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OK here's the scenario. You've just been appointed the newest Senator from Hawaii. Harry Reid swears you in. Congratulations!
And for your first vote, its the fiscal cliff.
You've been reading DailyKos all day. Some people here say its twelve dimensional chess, other people say it's Obama's typical caving in.
So your chance to vote. Do you vote with Harry Reid to support Senate Bill HR8?
Or do you prefer to go over the cliff?
explain why in comments!

6:08 PM PT: looks like the "ayes" have it, so far at least! The bill passes by a solid margin!

Poll

how do you vote on HR 8

63%104 votes
36%61 votes

| 165 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  for me its pretty close (4+ / 0-)

    I have seen arguments on both sides. It seems like the deal is not too bad, but the debt ceiling argument is worrisome. However, I suspect Obama may be playing 12-dimensional chess by using the sequestration against the debt ceiling.

    I think Obama could have done somewhat better. But a lot to like. The $450K ceiling is all right with me, and the unemployment benefits is good.

    So I will vote for it.

    Obama 2012...going to win it with our support!!!

    by mattinjersey on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 05:47:21 PM PST

  •  Against, because I don't trust WH on spending cuts (6+ / 0-)

    and they're setting up another crisis whereby they'll cut SS, Medicaid and Medicare in March.  I wanted a grand bargain to settle all this at once and be done with it for 2-3 years minimum.  

    President Obama would have been a Republican in the 1980's.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 05:48:40 PM PST

  •  on the merits, I think the bill is fine, (0+ / 0-)

    but leaving the debt ceiling unaddressed is too risky.

  •  Against (7+ / 0-)

    Substantively, it left too much revenue on the table.  We'd be better off with all the Bush tax cuts gone.

    Tactically, it left all the leverage with the Republicans for the spending battle in 2 months.

    Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary

    by Paleo on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 05:53:58 PM PST

    •  Maybe I'm missing something. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Paleo, Superribbie

      Wasn't the sequester delayed the same two months?  And doesn't that mean that President Obama has exactly the same leverage, i.e. the sequester, in order to negotiate the debt limit and whatever spending cuts in the next round?  I don't understand the idea that the leverage left.  It just got postponed.  The setup is identical to the negotiation this time, except we have won one of our major goals.

      Still enjoying my stimulus package.

      by Kevvboy on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:32:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I like the idea of starting "fresh", as it were (5+ / 0-)

    by letting the buck get passed onto the next Congress.  But, I believe it's magical thinking to expect anything better to come out of the Republican side of the House after we hit default.  "Magical" on the order of "rainbow ponies flying around the House during debate."

    I keep thinking about Ban Nock's diary and reading other anecdotes over the past couple of years on people struggling to stay afloat, in their homes, etc. after being out of work for so long, etc.

    I would be new, so would also speak with veterans such as Bernie Sanders, etc.  After weighing things, I'd go with both my gut and their rationale (which I've read online, btw) and probably vote Yes.

    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

    by wader on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 05:54:05 PM PST

    •  That's had a strong impact on me as well (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      edwardssl, wader, carver

      If I don't know what I'm looking at and the ramifications of it, I'm going to seek out the opinion of Progressives who are in Government, which is quite what I've done here, and from there, I have an easier time taking my cues. I'm sure Sanders sees the problems in this bill as well, but he said "Alright" to it. The man's far sharper than I am on economic matters -- and I think sharper than anyone on this site -- so I take my lead a little from that kind of thing.

      Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

      by mahakali overdrive on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:11:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  beside voting on it ... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mahakali overdrive, wader, carver

        I'd love to hear his take on it, including his concerns.  To me, there are many concerns to be had.  The lesson to be learned I think here, is that Republicans are not to be negotiated with on anything that would last more than a few months, until they jettison the Tea Party.

        How is taking a hundred dollars worth of food from hungry kids or from old poor sick people equal to taking a hundred dollars from billionaires? -- howabout, 19 Dec 2012

        by billlaurelMD on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:16:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Except good thing we did negotiate (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wader

          with them because otherwise it would have died in the Senate, right?

          I've read some from Harkin. He says it was the 400K vs 250K and not much more. I'm looking forward to anything else from Sanders, but I haven't seen anything other than an announcement on the FP of his site, which to me says he doesn't have major reservations about it (although that could prove to be my assumption).

          Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

          by mahakali overdrive on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:22:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Sanders on New Years Eve (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wader, carver, billlaurelMD
          Bernie Sanders Makes It Clear: Republicans Are The Problem

          From the blog Liberals Unite

          By Brandon Weber

          Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont said  when interviewed on MSNBC that Republicans were solely to blame for the lack of a budget deal to avoid the fiscal cliff.

          “The problem that Boenher will have in the House is that his caucus is dominated by right-wing extremists who are very hesitant, who will do everything they can to prevent the wealthiest people in this country and the largest corporations from paying a nickel more in taxes.”

          When asked by an MSNBC journalist, “Aren’t both parties to blame there in Washington?” he shot back, “No!” and proceeded to explain why.

          Video here: http://www.blogforiowa.com/...

          Looks like Bernie is clearly, clearly stating that the Republicans are the problem regarding the fiscal cliff.

          Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

          by mahakali overdrive on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:30:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'd vote yes, I think. (3+ / 0-)

    I couldn't throw those receiving UI on to the streets. My conscience would never allow it.

  •  For. (3+ / 0-)

    When you line up what's in the bill side by side, it's way more if a win for the poor and middle class than rich.  However, I will admit I am a little worried about Obama in March.  I'll know for sure after hearing his inaugural address and SOTU.  I'm also equally worried about Dems in Congress.  

  •  I hold my nose and vote yes because it helps (4+ / 0-)

    more people than it hurts.  But there is still so much more to be done to fix the system (revenue, spending, debt, animosity).

    Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. - Einstein

    by moose67 on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 05:58:58 PM PST

  •  Vote for (5+ / 0-)

    because it is a good deal. Not great. Coulda been better. But it gets the job done and extends UI, fixes the AMT, the doc fix, increases cap gains taxes, estate taxes, and keeps the tax cuts for the middle class.

    This one, while not perfect, is fairly easy.

    Next.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:00:55 PM PST

    •  Oh yeah (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      edwardssl, mahakali overdrive

      tax credits for renewables too. And no spending cuts included... and the Republicans in the House made themselves look like assholes in public and then powerless asshole by threatening to scuttle it all... and then not... and to amend it and send it back to the Senate... and then not.

      No extra dimensions needed... just republican extremism.

      "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

      by Andrew C White on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:11:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Against. (3+ / 0-)

    It's a set up to cut the safety net in February in response to GOP hostage-taking. It's deliberate because the President wants cuts, and not necessary.  This bill is an about-face from the campaign the President won on--remember when $250,000 in income defined the upper boundary of the "middle class"?  Now it's $400,000 and the hedge fund managers still have their carried interest loophole.  The Waltons still have a significant chunk of the estate tax.  There is even a special deal for Indian casinos.  The "good stuff" sunsets in five years.  The "bad stuff" is permanent. And all that spending will have the Deficit Hawks heading for the fainting couch and insisting we cut Social Security immediately or we are doomed.

    •  Oh to have your crystal ball. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?

      by jsfox on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:22:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This doesn't require any special powers (0+ / 0-)

        of perception--just listening to what people say, including the President. Start with these guys.

        ..It is now more critical than ever that policymakers return to negotiations that will build on the terms of this agreement and the spending cuts in the Budget Control Act. These future negotiations will need to make the far more difficult reforms that bring spending further under control, make our entitlement programs sustainable and solvent, and reform our tax code to both promote growth and produce revenue. We take some encouragement from the statements by the President and leaders in Congress that they recognize more work needs to be done....
        And so on.
  •  Well , (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leu2500

    I didn't run for office ,
    I didn't get elected ,
    I didn't get appointed ,
    thank fsm I don't have to vote for the lesser of two ...

    "Drop the name-calling." Meteor Blades 2/4/11

    by indycam on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:04:32 PM PST

  •  Yes even though it's not ideal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    edwardssl, cassandracarolina

    If it is good enough for Bernie Sanders to have voted Yes, and also, for the other Progressive Senators who voted for it, I'm not going to second-guess it because I could but would probably fail miserably. Sanders is really solid on the economy, and I support his general ethics here, so if he gave it a "pass," I will too. I'm sure he will say more about it in the future, but for now, he does have it on his "news" feed for his Website.

    Even Harkin, who was the only Progressive Senator to vote "no" for it did so only because of the 250-400K tax issue, which is not enough for me, personally, to hold the line against the other potential gains like the farm subsidies, the unemployment issue, and the defense cut spending for the military that look to be coming.

    If Bernie Sanders isn't calling it a shit sandwich, I'm hesitant to do that. Likewise, some of the other Prog. Senators.

