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Speaker of the House John Boehner (L) listens to House Majority Leader Rep. Eric Cantor (R) discussing the Balanced Budget Amendment, which is scheduled to be considered on the floor of the House next week, at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washingt
The two least likely people in D.C. to win a popularity contest.
Here's more fodder for those Republicans who are growing alarmed at the possibility that they'll be blamed if a deal isn't struck on tax hikes and spending cuts by year's end in the form of two new polls. According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, they'll definitely be blamed. And they hate Republican ideas on revenue increases.
By a huge 67 - 23 percent margin, voters oppose eliminating the home mortgage interest deduction, but strongly favor, 62 - 28 percent, limiting the deduction to the first $500,000 of mortgage debt. By 56 - 35 percent, voters favor eliminating that deduction for second homes.

Voters 65 - 31 percent support higher taxes on households making more than $250,000 per year, with 84 - 14 percent support from Democrats and 66 - 31 percent support from independent voters. Republicans are opposed 53 - 41 percent.  [...]

American voters say 56 - 38 percent that Obama and congressional Democrats will make a good faith effort to cooperate with congressional Republicans on important issues. By 51 - 43 percent, voters say congressional Republicans will not act in good faith.

Here's the other kicker for Republicans, from an Associated Press-GfK poll. The stuff they say will bring them to the table to extend the tax cuts for the middle class (hugely popular here, too) is extremely unpopular with the general public. That's of course why they've been trying to force President Obama to spell out his spending cuts—then they could blame it all on him when it turns out to be a political disaster. The public really does not want Medicare and Social Security to be sacrificed to the deficit.
Americans prefer letting tax cuts expire for the country's top earners, as President Barack Obama insists, while support has declined for cutting government services to curb budget deficits, an Associated Press-GfK poll shows. Fewer than half the Republicans polled favor continuing the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy.

There's also a reluctance to trim Social Security, Medicare or defense programs, three of the biggest drivers of federal spending, the survey released Wednesday found. The results could strengthen Obama's hand in his fiscal cliff duel with Republicans, in which he wants to raise taxes on the rich and cut spending by less than the GOP wants.

Well, at least Republicans have the people on their side in not cutting defense.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 02:00 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I understand why they (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, Siri, RichM, mumtaznepal

    are surprised by this.  They are denial.  Simple.

    being mindful and keepin' it real

    by Raggedy Ann on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:33:53 AM PST

    •  The UN conspired with Acorn and Anal Mind Probing (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laconic Lib, mdmslle, milkbone, RUNDOWN

      Aliens to steal the election and our handicapped children or something.....

      The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

      by JML9999 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:36:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  don't forget obstruction nt (0+ / 0-)
    •  This is a lose, lose situation for the Repubs. (0+ / 0-)

      If they take us over the cliff they will get the blame they deserve.

      If they give any then everyone will ask why hadn't done that weeks ago and saved us all the problems they did.

      We will certianly not reward them for solving a problem they caused in the first place.

      The question becomes will they be able to do enough damage control to stop a complete Republican melt down.

      Our money system is not what we have been led to believe. The creation of money has been "privatized," or taken over by private money lenders. Thomas Jefferson called them “bold and bankrupt adventurers just pretending to have money.” webofdebt

      by arealniceguy on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 12:55:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "There's also a reluctance" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare

    vs Resistance or Refusal

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:33:58 AM PST

  •  Maybe we can all go live in the Pentagon (7+ / 0-)

    when we can't pay our mortgages or rent.

  •  No one I know (20+ / 0-)

    expects to retire in a Joint Strike Fighter.

    Defense is discretionary spending, period.

    Pardon our dust. Sig line under renovation.

    by Crashing Vor on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:34:37 AM PST

    •  Defense spending employs people (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crashing Vor, a2nite

      which is why I'm not crazy about cutting it when we have 14% un/under-employment.  Long term, I'd like to see some of those people transition to other industries, but putting them on the job "market" isn't the thing to do in this economy.

      To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

      by sneakers563 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:51:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Best to treat it like a bandage: ripping (4+ / 0-)

        it off in one quick motion is very painful initially, but better than not ripping it off altogether.

