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Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:39 AM

14th Amendment Option: Nancy Pelosi Urges Obama To 'Just Go Do It'

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/06/14th-amendment-option_n_2420461.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

(snip)
Appearing on CBS' "Face the Nation," Pelosi offered her strongest endorsement to-date of the 14th Amendment option, which holds that Congress doesn't have the power to use the debt ceiling as a hostage-taking device because the validity of the debt “shall not be questioned.”

Nancy Pelosi: Well, you ask the Republicans, because we always passed the debt ceiling. When President Bush was president, as he was incurring these massive debts, and the Republicans weren't saying 'boo' at the time. There should be, this is a conversation where there should be no doubt. In fact, if I were president, I'd use the 14th Amendment, which says that the debt of the United States will always be paid.

Bob Schieffer: You would just go ahead and do it, you wouldn't wait for the Congress?

Nancy Pelosi: I would just go do it. But the Congress has incurred much of this debt. And so what are you saying, we incurred it but we're not going to pay it? If you want to say, 'We are not going to do it so much in the future,' well that's another thing. But you can't say, 'I'm not paying my past debts.'

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Reply 14th Amendment Option: Nancy Pelosi Urges Obama To 'Just Go Do It' (Original post)
cal04 Jan 2013 OP
yodermon Jan 2013 #1
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #3
yodermon Jan 2013 #6
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #7
leftyohiolib Jan 2013 #23
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #27
merrily Jan 2013 #30
merrily Jan 2013 #31
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #2
Isoldeblue Jan 2013 #14
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #17
Isoldeblue Jan 2013 #18
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #20
xtraxritical Jan 2013 #25
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #26
xtraxritical Jan 2013 #38
Takket Jan 2013 #4
caveat_imperator Jan 2013 #11
TheKentuckian Jan 2013 #24
Romulox Jan 2013 #5
BlueStreak Jan 2013 #8
Romulox Jan 2013 #9
fleabiscuit Jan 2013 #10
iandhr Jan 2013 #12
lark Jan 2013 #13
iandhr Jan 2013 #16
merrily Jan 2013 #35
John2 Jan 2013 #15
merrily Jan 2013 #33
grahamhgreen Jan 2013 #19
merrily Jan 2013 #36
JayhawkSD Jan 2013 #21
brew987 Jan 2013 #28
merrily Jan 2013 #34
EC Jan 2013 #22
Waiting For Everyman Jan 2013 #29
merrily Jan 2013 #32
mmonk Jan 2013 #37

Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:50 AM

1. those t bills would be suspect. Market would not react favoribly. nt.

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Response to yodermon (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:45 PM

3. At the moment, we are having no difficulty selling Tbills

The US Treasury is still seen as the safest bet going, so even though we are actually paying LESS than inflation, people are lining up to buy TBills.

That will change the day people trust the Chinese government more than they trust the USA. I'm thinking that isn't likely to happen in the next 10 years.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:53 PM

6. Right, i'm talking about any t-bills sold under the auspices of a 14th amendment assertion of

executive/constitutional authority to ignore the debt ceiling. IF there is the possibility of the Supreme Court ruling that those t-bill sales were invalid bcz the executive overstepped their Constitutional boundaries, then watch what the markets do.

Josh @ TPM weighs in here: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2012/12/not_just_the_14th_amendment.php
ie it's a market question more than a political question.

Personally i think the debt ceiling is unconstitutional but wtf does it matter what i think.

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Response to yodermon (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:31 PM

7. I suppose that is a possibility in theory

I don't believe anybody would take it seriously. Nobody expects the US would default on their tbills. Perhaps the interest rate would edge up a little to reflect a little bit more risk, but I don't think it would amount to much.

I don't think the rate would go up more than 0.2% during that time of uncertainty.

The issue is that the Constitution trumps any law Congress passed. Let's say the administration continued to sell tbills about the authorized debt limit. Who would have the legal standing to bring charges against the administration? The holders of tbills would not go to court because they would want to have those bills honored. It isn't clear who would have a case. If somebody did have standing to get a case into the courts asking that the tbills be declared null, then the court would have to weigh the debt limit versus the Constitution that says all debts are valid. I don't see where the court would have nay choice but to go with the Constitution.

So I think that leaves the only really viable option for the Congress to declare Obama in Contempt of Congress, or perhaps to initiate impeachment actions. Those all take a long time and would ultimately go nowhere. Obama should not fear that. But he does not have the guts for that, so we know what will happen.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #7)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:13 AM

23. "The issue is that the Constitution trumps any law Congress passed." oh really?

warrantless wire taps - 2nd amendment issue - truth is the supreme court over-rides the constitution

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Response to leftyohiolib (Reply #23)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 03:24 PM

27. Yes, really

I can't say how each Justice might reason his or her way through it. But if a law is judged to be in conflict with the Constitution, the Constitution rules.

