremists of his party, not to the mainstream. Even Joe Biden has stated that the "Hope and Change" promised in 2008 has not materialized. Hillary Clinton is distancing herself from Obama's policies. Only Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and a few others remain loyal lap dogs.

kevjlang
Kevin Lang

Sure, he can try to bully all he wants. However, how does that equate to actually forcing an action? The combined houses of our Congress are quite resolute in not doing anything, and We the People don't show a whole lot of willingness to fire those do-nothings. The president only gets a maximum of 8 years to be ineffective. Representatives and Senators are making CAREERS of it.

Carlos Ponce

"Sure, he can try to bully all he wants. However, how does that equate to actually forcing an action?"
That's the point. He is NOT leading, he is bullying. That's what we tried to tell you in 2008 and 2012. This man may have been elected president but there is NOTHING in his background nor in his actions in office so far to show he will ever act presidential.

kevjlang
Kevin Lang

So, why doesn't Congress take the lead to the extent that the Constitution permits? They do not need the President to pass budget legislation, nor do they need the President to fix the immigration issues, nor do they need the president to do much of anything.

Sure, the President can be expected to do more. However, Congress, whether the President is a good leader, a bad leader, or disconnected, the Congress is the only body that has the capability and responsibility to do the heavy lifting to get bills written and voted on.

Carlos Ponce

"So, why doesn't Congress take the lead to the extent that the Constitution permits?"
The House has but Harry Reid blocks all MEANINGFUL legislation from even entering the Senate. I hope that when the Republicans take the Senate and keep the House with enough veto proof votes, meaningful legislation can be passed. The Senate bills the House hasn't worked on are political grandstanding used to appeal to their leftist base prior to the mid-term elections.

Jim Forsythe

" I hope that when the Republicans take the Senate and keep the House with enough veto proof votes, meaningful legislation can be passed."
Carlos, have counted the seats, I don't think that enough will change to have that happen, but You never know.

George Croix

Basic, that's BASIC leadership skills require adeptness at convincing, and reasoning with others. It requires one to deal with people they do not personally like, because doing the job requires results, not personal ego stroking. It requires compromise, because we don't have a king.
A real leader doesn't have to ORDER anybody to work. Any 'boss'' can give orders, or any 5 year old for that matter. A real leader builds a team that wants to do it's job, forges alliances that enable that, and then shepherds the work along by force of presence and encouragement.
NO real leader meets his team for the first time and says the quivalent of, 'I'm the Man now, and we'll do it my way'. No real leader openly says he'll work with his people, then in the next breath bad mouths them - daily. No real leader goes off to party while critical work needs doing.. NO real leader undermines half his team by having the other half refuse to work with them.
There are so many things about leadership that POTUS, and obviously others, need to learn.
My 'premise' is that Obama is an ineffective, if not terrible leader?
MY premise?
Not the demonstrable evidence during and results of over 5 1/2 years of his terms, just my 'premise'.?
I don't think anyone needs to give you any more BS.
Good news is, you have a great career in politics if you want it.
You could step into the Oval Office tomorrow, and nobody would even notice the difference in the trajectory of the passed bucks...[whistling]

kevjlang
Kevin Lang

Everything you write applies to the President and the Congress. However, you persist in placing it all on the President. No wonder nothing gets done. Congress gets a pass because you think we have a bad president. So, we keep re-electing the same POS "representatives" and "senators" thinking that if we get the right guy as "president" we'll solve something.

I think we have enough people that have held the same Senate and House seats through the last 2 presidencies. What great accomplishments are we seeing the fruits of within the realm of budget, immigration, jobs, etc. from these clowns from even before Obama took office.

You seem to think that because I'm dishing blame onto Congress, too, that I'm allowing the president to pass bucks. Ridiculous. The Congress is a bunch of co-conspirators in this mess. If Congress cared at all about solving problems, rather than reaping the rewards from them, they could pass tons of legislation with or without the president's cooperation. Instead, the only problem they work on is their re-election campaigns.

George Croix

"Everything you write applies to the President and the Congress. However, you persist in placing it all on the President."
No, I persist in saying that the President COULD effect what the Congress does, if he had any leadership skills, and was not an arrogant, self-absorbed a__, and would actually use his position as LEADER OF THE NATION to be statesmanlike, rather than simply 'progressive'.
An excellent start would be a belated open apology for his pompously regal 'We won', then genuine effort to SHUT UP with the daily campaigning and actually stay on the job for a while.
The leader of the nation sets the tone.
If you don't believe me, find any 12 year old that passed their civics class, and ask him.
It's never too late for remedial classes at a juco. I believe we here in TC are paying for COM to operate a branch there in LC.
Class is on me...[beam][beam][beam][beam][beam]

kevjlang
Kevin Lang

There's no civics lesson here. Congress is not doing its job. Regardless of whether the President is or isn't doing his. Congress does not need the President to do their job. Does it help to have the President on board, and setting the tone? Sure. However, lacking that is no excuse for Congress to try to do what's right. The fact that the President is making easier for Congress to do nothing valuable doesn't take away from the fact that Congress is not doing anything valuable when there's really nothing stopping them but themselves.

The President is the Chief Executive. However, he is not the boss of Congress. We are. Congress is doing nothing because their Boss has been allowing them to do nothing.

