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January 30, 2013

Well *That* Didn't Take Long....

Via Memeorandum, White House spokesman Jay Carney has already blamed the 4th quarter drop in GDP on Republicans:

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney blamed the unexpected drop in gross domestic product last quarter on congressional Republicans, saying they introduced uncertainty into the economy with fiscal cliff brinkmanship.

"Fiscal cliff brinkmanship"??? You mean this kind of fiscal cliff brinkmanship?

President Obama said he is prepared to use the $109 billion sequester as leverage to force action on a grand deficit bargain in an initially off-the-record interview with the Des Moines Register that was released Wednesday.

The president predicted that a $4 trillion deal to reduce the debt would come in the first six months of his second term.

His remarks on the automatic spending cuts are a contrast to comments in Monday night's debate when Obama reassured the public there is no way the sequester will ever happen.

Let's see if we have this straight. First the President goes on national TV and tells the nation that the sequester, and we quote, "...is not something I proposed. It is something that Congress has proposed". Not to put to fine a point on it, that was a bald faced lie:

Fortunately, there is a detailed and contemporaneous look at the debt ceiling deal that led to the current budget crunch: Bob Woodward’s “The Price of Politics.” The book clearly had the full cooperation of top White House and congressional officials. With the help of our colleague, we took a tour through the relevant sections in order to determine the accuracy of the president’s statement....

Woodward’s detailed account of meetings during the crisis, clearly based on interviews with key participants and contemporaneous notes, make it clear that sequestration was a proposal advanced and promoted by the White House.

In sum: Gene Sperling brought up the idea of a sequester, while Jack Lew sold Harry Reid on the idea and then decided to use the Gramm-Hollings-Rudman language (which he knew from his days of working for Tip O’Neill) as a template for sequester. The proposal was so unusual for Republicans that staffers had to work through the night to understand it.

Oddly, Lew in Tampa on Thursday, publicly asserted the opposite: “There was an insistence on the part of Republicans in Congress for there to be some automatic trigger…. [It] was very much rooted in the Republican congressional insistence that there be an automatic measure at the end.”

This prompted Woodward to go over his notes and interviews once again, to make sure he had gotten it right.

“After reviewing all the interviews and the extensive material I have on this issue, it looks like President Obama told a whopper,” Woodward said. “Based on what Jack Lew said in Florida today, I have asked the White House to correct the record.”

Three months, several violations of the WARN act, 46,000 Pentagon layoffs in progress, and an upcoming furlough that amounts to a 20% pay cut for hundreds of thousands of DoD employees later, we're still waiting for the White House to come clean.

Posted by Cassandra at January 30, 2013 03:29 PM

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Comments

I know you thought that "brinksmanship" was taking everyone, your enemies and friends alike, to the edge of a scary place and threatening to send them both over if you didn't get your way. That's the old, tired brinksmanship; only uncool Republicans do it. The new, hot brinksmanship is to use a terrifying threat as leverage to force action, because the action is good and only bad people would object. That's completely OK, especially if you created the threat in the first place and took a lot of smug credit for it at the time, because that's leadership.

I'm not sure you're ever going to get this stuff.

Posted by: Texan99 at January 30, 2013 04:34 PM

Well, I agree with you there :)

Posted by: Cass at January 30, 2013 09:05 PM

Jerry, it's not a lie if you believe it.

Posted by: George Constanza at January 30, 2013 09:30 PM

What's the difference?

That one should go down in history. There is only one problem with brinkmanship, you should be prepared for the other side to call you on it.

I suspect that sooner or later the republicans might do that very thing. If you're being accused of not negotiating, don't negotiate.


Posted by: Allen at January 31, 2013 01:11 PM

I also hear that the GOP used mind control to make former Chuck Hagel sound like a blathering idiot at his confirmation hearing. Those danged right-wingers will try anything to make President Obama look bad.

Posted by: spd rdr at January 31, 2013 01:41 PM

These lies must be stripped bare. Some people just can't be embarrassed.

Posted by: man riding unicycle naked at January 31, 2013 04:01 PM

Heh :)

I listened to Hagel bloviating when I was driving today and learned some very important things about Pakistan:

1. We can't ignore them.
2. They're dangerous.
3. Sometimes they cooperate with us and sometimes they work against us.
4. They have nukes.

I just have no words to describe the experience, but it was big fun listening to Ted Cruz make mincemeat of Hagel.

Posted by: Cass at January 31, 2013 04:04 PM

And I support the President's position on containment of Iran. Wait . . . I'm being handed a note. I mean, I support the President's position on containment of Iran, which is not to contain it. Wait. I can't remember what containment means. What is it we're supposed to want to do about Iran? Oh, yeah, no nukes, so there won't be anything to contain. Did I get it right that time? Oh, great, the guy with the little notes is sitting back down.

He's a shoo-in. What a farce.

Posted by: Texan99 at February 3, 2013 09:51 AM

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