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

White House Mixes Up Its Jobs Bill Message

Whoops. Someone in the White House decided to be honest, but of course that wasn’t very good politics.

Now you realize, of course, President Obama’s American Jobs Act is not going to be passed by Congress, because it’s paid for with $467 billion in tax increases and includes provisions the GOP-controlled House won’t move.

Recognizing this reality too, somebody sent White House Press Secretary Jay Carney – or Jay Carney sent himself – out to tell the world that the president would be willing to take half a loaf and eat it. Here’s what Jay told reporters aboard Air Force One as it traveled early this afternoon to Columbus, Ohio.

We believe that Congress should act on the American Jobs Act right away.  We believe that if Congress were to send a portion of the American Jobs Act, the President would, of course, not veto it.  He would sign it, and then he would return to press the Congress to get the rest of the job done — because there is simply an urgent need in this country to grow the economy and put Americans back to work.

Well someone, perhaps in legislative affairs, rang up whoever gave Jay his talking points – or Jay himself – and probably explained that in poker, you DO NOT FOLD YOUR CARDS EVEN BEFORE THE HAND IS DEALT.

The White House was giving away its negotiating chips just one day after Obama sent the legislation to Congress, while also undermining his message that the American Jobs Act will save the world.

So a few hours after Carney spoke to reporters, White House reporters got this from the pool reporter who is traveling with Obama in Ohio.

A senior admin official came back to the press cabin during takeoff and contended with the idea (apparently in some story out there) that the president is willing to settle for piece-by-piece consideration of his jobs plan.

“We’re going to take this to them every day,” said the senior administration official, “and challenge them to pass the whole bill.”

I don’t know. You can’t really show me your hand and then ask me to forget what’s in it.

Anyway, Carney made clear that the White House fully intends to bully Republicans and use the issue for political gain if Obama gets anything less than the whole bill.

Congress will have a lot of explaining to do if, come the end of the year, they have done nothing to address Americans’ number-one priority, which is the need for the economy to get going and the need to put Americans back to work.  They will still have a significant amount to explain if they only took some of the measures they could have taken, but not all of the ones.

And the White House knows it won’t get the whole bill. Which is the point. The American Jobs Act is a campaign measure, first and foremost.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on RedditShare on LinkedInEmail this to someone

11 Responses to White House Mixes Up Its Jobs Bill Message

  1. Amazing! Now their calling their own bluff!

    When an administration is so scattershot that even the press secretary can’t stay on message, is it any surprise that the style of…for lack of a better term, I’ll say “governance”…is also random and disjointed?

  2. Of course, he’ll pass whatever they give him. He’s got nothing else.

    Construction jobs in Detroit and Philadelphia are not going to help anyone in fly-over country. Fixing decrepit schools that only seem to exist in liberal Dem controlled school districts isn’t going to affect anyone until 2013. Employing inner-city youths next summer isn’t going to put anyone to work outside the liberal Dem controlled cities.
    We know that. Everyone knows that. The Prez has nothing.
    He tipped his hand and his bluff is being called.

      • That Attackwatch.com site is funny. I really laughed at the terms. Here is a wonderful exerpt from the Terms of Use:
        “I grant OFA a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, sublicensable, royalty free license to publish, reproduce, distribute, publicly perform, publicly display, edit, modify, create derivative works of and otherwise use the Submissions in any manner or media and for any purpose whatsoever at the sole discretion of OFA, including without limitation any political, advertising or commercial use of any kind.”

        I like how OFA can edit or modify a post that is submitted or otherwise use the submission for any manner whatsoever. So they basically have an open platform to lie under a submitters name. I would be weary of signing up or posting anything on that site.

  3. After an injury at birth, my father’s passion and perseverance guaranteed that I walked and played sports. But my last memory of him is a mixture of love and pain.
    I killed my dad. I didn’t blow him away with a gun. Instead, I let him die. I pulled a kitchen chair up next to him and watched him struggle to breathe on the floor. The skin on his face turned a reddish-purple. His neck took on a bluish tint. Both his hands clutched tightly at his chest. And suddenly, the white in his eyes became spider-web etched, in blood-red lines.

    Why did I do it? It’s complicated.