        Of course that's never going to happen; the MIC owns the people "that count" in both parties.

        •  So you think it's a good idea to put more people (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mumtaznepal, Crashing Vor

          out of work, depress demand further, slow down the recovery, and put more families on unemployment?  All in the name of lowering the budget deficit?  

          Personally, I'd like to see more stimulus spending to get the economy back on it's feet.  Once that happens, we can talk about changing priorities.  Right now, though, I think the more we can do to keep people employed, the better.  "Ripping off the bandaid" is exactly what happened in 2007 when the manufactured housing bubble collapsed.

          To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

          by sneakers563 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 08:19:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, I think it's a good idea to shift all (4+ / 0-)

            that funding toward things that actually help build societies and civilization up instead of working toward blowing it all apart. That has nothing to do with lowering the budget deficit (which I think is an idiotic goal in general; nobody actually cares about it--nor should they).

            But you've demonstrated how effective the MIC's extortion racket has been at entrenching itself. It's "too big to fail" and always will be because  partisans on both sides will forever trot out this canard: "you want to put people out of work?"

            •  But that's not on the table (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Crashing Vor

              No one is talking about shifting all that funding to something else.  They're talking about cutting it and not spending it on anything.

              As I said, I agree that long term, we should reduce defense spending.  I was in favor of it in the 90's, and I was happy to see it.  But reducing government spending is exactly the wrong thing to do when you're in a demand crisis, as we are here, and putting people out of work is exactly what you're advocating.

              To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

              by sneakers563 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 08:32:46 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Then we need to change the conversation - stat (0+ / 0-)

                The problem is too many people think cutting defense is sacrelige due to the decades of fear mongering from both parties.

                The failing economy and climate change are currently the biggest threats to our security and every available dollar needs to be focused on infrastructure and developing technologies. Defense employees can play a valuable part on both fronts.

                Besides, even if defense cuts went into effect on 1/1/13, it will take months, if not years, to shut down the superfluous and unnecessary weapons projects, and later on, military bases in Europe and other non-critical areas.

                Defense cuts may not be on the table, but it will never be on the table if no one starts calling for them.

              •  Reducing government spending on defense (0+ / 0-)

                is the right thing to do, right now.

                It doesn't have to put anybody out of work, if only bdop4's suggestion that we change the conversation would occur. He's also correct that it would be months or years before the mass layoffs occur. That's plenty of time to channel that funding into something more civilized.

                But, of course, the catch-22 you describe will hold, mainly because we haven't got anybody on our side in a position to do anything about it who isn't too timid to stand up to (or, worse, of like mind with) the MIC. If they lost some support because of that we might find a few of them changing their minds. On that point, unfortunately, partisan party politics has too strong a foothold, too; the cowards on "our" team will continue to fuck us all over because most of us will continue to vote for them out of spite or fear to keep the Republican opponent out of office. Fat lot of good that does if the Republican policy is what gets enacted anyway, eh?

      •  I know my experience is anecdotal, (6+ / 0-)

        but the contract I was working under, for which funds were already allocated 3 years ago, was frozen the minute the game of chicken--I mean the fiscal cliff--was announced.

        Pentagon has been hoarding funds since this started. I do not believe the cuts are going to be as devastating as feared.

        Still, this is one sub-sub-sub-sub-sub-contractor's opinion.

        Pardon our dust. Sig line under renovation.

        by Crashing Vor on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:58:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think it varies (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          howd, Crashing Vor

          I have a good friend who works for Lockheed, and he's been told he should prepare to to be laid off if the cuts happen.  This is not a junior guy either; he's been with them for 15 years and has a master's degree in electrical engineering.

          I understand what you're saying, but the cuts are real and have to come from somewhere.

          To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

          by sneakers563 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 08:10:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Average Defense Contractor CEO Salary = $21M (3+ / 0-)

            Maybe instead of laying off engineers and workers the defense contractors can start by cutting their CEO pay, which averaged $21M for the top 5 contractors:

            An analysis by the Project on Government Oversight found that the average compensation package of the CEO for one of the top five Pentagon contractors is about $21.5 million, Federal Times reported.

