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gun sales rising in CT
From the Danbury News-Times. Feel safer yet?
It's still early for the pundit derision over House tactics, but there's plenty of discussion about the deal itself. Ah, well. There's always tomorrow and the rest of today. In the meantime, these tweets give you an idea of the high caliber of our Republican representatives.

Yeah, as I expected, House R threat to "amend" Senate bill was all bluster.
@ThePlumLineGS via web

House skips vote on Sandy aid, angering members from storm-hit states http://t.co/...
@ReutersPolitics via dlvr.it

Politico: John Boehner Told Harry Reid To Go F**K Himself http://t.co/...
@businessinsider via Business Insider

What I see is a great argument for filibuster reform. And one can also feel good about the demise of the stupid Hastert Rule (which isn't really a rule.) Boehner and Ryan voted yes, Cantor voted no. That's Paul Ryan (yes) running against Marco Rubio (no) in 2016.

And here's a hint to help your blood pressure today:

1. Ignore anyone who claims "it's both sides". It's the Republican side.
2. Since Keynesians are right, ignore frothing about the debt and deficit. A better economy fixes a good chunk the problem, and necessary recovery measures are part of the problem.  Moving past those making the other pieces easier to address when we need to (and that is not now in a recession/fragile recovery). Yes, the deficit is a problem, but fixing it too fast makes the problem worse by slowing the economy (aka "austerity"). It's not that complicated.

This link takes you to key features of the actual deal from Wonk Wire.

Politico:

It’s not the grand bargain that Wall Street and corporate CEOs wanted to see – and spent millions advocating for. But it is still fairly broad in scope. And it reflects significant concessions by both sides, but particularly for McConnell.

Marginal income tax rates will snap up to 39.6 percent on income above $400,000 for individuals and above $450,000 for families.

Those thresholds were higher than the $250,000 level Obama campaigned for in last year’s reelection campaign. And the legislation would make the higher tax rates for wealthier families permanent, which McConnell sold as a win for his party because it could avert future fights over expiring tax rates.


#302 RT @drgrist: So is Joe Biden the white knight in all of this?
@daveweigel via TweetDeck

Not according to Harry Reid.

Robert Kuttner:

In the deal that the Senate agreed to, with only eight senators voting against, the Democrats won big in two respects. They forced the Republicans to raise taxes on the rich, and they took all spending cuts including in Social Security off the table—for now. If Tea Party Republicans vote against the deal and it passes the House with the voters of nearly all Democrats and a few dozen renegade Republicans, it could cost John Boehner his Speakership.

But automatic cuts of $120 billion this year and $1.2 trillion over a decade—the dreaded sequester—were postponed only for two months. So the budget debate ends for the moment, only to start again next week.

The trouble is, Congress and the president are waging the wrong debate. The debate they are having is about how to cut deficits and debts. The right debate is how to get a strong recovery going.

True, although going over the cliff would have hurt the economy and the working poor tremendously.

Michael Cohen:

Fiscal cliff reveals how dysfunctional Republican nihilism makes US politics

How ironic: 150 years after emancipation, a party that abolished slavery is dedicated to saving wealthy Americans from taxes

That's the problem... negotiating with nihilists always ends badly no matter what you do.

Dear fellow conservatives: Obama won. There will be zero entitlement reform for the next 4 years. Focus on other stuff.
@conncarroll via web

And that's another problem: "entitlement reform" is code for doing away with the New Deal and shredding the social safety net. How do you negotiate with people who don't see Medicare and Medicaid (and the New Deal) as legitimate programs?

Jonathan Cohn:

Could the administration have gotten more revenue by holding out for a better deal? Probably. But could the administration have gotten a lot more revenue? That’s less clear. Administration allies point out that congressional Democrats frequently floated ideas, like extending all tax cuts for incomes below $1 million, that would have generated far less revenue. Meanwhile, the administration managed to get a deal that, despite the revenue, includes no spending cuts whatsoever—on discretionary programs or Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security—even though Republicans had been demanding them.

Here's how one Democratic insider put it to me:

If you'd asked me, the Wednesday after Election Day, if I'd be happy with an [income tax] threshold at $450 billion, basically a split-the-difference on the estate tax—they got exemption, we got rates—unemployment insurance for a year, and a doc fix—which is the republicans main weapon to attack Obamacare—I'd tell you that's a pretty fair deal. And I basically feel the same way today.
Most likely, we won’t be able to evaluate this deal—again, assuming it really happens—for a few more weeks, when we see how Obama handles himself in the debate over the debt ceiling. And, yes, that debate is coming soon.
Agree or disagree, this is a really thoughtful article about what is/was possible vs. what we needed.

Here's another from David Atkins:

This is the same Republican House that voted down John Boehner's already extremist "Plan B" because they deemed it to be too liberal. That vote was undertaken not as a negotiating position, but as a statement of real principle. As for the current deal, conservative media figures are mostly furious over it. The only reason it may pass is that many GOP members will vote for the Senate deal today instead of yesterday so that they can go home and triumphantly brag to their constituents about cutting taxes on the heroic job creators making $250K to $450K per year.

Similarly misguided are arguments that the President should simply take the case to the American public to scare the Republicans. The vast majority of the Republican Party is incapable of being scared by public opinion.

Jonathan Chait:
So what we have is two more showdowns in which the parties disagree not just on the outcome but even on the parameters of an outcome. Obama thinks the debt ceiling needs to be raised, full stop, without becoming a bargaining chip in a fight that threatens the stability of the global economy. Republicans want to use that chip. Then there’s the sequester, which Obama thinks should be replaced with spending cuts and tax revenue, and Republicans think should be replaced with spending cuts and more spending cuts.

If Obama makes it through both these events without either accepting draconian social policy or triggering an economic meltdown, then today’s compromise will be seen as a clever first step. That’s not what I expect. I expect instead that his willingness to bargain away his strongest leverage, and the central theme of his reelection, will make the next rounds harder, and embolden Republicans further. I suspect he will wish he had ripped off the Band-Aid all at once, holding firm on tax cuts and daring House Republicans to defy public opinion.

Read the last line of the two posts above: "The vast majority of the Republican Party is incapable of being scared by public opinion." and "I suspect he will wish he had ripped off the Band-Aid all at once, holding firm on tax cuts and daring House Republicans to defy public opinion." Both can't be right.

Paul Krugman:

And on the principle of the thing, you could say that Democrats held their ground on the essentials — no cuts in benefits — while Republicans have just voted for a tax increase for the first time in decades.

So why the bad taste in progressives’ mouths? It has less to do with where Obama ended up than with how he got there. He kept drawing lines in the sand, then erasing them and retreating to a new position. And his evident desire to have a deal before hitting the essentially innocuous fiscal cliff bodes very badly for the confrontation looming in a few weeks over the debt ceiling.

