As President Obama moves with surprising forcefulness to implement elements of his second-term agenda — including gun control, immigration, and taxes — it's worth remembering just how scattered and lost his administration appeared to be for long stretches of his first term.
In one of many pieces of psychoanalysis that have come out this week (because what other way is there to understand House Republicans?), Ross Douthat tries to explain Why The Right Fights. He says they hate the New Deal and the Great Society but are at a total loss for how to roll them back:
There won't be any direct order found telling the IRS to go hassle Conservative groups. That's not the way it works. Obama's style is to "other" groups he does not like, to impugn their motives, and to cast them as pariahs beyond the bounds of civil society. Such and such group, he will say, opposes me not because they have reasonable differences of opinion but because they have nefarious motives. Once a group is labelled and accepted (at least by your political followers) as such, you don't have to order people to harass them.
Meeting follows establishment of the Interagency Trade Enforcement Center through Presidential
Executive Order signed todayCommerce Secretary John Bryson today hosted a joint meeting of the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee (TPCC) and the Export Promotion Cabinet (EPC) to discuss strategic priorities for promoting trade and U.S. exports and receive input on new initiatives. Secretary Bryson was joined by officials from the Export-Import Bank, Small Business Administration, National Security Council, and Departments of Agriculture, State, and Treasury, among other agencies.The TPCC and EPC support the president’s overall economic agenda by helping U.S. companies export globally and create jobs locally. The TPCC is composed of 20 federal government agencies and chaired by the Secretary of Commerce. The EPC was established to coordinate the development and implementation of the National Export Initiative (NEI) along with the TPCC, helping to meet the president’s goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014. During the meeting, which was his first as Commerce Secretary, Bryson highlighted the progress with NEI and the need to strengthen efforts to continue to increase U.S. exports. In 2011, the U.S. exported over $2.1 trillion in goods and services, the highest on record and the first time in history that America has crossed the $2 trillion threshold. Despite the positive signs of economic recovery, the president has made clear that lasting economic growth requires leveling the playing field for American workers and businesses and making sure they are able to compete successfully in global markets.
It's assumed that the House will pass the Fiscal Cliff bill that the Senate passed last night, but until the last votes are taken, nothing is guaranteed. While liberals were seen as the huge source of concern yesterday, in the House, the big challenge is for Boehner to bring the votes. A lot of conservatives hate the bill. Tea Party representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah tweeted his opposition:
President Barack Obama has signed legislation that renews the charter of the Export-Import Bank for three years and increases the bank’s lending cap to $140 billion from the current $100 billion. The bank is the government’s vehicle for promoting U.S. export sales.