Carlos Ponce

" Congress is not doing its job." You got that half right, half wrong.

George Croix

Of course Congress is not doing it's job. The Senate, of course, is also part of Congress...they don't get off scott free, except in 'progressive' circles...
Of course the Congress does not need the President to do it's job.
With an actual Executive Branch LEADER in place, doing what leaders do and aiding in concensus building and forging compromises and working with members of both Parties to break logjams and reach agreement, and avoiding trips on the Myway Highway, rather than the pompous, feckless, insulting serial lying ideologue who can't get off the stump, no doubt they'd do it.
You seem unable to grasp that being the boss is not synonymous with being a leader. Congress is doing nothing because a) the Senate is run by a clown who's doing POTUS bidding by not bringing opposition jobs bills and such up for debate, and b) nobody, nobody, will voluntarily work to help a snob who insults them at every turn, from their FIRST meeting, and continuing almost daily since then.
It's simple.
Ask that 12 year old...

kevjlang
Kevin Lang

No, I think I have it all right. Neither the House nor the Senate has any reason to expect that THEIR bills must be passed by the other, regardless of who wrote it. If you want a bill to pass, it needs to be agreeable to both the House and the Senate. The current habit is, if they get around to writing a bill, writing it such that there's some stuff that everyone's going to agree with, and then slipping in something they know will be rejected by the other house's majority. The only bills that will generally get through both houses are the ones that increase the Representative's and Senator's salaries and office budgets.

You seem unable to grasp that I'm not saying that leadership skills can help. You seem unable to grasp, too, that if Congress wants something done, it doesn't need the President's consensus.

Having a bad leader in the White House is not an excuse for Congress to do nothing. Obama may be a bad leader. However, Congress's inaction on important issues is a blatant attempt to turn us into a bad country. Congress would prefer that the US look bad than to take a chance that they might do something that Obama takes credit for.

I might buy into your claims that it's mostly due to Obama, except there are far too many members of the House and Senate that were there during the Bush years, where, supposedly, we had a better leader, but we still had a Congress that pretty much did nothing. They already had a bad reputation before Obama became President. I've seen nothing in the last 5.5 years to believe that Congress has tried to improve their performance.

Carlos Ponce

No, you don't quite get it. Where Boehner has only prevented a handful of Senate Bills from getting a hearing, Harry Reid has blocked HUNDREDS of Bills.
http://thehill.com/homenews/house/83059-senate-sitting-on-290-house-bills
This isn't exactly what the founding fathers had in mind.

kevjlang
Kevin Lang

I'm not sure we can say that all of those hundreds of bills were submitted in a spirit of cooperation or compromise.

As a former teacher, I'm sure you can attest that the mere act of filling up sheets of paper isn't an indication of the quality of the writing.

If you were to give each bill an honest assessment, how many of them are single-issue bills that an honest person would believe would be worth the Senate's review? You know as well as I do that a lot of those bills contain contentious amendments in them, frequently about something completely unrelated to the main bill. For example, bills that, oh, by the way, would kill all or part of Obamacare. You and I both know that, despite how much it might please some people if it did pass, those bills aren't going to pass this Senate and this President.

Carlos Ponce

"I'm not sure we can say that all of those hundreds of bills were submitted in a spirit of cooperation or compromise."
THEN READ THE DARN BILLS AND DECIDE FOR YOURSELF! If you can't take my word that most of those bills are worthy then time to do your homework and READ THE BILLS. You are so willing to condemn the House for not working on less than a dozen that I've looked at and found are political grandstanding for the midterms yet you question the hundreds that Harry Reid just sits on. President Obama has "a phone". Why doesn't he pick up that phone and tell Harry to send those bills to committee. Instead he uses the opportunity to lambast the Republicans for for not working. For that he gets Pinocchio after Pinocchio from the Washington Post. The House is working, Harry Reid isn't and Barack Obama's phone isn't working either. You watch and see how many in November will swallow the President's and Democrat's "Kool-aid" - LOW INFORMATION VOTERS!

kevjlang
Kevin Lang

Both the House and Senate are playing to the media, just like the President. None are playing to us. If you believe differently, then show me any leadership on either side that looking to find something amenable to both houses of Congress AND the President, AND would have meaningful effect on the problems.

I certainly hope that you aren't one of those low information voters that thinks that only one party or faction has the answers. Low information voters are certainly a big part of the problem. Another big part of the problem is how little integrity the people that are elected show once elected that they'll put partisanship over effectiveness. The cycle completes when the low information voters cast their next ballots for either the incumbent or some other candidate that promises to fix things, gets elected, and proceeds to play the same games that get nothing done.

I completely agree that the Senate isn't working. However, I dispute your belief that the House is working when all they're doing is generating papers they know will score an F. The fact that the House has a strong majority of Republicans doesn't counter the fact that there is a Democratic majority in the Senate and a Democrat in the White House. I think they can and should get there way on a lot of stuff, but I believe that they aren't employing the tactics that can lead to that. I also believe there are things that the Senate can and should get their way on, too, but I don't believe they're demonstrating tactics that can lead to that, either. Of course, in both cases, THAT takes work--work that neither the House nor Senate has any interest in, because THAT doesn't play well on the news shows. We're in a time now where people want to see "reality TV bickering and other human drama", and our politicians are more than happy to play to that audience. Sorry, but they don't have me hooked.

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