If Obama stands his ground in that confrontation, this deal won’t look bad in retrospect. If he doesn’t, yesterday will be seen as the day he began throwing away his presidency and the hopes of everyone who supported him.

NY Times on weighing the scales of disaster:
And then Hurricane Sandy gave way to Sandy Hook Elementary, where the death was all too real and the mourning was for 6- and 7-year-olds and beloved educators, not for a treasured beach house and good times with good friends.

It’s not that disaster is a game of perverse one-upmanship where the greater catastrophe cancels out one not quite as awful. But, still, after that, it was hard for Ms. Pyper not to see Ortley’s disaster through the lens of the disaster in Newtown, Conn.

“It put a whole different spin on life in general and on what we’re going through,” said Ms. Pyper, a former fourth-grade teacher in the Newark schools. “Of course, this is terrible, but we can take a deep breath and say this will get done. Those people are not going to see their kids again. To see what they’re going through, it humbles you.”

SFGate:
A gun owner's views on Sandy Hook

To the politicians: You remind me of puppies pushing against each other to get to the food bowl. I find your stumping vitriolic, offering no clear action beyond grandstanding. Your sole purpose seems to be to jam through ill-conceived and poorly written bills to impose your ideology.

May I suggest you consider a thought from former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara? He said, "Belief and seeing are both often wrong." In other words, don't allow your beliefs to become all you see. May I suggest that you lead with a level head and calm words? The country needs you. Stop finger-pointing; there has been enough of that between the two parties; relax, think and solve.

To the NRA: Do you understand the opportunity that lies before you? Are you afraid that if you give an inch, the government will take a mile? You are on the downhill side of public opinion.

I once had great respect for the NRA. I grew up with the NRA when your word on gun safety was sacrosanct. With your single-minded approach to gun controls, however, you have betrayed your own history.

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Comment Preferences

  •  yes, the house doesn't filibuster (11+ / 0-)

    but reform means avoiding 2 dysfunctional chambers.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 04:34:11 AM PST

  •  Vote them the Hell Out....in 2014. (4+ / 0-)

    We need to educate the country on how important this Election will be.

  •  The case for the Dems’ negotiating strategy (7+ / 0-)
    If the idea is that it’s easier for Republicans to support continuing tax cuts just on some income levels after they’ve all expired, such a bill (with $500,000 or $600,000 as the threshold) could pass the House. What’s more, some Congressional Democrats may feel like they have to support such a bill, too. And the worry is that if this is then kicked over to the Senate, then some Senate Dems may feel tempted to support it or at least negotiate around it, which could divide Senate Dems. After all, some of them have already voiced support for putting the income threshold at $500,000 or $1 million.

    And so, the idea is that it’s better to lock in a deal on rates now, at, say, $450,000, extend unemployment benefits, and pocket those gains and continue the fight next year. Raising the income threshold is obviously not desirable, but Dems will have broken the decades-long GOP opposition to raising tax rates on the rich, pocketed hundreds of billions in revenues, made the tax code more progressive, and extended unemployment benefits — all without agreeing to any spending cuts yet.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    as for what comes next... hmmm.

    But it’s worth at least entertaining the possibility that the current posture the White House and Dems have adopted may be guided by an actual overarching strategy and game plan, and represents more than just a feckless cave, as many are suggesting.
    One could also argue that since the Republicans want to sell unpopular cuts to Medicare, which the public has already rejected, their hand isn't as strong as it looks.

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 04:41:17 AM PST

    •  Yes! This is why the naysaying the Senate bill... (0+ / 0-)

      ... by Sen. Bennet (whom I usually guardedly respect) to many Kos commentors (ditto) - is unrealistic.

      Should this end-of-session bill been bigger and grander: the expiring tax cuts and the debt ceiling, the sequester, set the stage for tax reform, "locked in" spending and revenue increases, yadda yadda?

      Ridiculous. By early December, it was never gonna happen. Neither side (better said, sides) was willing to give enough of its sacred cows up to get the Bargain it wanted from the others. And it's pretty unlikely to happen at once - if at all - in the next Congress, though the odds may be slightly improved for Democrats and the cause of realism.

      IF we're to see the debt ceiling debacle ended for an appreciable time AND we're going to get stimulus spending (on infrastructure, innovative energy incentives and other 21st century technologies, etc.) , we Democrats are going to have to accept some significant spending cuts to balance those off, beyond just the extra pounds of flesh we want to see cut from military/defense budgets. That's the simple likelihood of governance and politics in today's world.

      2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

      by TRPChicago on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:17:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  So principle gets run over by expediency (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MPociask

        AGAIN!!  Campaign promises too.
        well,  I'm not surprised, considering the players

        Happy just to be alive

        by exlrrp on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:37:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You just defined the term (4+ / 0-)

          "Politics."

          Give me a principled commitment to pragmatic accomplishments over pure ideology any day, from either side.

          Thanks!

          •  true n/t (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ratcityreprobate

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:43:22 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  If we insist on purity, we're like the GOP! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pelagicray, realcountrymusic

            We're better, of course. Our purity is much better.

            We start with principled positions and, hopefully, hold true to their core to the end. Hard bargaining will be necessary.  It is likely we will have to yield as much as the other side(s). Almost certainly, we will have to give more, (1) because we want to govern instead of just dismantle government and social programs for the General Welfare, and (2) legislation is needed to accomplish most of the important things we want. But with GOP control of the House, they have leverage.

            Yes, that's politics in a democracy.

            2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

            by TRPChicago on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 06:23:48 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Absolutely right (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              belle1

              Confusing principled moral committments with "principled" refusal to compromise or move forward on policy is what Republicans do.

              My principles start with taking care of the poorest and most defenseless of our fellow citizens, growing our economy without screwing the environment, and equal civil rights for all.  Beyond that, I am open to any argument about how you get there from here, and open to any reasonable compromise.

              To compromise within reasonable limits is principled when the option is doing nothing.

              •  Fair list. More complicated than it may seem... (0+ / 0-)

                ... I think, but a good set of core principles.

                You've well captured the tradeoffs between compromise and achieving nothing. Oh, were the other side(s)  that flexible, some important things could get done in the next two years that all sides (and all but the extremes) could brag about ... in their own ways, of course.

                2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

                by TRPChicago on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:22:28 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  There is a big difference between (6+ / 0-)

        spending cuts and cost reductions.  Making a program more efficient by implementing changes in the way the program operates is entirely different than just cutting the ability of the program to deliver services.  The difference is whether the progam itself is altered to reduce costs or whether  cuts are just shifted to the beneficiaries.

        Take Medicare, for instance.  There are several ways to change the program that reduce costs without shifting costs to beneficiaries.   Change Part D to allow negotiation with the pharmaceutical industry to lower drug costs; allow younger, healthier citizens to buy into the program; change the way doctors are paid away from fee-for-service and toward results-oriented reimbursement.