    I loved the son of a bitch more than anything on the planet. You see, 28 years earlier, I was born a cripple. A breech birth, feet first, my head stuck in the birth canal. By my first birthday, I couldn’t crawl, stand or walk. My right arm and hand awkwardly clung to my torso. At first, the doctors told my dad I would never walk or run normally because the muscles in my right leg and arm would continue to atrophy.
    When I was 3, Dad brought me to Children’s Hospital in Boston for answers. They told him I had cerebral palsy. A loss of oxygen to my brain had destroyed brain signals to the right side of my body. The doctors recommended that I attend private schools. They gave him a long list of places that could better care for cripples like me, and they prescribed a full-length removable leg cast to wear at bedtime.

    He refused to listen. No son of his was going to be a cripple. He found a doctor who instructed him in how he could take the place of my injured brain. Every morning before breakfast and every evening before bed, my dad placed me on the bedroom floor to exercise my right leg. The muscles were shrunken and twisted together. His job was to craft them straight, at any cost. Back and forth, up and down, my dad pushed and pulled the muscles into shape. He stretched them until the heel of my right foot evenly matched up to the heel of the left foot.

    My Aunt Helen told me the process was almost unbearable to witness. She said the sounds of me screaming soured her stomach. I was too young; I don’t remember the pain. But my mother said my dad would cry. He couldn’t look into my eyes. His tears made wet stains on my T-shirt.

    But my dad’s exercise of passion didn’t stop there. For my 13th birthday, he threw me a special party. First, we ate my favorite peanut butter cake. Then he allowed me to open every present but a large box neatly trimmed in colorful birthday-balloon wrapping paper. When everybody was gone, he marched me into the basement to open the box.

    It was a set of boxing gloves. We put them on. My dad proceeded to beat me unmercifully. Each time I tried to get up, leather kissed my nose, eyes and jaw. Blood ran into my mouth from the spot where my front teeth punctured my bottom lip. I begged him to stop. Instead he carefully, systematically picked a target, never once missing his bull’s-eye.

    Hysterical, I collapsed in his arms. He cradled me, rocking back and forth. Dad said, “I’d cut off my right arm if that would make you whole.” I couldn’t talk. He said he beat me to get me ready for the world. Told me I was a man now and things would be extra tough for me.

    That same year, he caught me hitchhiking, duct-taped me to a kitchen chair and turned on Mom’s electric carving knife. He never touched me with it, just held it close to my ears. It was for my own good, he said. I needed to know what would happen if a “bad man” picked me up.

    Ironically, it was also easy for my dad to engage in an uncommon act of discernible love. That same year, I was the only kid in my neighborhood that wasn’t picked for Little League. Everybody laughed at me at tryouts. My right leg awkwardly slanted inward as I ran.

    My father heard their snickers. On the ride home, neither of us spoke. I sat close to him. He held my hand, and we cried together. Two weeks later, Dad started the Shedd Park Minor League. He raised money, bought uniforms, enlisted coaches, acquired permits, and every kid played. Dad coached the Yankees and made me a pitcher.

    In high school, I became a football star. People said if I had two good legs, I might have played on Sundays. One Saturday afternoon, I read the quarterback’s eyes, jumped the tight end and pulled the pass out of his hands. Immediately, I headed for the end zone. At the five-yard line, I looked around to see if anybody was close enough to catch me. Nobody was chasing me, except Dad running full speed along the sidelines.

    The power of my dad’s love, insidious and reckless, guaranteed I walked and more. And this Father’s Day, like every Father’s Day, I’ll relive the last time I saw him. My mother was in the hospital recovering from surgery. And Dad was on the kitchen floor having sex with another woman. I found them. He went for his heart. I thought he was faking. By the time I realized he was dying and tried to help him, it was too late.

    At the end, I remember a tear rolling slowly across his cheek. His eyes opened wide. I bent forward and whispered, “I love you.” He slowly reached for my hand just as he had done years ago on that ride home from Little League tryouts. And at that instant, we both experienced the pain and madness of love. Then he was gone.

    That night, I shot my first bag of heroin. Three years after he died, I kicked a 10-bag-a-day habit. I became a journalist, covered the war in Bosnia, made an award-winning documentary. In 1997, a brain surgeon in San Jose told me I didn’t have cerebral palsy after all. He explained precisely how and where the doctor’s forceps at birth had damaged the frontal lobe of my brain.

    My dad never knew the whole truth. But all that counts is the bottom line. After all his madness, on this Father’s Day, like every Father’s Day, I’m not a cripple.