As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Obama Meets Secretly With Boehner and Cantor

In a sign that President Obama’s insistence that he still wants a robust package of cuts is more than just stagecraft, Obama Sunday met secretly at the White House with House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said other conversations have been occurring at a high level all weekend, including talks involving the president.

Carney declined to comment on the meeting and dismissed suggestions that it should have been announced.

“There are too many conversations and meetings taking place for us to catologue every single one,” Carney said.

It’s true that real negotiations need to be conducted quietly. But keeping secret a meeting between the two most powerful people in Washington – the president and the Speaker of the House, is not necessary, especially when news of the sessions will emerge anyway.

In all my time covering Washington, I’ve never heard of a secret meeting between the president and the Speaker. The openness White House has now held three of them, with more perhaps coming.

BTW, the last two were solely with Boehner. It’s clear that the House GOP caucus has insisted that Cantor come along to babysit the Speaker in case he starts to get weepy and raises taxes.

Carney today also gave a pretty explicit endorsement to the Raise the Debt Ceiling and Get Out of Town Plan by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“At the very least, some variation of that needs to be in place so that the United States does not default on its obligations,” Carney said.

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33 Responses to Obama Meets Secretly With Boehner and Cantor

  1. I don’t trust either side of this debate to make any substantial cuts or to put our finances in order.
    After decades of earmarks, special projects, and just plain wasteful spending or fraud, there are too many competing interests, tar baby departments and a mish–mash accounting system to bring this debate to a satisfying conclusion. There are no clean hands in this fiasco.

    The markets are jumpy, the dollar is falling, gold/silver is soaring, the world economy is on edge and our politicians are bickering over what to keep and what to cut.
    This political dance of musical chairs will not leave one a winner and one a loser. We will all lose if they can’t agree to cut spending and live within our means.

  2. Do they have secret passwords…”The golf ball flies…” “Straight and true.”
    Ah, God–forget us…who needs a house anyway…

    Was this before or after the barefoot soccer game–or does he now have a double…

  3. Is it negotiation or collusion? I don’t trust either side of the aisle. These old cronies have been scratching each others backs for the past 50 years. They are not there to serve their country…they are there to serve themselves and stuff their pockets. We can tell when they are trying to make a deal. Obama’s propaganda machine releases articles about some deal in the works. Of course we all get outraged, but the career politicians will get together to pass “Cut, Cap, and Balance” in the House just to appease conservatives. Of course it has no chance in the Senate. Then they will throw their hands up and say McConnell-Reid is the only way to prevent Armageddon. All they have left to take is our treasury. I hope Mr Boehner knows how important it is to this country that he never gives up that authority. I’m thinking August 2, 2011 is like another July 4, 1776. Once the government gets control of the treasury, the Republic is history. We all need to pray for Senator DeMint and our conservative legislators. They are the patriots we sent to D.C. to save the Republic. They have a tough battle ahead.

    Just watched “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” so guess I’m feeling a little patriotic right now.

    • Agreed.
      When the Dems were ready to pass Obamacare, the Repubs warned them it wouldn’t go well and they were right. Officials on both sides went down or had the fight of their lives to keep their positions.
      They’re all supposed to get along, go along, so they can continue with what must be the most wonderful ‘jobs’ in the world.

      It’s OUR fault, we weren’t paying attention to what they have been doing. We didn’t realize that the MSM was colluding with the politicians, hiding real scandals, while trying to make us believe that we should believe that everything Washington did was for our benefit.
      We elected people who had good intentions until they got sucked into the DC whirlpool of priviledge, money and power.
      Our fault for not keeping tabs on their actions.

      • Or maybe THEIR fault for being idiots and thieves! Why is it our fault? We had insufficient data–we had other businesses, other lives. When Gore talked about a lock box, we said–oh, dopey old Al, said he invented the internet, ha ha.

          • As for good intentions, I do believe the newbies elected are trying to do what their constituents say–but we can’t just cut the govt by 40% on a Wed morning…

      • Agreed. It is our fault for ignoring all the signs leading up to this. I just heard McCain give Sean Hannity the exact same scenario I mentioned above. I asked both my senators specifically about the McConnell plan and neither office gave me a straight answer. They are very defensive right now. My guess…the Senate has already made the deal, it is just a matter of convincing the House to pass it. Watch the senators who vote for McConnell-Reid. Those who vote aye will be no more an American than Benedict Arnold.

