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April 13, 2011

Rhymin' & Stealin': Obama to Give Address On Raising Taxes For 40th Time
Bumped; Speech Will Begin Soon

It's at 1:35 Eastern time, or as those of us in the east know it, "1:35." Update: The president is late. I really want him to start walking around with a golf club on his shoulder all the time. Like Bob Hope. At least have some fun with it. Own it.

If he says anything, which I doubt he will, I'll note it here.

On CNN's In the Arena without Kathleen Parker, you know, Client Nine's show, Alan Simpson wishcasts that Obama's going to be serious today:

CLIENT 9 (wearing a mesh nipple-less wifebeater): Is this the magic moment? Has the president called you and said, Senator, you did the hard work, I'm going to finally embrace you -- this sort of structural concept of your report and make this the centerpiece of my thinking?

SIMPSON: Well, I think you might be aware that we'll be there. So I don't think he would invite us there before or after his remarks if he were going to just put us up there as cardboard figures and say, thanks for your work and I didn't take any of it on.

CLIENT 9 (discretely touches groin_: Well, you've never been a cardboard figure. There's no question about that.

SIMPSON: You're going to see -- you're going to see movement. He wasn't going to do anything. If he had back then he'd been savaged by the Republicans. Republicans weren't anything to do anything. They would have been savaged by the White House.

Solely this is a great cone of reality coming together, squeezed like a Venturian nozzle where they're going to have to get in the room in the dark and somebody is going to say, we won't tell anybody that you made the suggestion which can get us on the path to sustainable, just sustainable or stabilizing the debt. You don't have to go crazy. Just stabilize it.

Yeah, I don't think Simpson's right. I already know what Obama's going to do. He's going to do exactly what he did before: He's going to say that we can't "slash" entitlements but that we need to have a "conversation" about Simpson-Bowles.

What I just said (pithily for once) in one sentence Obama will spend 30 minutes on.

Obama's game is to appear mature and serious, in as much as he talking about these things, while reassuring older votes (and liberal Democrats who just want everyone on as much welfare as possible) that it's entirely talk.

It costs you nothing to just talk around a thing, particularly when you keep insisting that you just mean to talk. And that's the way Obama will play it, as he always has.

Oh, I forgot, he'll call for raising taxes on the rich which will cut our ten year deficit all the way down from $20 trillion to $19 trillion.

Republicans say this is a "reactionary" move and Obama's just doing as I suggested, talking and talking to sound as if he's doing something. Which he is -- he's running for re-election.

. An adviser of a senior Senate Republican has this take: “They didn’t think this one through. They’re winging it.” He sees a three-pronged dilemma for the president: “His base won’t let him touch Social Security, Medicare was gutted in ObamaCare, and they couldn’t pass a tax hike with a supermajority Democratic Congress.”

A Republican communications guru also takes a dim view of the effort, telling me, “This speech, to me, is incredibly reactionary, as is everything they seem to do at the White House. Paul Ryan made a big splash with his plan, and now the White House is playing catch-up. Notice that the speech is in middle of the day and not at the White House but instead at George Washington University. So, it’s a ‘major-minor’ speech?” The guru sees a White House obsessed with spin: “All the White House believes the president has to do with this speech is reclaim the headlines. So, he just has to sound good. In their mind, he could be reading out of the phone book.”

What seniors don't want: Cuts to entitlement

What they don't mind so much: Just talking about cuts to the entitlements

Without a plan, that's all Obama's doing. Until he says the words "I am submitting a draft bill to the House...," then this all just a political theater.

Action. Not words.

I need some help here: I am trying to put out a top ten but I am stuck at like three of them. The general topic is broad: "Top Ten Likely Quotes From Obama's Address." If you could help me with suggestions, I'd appreciate it.

I'll collect the best ones (but be aware, I usually edit or sharpen a basic joke idea) and put up a list. I'll give ya's credit and all.


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posted by Ace at 01:38 PM

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