    Also, I really don't want to see the economy flung into a recession which appears to be what's being discussed. That's not a pretty picture.

    Last but not least, it's hard to say if we'll get a better deal in two months with the loony GOP House. The political optics aren't quite worth the risk.

    But I'm just going off of what I'm reading. This one is not easy to parse through.

    Click the ♥ to join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news & views written from a black pov - everyone is welcome.

    by mahakali overdrive on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:08:58 PM PST

  •  against (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Support Civil Liberty

    I don't like the outlook for social security and medicare if they're out there on their own. They needed to be protected now.

    By the way, whenever the House votes on the bill it will affect my opinion. If they vote no then I'll figure it isn't all that bad a compromise. If they vote yes it'll mean this is really terrible.

    Because I have no faith in Congress, you see. I'm sure they'll get it wrong.

    •  I haven't seen congress. approval numbers (0+ / 0-)

      lately, but I can't imagine they up much from last year.

      Pretty sad.

      202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

      by cany on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 11:05:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Only Democrats can vote in favor of making (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jvantin1, CA Pol Junkie

    85% of the Bush tax cuts permanent and call that a victory.

    Chuck Hagel for Defense Secretary

    by Paleo on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:15:01 PM PST

    •  Yep. It's the reverse of Obama Degrangement (0+ / 0-)

      Syndrome.  If Teabaggers hate it, it means Dems like it.  

      Dems just locked themselves into starving the beast.  Now they'll still be whining when they're faced with adding $4T to the debt over 10 years with this deal and now having further taxes off the table - it means deep cuts, and you know the military will not face any.  

      This deal has guaranteed SS/Medicare/Medicaid will be cut and likely face drastic changes.  

      President Obama would have been a Republican in the 1980's.

      by Jacoby Jonze on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:22:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  So you wanted them all to sunset? n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?

      by jsfox on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:24:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Elizabeth Warren has not started yet. that vote (2+ / 0-)

    Could disappoint some here on Daily Kos.

    Brand new favorite RSS feed of Daily Kos Radio Podcasts http://kagrox.libsyn.com/rss
    Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

    by We Won on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:15:10 PM PST

  •  For (4+ / 0-)

    Too much in it that benefits the middle-class, poor and unemployed.  And I think it's ridiculous to get that hung up about $150k income threshhold difference - that sounds to me to be just another excuse to get all in an phony outrage about.

    imho, the cuts that are now put off for another two months will hurt the repubs a hell of a lot more than the Dems (as SS and Medicare are protected against sequenstration), so to say the Dems won't have leverage is equally ridiculous.

    Hell, how many times have I read here to de-couple the revenues from the cuts.  Well, that's what's happened, and people (even the FPers) are still losing their flippin' minds.  

  •  I vote for the damn thing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mahakali overdrive

    I have to. I'm a brand new Senator, and have to be well-behaved at the start.

  •  I would look to the example of the two (3+ / 0-)

    Democratic Senators from the State of Oregon, where I was a resident before I somehow ended up in Hawaii becoming the newest Senator of that State (talk about 11th dimensional, but I digress), and I would vote yes...

    ...the extension of middle class tax cuts, the extension of renewable energy tax credits, the elimination of the middle-class problems with the AMT, and the extension of unemployment insurance matter more to me as the newest Senator of Hawaii than arguments over how much money constitutes being "in the middle class"...

    "In a nation ruled by swine, all pigs are upward mobile..." - Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    by Jack K on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:23:04 PM PST

  •  For longer term reasons, I hoped for the (0+ / 0-)

    cliff. I think we would be better off with this deal, though...at least for a few weeks.

    “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

    by jeff in nyc on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 06:27:01 PM PST

  •  Against (0+ / 0-)

    This does nothing to solve the problems.  The "fiscal cliff" rate hikes are better than this bill. This is political theater at it's worst.

  •  For (0+ / 0-)

    I voted for it. I think there is room for improvement. But WE need to continue to put pressure on the President, the Senators to make sure they don't bend on any of the social safery nets.

    •  i voted for (0+ / 0-)


      I think there are too many vulnerable populations that need to be safeguarded while we are in the fragile recovery period.

      "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

      by louisev on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 07:05:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Against (0+ / 0-)

    I'm OK with reverting to Clinton era tax rates, and I think the sequester is the only thing that could tame defense spending.  I would rather tax cuts were used to reform the tax code.

    You have the power to change America. Yes We Can. Yes We Did. Yes We Will.

    by CA Pol Junkie on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 06:33:03 AM PST

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