        • So, just to be clear: the conservative line is for NO tax increases ever, even on just the wealthy, and no cuts to the Pentagon, and do keep the wars going, and forget about actually paying down the debt because that would require revenues, but DO balance the budget entirely by cutting entitlements.

          I just want to make sure I understand what the actual conservative strategy for the deficit/debt issue really is, because what I am hearing sounds like it is right out of La La Land.

          I mean, you de realize that the reason that we are getting nowhere is because the right wing’s demands are flatly outrageous, right?

          • 1. We’re taxed enough already (TEA)
            2. Yes, cut unnecessary bloat in in every department to include defense. Shut down the EPA and DOE (both education and energy). Enforce laws against waste, fraud, and abuse. Enforce immigrations laws and place troops on our borders to stem the invasion of illegal aliens.
            3. Bring our soldiers home from those God forsaken deserts now.
            4. When welfare recipients are living better than I am with their free housing, free food, free health care, free cable tv, and free cell phones…yes, time for them to stop sucking the govt teat and make their own way in life.

            I can only speak for myself, but this is what I want to happen. Too outrageous for you?

          • In order then:

            1) Who’s “we”? I don’t know if you’ve been keeping score, but there’s about a 99 in 100 chance that if taxes were to be increased, it wouldn’t be on you. If you have a reason to believe that the tax schemes being proposed are targeted at people in your bracket, then by all means explain how you come to that conclusion and perhaps I will even agree. But unless your last name is Gates or Murdoch, then I am afraid you are being played like a fiddle. I would bet you are a Fox News fan, so let me ask you: if one millionaire after another came on TV, warning you against the threat of raising taxes on millionaires, would you buy it? Beck, Hannity, O’Reilly…? ka-ching.

            2) Shut down the EPA, hmm? I love that one. Enforce laws against waste but not toxic waste. I just don’t understand conservative thinking on this issue. Never have. I know to you guys the EPA is some boogeyman sent to protect spotted owls at the cost of red blooded American jobs, but then I guess you lived miles away from the BP oil spill. Personally, I like knowing that my government is concerned enough about the Great Lakes to keep them from lighting on fire, but I’m just a tree huggin’ hippy. But go on and let the gas companies hydrofrack underneath your town’s water table if you trust them that much. I’m sure clean drinking water is their top priority.

            3) Agreed. And let’s not forget who sent them.

            4) Welfare recipients are living better than you? I don’t think you actually believe that, so I will let it slide. I happen to be one of those receiving “free” health care”, and I will be happy to acquaint you with the reality of it at your request. I will tell you this much: not having to worry about bankruptcy whenever my toe itches is a great deal and I would not begrudge it of anyone. If your idea of paradise is a healthcare system where I die on the street and you get screwed out of your private coverage because you forget to count all your pimples when you enrolled, to me that is just brainwashing.

          • Tax the wealthy?
            MrObama made about $4 million dollars last year and got a tax refund of about $12,000. Did he donate the $12K into the federal coffers or did he pocket that money?
            MrObama’s “wealthy” friends have already donated about $60 million dollars to his re-election campaign.

            MrRay, it’s time to quit listening to what they say and pay attention to what they do.

          • I am confused… are you saying he was taxed too much or too little? Because I have no problem saying that his pockets should be picked and his wallet tossed on a massive pile that includes Jon Stewart’s, Oprah’s and Keith Olbermann’s. Just save room for the Koch Bros. billfold as well!

            And I don’t know what that has to do with his donors, unless you are suggesting that O is being disingenuous about tax increases. But if you think he is, then what are you conservatives so worried about?

          • This battle is over the direction of our country. Do you want to live in a country like Greece where everybody gets paid by the government not to work? That is where we are heading if we don’t change course now.

            You are buying right into the Marxist theory. Class-warfare is being propagated by Obama to agitate the have-nots. You could confiscate every penny of profit made by these so-called millionaires and billionaires, like my local baker, and you wouldn’t make much of a dent in the deficit.

