President Barack Obama's speech wasn't awful. It wasn't great. It had some excellent lines "Last thing [vets] should have to do is to fight for a job when then get home." It some tired union-soothing rhetoric.
At 7:35 Eastern I Tweeted: "Officially bored. This could have been a 20 minute Oval speech."
Here's the thing the President left out: He never told us how many jobs this would create and how far down it would bring the unemployment rate.
Let's spend more money and hope for the best.
Having listened to the 127 times President Obama said some variant of "pass this bill" I pinged a leadership staffer office only to find there IS no bill. No paper. No package. No nothing. Here's the text of the e-mail I got having asked if the President dropped off a bill on his way into the House chamber:
"Of course not - no one has seen it. No consultation with House or Senate GOP. No Pay fors [identified]. Just more of his "I decree" this is the plan and [is, therefore] bi-partisan."
Immediately after the speech ended reporters began Tweeting that the cost of the bill would be $447 billion according to a White House "fact sheet." If there is no bill, how can the WH say that?
Ok. I'm over it.
Here's what I would do if I were Speaker John Boehner. I'd ask the President to send up a finished bill - semi-colons, where-as's, therefore's and all. Then I'd get the House to pass it as is. No changes, no amendments, no nothing.
I'd bring it to the House floor and make the Democrats provide the votes to get to 218 votes for the Democrat President's bill.
If it works and unemployment goes down to the low-eight-percent range then the Republican-controlled House can take credit for bipartisanship and retain control for the next 10 years.
If it works, and the Presidential candidates don't like it … too bad. They should have come up with their own $447 billion dollar bill to bring down unemployment.
If the President's plan doesn't work - which is likely because we're sort of at the mercy of the European banks, the central bank of China, and some guy in Chile - then Obama will not be able to blame the Congress because the Congress will have given him the exact bill he proposed.
As there are tax issues involved that pesky Constitution requires, in Article I, section 7 that:
"All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives."
So, if the House passes it first, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will have no choice but to take it to the floor as is because it will have been the bill blessed by the White House.
Boehner gets this phantom bill first and can, if it passes the House, put all the pressure on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, which I am for.
The Democrats control the Senate so if the GOP-controlled House passes the President's bill and the Democrat-controlled Senate can't get it done … well, there you are.
Starting tomorrow the Speaker should get one of those big digital clocks, mount it on his side of the Capitol grounds, and keep track of how many days, hours, minutes, and seconds have elapsed since the time the President proposed the "Jobs Bill" and when Democrat-controlled Senate passed it.
I know none of that will happen, but it should.
While the President was tossing rhetorical confetti into the air the people charged with protecting us began passing the word that there is a "credible but unconfirmed" threat of a terrorist attack in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001.
That's not the really bad news. This is:
"Washington and New York City being mentioned as possible targets, law enforcement and other officials said late Thursday."
If you don't happen to live in or around either New York City or Washington, DC this is as riveting as hearing there is a backup on the highway between Charles de Gaulle airport and the Eifel Tower in Paris.
If, on the other hand, you can see the Capitol dome from your back deck, the warning is of some moment.
Over this weekend, whether you were in the path of the horror or not, please take a few seconds and say a prayer for those who were killed on 9/11 and for those whom they left behind.
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