What often happens is that more than one Constitutional principle is at stake, and then some weight has to be assigned.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #27)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 06:30 AM

30. You are talking what the law says. Reality and theory do not always match up.

It is not a matter of weighing until you first show that a law infringes on a Constitutional right.

And weighing is a hghly subjective process, though no one should admit that.

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Response to leftyohiolib (Reply #23)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 06:36 AM

31. Yes and no.

No court even gets involved, unless and until someone brings a case, claiming a law is unconstitutional.

If a court finds a burden on a constitutional right, then the court is supposed to uphold the constitutionality of the law, if it can.

Because we live in a society, no individual right is absolute.


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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:26 PM

2. There are really only 2 good choices. Obama will choose a third very bad option

OPTION A: You can say "The 14th Amendment is off the table" and then dare the GOP to try shutting down the government and see if they can do any better with that then Gingrich did - twice. To take the 14th off the table, you must have the guts to be willing to go through a full-on government shutdown and then stick it to the Republicans.

OPTION B: Or you can say "The 14th Amendment says all debts incurred through the law passed by Congress are valid, therefore, the idea of a debt ceiling is a non-starter -- unconstitutional." And in that case, you simply direct agencies to ignore the debt ceiling and carry on as usual. This option requires the guts to take on a Constitutional challenge.

Either one of those options is valid. Obama will do neither. He doesn't have the guts for a Constitutional challenge and he doesn't have the guts to go through a real government shutdown. So what we will get is the usual flurry of tough rhetoric, followed within days by complete capitulation.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 06:02 PM

14. I'm not sure.......

That its a case of Obama not having the guts to use the 14th Amendment, as its just not in his nature to decided things unilaterally, as this. He appears to have an idealistic notion (to a fault) to make as much bipartisan, all decisions, as possible. He also, may not want the right to have an excuse to call him a dictator.

I was hoping that after the past four torturous years, he would be less inclined to; realizing that the right chooses zero compromise, for as long as they can get away with it. Maybe he has a little, but his statement on the 14th make me think, not so much.

I personally, am very much in favor of using the 14th. It would help to avoid the circus-like reputation the world see's us in. And I'd love to tell the abusive right, where he's going to put it.............

It really is ridiculous at this point, to expect the right to behave differently than from before. It would also set precedence for the next 4 years, that we aren't going to take their shit anymore. It would be like putting an unruly child in time-out.........

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Response to Isoldeblue (Reply #14)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 06:11 PM

17. I actually favor the other good option

which is to declare the 14th is off limits, therefore if the GOP pushes things, it will result in a government shutdown.

I think Obama can take control of this argument by gradually turning up the heat on the GOP. He doesn't have to turn off all government agencies the first day. He can prioritize. Each day, he can make it a little more painful for the GOP until they cry "Uncle", and they will. I really don't think he would have to go much farther than shutting the National Parks, halting payments to states to reimburse for road construction projects, stop processing passport applications, etc. I don't think the GOP would let him get anywhere close to the point that he stops mailing veteran's checks, Social Security checks, stops paying soldier, furloughing 90% of the air traffic controllers, etc.

Not only would he soundly win that battle, just as Clinton did TWICE, he would then never have to deal with the debt nonsense the rest of his term. Republicans can be pretty stupid, but they aren't THAT stupid.

But Obama will not do that. I sure wish he would.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 06:25 PM

18. That option

appears favorable, if it were to work out like that. But to say that the right won't push it further, is to ignore the fact that we are dealing with an entirely different beast than what the right was before. When you deal with rigid, zealot ideologues, there is no reasoning with them. Between their ideology and the Koch bros and ALEC pressuring them, the outcome is unpredictable, when there are so many of these greedy loons.

I don't believe that Obama will cave on SS or Medicare to negotiate. I honestly am not sure what he'll do eventually, but I'd bet on that.

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Response to Isoldeblue (Reply #18)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:24 PM

20. It is really only about 75 lunatics in the House

The rest of the Republicans would pee their pants once their corporate buddies started feeling the heat. And we already know what happens when enough of the non-teabagger Republicans wet their pants. Boehner leaves the Teabaggers out on their own.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 02:00 PM

25. What does "So what we will get is the usual

 

flurry of though rhetoric, followed within days by complete capitulation" mean? Your A & B are succinct but your conclusion amounts to a murky nothing, what do you mean by "complete capitulation" and what will it mean to the citizens?

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Response to xtraxritical (Reply #25)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 03:16 PM

26. He always has a period of tough talking

But it only seems to last a couple of days.

Remember the jobs/infrastructure program? He hit the road hard for about 4 days, then we never heard a thing about that again.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #26)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 02:03 PM

38. Well maybe, but the American Jobs Act that he put forth to Congress just languished in the House.

 

Anything he's put forth in the last four years has been filibustered in the Senate or tabled in committee in the House. He can talk himself blue in the face - it won't change asshole GOPTea Congress.