        But the Republicans won't entertain any ideas other than simply depriving Medicare of funding.  That's how to know the GOP doesn't care about "reform"; they don't want cost-cutting.  They want cost-shifting, which will weaken the program instead of strengthening it.  

        "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

        by SueDe on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 06:37:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They want to destroy the programs (0+ / 0-)

          not reform them.

          Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

          by a gilas girl on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:30:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Fair points, all. The bind, of course, is ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SueDe

          ... that Medicare does have major funding problems and they're getting worse.

          I believe Obamacare will address some of them - directly and indirectly - over time, but not all and not quickly enough. Something(s) must be done. Counting on the GOP to accept changes other than slash-and-gut may be difficult, but worth the effort. Otherwise, it's up to us to swallow the cost or accept the least worst adjustment.

          I'd favor the latter, but only after major advocacy efforts i- and outside the Beltway and a very public coming to terms over what's at stake for people in Republican districts, not just the most obdurate districts but the marginal ones, as well.

          That might help with the politics of the issue in 2013-2014 and it definitely will tee up the campaigning that must occur looking to 2014.

          2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

          by TRPChicago on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:30:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  All true, but... (0+ / 0-)

            we should be leaning on congress and the president to concentrate first on reducing Medicare's costs, considering, if not implementing,  every idea that comes forth from the mind of man before resorting to shifting costs to individuals and families.  It would be nice to think congress possesses the integrity to approach the program's funding problem from the perspective of cost shifting as the last resort.  But they don't, so it's up to every regular citizen to force them, even to the point of threatening their jobs.  Republicans have to fear the wrath of their constituents more than than the lack of campaign contributions from big pharma and the AMA.

            Polls already show that the majority of Republican constituents don't want Medicare benefits reduced.  The trick will be first convincing these people that benefit cuts are not at all necessary, and then activating them to lean on their representatives to consider every other cost-cutting measure first.

            "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

            by SueDe on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:33:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Absolutely, but remember, it's not the voters.... (0+ / 0-)

              ... generally who will have the biggest impact. It's voters in the districts that send these obdurate, minimally sentient, truly extremist GOP Congressmen and -women to DC.

              That said, 2012 did convey some messages to the Party as a whole and to some of its leadership and advisors. Assuming the next round of Akins will say, do and try to enact truly awful laws AND we get out our vote (possibly the biggest challenge of all in the off-Presidential-year election), we can teach these anti-government extremists more about governing and politics in 2014.

              I just hope - with you - that we can get worthwhile legislation through in these next two years as well as capitalize on the craziness of the zealots of the GOP.

              2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

              by TRPChicago on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 09:41:50 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  I wish somebody could (3+ / 0-)

      explain to me why this deal has taken away Obama's bargaining position.
      He has locked in 85% of the revenue he wanted, he protected lower and middle income from a higher tax rate, got an extention on unemployment, and got a deal on the farm bill.  If he would've gone over the cliff without these parts locked in, the economy would've gone back into recession.

      The sequester package has been cut by 50%, equally divided among the parts.

      These programs are exempt from sequestration: 
       Social Security, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), SNAP (formerly known as the Food Stamp Program), child nutrition, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), refundable tax credits such as the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit, veterans’ compensation and other benefits, and federal retirement.

      Cuts to medicare are limited to 2%, and those cuts apply to providers, not to benificiaries.

      There is not much of a bite left in the sequester. I think it is unlikely that there will be a grand bargain.

      The tea party wing would want to use the debt limit as a bargaining chip with or without this deal. At least the tax issue has been taken out of that fight. I am looking forward to them holding the debt limit hostage in exchange for voucherizing medicare and/or cuts to ss.

      •  Call me crazy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        amsterdam

        I think he's in a stronger bargaining position now than yesterday morning.

        Do I wish the tax rates had been raised to $250K?  Of course, but when that was the opening bid I thought they'd settle at $500K.  Things went better than I expected.

        Most of the economy-killing threats the Repubs can make are already off the table and a done deal.  The remaining ones we could live with if we absolutely had to...except the debt ceiling.

        (-6.25, -6.77) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

        by Lonely Liberal in PA on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:34:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  When will Markos stop the abuse of maligned gun (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greg Dworkin, Laconic Lib

    owners on this web site? I repeat, when will Markos put an end to the wanton abuse of responsible gun owners on this site?  I mean, having a graph that shows the steep climb in gun purchases at the top of an FP article? (and then maligning the NRA, you know the keeper of the faith for 2A Gospel worshipers to boot!) What's next?  I mean Markos may even allow discussions to continue that there are rights that are as important as the Second Amendment rights!  Imagine that!

    /snark, but I'm sure some among us sure wish Markos would ban all discussions about gun regulations or the meaning of the Second Amendment, since it offends their faith-based position that guns don't kill ...

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 04:42:49 AM PST

  •  This doesn't make much sense to me . . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Farkletoo, MPociask
    Here's how one Democratic insider put it to me:

    If you'd asked me, the Wednesday after Election Day, if I'd be happy with an [income tax] threshold at $450 billion,

    is that figure referring to how much NEW revenue is coming in - presumably over 10 years which means $45 billion a year - IOW, an extremely paltry amount compared to what is needed.
  •  Mika to Scarborough: Republicans don't trust the (4+ / 0-)

    president...the democrats...or each other.

    Scarborough to Mika: Harry Reid sucks.

  •  I sure hope (8+ / 0-)

    the Hurricane Sandy non-vote gets some traction.  Shameful.

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 04:47:38 AM PST

  •  I won't ignore anyone who says it's "both sides" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eeff

    The passed a bill last night that creates 700 billion in tax revenue and 3.9 trillion dollars in debt.  That bill originated in the Senate, so unless you can justify that or tell me that not a single Democrat voted for a budget or to fund a war since Clinton, I am going to believe that.    You can ignore the truth if you want to.

    Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause. - Gandhi

    by SpamNunn on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 04:55:33 AM PST

    •  apples and oranges (3+ / 0-)

      I am talking dysfunctionality, you are talking policy you don't like. But which got passed by a huge majority in the Senate.

      This time.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:00:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Point missed badly (10+ / 0-)

      We are in this current fiscal mess largely because the Republican Party is truly the problem, and has been for decades.   Have Democrats had a hand in this mess?  Yes, but here are just two salient numbers to consider:

      1) When taxes were raised under Bill Clinton and Congress in 1993-1994, not a single (zero, nada, zilch) Republican voted for the bill.  Not one.  And this was when the Republican Party was ostensibly less nuts than it is today.

