Saturday, August 27, 2011

I just Couldn't Let This Slide.

I recently received a post pointing me to an article in Forbes Magazine, 08/06/2011. The title of the Article was: "A Failed Presidency -- The American Problem." Written by John Mariotti. The person simply said "another opinion you may be interested in reading." The article is the usual Obama bashing, nothing really new. If it were written today it would probably blame the fact that Obama went to Martha's Vineyard for the hurricane that's about to nail the North East.  

I read the entire piece and found many problems with it. The author said something about if he were to list all of the problems with the Obama presidency it wouldn't fit into a blog. Well, that's how I feel about the blog itself. I did notice something that really points out a major reason why we are in the pickle we are: the ability of writers like this to make totally false statements, that in the past most Americans would have known were false, and get away with it. It is NOT "another opinion" it is simply false, as in a lie. Not enough people seem to care enough to call these guys on these types of lies. It points out a major factor in why we are losing our democracy, a lack of basic education. 

As I have written before and I am sure everyone reading this knows, our government is a tripartite system consisting of the executive (the president and his staff), the legislative (the house and the senate), and the judicial (the Supreme Court and our system of federal courts). Each with restricted and very specified powers. The idea is that this creates a system of checks and balances that allows our democracy to flourish. Our system, as Thomas Jefferson said numerous times, must have an educated electorate or problems like this one start to emerge. This being an excellent example of a major, respected magazine feeding misinformation to an uneducated readership and these readers simply take it at face value. 

I am writing about a Republican, right wing article, but this problem is endemic. Both side share the blame and if we can't do something to educate the populace then this great experiment in representational government is doomed. (It is my feeling that we have already past that point, but I will write that piece later).

Here is the offending statement: Obama’s irresponsible Feb. budget, which was voted down 97-0 by a Democratically controlled Senate. 

Here's the drill: 

The President, according to the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, must submit a budget to Congress each year. In its current form, federal budget legislation law specifies that the President submit a budget between the first Monday in January and the first Monday in February. In recent times, the President's budget submission, entitled Budget of the U.S. Government, has been issued in the first week of February

The House and Senate Budget Committees begin consideration of President's budget proposals in February and March. Other committees with budgetary responsibilities submit requests and estimates to the Budget committees during this time. The Budget committees each submit a budget resolution by April 1. The House and Senate each consider those budget resolutions and are expected to pass them, possibly with amendments, by April 15. Budget resolutions specify funding levels for appropriations committees and subcommittees.

The next step is the drafting of a budget resolution. The United States House Committee on the Budget and the United States Senate Committee on the Budget are responsible for drafting budget resolutions. Following the traditional calendar, by early April both committees finalize their drafts and submit it to their respective floors for consideration and adoption.

A budget resolution, which is one form of a concurrent resolution, binds Congress, but is not a law, and so does not require the President's signature. The budget resolution serves as a blueprint for the actual appropriation process, and provides Congress with some control over the appropriations process. No new spending authority, however, is provided until appropriation bills are enacted.

Once both houses pass the resolution, selected Representatives and Senators negotiate a conference report to reconcile differences between the House and the Senate versions. The conference report, in order to become binding, must be approved by both the House and Senate.

Conclusion: It is not possible for the senate to vote down "Obama's irresponsible budget."  Neither the house nor the senate CAN vote on the President's budget. They must vote on what their own committees on the budget have made of the President's budget.

Of course now that the statement: "Obama’s irresponsible Feb. budget, which was voted down 97-0 by a Democratically controlled Senate" has appeared in this article it will become more fodder for "The Failed Presidency." The fact that it is a lie does not matter and for the most part those that read that article now simply have another piece of information to use against the President. 

I don't care if the President is Obama or Howdy Doody our system cannot function when we are flooded with this type of misinformation. It did happen under Bush and, unless we do something about it, it will only continue to get worse. 

Thanks to my wife: Melinda, for the painting. It's of the Balinese God  Layak Barak. I found it somehow appropriate.


  1. And people wonder why I feel the way I do.....sigh...

  2. Well, that's how I feel about the blog itself. It is NOT "another opinion" it is simply false, as in a lie....

    Mind if I ask you to expand on that Butch?