            Poor man wants to be rich. Rich man wants to king. And the king ain't satisifed until he rules everything. B.Springsteen

            by howd on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 08:32:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, CEO pay is outrageous, make no mistake (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Crashing Vor

              but if you're working on a contract that's cancelled, it's cancelled.  If there's not enough work, there's no job, regardless of how much your boss is making.

              To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

              by sneakers563 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 08:35:20 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  The people the defense industry employs (8+ / 0-)

        are no more sacred than the teachers and other public employees sacrificed to the austerity agenda.  

        •  I totally agree (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Crashing Vor, greenbell

          I don't think we should be pursuing an austerity agenda at all.      That's my point.  We may not like the defense industry, but those are jobs for real people with real families.  Right now, every job is important, and we shouldn't be putting anyone out fo work, regardless of what sector they work in.

          To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

          by sneakers563 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 08:47:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  They need to be transitioned like everyone else (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sneakers563

            If the public and private sectors are proactive, the pain should be minimal because these are people with highly developed skill sets. Technological expertise can be applied to build things, as well as destroy them.

            I would like to see the energy of the defense technology sector be redirected to something useful, like energy-efficient infrastruture and clean energy.

      •  But it's only one place which employs people. (4+ / 0-)

        Sure, if we were building infrastructure and the Federal budget were subsidizing keeping cops and firefighters on the street, then keeping the cash flowing to defense contractors for a few more years might make sense as part of the full-court press for employment.

        As it is, when necessary government expenditures are being cut to the bone, maintaining this high-overhead expenditure makes no sense.

        •  Sadly, we're not building infrastructure (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Crashing Vor

          regardless.  I don't believe that cutting defense spending means that we'll start doing those things you outline.  If it did, I could maybe get behind it.  But as far as I can tell, these are just jobs that will be lost.  If they would be made up somewhere else through increased stimulus funding, then I'd feel better about it.  But I don't see that happening.

          Ideally, I'd like to see these people stay employed for now, and have increased stimulus spending to put some of the presently unemployed back to work.  That's a pipe-dream, though.

          To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

          by sneakers563 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 08:54:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Top Five Defense Contractors Have Less Jobs Now (4+ / 0-)

        According to the Congressional Budget Office:

        According to the Congressional Budget Office, if the sequestration axe falls, the Department of Defense's base budget would still be larger than it was in 2006 (adjusting for inflation).

        And, at the end of 2006, according to an analysis by the Project On Government Oversight, the nation’s five top defense contractors employed more people than they did at the end of 2011.

        At the end of 2006, the five companies employed a total of 577,200 people, according to reports they filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. That was slightly more than the 520,900 they reported at the end of 2011.

        The POGO study included Lockheed Martin, Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon.

        Thus, to recap, the top 5 defense contractors are getting more money but hiring less people, which might be why they can pay their CEOs an average of $21M.  

        Poor man wants to be rich. Rich man wants to king. And the king ain't satisifed until he rules everything. B.Springsteen

        by howd on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 08:39:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Trimming waste and fraud to private (0+ / 0-)

        contractors, and recovering that money is a good start.

        And here we thought the age of the $50 toilet seats ended in the '80s ...

        If not us ... who? If not here ... where? If not now ... when?

        by RUNDOWN on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 10:35:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  hey we have to keep bases in Germany and Japan (4+ / 0-)

      to make sure they don't re-militarize and in Thailand to protect against Vietnamese and Chinese aggression and Turkey to protect against the USSR and...........wait

      Remember when the Pacific and Atlantic were considered defensible borders?  

    •  Question could use reframing (6+ / 0-)

      From the Quinnipiac poll:

      55 - 41 percent oppose cuts in military spending
      How about:
      Should we reduce spending on unworkable or unnecessary weapons systems and other Pentagon boondoggles?

      Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

      by winsock on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:59:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Getting in touch with my inner (10+ / 0-)

    HBO political drama series writer, I'm sensing Eric Cantor is waiting for Boehner to cave re the talks with President Obama, then will blame Boehner for "destroying The Republican brand."

    In the next week's episode, Cantor makes his move for Speaker.