      2) In 2002, when votes were taken in Congress to authorize use of force in Iraq, of the combined 156 “No” votes cast, 7 (or 4.5%) were Republican, 147 (or 94.2%) were Democratic, and 2 (or 1.3%) were Independent.

      Yes, many Democrats voted for the use of force resolution in October of 2002; many, no doubt, out of sheer pre-election self-preservation, given the god-awful post 9/11 jingoistic atmosphere ginned-up by shameless Republican assholes like Rudy Guili911i, and exemplified by Saxby Chambliss's morally filthy campaign against Max Cleland.  Good grief, they have not been the party of Joe McCarthy for nothing!

      But there is simply no getting around the fact that the Iraq war – a war conceived by a delusional cadre of right-wing Republican chicken-hawk PNAC neo-cons in the 1990s – received a near-unanimous stamp of approval from congressional Republicans in 2002.

      To paraphrase James Carville:  It's the Repubicans, stupid. Let's keep the eye on that big fat ball, folks:  It is called the 2014 mid-term.

    •  debt can be attacked long term (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ratcityreprobate

      revenue needs are short term.  Making these things parallel is part of the flawed logic of this whole debate.

      Debt can be turned into revenue.  But lack of revenue can't do anything to either create revenue or reduce debt.

      The issue isn't revenue vs. debt anyway.  The issue is austerity politics versus economic stimulus and growth, which Greg has very clearly delineated.  

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:46:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Another commenter called it the "Fiscal bluff" (7+ / 0-)

    Which I thought quite clever.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 04:56:23 AM PST

  •  Here's where I think you're wrong (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, Greg Dworkin, Laconic Lib, MPociask
    Read the last line of the two posts above: "The vast majority of the Republican Party is incapable of being scared by public opinion." and "I suspect he will wish he had ripped off the Band-Aid all at once, holding firm on tax cuts and daring House Republicans to defy public opinion." Both can't be right.
    You don't need a vast majority.  You only need 17 of them.  Considering there were about 30 who barely won this time (5% or less) I think we could have found 17 or so with the courage to tell Cantor to go fuck himself.  Maybe a few who are on their way out the door anyway.  Instead we're headed into what is going to be a real ugly fight with nasty cuts to the New Deal programs that OBAMA HIMSELF put forth like means testing and chained CPI and we have no real leverage.  Military spending is no leverage.  $50B a year is nothing especially when backloaded and even more so if those cuts come from benefits.  Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security will be the prime targets.  All you have to do is watch CNBC to get a feel for what they want.  Entitlement cuts.  Which means we're fucked.

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 04:57:03 AM PST

    •  fair argument (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo, a gilas girl

      but a very tight path to victory. I think those who suggest that no amount of public opinion influences House radicals are correct.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:04:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It may be a very tight path (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pelagicray, MPociask

        but as we saw the last few days, there are enough when properly squeezed who will buck their party.  The House radicals may make up a majority of the majority but they don't make up a majority of all members of congress.  

        With the new house their influence is diminished somewhat.  Some of the more radical ones are gone and others are somewhat tarnished.  Bachmann for example almost lost last time around.  Even the people in her beat red district are tired of her antics.  I think their power is overblown.  Especially when you consider there are over twice as many progressives as tea baggers in the House.  Gerrymandering only protects them so much and most are nothing more than overbearing bullies.  If you punch them in the nose or raise your fist to do so they will back down.  Many aren't interested in protracted fights.  They just want to raise money and continue in their cushy jobs.  The last thing they want to do is work or fight.

        This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

        by DisNoir36 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:29:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think their power is overblown (0+ / 0-)

          They have the majority in the House, and the only reason you didn't see Republicans voting against the fiscal cliff deal was they weren't going to be able to go on Fox News and defend raising taxes on everyone, when they'd been running on cutting taxes since 1980.
          Only 85 Republicans voted for the deal, while 172 Democrats voted for it.
          Those 85 Republicans represent the 80 Tea Party caucus members and Eric Cantor and a few of his minions.
          Don't think because we got one bill passed that they're suddenly going to want to get things done.

          “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

          by skohayes on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:14:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'd agree with you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Greg Dworkin

        This is not a "politics as normal" type of situation.  This is "heels dug in" extremism and so the regular assumptions probably do not hold.

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:49:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm wondering if the argument against.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare

      .....means testing is becoming passe.

      It's always been that the rich old people will turn against the system if they don't get the same benefits as the poor old people.

      Yet, the rich old people support pols who want to take apart medicare and social security anyway.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:30:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No... (0+ / 0-)

        I think it's actually more the poor old (white) people who support those pols.  That's the Thomas Frank deal coming back to haunt us, again.

        Rich old people don't get social security benefits.

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:51:53 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Hastert Rule should be something about food. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    singe, kestrel9000, Outraged Mom, skohayes

    Like, all you can eat on Thursdays in the House cafeteria or something.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 04:58:06 AM PST

  •  One of the biggest problems progressives have (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask

    is we go around saying things like

    Yes, the deficit is a problem, but fixing it too fast makes the problem worse by slowing the economy (aka "austerity"). It's not that complicated.
    without a single fact to back up that specious claim.

    Three points that don't seem to penetrate the media psyche. and are largely excluded from progressive thought:

    1. The deficit is, by accounting definition, the same as the accumulation of private sector wealth. The progressive assertion the "Yes, the deficit is a problem" is in reality the same as saying "Yes, private sector wealth accumulation is a problem" or "Yes, savings is a problem.

    2. Conversion of deficit dollars into interest bearing debt is a choice of the congress and an artifact of history from a time when we used commodity money rather than fiat money. The government does not borrow to spend, is offers treasuries to soak up reserves and maintain a target interest rate.

    3. The US Government is the monopoly issuer of a free floating fiat currency.Tthe government only obligates itself financially in dollars, and, as the issuer of fiat dollars, it can always pay any obligation it chooses to incur through its political process. Affordability is a rouse, insolvency is a contradiction in terms and involuntary default is not possible. Voluntary default is what the traitorous T-baggers are attempting, but the constitution stands in their way.  

    •  for proof that austerity does not work (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, MPociask

      You have to only look at Great Britain as the latest victim of the austerity mantra where Cameron has finally admitted austerity does not work and is working on tax proposals such as a mansion tax to raise revenues.

      If GB is seen as an anomaly, you can also look to Spain, Italy and Greece for more instruction.  I do not think there is a single real life example of a post WWII nation where austerity was the key to getting out of the economic doldrums

      •  The issue in GB is absurd (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MPociask

        Unlike the eurozone, GB is a currency issuer. It went back into recession for completely gratuitous reasons based on economic dogma that has been falsified for years. Italy, Spain and Greece made their mistakes years ago when they gave up currency sovereignty. Italy's debt ratio is not worse today than it was under the lira - but now they are stuck with euros which they cannot control, and the treaty tightly constrains their ability to respond to the needs of the domestic economy. Greece is in the worst shape - they are being told to sell off the infrastructure and tourism sites to pay off the bond holders. If the bonds were in drachmas, they would have no problem. Japan has debt of 200% GDP, no inflation, and a near zero interest rate. That's what you can do with sovereign fiat currency, and it is not possible with a shared currency a peg or commodity money.