  3. Just one thought before you do though...
    you are wrong about this mess beginning under the bush administration. we have already established(excuse me...[Oteil] has already established in an older post and provided a cite with a documentary) that the mess began back in the Clinton administration and stated Obama appointed the very people as his financial advisers that created the financial melt down. so how is it bushes fault what your doing in this blog is no different than what your claiming that other blog is doing (giving false information [or rather not giving a complete picture or analysis of the problem])



  5. I'm worried that we have become ungovernable. There are too many competing interests and we have lost our ability to compromise. I don't think any President can get anything substantial done in this climate of parlances and blame shifting.


  6. Hey Brian, Why should we compromise when our own president and his relatives refuse to obey the law...

    Should we give this criminal amnesty?

    If someone did a home invasion into your home would you feed them or shoot them!

  7. OK…
    First and foremost a big thanks to you butch (you got my frigging head spinning like that girl {linda blar was it ???} in the movie the Exorcist from all this dam research…..Sheesh)
    Excuse me for a moment while I duck tape my head to my shoulders to hold it still so I can type this comment…
    OK here go’s…
    Butch you are right in that that article is some what misleading and false…{my apologies for the previous comment} from what I gather…{and someone correct me if I’m wrong please} when the presidents bugget is submitted (in this case to the senate) they have the option to reject it, modify it, and or move forward with it…..
    None of the above happened thus the article is misleading.
    What happened is the senate voted unanimously to not move forward with it (in other word start discussing it and going over it and analyzing it for further action modify various sections of it etc etc…
    This was the vote the headline was referring to so thus technically its not a lie (just not the whole truth)
    Again someone correct me if I’m wrong here
    Now…Why the senate did that…is anyones guess and open for debate power play and games between the dems and repub’s? they felt that it spends too much, taxes too much, borrows too much,???who know who cares…bottom line is they did not precede with it…
    Anyway that’s what I gathered…so ya butch your half right there at least…the budget was not rejected (or voted down)just put aside for now…

  8. A slightly different analogy on the media that I thought I would throw in the pile for yallda read. I found this a very interesting read, and thought of this blog as it parallels what Mr. Trucks is saying.
    Sally H.

  9. Hey Butch,
    Another great blog here, and clearly you know your stuff. I agree with a lot of what you said, and the author's statement in the article in question was probably misleading. However, you've got to admit that the President's budget proposal has a HUGE influence on Congress's budget. The President is the leader of the party - he indicates what he thinks should be cut or added to the budget, and for the most part. The President also uses the bully pulpit, like the State of the Union Address, to help gain support for his budget. So while Mariotti's assertion is not entirely accurate, it's important to note while the budget that was voted down by the Senate was not literally Obama's budget, it did include a lot of his ideas, and he approved it.

  10. Hey guys. You're missing my point. That particular issue is not it. The point is the way that the media plays fast and loose with the "fact." You are entitled to your opinion. You are NOT entitled to your own facts. I was simply using that issue as a blatant misuse of a "fact" and how these things get into the public discourse. Truth be damned.

  11. Butch,

    What difference does it really make what the media does one way or the other. If your a conserative Republicans and they start talking liberal crap you tune them and vice versa the other way. Both sides twist the truth and play games. There is nothing that can be said done or talked about that would change your liberal ideas and vice versa with my conserative Republican view. Surely you do not think people act upon what they see and hear.

  12. Anonomus, it makes a big difference when shit like this is printed in the newspaper...

    go watch this documentary...

    and note the CFTC was striped of the power to regulate the derivative's market during Clinton's administration

  13. Hmmm....Butch...My comment must have gotten lost in space...Huh?...I know dam well an honest man like you wouldn't...(or allow your PR people to censor comments {that were factual and documented to be purposely deleted now right!!!} would you?)...

  14. WTF...Another deleted post...(Butch WTF... I thought you were a stand up type of fucking big bad ass... what are you afraid of? the big bankers and establishment got you by the balls???(they threatening ya weath??? FU...

  15. Your on....

  16. Just a couple of quick points. We are not losing our democracy...we are a "Republic" and there is a significant difference.

    Second you make a valid point with the budget submitted by the President, however the focus should be on the fact that the Senate has not passed a budget (which it is required by law to do) in over 2 1/2 years. This is a blatant disregard for the rule of law and requirement of the U. S. Constitution.