    In a disturbing subplot, Kelly Ayotte begins to stalk the Sunday news shows, hanging out in the alleys behind their studios.  She begins missing meals.  She takes up chain-smoking.  Not even her staff know where she is or what she's doing.  

  •  NYT and Reuters both reporting PBO and Boehner (4+ / 0-)

    negotiating directly without Pelosi, Reid & McConnel.  Staffers supposedly keeping Pelosi and Reid's staffs "in the loop" for whatever that is worth.  That sounds like Grand Bargain crap all over again.  Hopefully Pelosi is being listened to by the WH.

    Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a Republican. But I repeat myself. Harry Truman

    by ratcityreprobate on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:38:43 AM PST

  •  Can those with tans still cry? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999

    This is seriously going on. And Mitt would've united America by shoving down the throat something Americans are (more than their vote reflected) completely against.

  •  It's not a "Fiscal Cliff". It's a "Fiscal Bluff". (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM, winsock, AllanTBG, a2nite

    Could we at put the Bernake's term in quotes?

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:44:24 AM PST

  •  Boehner. Is. Darth. Sidious. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    Since we can't simply throw him down a shaft into a really big pile on thermonuclear hot stuff, we're left with two options:  Cave in to his Sithish demands  (and we all know how THAT's worked out so far), or do what we're doing right now --- and let the GOP hierarchy in the House devour itself from within.  It's all simply a matter of which way Boehner wants to "die his political death:"  He can fall on his own sword for his country, or he can take the shiv-in-the-back from what's probably going to build out as a Cantor/Ryan tagteam.

    I count even the single grain of sand to be a higher life-form than the likes of Sarah Palin and her odious ilk.

    by Liberal Panzer on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:52:03 AM PST

  •  The repubs are not in denial. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LI Mike, AllanTBG, a2nite, bdop4

    They are trying to fight a holding action in the belief that if they can hit on the right message that they can flip public opinion. The positions they are trying to hold are rapidly becoming untenable. The clock is ticking and the days are following and the end is clearly in sight. They know it and worse for them Obama knows it too. They are hoping and praying for a massive mistake of any kind to help them out and Obama is too smart to give them one.
    Keep the pressure on. The republicans are starting to self destruct and with Demented resigning the senate to head up a new version of the old citizen's council, a political version of the civil war is about to erupt in the republican party.
    For us the objectives are clear. Stay united in purpose. Compromise on issues with each other. Work with each other to further the common core goals. After those goals are achieved is when we discuss the next series of objectives.

  •  The Military Industrial Complex has got (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    the same bribe/extortion racket that corporations have with respect to jobs.

    There are many regions in the county where defense contracting is a big employer. That's by design--they're everywhere so that when politicians screech that "defense cuts means jobs losses" they aren't technically lying.

    •  The Key will be Effective Transitioning (0+ / 0-)

      Have programs that will take these skilled employees and put them to work building and developing products that help people and not kill them.

      It's going to require a big vision and a lot of work. I hope this country is up to the task. We have been in the past.

  •  I'm sensing that Repubs have already conceded (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSPS owl

    the tax rate fight (and probably have known they would for some time) even if they continue to claim otherwise in public, mainly to save face with their base, and that at this point it's really about what they get in exchange, and whether they are most likely to extract it via the tax rate fight, or the coming debt ceiling fight--or some combination of both, as I'm guessing it their strategy.

    So the fight is no longer about tax rate hikes for the rich, public posturing and positioning notwithstanding, but rather about spending cuts, specifically cuts to entitlement programs. Repubs now know that they're not likely to get them in exchange for letting tax rates on the rich go up, so they'll probably do nothing this year, let tax rates on everyone go up, and use that, and the debt ceiling negotiation, to try to extort major entitlement cuts from Obama.

    I have no idea how Obama and Dems will handle that, but I believe that they can win it if they hold firm and play it right. Americans will already be blaming Repubs for their tax rates going up and spending going down next year. If parts of the government are shut down due to Repubs refusing to raise the debt ceiling next year, Americans will likely blame them for that as well. For a time at least. Eventually they'll blame Obama and Dems as well. But are Repubs willing to hold out that long and accept the political damage they'll sustain in the interim?