        •  are you advocating a sovereign currency as (0+ / 0-)

          a cure to foreign indebtedness?  The Weimar Republic illustrated the problems with this.
          Or are you arguing that EU and GB examples of austerity are irrelevant?

          •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MPociask

            The point is to avoid foreign indebtedness which is what the US does scrupulously. ALL US debt is denominated in dollars. The Weimar Republic problems arose from reparations denominated in foreign currency and gold. The reparations were beyond the nation's means so they defaulted on payments. In retaliation the French and Belgium military seized the Ruhr industrial and mining region. That was a massive supply shock that crippled the economy and led to hyperinflation which then led to rampant printing of currency. The same dynamics went into hyperinflation in Zimbabwe. There it was land reform that threw productive farming operations off the land and distributed the property to people who were barely qualified for subsistence farming. The Ag sector, which had been a major part of the economy and exports. collapsed. The country could no longer feed itself without imported food that had to be purchased with foreign currency. Scarcity produced hyperinflation and, together with rampant corruption, they turned up the presses.

            I am arguing that EU and GB are two very different examples of stupid policy. In the EU the perimeter countries subjected themselves to economic slavery years ago when they abandoned currency sovereignty. GB is a currency sovereign. They simply put gun to testicle and pulled the trigger.

  •  If legislation doesn't pass, does it make a sound? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, amsterdam, skohayes

    The more I read on this deal the more I don't dislike it that much. Yes, it was a pain in the ass to get to. But the result isn't half bad. The pundits are just stirring the waters trying to make this a cage match story that goes on and on. But what I see is the GOP finally reaching a boiling point, (eg. "fuck yourself"), that demonstrates 2013 may be a different ball game in the House. One in which either the House goes off the charts and self destructs or a House that throws the far right Tea Party nuts out of the game and works with the Democrats to pass legislation. I am hoping for the latter.

    The upcoming battle on the Debt Limit I think might be pure bluster after this fiasco in the House. Boehner may be out of a job as well. So it's completely up in the air what may happen. But my bet is that Obama uses his pen and nullifies their Debt Ceiling crap thus sending the whole thing into the SCOTUS arena. I would dearly love to see Congress have to deal with that situation. They would either have to "suck it up" and continue doing business or "shut down" the government by not working.

    But if legislation doesn't get passed, does it even make a sound?

    "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 Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 04:59:36 AM PST

  •  Not sure why Dems have so much trouble with that. (8+ / 0-)
    A better economy fixes a good chunk the problem....
    They just can't seem to enunciate a Demand-Side Economic vision.

    Just say it.

    Heck, the Repubs have been saying tax breaks fix the economy for years, and that's not even true.

     

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:02:34 AM PST

    •  Problem is (6+ / 0-)

      The Dems can't enunciate it because too many, including President Obama, have bought into the supply side bullshit.  If The Dems had enunciated demand side economics they would have allowed ALL taxes to go up, pushed for credits to certain industries, pushed for unemployment benefits extensions and a new robust stimulus.  Instead we get a Democratic president telling us for 4 years now how great tax cuts are.  A third part of the first stimulus was in tax cuts.  Following that he passed a payroll cut on employees, then on employers (both mercifully now gone over the cliff), he extended the Bush tax cuts for 2 years and now this bullshit.  

      I'd gladly give up my extra $17 a week for a better economy where I'd be making ALOT more than that.  I'm making less now with less benefits raising a son by myself than I was working at the mall when I was a kid 15 or so years ago.  That extra $17 a week doesn't mean jack shit to me when I consider what I've given up in return in that time.    

      Is it any wonder we've been in 4+ years of recession?  We've been following supply side economics with a smidge of demand side economics.  Only thing trickling down is piss and contempt from those who can afford to buy a Maserati for themselves and their wife.  Meanwhile everyone below them continue to see their wages, benefits and social programs we rely on cut.  It's no wonder demand continues to erode.  With 97% of us making less and paying more for basic essentials where the fuck are we going to find the money to go shopping?  

      Worse yet is that our politicians just gave the crazy teabagging rat fucks in the House all the leverage they need to impose more austerity on us and destroy demand even more.  

      We tried the tax break strategy for TWELVE FUCKING YEARS and we're in worse shape today than twelve years ago.  Hell we're worse off today than we were 32 years ago when Reagan and some Lafferable idiot came up with this bullshit idea on the back of a napkin and another little fat fuck Grover decided to impose a pledge he wrote when he was 12 years old on our politicians.  At some point we have to conclude the experiment and hypothesis are both a failure no matter how much we tweak the test results.  Supply side economics is an abject failure.  Until OUR Democratic leaders understand that we will NEVER hear them enunciate demand side economics.

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:19:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed - Obama's Still Talking About the Deficit (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MPociask, Laconic Lib, a gilas girl

        I wish he would STFU about the size of the deficit and start talking about CREATING JOBS (i.e., more taxpayers). $50 billion in stimulus is like spitting on a burning house.

        •  Yep yep yep (0+ / 0-)

          The economy has an output gap right now of about 973 billion dollars - source.  

          So into a hole the size of almost a trillion dollars, we're going to throw 50 billion dollars in tax credits, not even direct government spending.  

          I'd also like to note that after all the wailing about the fiscal cliff, and how every American worker is going to see a smaller paycheck starting January 1, the smaller paycheck part was not part of the deal, as the Social Security Tax went back up to its regular level.  I'm ambivalent on that, but it follows a pattern in politics:

          1) Point to A as a crisis that needs fixing
          2) Pass legislation in the name of A that actually does not address A, and instead does B, C, and D.

          I know I'm wondering what the hell estate taxes were doing as part of this deal.  Was there anyone talking about that in the media, at all, during this whole stupid kabuki process?

    •  They get money from the same donors as (0+ / 0-)

      Republicans. Maybe they are feeling pressure from the Jawb Creyators.

  •  Loyalty Oaths (3+ / 0-)

    I take a look at this topic in this diary to which I invite your attention

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:04:16 AM PST

  •  Our problem is not (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Buckeye54

    debt or deficits or taxes - it's the severe dysfunction of the House Republicans (and Mitch McConnell too, as I do believe he meant it when he said his #1 priority was to make President Obama a one-termer). All the bloviating about the greatest country on earth is just that - empty talk. If the elected leaders think we will wake today or tomorrow or the next day with respect & folks lining up to invest in America they are going to be disappointed until the Republicans get their shit together or disappear altogether. It's destructive and embarrassing & I feel pretty helpless.