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 01:22 PM

4. i agree. use the 14th

if the roles were reversed, the repukes would, and they would score political points at the same time by showing how our opposition means we hate the constitution. if the repukes don't like it, tell them an amendment to remove section 4 is part of a package deal to remove the 2nd amendment as well, and see how they like that.

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Response to Takket (Reply #4)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 01:40 PM

11. EXACTLY

Pretty much everyone here knows if the rethugs are in control they WILL DO WITHOUT SHAME what they facetiously claim the Democrats are doing.

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Response to Takket (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:24 AM

24. You can't really make deals involving amendments to the constitution, it has to be ratified by the

states.

Further, such a deal would be insane anyway. Why would you want section 4 out?

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 01:29 PM

5. Congress still holds the power of the purse. This "solution" solves nothing. And Nancy knows so.

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Response to Romulox (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:33 PM

8. The "power of the purse" is a completely different thing

And that is the point exactly. According to the Constitution, if Congress authorizes the expenditure, then the debt that results (if any) is always valid. A debt limit is unconstitutional on the face of it. If Congress wants to reduce spending, then they should reduce spending. They could start with the Pentagon budget.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 12:16 AM

9. Pssst....ONGOING budget negotiations. Free up this pile o' cash, still need another

to fund ongoing governmental functions. That means negotiations, not slash-and-burn.

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:35 AM

10. I agree, stop making it sound "virtuous."

(snip)
Default Ceiling: Bluffing into the Nuts

I wrote several posts about the "debt ceiling" debate in 2011. The debate clearly scared many Americans and impacted the economy. Hopefully this time the "debt ceiling" will be raised well in advance of the deadline.

I prefer "default ceiling" because "debt ceiling" sounds like some sort of virtuous limit, when, in reality, the vote is about whether or not to the pay the bills - and voting for default is reckless and irresponsible.

Note: Several financial articles recently have used poker terms - and the title of this post is my contribution to this sad trend. "The Nuts" is the best possible poker hand in a given situation. Bluffing into the nuts is a losing play - and that is what the Congress is trying to do with the "debt ceiling". The sooner they fold, the better for the economy and the Congress…. (snip)
http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2013/01/default-ceiling-bluffing-into-nuts.html?m=1

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:11 PM

12. Whether or not the President has the authority is kind of murky.

The text of the section 4 says

"The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void."


This was at the end of the civil war. It refers to suppressing insurrection and rebellion. Its was also created to prevent slave owners for calming compensation for their lost slaves.

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Response to iandhr (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:19 PM

13. This seems much more clear

than the individual mandate to carry guns from the "well regulated militia" clause. I think it might withstand a supreme challenge. I'd rather him to that than what I'm pretty sure he will do - fold and capitulate on both SSI and Medicare. He's already signalled several times that he's open to cutting those. Our president is not a progressive, he's very middle of the road and unfortunately more interested in "bipartisanship" than actually making things work for the working class.

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Response to lark (Reply #13)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 06:06 PM

16. I don't disagree...

... but my point is when its comes to the constitution there are things that are grey.

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Response to lark (Reply #13)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:22 AM

35. Depend on what you mean by "this."

Pelosi misdescribed what the Constitution says. the way she misstated it is relatively clear. However, if you read the actual language and analyze it as a lawyer would--and many of the authors of the Constitution, including the 14th amendment--were lawyers. Lincoln certainly was--the actual language is considerably less clear than the second amendment.

BTW, I don't think SSI is up for grabs, though OASDI is. And Obama's position on OASDI and Medicare have nothing to do with the 14th amendment. Third Way think tanks have been urging cuts to "entitlements" for years and Obama promised "reform" of "entitlements" before his first inauguration.

Net, he appointed the cat food commission just about as soon as he signed ACA. When that did not work, we went to a possibly unconstitutional super committee. Because that got too close to campaign season, they invented the sequester to delay things until after election.

The election was in November and all we've heard since is how every person in the nation supposed wants a balanced deal, meaning both increased taxes and cuts.

Somewhere in the midst of all that, talk of cuts to defense spending or much of anything but "entitlements" got dropped.

And here we are, with a very token increase in taxes, a pretty good guaranty that, as a practical political matter, the rest of the cuts will stay as is for the foreseeable future; and now all eyes are on cuts to entitlements and those alone. And the next deadline is only two months away.

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Response to iandhr (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 06:05 PM

15. The bottomline

 

is the President has most of the Country behind him and most of the Senate. He also has his Party behind him. The Debt Ceiling is suppose to have authorization by both houses and the Executive Branch. You have the Party in the minority threatening to hold the U.S. hostage. The President can take action because he has the majority of the country supporting him.