            We’re taxed enough already (TEA). By “we” I mean the barely 50% who pay federal taxes. You don’t know my circumstances, nor do you know how much money I make. I worked for it, I saved it, and it is mine to spend. I don’t owe you a penny.

          • And can someone please do SOMETHING about Michelle’s 24 “assistants” (and I’m not sure that includes her personal trainer)?
            And if all else fails, fire whoever released that awful photo of the holy family watching the soccer game.

          • I think if you were to pay attention to how Obama really operates versus the conservative rhetoric you’d find there is a disconnect in your logic. Obama is by no means a populist.

            Take the current debt celling debate. whenever Obama makes his case publicly, he spends the lion’s share of his time calming the nerves of the wealthy. Those people who will feel entitlement cuts the most are basically shoved outside for walking on Mommy’s nice clean floor.

            Just watch this Obama presser from last week: http://c-span.org/Events/Obama-Says-Seize-the-Moment-on-Debt-Ceiling/10737422881-1/ At 2:27 Obama begins his formula for how to “seize the moment” in reducing the debt. He begins by calling for “shared sacrifice” and “significant cuts in domestic spending” including cuts to Medicare (“stabilizing”). By 3:14 he is done talking about cuts, with no tears shed for the have-nots. Now it is time to talk tax hikes. Soothing the concerns of the tiniest fraction of the taxpayer base by reminding everyone that he is, after all, willing to go the distance and make gramma cut her pills in half, takes us to 5:45. In other words, he takes 45 seconds to deliver the tough medicine to his base, and two and a half minutes to break the same news to the rich.

            And it is like this in every conversation! The needy and the future needy are expected to just suck it up, but the wealthy require extra coddling, apologizing, and charts and graphs to remind them that we are all in this together. But to listen to the right wing, you’d think he was banging his shoe on the podium.

          • “Obama is by no means a populist.”
            I disagree. Look populist up in the dictionary and you see a picture of him and his buddy Hugo next to the definition. He is a chameleon. He plays to whatever audience he is talking to at the time. If he is playing to Hispanics he takes on their accent. When he is in Ireland, he takes on the Irish brogue. You won’t listen to what I have to say regardless. His cult followers will vote for him no matter what harm he causes them. He sees his followers as a means to the end. You know what the end goal is I’m sure.

          • Whether or not you agree with O’s politics, I don’t see how you can consider his politicking as more than warm tapioca, at least when he’s not on the campaign trail.

            I really try to be compromising with conservatives, but I smell a dogmatist.”Cult followers”? I know that you can break out a criticism like that for virtually any politician, but contrast him with a Sarah Palin or a Glenn Beck, or even a Ron Paul and I think you will have a hard time seeing him as more than typical.

            I have to wonder at this point what strata you fall into that makes Obama so completely unappealing but the Republican agenda such a fit. You haven’t volunteered any data that I could judge you by, so (if I may be blunt), I think I must conclude that you are driven more by emotion than reason, at least on the subject of the debt/tax issue. I just have a feeling that, were the facts laid out, I could show that you are actually on the losing end of the Republican economic agenda.

          • Last response because I know liberals always have to have the last word.

            I’m passionate about liberty and freedom. I live a comfortable life, so it would be easy for me to sit back and do nothing. I love my God, family, and country too much to do that.

            Watch Granny Jan’s latest video and you will understand what I mean by cult followers…
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XEEaIvlL9JE

          • Really? That video is what best articulates your position? I mean, no offense, but I can imagine about a million ways to make Obama look more sinister than that video did.

            I guess when you are a fanatic, all supporting dogma seems seems slick and penetrating. But hey, thanks for the last word!

  4. If we can just get these guys to sit down and work out their problems and sign a piece of paper, then we can have peas in our time.

  5. It’s all a tap dance routine to the orchestrations of the Bilderburgers, CFR and the Federal Reserve. There is no leadership in DC. They are all puppets. They fear a mob more than the Fed and the clock is ticking.

  6. All of this reminds me of Mort Sahl’s memorable line about putting the Yalta Papers in a loose binder so we can add new betrayals as they come along.