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

    by hulibow on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:05:21 AM PST

    •  problem is we have a two party system and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes

      one party has shown itself as being very willing to cater to an extreme minority in their own party.  GWB and his cronies had an announced goal of a GOP dominated government into the foreseeable future and now that demographics are against that vision, the Powers that Be are kowtowing to the fringes of their base which they once ignored easily

  •  Way to go, commies. (6+ / 0-)
    Marginal income tax rates will snap up to 39.6 percent on income above $400,000 for individuals and above $450,000 for families.
    I was on track to make $400,000 in another hundred years or so.

    Now I have no incentive to even bother.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:06:50 AM PST

  •  McIntyre...my rep.....voted NAY last night. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes
    •  You're not alone (0+ / 0-)

      My Senators voted yes (huge surprise there), all 4 Congresspeople voted NO (Kansas).

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:20:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  the beat goes on; over in Wingertopia, there is no (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, Bush Bites, skohayes, MPociask

    joy.  In their political Mudville, the talk of the town is how the GOP caved to the evil minions of Obama.  Yeppers, in the face of their perceived Armageddon, they are sharpening their knives for a Night of the Long Knives next election cycle to go after those pusillanimous lawmakers who caved.

    Of course what the wingers wanted was no tax increase at all; stiff cuts to all social programs, esp. targeting MC and SS; and large increases in the defense budget

  •  What Have We Learned? (3+ / 0-)

    Putting aside the substance of the deal (good or bad), let's focus on the process by which the bill got passed.  There is a lesson to be learned in how it was done that  can serve as a guide in future stand-offs.

    First, the legislation we want needs to originate in the Senate, with the President's strong endorsement.  He needs to push for it in as many public appearances as possible.

    Second, with a reformed set of filibuster rules which make it harder for the minority to block bills and to make their blocking more visible (Talking Filibuster), we need to get the bills passed through the Senate near the last minute of an upcoming deadline.

    Third, we need to send it to the House at the very last minute without enough time for them to amend it and bounce it back to the Senate.  This will put House Republicans in a bind.  They will either have to cave and pass it as is, or blow the place up and get all the blame.

    There you have it.  Whether you like the Fiscal Cliff bill or not, you have to admit the process used to pass the bill worked well for our side and it does show a path forward for us in upcoming battles.

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:09:04 AM PST

    •  Ummm.. no. (0+ / 0-)

      No one has to admit the process worked well for our side until we see the results of the entire process, which includes the 60-day can kicking.

      Even if that isn't a complete bloodbath, no one has to admit it was the best alternative process, since we have no idea what would have happened if the Democrats had a single spine between them.

      When extra-terrestrial beings make their first appearance on our planet, and ask for representatives of our species to best exemplify humanity, I'm sending a nurse, a librarian, and a firefighter.

      by Wayward Son on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 09:16:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Progressive nightmare (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, Laconic Lib, MPociask

    Why anyone on the right is bemoaning this fiscal cliff deal as some sort of permanent defeat is absurd. A package that preserves 90 percent of the Bush tax cuts for the rich and actually forces working Americans to pay more through the end of the payroll tax cut is a conservative's dream. All we can look forward to now is another replay of congressional gridlock and Republican hysteria in two months, when the country will again be held hostage by a small group of political terrorists with no other agenda than mayhem and their own reelection among a group of gerrymandered right wingers.  Congress needs to be fixed.    -  progressive

  •  Dems could start by calling them out on it. (11+ / 0-)
    And that's another problem: "entitlement reform" is code for doing away with the New Deal and shredding the social safety net. How do you negotiate with people who don't see Medicare and Medicaid (and the New Deal) as legitimate programs?
    Drives me nuts when Dems go along with the "entitlement reform" verbiage instead of calling it Social Security and Medicare cuts.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:12:39 AM PST

    •  The thing is, (0+ / 0-)

      we need to reform Medicare and SSDI (disability insurance) to make sure it's there for future generations.
      Whether we like it or not, waiting until retirees get their benefits cut by 25% in 2037 is not the way to fix it.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:25:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's easily fixed... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ratcityreprobate

        (SSDI at least).... take this new $400,000 definition of a middle class income that this tax deal enshrines and raise the cap on SSDI contributions to meet that.

        Medicare reform is more long term, but the ACA is a big chunk of that.  Things are in the works.  Holding firm to allow that new system to work is an important contribution toward Medicare reform.

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:57:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  That's true. (5+ / 0-)
    Similarly misguided are arguments that the President should simply take the case to the American public to scare the Republicans. The vast majority of the Republican Party is incapable of being scared by public opinion.

    "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

    by Bush Bites on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:17:16 AM PST

  •  Reading the descriptions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare

    of the the deal making, it looks like they WH may have pulled the rug out from under Reid?

    Whatever. This shit is just getting so old.

    Victory is sweet-November 6, 2012

    by al23 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:17:24 AM PST

  •  Thanks for saying this: (4+ / 0-)
    "Since Keynesians are right, ignore frothing about the debt and deficit. A better economy fixes a good chunk [of] the problem...."

    I've been saying it for three years or more. That's why they call them economic cycles, and that's why for every economic downturn there's an economic upturn.

    Every Democrat in the world needs to say this over and over--to themselves if necessary--but especially to their crazy Tea Bagger acquaintances and relatives, and especially to anyone holding a microphone.

    Why is the conventional wisdom usually so dumb?  

    I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

    by Tortmaster on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:18:21 AM PST

    •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Outraged Mom, MPociask, a gilas girl

      Don't wanna get down on PBO here since many are, but I wish he would buy into this too. Economy gets better, more taxes paid, deficit goes down.

      Victory is sweet-November 6, 2012

      by al23 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:30:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Krugman And An Obama Campaign Official (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare, a gilas girl

      were being interviewed jointly in a cable news segment months ago.  It was striking how their rhetoric did not mesh with each other. You get a conservative economist on with a Republican politician and they finish each other's sentences. Something has to be done about this over the next couple of months as we focus on government spending. Government spending has a role in promoting economic growth an the case needs to be made.

      •  I can only speak to what I've seen, and most ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... of that's been watching the campaign trail over the last year or so. During that time the President (and his staff) have been very careful not to paint a too rosy picture because of the millions of people hurting.

        I think the President made a strong case against austerity, though. I hope we can all point out the cyclical nature of the economy, explain again how austerity doesn't work, how to make an economy work again with oil and not friction, and show how, if debt and credit were such bad things, Wall Street would not and could not exist, and very, very few people would own homes--i.e. point out the hypocrisy.

        I appreciated your responses, al23 and Leo Flinnwood, and I read them carefully!