It does not matter what the Supreme Court determines in this fight but if the Republican House has the ability to make this President pay. They do not, because the only procedure would be impeachment, but that includes the approval of the Senate. And it is the majority of the Senate encouraging the President to take this action. If the Republicans really want a fight on this, they don't have the support of the country. A Democracy is suppose to work this way.

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Response to iandhr (Reply #12)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 06:58 AM

33. Congrats on worrying what the 14th amendment actually says.

However, the first sentence is is a general statement about the debt of the United States. It is an absolute and unconditional statement and is not limi--hted in any way to insurrection or the Civil War.

The part of the 14th amendment that does make those references is about what debts the U.S. will NOT pay. It is saying bascially that debt of the U.S. will not be question, but debts incurred by the U.S. or any state in connection with insurrection or rebellion against the United States.

Rebellion against the U.S. is after all, treason and treason is against public policy. So the second sentence of Section 5 is part of an old principle, namely, that debts incurred in violation of public policy are null and void. For example, if I hire someone to commit murder and fail to pay, the assassin cannot succeed in a lawsuit to collect the debt, even if I admit that I promised to pay and did not do so.

The murkiness here is that there is a difference between questioning the validity of a debt and providing money to pay that debt. I don't think Congress is saying--"hey, that debt is illegal or otherwise invalid, so we are not providing the money to pay it." It is saying , I am intentionally not paying a debt whose validity I am not questioning in the least."

Welshing on a debt may lead to lawsuits for breach of contract galore. However, whether welshing on a debt is the same as questioning the validity of a debt within the meaning of the is unclear at best.

Morever, the Constitution says nothing at all about what happens if Congress questions the validity of a debt that is not connected with insurrection or rebellion (or murder, or gambling, but definitely a legal debt). Does that mean the power of the purse automatically shifts from Congress to another branch of government, specifically, the President?

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:02 PM

19. Good! Listen to the Progressives Nancy, we have the answers!

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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #19)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:25 AM

36. If only the 14th amendment actually said what she claims it says

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:22 AM

21. I am absolutely not supporting a refusal to raise the debt ceiling

but the 14th Amendment does not say that the debts "must always be paid."

It says that they "shall not be questioned," which does not mandate paying them. It is often the case that someone will say that "I owe the money" (the debt is valid) but that "I'm not paying it" for any one of a thousand reasons.

Pelosi is telling the president to ignore a law passed by Congress. If you want to challenge the validity of the debt ceiling law then go to court and challenge the law with the 14th amendment as the basis, but don't simply tell the president to ignore it. It is law, properly passed and signed by the executive.

Paul Krugman has listed several ways, his platinum coin and now his "moral obligation notes" whereby the Executive Branch can defy Congress and ignore its dictates, and now even Nancy Pelosi, a member of Congress is doing the same. We are proceeding more and more toward an imperial presidency, in which the president can do whatever he wants in defiance of Congress and the reason is...

What is the reason? That we adore and trust this president? What he does establishes precedent. What happens when we have another Bush 3 in office and he is doing the same thing? Are we happy then that he is defying Congress and doing whatever he wants because Congress is unpopular? We have a constitution, and the subversion of it is not good just because we happen to have a popular president at this moment in time.

If you don't like this Congress then see to it that a different one is elected. This one is 85% reelected and mostly people serving many terms. The people have to change that and we are not doing it. The answer is not to simply change our form of government to a Congress that is on the si=sidelines and a president who can do whatever he wants.

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Response to JayhawkSD (Reply #21)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 03:32 PM

28. You are absolutely spot on. Great post.

 

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Response to JayhawkSD (Reply #21)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:09 AM

34. What Pelosi and Krugman say is irresponsible and would set dangerous precedents.

People tend to forget that we get Republican Presidents, too, and even Democratic Presidents are not always right.

Are either of them lawyers?

Did either of them consult a lawyer before opening his or her piehole?

Did Pelosi even read the 14th amendment?

Be all that as it may, we don't move closer to an imperial Presidency because someone misquotes the Constitution, even Pelois, unless that someone is the President and he acts on his misinterpretation and no one does anything about it before or after the fact. That has happened in the past, but this does not seem to be one of those times.

Carney has said that President Obama does not believe that the 14th amendment empowers him to ignore the debt ceiling.

That said, those refusing to raise the debt ceiling are acting like asses.

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:08 AM

22. I wonder how many of those TP's are dead beats in their own lives?

We know Joe Walsh was a dead-beat, not paying his child support...I wonder how many more of them don't pay their bills?

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 03:35 PM

29. She's right.

The nonsense has to stop somewhere.

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Reply #29)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 06:38 AM

32. She misstated the 14th amendment.

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Response to cal04 (Original post)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 07:26 AM

37. Too bad he won't do it. He believes in the confidence fairy.

I also think he wants to continue "bipartisan cuts".

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