    Just like when the President uses Executive orders to circumvent the system instead of using the legislative process, it is not the way to conduct the business of this country and that is why there is a growing populous that want to change the way Washington is conducting itself.

  17. My apologies for getting combative and nasty and calling you a coward…I was drunk yesterday {Ya I know…no excuse} and (I didn’t see anonymous’ post with the links about the NY Times) But I was still on topic… (with the exception of trying to inserting a little humor at the end of my comment and maybe make a few people chuckle and laugh) But I was pissed my comments got deleted. I was only trying to contribute something I felt was extremely important….
    That being said I will go away and fade into my own little Connor of cyber space and not post comments here anymore…(why bother if my comments will be deleted)
    Thank you anonymous for pointing that out and posting them links… (great minds think alike I guess)…LOL

  18. Butch you should find a copy of "Winner Take All Politics"'. I am about 2/3 through it and finding it enlightening reading.

  19. I appreciate your response to the article. We are constantly being served a fast feed of soundbites and all a politician has to do is come up with one lie, give it a catchy phrase, and toss it over to a politically aligned news station and it becomes fact and is echoed by the listeners. sigh.
    btw I grew up in Jax. and Jax. beach. Tipped a few beers at Pete's Bar and Stock Exchange back in the 70's.
    your wife, Love the painting.

  20. Hey butch. Met a interesting man last night who says he was the driver for yall back in the day. J- day, i think he called himself. Wondered if he was full of bull or what. He was very informative though.

  21. BUTCH!!
    Don't go away....Waiting for your next post..

    janine/long island

  22. Obama speaks market tanks again. I remmember how they reacted the day he got voted in as well. The sooner we get him the hell out of there the better of America will be.

  23. Hello Butch!

    I'm a fan and a musician from Europe, and just happened to stumble upon your blog when googling around. And what a nice surprise! I hope you don't give up writing because of the morons and trolls, it just goes with the territory when publishing anything on the web.
    (To "The Wired Journal": there is no such thing as cencorship in someone else's publication, in this case Mr Trucks'. The publisher is in his full right to decide whether you may post your ignorant remarks or not in his publication).
    I did not expect to read about topics such as the Frankfurt school in a blog like this:) I really look forward to your future posts on politics, music, philosophy, the band and whatever else you got on your mind.
    American politics and society fascinate me, it's so different from most of Europe, and especially the Nordic countries.
    I won't ramble on about everything that came to mind while reading through all the posts, just thought I'd say hello in a comment to your latest one.
    Concerning music, one thing I would really like to know more about is how you and Jaimoe found and created your roles as drummersplaying together. It would be great if you could share something about how you create that wonderful, massive and hard-swinging foundation for the band. (You Don't Love Me from the Fillmore album comes to mind as an outstanding example of the groove I'm talking about).


  24. @ Tom JF...
    (To "The Wired Journal": there is no such thing as cencorship in someone else's publication, in this case Mr Trucks'. The publisher is in his full right to decide whether you may post your ignorant remarks or not in his publication).

    Just for the record...
    The problem was apparently an IT Glitch...(caused by an inpatient and multitasking drunken poster...{Me})
    and as far as your statement... "there is no such thing as cencorship in someone else's publication,"
    You are dead wrong...
    This is not an open source blog host and server...and weather butch likes it or not his blog & comments can be censored By Google...(and himself if he so chose).....
    that being said...
    To everyone else (and you again Butch) My apologies..
    Other than that..Great question Tom...

  25. @The Wired Journal

    I don't wanna start an argument about the detail of censorship here. But let's get the definitions right:
    "his blog & comments can be censored By Google" = censorship (except if the content is illegal)
    "...(and himself if he so chose)....." = not censorship

  26. I thought this was a good write and very informative. One small comment that has nothing to do with the blog With all the clickable links you should have made .... Balinese God Layak Barak ... clickable too.

  27. Well said, "Truth be damned!"

  28. wise old hippie dog: i saw sea level in gainesville Fla and it was a bad ass concert, Back when columbian gold was in hand. What about Duane's bio daughter named Galadrielle wh-y the silencio about that chick. Did she become a crack head?

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