        I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

        by Tortmaster on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 06:16:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's on the current administration (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Leo Flinnwood

        Paul Krugman and the administration do not have the same economy theories.  The administration has bought into the same neo-liberal policies that brought us the current Great Recession - remember that bank deregulation was a joint product of the Clinton administration and the Republicans in Congress.  The President could have put in place a liberal, Keynesian economy team in 08, or in 12.  He has not.  

        •  True. Is There Any Other Democrat Who Is Making (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ratcityreprobate

          the economic case in a Krugman/Keynesian fashion though?

          •  No (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Leo Flinnwood

            Not that I've seen.  Even Bernie Sanders, who is usually pretty good about it, still talks a lot about tackling the deficit.

            It's very frustrating, because it's such a simple script to follow.  Austerity = bad, stimulus = good.  Our biggest problem right now isn't the deficit, it's the terrible economy which isn't providing enough good jobs for Americans.  

            On the range of stimulus, direct government spending > tax cuts for people who live paycheck to paycheck > tax cuts for rich who will pocket the money > byzantine tax credit schemes.

            Instead, Democrats cling to being the Republican-lite of austerity.  What's that old Truman quote?  Something like, given the choice between a real Republican and an imitation, people will choose the real thing every time?

        •  That's not true. (0+ / 0-)

          President Obama has endlessly blamed the Great Recession on deregulation of the banks. Have you not heard him?

          I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

          by Tortmaster on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:32:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Regarding Chait vs. Atkins (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes
    Read the last line of the two posts above: "The vast majority of the Republican Party is incapable of being scared by public opinion." and "I suspect he will wish he had ripped off the Band-Aid all at once, holding firm on tax cuts and daring House Republicans to defy public opinion." Both can't be right.
    I think David's right.  Chait forgets that House Republicans don't give a shit about public opinion other than in their own districts, and David showed using, you know, facts that only 15 House Republicans are in districts Obama won.  That's obviously less than the 17 we'd need even if the Hastert rule is dead from here on out to pass anything through the House until at least 2015, assuming EVERY Democrat votes the same way on any particular piece of legislation.

    And don't even think that just because a Republican barely won re-election, they'll be inclined to be more receptive to public opinion.  Wanna know which Republican BARELY survived re-election?  Per Dave Wasserman's spreadsheet tally, the closest was Dan Benishek in MI-01, but the second closest was actually Michele Bachmann in MN-06.  OK, Benishek voted for the bill last night, but do any of you think Bachmann gives a shit about "public opinion"?

    Much of where we are is due to gerrymandering.  It is what it is.  We need to accept that that will be baked in until the 2022 elections.  We have to make do otherwise.  And that may have to be on stuff that's not on our terms.

    •  not gerrymandering (5+ / 0-)

      it's a Southern problem.

      The GOP delegation from Pennsylvania, one of the most GOP gerrymandered states, voted unanimously for the Senate compromise
      @electionate via web
      Just 16% of GOP representatives from the South voted for the Senate compromise
      @electionate via web
      And it's exactly the reverse in the northeast, where just 16% of GOP representatives voted no
      @electionate via web

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:41:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agree in large part, almost a Confederation issue (0+ / 0-)

        as an enmity toward united states is clearly evident in much of the TP/GOP resistance movement.

        Still, that is combined with systemic problems "our side" needs to address. Too many cite completely irrelevant national trends and statistics, one of late being plaintive cries that more voted nationwide for Democrats than is reflected in the House wins by Republicans. That, and much other such nonsense, is like talking about how the weather ought to be—does not give a drop of rain in a drought. Days ago I responded to such a plaintive and useless "statistic" with:

        The fact enough retrograde or ignorant people spoke, and enough on our side couldn't be bothered to vote in the last mid terms put into state legislative power gerrymander crazed TP/GOP types. Then enough of their side voted for these same types in those neat little safe districts to ensure we have die hard obstructionists at least through 2014 in the House.

        How the "American people spoke" in the one moment that counted in 2010 and 2012 in those CDs outweighs all the meaningless, hot air opinion polls and number citing about where they actually stand.

        Yeah, elections, every damn one of them, have consequences! Only one moment counts. That is when the American people speak casting a vote.

        This demonstrates too much there on United States issues while too often losing interest in local and state politics. I know too damn many "progressives" and "liberals" that never fail to vote in national elections and give a pass to the "little  stuff." Partly as a result of that drop off in mid terms, one our side seemed to do a bit better than their in 2010, we are stuck until at least 2014 with a bunch that don't give an ant fart about "America," just their peculiar vision.

        For a longer view this piece, "What California Can Teach America About Stopping Extremist Obstruction" is worth pondering a bit. We have got to start looking at long term change and that takes voting in every election from local, where political births or deaths take place and registrars of voters are determined, to those state elections where "gerrymandering" and Michigan type insanity get a foothold despite national trends.

        The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

        by pelagicray on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:50:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  This needs to be looked at with more (0+ / 0-)

        attention and thoroughly understood.   Why do the money folks think Southerners are more easily bought?

        Why are they?  

        Aside from the fact that Southerners really don't like being told by non-Southerners that they are stupid, as well as the obvious racial dimensions that are always present but play themselves out much more subtly than most folks are willing to acknowledge, I'd say this is one "diversity" problem that progressives and Democrats need to pay some attention to.

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:03:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think David's half right (4+ / 0-)

      First you mentioned 15 GOoPers in Obama districts.  Well that's the beginning not end point.   Those 15 in the interest of self preservation are more likely to acquiesce to Dems demands than tea baggers in red districts.  There are a few more in districts that barely went Rmoney who may be concerned about teabagging too hard and allowing a moderate Dem to take them out in 2014.  They may be a bit more inclined to as well.  

      You mentioned Michelle Bachmann.  Well she is in a beat red district and almost lost.  There are quite a few others like that who barely won despite being in beat red districts.  About a dozen or so.  Maybe they don't care about public opinion but they do care about their jobs.  You apply pressure to them and one of two things will happen, either they shine the spotlight and expose themselves for the crazy fucks they are or they crack.  Even Paul Ryan voted for this bill last night.  He cracked.  It may have something to do with the fact he only won with 54.9% last time and got his ass handed to him in the presidential/VP race or it may not but he cracked.  All of a sudden he's not the ideologically pure granny killer. So either way we win.  If they go all crazy then we have a shot of replacing them ala Bachmann.  If they crack then they run the risk of getting Lugared by a crazy fuck and we win in the general election.

      Then there are the elder 'statesmen' who are older than dirt, may be in beat red districts, don't give a shit about public opinions but are on their way out and are tired of the protracted battles.  Bill Young comes immediately to mind.  Maybe they see the demographics bomb getting ready to blow up in their face and don't want to stick around much longer waiting for it to happen.  Maybe they would prefer a nice lobbying gig making 7 figures ala Jim DeMented in SC over the constant campaigning and the bullshit.   Maybe they're not completely racist bigoted fucks who are only hell bent on nullifying the presidency of the first African American president.  

