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Tom Coburn is the Key To The Deal on Debt Ceiling and the Election

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Thereisnoplan Prediction: Tom Coburn will unlock the Deal on the Debt Ceiling and help Obama get re-elected.

It was such a romantic moment. Obama’s first speech to a joint session in ’09. He walks down the aisle of the chamber of the House of Representatives and saves his biggest hug for one of the most conservative senators in the GOP line-up. Tom Coburn, Junior Senator of Oklahoma. ¬†Turns out they’ve been firm friends since Barry first showed up for Senate Orientation back in ’04. They worked together on aisle-crossing bills and helped establish Barry’s bipartisan bona-fides.

Cut to now.

Grover Norquist is frothing at the mouth at the idea that Tom Coburn is in favor of rolling back individual and corporate deductions to help reduce the nation’s massive debt, and go the ball rolling with a handy victory in the Senate on Ethanol subsidies. Old Grovey knows that if Coburn buckles to new taxes, his whole No Tax Pledge in blood deal isn’t worth the toilet paper it’s printed on – and as an added (and thoroughly welcome) aside – he finally gets exposed as the malevolent Kook that he truly is. It won’t be government that’s small enough to be drowned in a bathtub – but his whole cockamamie movement.

Coburn hasn’t made a big deal of the fact that he’s buddies with Barack because that wouldn’t be good for business in today’s supercharged world of political silliness. No doubt the President suggested in the strongest terms that Tom keep their affair on the down-low, for the benefit of both of them.

But it’s rapidly becoming clear that Coburn is the key to the whole debt ceiling debate. He’s the Trojan horse. The first stage was to have him lead the way on reducing Ethanol subsidies. (It helps that Oklahoma’s an Oil State so he doesn’t have to sacrifice any votes at home). Even the GOP Senate Caucus signed on to that victory, knowing that ‘something had to be done’. ¬†Softening up stage one complete.

Biden’s bi-partisan group negotiating the debt ceiling is designed to fail, so Barack (and his little buddy Tom) can ride to the rescue in a display of bipartisanship that will solve the (non)problem of the debt ceiling and establish Barack as the can-do, cross the aisle President who can actually get stuff done. (He’s got stuff done before but not stuff the GOP can get behind so it didn’t count).

The coming debt ceiling success will basically render null-and-void all the Red State Ryan Paul Express rhetoric coming out of the deadbeat GOP presidential candidates. They’ll suddenly realize that the red-meat hurdles they have to leap just to win over the GOP cracker-brigade will hobble any GOP candidate in the general, when facing the giant that is centrist, Independent-hogging Barack. McCain went nutty and ceded the center to Obama in ’08, and the President is banking on a repeat performance with gusto. The only guy who sees this coming is Newt, and he’s now running a campaign of one because he dared to actually speak the truth. Not that he’s remotely electable because of all that Tiffany Jewelry around his wife’s slightly scrawny neck.

And the bigger picture is even more interesting.

Obama knows that the economy is not going to anywhere near where it needs to be for him to guarantee a win next November solely on that basis. The housing and credit markets are still very soft, unemployment is still high, and the economy is sputtering at best. He might be able to prime it, and primp it to make it look a little healthier. But to be sure of a win he’s got his Plan B already laid out. The strategy is simple. Barry makes bipartisanship cool. He can get stuff done the middle way. That wins the Independents and along with some of Obama’s trademark ‘yes we can’ charisma the General election is in the bag by 3-4 points. Barack is banking on the GOP falling in line with a knuckle-dragging Know-nothing candidate who hands over the center yet again. That’s why Barack has made no secret of saying that he regards moderate Huntsman as a threat, a statement designed to help make Huntsman’s task that much harder in the red-neck primary contests.

And where does all this leave old Tom C of OK?

That snuggy hug in ’09 pretty much killed any presidential ambitions that Coburn may have had. But despite all the buddy stuff, it was still very calculated. Unlike most GOP knuckle-draggers, Tom knows that Obama doesn’t actually threaten the fabric of America’s out-of-control capitalist zeal, and is really just a Wall Street Stooge, which is good enough for Tom. In short, Barack, even in the White House is a man he can do business with. He’s proved his ability by ably steering the Ethanol subsidy repeal through the Senate, and suddenly GOP tax pledges seem a little softer than they did.

Surreptitiously supporting the President gives Coburn two new avenues. Either he’s the guy who helped make the debt-ceiling crisis go away and moves into poll-position to be Senate Majority leader, if as is very possible, the GOP take the Senate. Or he ditches the Capitol Hill Old Boys Club and takes a cushy job in the next Obama cabinet. There’s even an outside, and I mean outside the very edge of outside chance, he could get the VP nod.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that we should thank Coburn for his politicking. While President Obama has been a profound disappointment in so many ways, the world has changed. We need him to win to prevent the GOP hyenas from taking over and hastening the decline of the America, and must back him with everything we have.

Written by coolrebel

June 15, 2011 at 10:54 pm

700 Billion is the New $7 billion

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a brand new bridge. this one's in france

Things are turned way around when Liberals are agreeing with quirky, flat-tax Steve Forbes, but when called Hank Paulson the “worst Treasury Secretary in living memory” there are few diehard progressives that would disagree.

But old Hank has at least done us one big, big favor. By steamrolling through the TARP at a cost of $700 billion and then doing precisely squat with it, he turned $700 billion into the new $7 billion. Suddenly, with the exception of the bailout for the once mighty now hopeless auto industry, fears of excessive spending seems petty next to the cost of TARP, the Citigroup, AIG, and Fannie and Freddie bailouts. We’re awash in borrowed money, and nobody seems to care. Another day, another dollar, or a hundred billion of them. Whatev.

So when Obama announced his massive public works program (let’s call it the New New Deal or NND) and didn’t even bother to mention a pricetag, the only Cassandra was the ever-predictable American Enterprise Institute. With the economy losing half a million jobs a month, the American people are ready for it. So don’t expect the whining from Club for Growth knuckle-draggers in Congress to be anything more than mumbled griping at worst.

America’s been crying for infrastructure changes for years, but the Bushies, bless ’em, could hardly spell the word. Result, we’re way behind most other developed countries. And America being America, we wait until disaster is at the door before we do something about it.

But that moment has arrived, and thanks to the TARP and other blank checks, there’s no such thing as a pricetag we can’t afford anymore. It was Dick Cheney who said “deficits don’t matter”, and boy was he right. Of course he was referring to financing fruitless no-end-in-sight wars, but hey, that’s just a detail. The bottom line is that we’ve got way more important fish to fry than worry about making the numbers add up. The reason is simple. A T-Bill is still the safest debt around. Everyone wants ’em, and as long as they do, hell, we can print ’em. In a potentially deflationary environment, a little inflation goes a long way.

Businesses run on credit. It’s called investment, and you expect a return on it. America will be rebuilt on the same principle, brick by brick, schoolbook by schoolbook, hospital bed by hospital bed. You get the idea.

Written by coolrebel

December 6, 2008 at 6:02 am