Dick Price & Sharon Kyle: California State Assembly Speaker John Perez took another swipe at fellow Democratic Assemblymember Anthony Portantino, blocking a routine legislative procedure under the guise of prudent fiscal management, but that reeks of possibly illegal voting influence and intimidation.
Robert Reich: S&P’s intrusion into American politics is also ironic because, as I pointed out recently, much of our current debt is directly or indirectly due to S&P’s failures (along with the failures of the two other major credit-rating agencies — Fitch and Moody’s) to do their jobs before the financial meltdown.
Carl Bloice: If the people who set the Tea Party in motion and sustain it want a mandatory “balanced budget” there is a democratic way of going about getting one; introduce specific legislation. They wouldn’t take that route.
Stanley Kutler: Our problems with governance lie far beyond the character of Obama, or with the Lilliputians who run Congress. Our “leaders” will not lead; worse yet, they refuse to honestly confront the nation’s interest or needs.
Brent Budowsky: The president and congressional leaders should bring a new player to sit at this jobs-and-deficit table on behalf of all who love and serve the nation: Former Secretary of State and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell.
Bill Fletcher: We should get away from thinking of the Tea Party elected officials as crazy. They are not. They are no more crazy than the Japanese Kamikaze pilots in 1945. They are just as determined and wish to create maximum damage.
Walter Brasch: Since you like hunting, and they like hunting, your banker friends will let you buy all the guns and ammunition you want. But, they can’t help you on your health bills, or even lower the insurance premiums and co-pays. And, they can’t do much for that inflated mortgage payment. Or to help you find another job.
Tom Hayden: Launch a campaign progressive to the core, with no compromises on ending tax cuts for the rich and trillion-dollar wars.
Lucia Brawley: Polls showed a majority of Americans wanted Obama to compromise more. He did. In the election, no one can say he is the unreasonable one.
Ted Vaill: Seventy or eighty arch-conservative Tea Party members of the House and Senate have held this country hostage to their right-wing demands that we sacrifice entitlements belonging to ordinary, hard working Americans for the benefit of their rich friends. What is the mood of the ordinary American? Disgust.
Steve Hochstadt: Our economic disaster is not about national debt, but about national poverty. America cannot be a great country, if we do not alleviate the critical economic problems gripping our poorest families.
Brent Budowsky: House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) could not deliver enough Republican votes. He was some 40 votes short. At the very moment when Democrats had leverage, they still caved and asked for and received nothing in return.
Vijay Prashad: In the Progressive Caucus there was unanimity in the critique, but some hesitation over the way ahead. A few people felt that the far right was dangerous, and it seemed unsafe to unhinge what appeared to be Obama’s walkover in 2012.