    They know how this played out when Gingrich shut down the government under Clinton. Do they really want that to happen again, and risk losing more seats in the midterms, and possibly the house?

    And is Obama and are Dems willing to hold firm and risk whatever political fallout ensues--and there will be some, eventually?

    I don't think there's any way to predict what happens. It really depends on how smart, tough, united and well-led each side is. Right now I'm liking our chances on these counts, but you never know.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 08:00:30 AM PST

  •  Poor Jim DeMint (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    With his $65,000 net worth, he would really benefit if the House GOP would extend middle-class tax cuts.

    It's not easy being a Floridian: PS I'm a lawYER now; no longer a lawSTUDENT.

    by lawstudent922 on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 08:00:30 AM PST

  •  Why is the media airing a Boehner presser (4+ / 0-)

    when he shut congress down on Wednesday?  Politely decline to give him air time and then see how well he negotiates....fucking attention whore.

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 08:02:54 AM PST

    •  I know I heard that online (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bdop4

      was it on the TV too? Regurgitation of "I'm waiting for the President to start negotiations" talking point/lie. President Obama ought to hit the microphone today to point out that Boehner gave the House 5 days off instead of buckling down and working at a compromise. "They" are lazy freeloading leeches on society and have no work ethic.

      I'm pretty tired of being told what I care about.

      by hulibow on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 08:19:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe we will get a Middle Class Tax Cut! (0+ / 0-)

    Sounds promising that Pelosi's planned vote on the Middle Class tax cut bill might actually get passed in the House if these poll numbers translate to votes from the conservatives. But who knows. They don't always listen to common sense anyways.

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 08:08:33 AM PST

  •  Republican have falling off the cliff of reality (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    Decade ago ,their is no reason too try, too reason with them ,during the Holiday season

  •  Public Opinion? A question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    What is the difference between public opinion and actually doing something about issues?

    Public opinion may be on our side on this issue but what is the public going to do about it? Enough members of the public voted the Republicans into the offices that they hold but what will the public/voters do to pressure the elected officials? And who would they replace them with?

    Bottom Line = What do the Republicans risk losing if they act obstructionist?

  •  We're not winning by ENIOUGH. (0+ / 0-)

    We're winning popular opinion, but not by enough, and the victory isn't tied closely enough to particular congressmen.

    Let's each one of us find  a way to connect one local Republican congressman to the plans to:
    1) Extend the tax cuts to the rich
    2) Hold tax cuts for the rest of us hostage to do so. (And remember, the guys making $260,000 a year will see their taxes go up by $8,000 if nothing is done, and by $460 if the Senate bill is passed by the House.
    3) Fiddle with Social Security and Medicare so that the main federal budget doesn't have to pay back the $Trillions it borrowed from those trust funds.

  •  The GOP Doesn't Care That They Are Out Of Step (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle

    with the majority of Americans - they only care about what the top 1% and corporate CEO's think and want. The Rethugs only PRETEND to care about what the middle class wants during election season - and they don't even want to be bothered with that anymore. That's why they are trying so hard to install voter suppression, so they can just write off everyone but the top 1%, even during election season.

  •  Cue this: (0+ / 0-)

    "But a $500,000 house in some regions is really small ... Why punish success by capping the mortgage deduction for job creators!"

  •  Wow, those numbers spell big trouble for (0+ / 0-)

    Republicans if they remain obstinate.

    If they come out of this looking bad, they could very well lose the House in 2014, despite it being a mid-term election and despite the gerrymandering.

    They're sliding down a very slippery slope while wearing flat-soled slippers and they don't even seem to realize it.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 09:14:04 AM PST

  •  I don't understand the people who are so (0+ / 0-)

    opposed to defense cuts.  These are the same people who idolize Ronny RayGun for making the Soviet Union collapse by forcing them to spend so much on defense (in the form of an arms race) that they couldn't survive financially.  I guess spending so much on defense that it is crushing your budget is only detrimental to a country if RayGun can be credited with brilliant strategy.

    Picture a bright blue ball just spinnin' spinnin' free. It's dizzy with possibility.

    by lockewasright on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 12:08:58 PM PST

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