      Bottom line is we only need 17 to flip in 2013-2014.  There are 234 of them and I'm sure with a bit of pressure, some fighting and cajoling we could get more than that.

       

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 06:15:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Chuck Todd: "a debacle for the GOP" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerry056, Buckeye54, skohayes, missLotus

    On the Today show -- because, he notes, the GOP leadership is in such disarray that they have no idea what to negotiate for or who to put on their negotiating team. Having the House GOP leadership divided, and undercutting Mitch McConnell and the other Senate Republicans (now known as "the grownups"), hurts their power going forward.

    I can only hope he's right. When you've lost Chuck Todd. . . .

    •  Kind of hope this leads to Boehner's downfall. (0+ / 0-)

      Boehner's an idiot, but people are used to seeing idiots in congress, especially drunken ones.

      Cantor would be a whole different breed of Teabagger Repub and I think Americans would take to him like they did to Ryan..

      Which is: Not very much.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:37:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, I have found humour in what's been (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MPociask, Laconic Lib

      going on.  Year round, the people on RedState are to be mocked for their stupidity, as are people like Charles Krauthammer, but then suddenly when they freak out of a deal, it must be a fantastic deal because they hate it.  They would have hated any deal that wasn't better than 95% spending cuts and no tax rate increases.  They've said so many times.  And yet suddenly, they're being held up to show how great a deal it must be for Democrats.

      Quite amusing, in a dark way.

  •  This sums up the entire diary entry: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask, a gilas girl
    That's the problem... negotiating with nihilists always ends badly no matter what you do.
    Yes, indeed it does.

    That has been our major problem for how many decades now?

  •  I see Ari Fleischer (3+ / 0-)

    is already whining in outrage.

    Ari Fleischer ‏@AriFleischer
    If you're self-employed, bcause u pay both sides of the Medicare and Soc Sec tax, your new top Federal rate is above 50%.

    ~War is Peace~Freedom is Slavery~Ignorance is Strength~ George Orwell "1984"

    by Kristina40 on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:36:39 AM PST

  •  Forcing legislation to the floor (0+ / 0-)

    Isn't there a way that the Representatives can "force a bill to the floor" to be voted on? I thought that Pelosi did that last week or so, but I guess Boehner pulled a last minute foul on the play saying that it wasn't a legitimate bill since it originated in the Senate.

    But shouldn't there be a way for the Minority to force legislation to the floor more often? It looks like the only way we can get this Congress back into gear since Boehner and company won't put anything out there unless the Majority has already said they can pass it. That sounds like so much BS when they have such infighting right now.

    "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 Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:38:13 AM PST

    •  you need 218 votes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes

      she put pressure but didn't force it. She would have needed R votes to do so (discharge petition).

      Ask Kagro, he's the expert.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:48:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Figures... (0+ / 0-)

        It just burns me that the Majority Leader can literally hold legislation hostage that could pass the House. I understand the process is meant to make the House run more smoothly and the leadership pretty much decides which way they are going with legislation. But if it's necessary legislation it seems petty to hold it up.

        "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 Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 06:23:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  How close are Dems to (0+ / 0-)

        218 in the new Congress?

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:13:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  George W. Bush is a happy man today (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask, Laconic Lib

    84% of his tax cuts have been made permanent.  Investment income will continue to be taxed at about half the rate of wage income.

    He wins.

    Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary

    by Paleo on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 06:31:03 AM PST

    •  he's reviled (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, ratcityreprobate

      he loses.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 06:40:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Permanent" isn't really permanent......eom (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ohkwai, skohayes, ratcityreprobate

      If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. John F. Kennedy ( inaugural address, January 20, 1961)

      by Outraged Mom on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 06:44:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Paleo

      For all the gnashing of teeth for a decade about the Bush tax cuts, and how they were terrible policy, etc. etc., what did the Democrats eventually do in the end?  Extend almost all of them.  

      Maybe the President honestly believes he can still get some "revenue" as part of the sequester debate, or get a great reworking of the tax code through the House.  Why, I have no idea.  Taxes going up on the wealthy was the only leverage he has in that fight.  Now, when the issue of how to do his "balanced" deficit approach comes up, he'll only have a knife in a gun fight.  

  •  This: (0+ / 0-)
    And that's another problem: "entitlement reform" is code for doing away with the New Deal and shredding the social safety net. How do you negotiate with people who don't see Medicare and Medicaid (and the New Deal) as legitimate programs?
    Should be front line and center of every progressive narrative on this topic from now on.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:27:29 AM PST

  •  Minor point in David Atkins piece (0+ / 0-)
    This is the same Republican House that voted down John Boehner's already extremist "Plan B" because they deemed it to be too liberal. That vote was undertaken not as a negotiating position, but as a statement of real principle.
    It (Plan B) wasn't "voted down" as a vote was never taken. The bill was never brought to the floor for a vote.

    "I'm totally pro-choice in the matter of abortion. But of course I'm also so radically pro-life that I think every person from birth onward must have full and affordable access to healthcare." - Gail Collins

    by gritsngumbo on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:38:36 AM PST

  •  Yet another front-page logic error.. (0+ / 0-)
    "The vast majority of the Republican Party is incapable of being scared by public opinion." and "I suspect he will wish he had ripped off the Band-Aid all at once, holding firm on tax cuts and daring House Republicans to defy public opinion." Both can't be right.
    Of course they can.  It only takes 17 Republicans, including Boehner, to pass anything.  It just depends on how much he values his Speakership.

    When extra-terrestrial beings make their first appearance on our planet, and ask for representatives of our species to best exemplify humanity, I'm sending a nurse, a librarian, and a firefighter.

    by Wayward Son on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 09:13:19 AM PST

    •  not a logic error (0+ / 0-)

      you normally can't get those 17 votes if you are a Democrat, no matter what you do, nor for that matter can you get all Ds. The idea that you could will drive you in the wrong political direction.

      That there were 80 votes yesterday is highly unusual and not likely to be repeated.

      The gist of Chait's article is maybe we could have done better. Atkins points out, no, you can't have done much better.

      Not a logic error by the FP. It's a difference of opinion, and a major one, between the people who wanted more and the people who thought that was as good as it was going to get.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 10:39:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What part of 'Both can't be right' confused you? (0+ / 0-)

        That's an exclusive comparison, as in fact they can both be right.  

        Front page logic error, and now a comment error, too.  

        When extra-terrestrial beings make their first appearance on our planet, and ask for representatives of our species to best exemplify humanity, I'm sending a nurse, a librarian, and a firefighter.

        by Wayward Son on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 09:21:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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