I think the Jane Hamshers of the Left sums it up pretty well:
Their reigning spirit of self-importance comes through on the very first page: “The Moment of Truth.”
Here’s a gem. From the “goals” section:
Reform social security for its own sake, not deficit reduction.
Maybe they’d like to offer up their opinion on how to achieve world peace too? That’s not in their charter either.
Why reform Social Security just for shits and giggles? Is there not something more productive to do? Apparently some people on the commission think there are other priorities, which is why they aren’t even going to bother voting on it.
The report is here (.pdf)
The commission is a dead duck, flopping around in the water and poses no risk to anything, other than wanking material at this point. Dumb idea? probably, but harmless in the end. The real Catfood Commission debuts the first week in January. It will be Called The GOP House of Horrors, where the catfood will be our branes.
Did you see the GOP vowed to block all bills until tax cuts are passed?
Please quit quoting Jane Hamsher.
I could read her if I wanted.
“Reform social security for its own sake, not deficit reduction.”
We could start with capturing Alan Simpson’s portion.
EDIT: Democrats need to stop sending technocrats to Washington. Get someone with balls. In the next 2 yrs the Republicans will likely undo all the changes that has come thru in past 2 yrs.
Can we just pretend this whole thing never happened?
Perhaps not. D-Day:
“I should note that the real news here was that Simpson claimed Harry Reid promised to give their plan a vote in the NEXT Congress, not this one. Simpson and Bowles aren’t even promising to provide legislative language, so any hope of a vote in the lame duck is gone. But did Reid really promise this? I’m trying to find out.”
Jeez, Cole, what kind of coffee are you drinking? That’s like twelvity-five posts and it’s still ungodly early in the morning.
on the other hand, it doesn’t matter. this plan will never go anywhere.
Well, at least the goopers aren’t going to shut down the government just yet, right before Christmas. So they will allow CR to fund the government. Welcome to the lame duck.
The Republican party has wanted to destroy Social Security since it was instituted. They have not let any chance to do so go by without trying something. They have propagandized against constantly for years.
@roshan: The first time I saw this somewhere on this site, I thought it had to be an Onion article. Beyond that, I am speechless.
comrade scott's agenda of rage
Um, that’s what modern conservative thought is all about. It doesn’t make any difference if something works or not, it’s about implementing a conservative vision of ‘Murka.
Sheesh, 8 years of Dubya and you haven’t figured it out yet. Neocon foreign policy drips of this: it just has to “be”, it doesn’t have to actually work.
Actually, this isn’t about “reforming” SS for the hell of it, it’s about the 30 year campaign to dismantle any vestige of the New Deal. Those bastards never give up.
Here’s a useful article on why the blather on the deficit is basically a big fucking sideshow from Alternet:
Why the Deficit Is Simply Not an Economic Problem Now, or in Future Decades (by Joshua Holland)
Here’s a tease:
h/t to Digby.
@jacy: I have had an entire Bodum full of freshly brewed Kona Comfort 100% organic Kona coffee, which I found through one of the readers here and have become addicted to. It is a bit pricey, so I don’t drink it every day, but they handpick the beans on Saturday, roast to order on Sunday, and then ship on Monday. By Thursday, you will have your vacuum-sealed beans.
And the owner, Michael Tucker, is just a great guy and a real joy to deal with. I highly recommend them.
I like the medium roast, and it gives me a good clean coffee high without the shakes. LOVE IT. 100% kona coffee, ground in a burr grinder, brewed in a french press, and served with half and half. I defy you to top that. I feel so elitist.
Simpson and Bowles are making an end run around their own commission. That might seem, to someone not so full of themselves, as a dandy way to discredit the whole thing.
All I got is my non-elitist Coke Zero and a Piggly-Wiggly biscuit with apple jelly. I’m so ashamed.
Because Simpson is in the pocket of the Peter Peterson Foundation who’s entire purpose for existence is to destroy Social Security. Any opportunity to attack it will be as fully exploited as possible.
It’s my understanding that the early leaked report had a bunch of things in it that reduced benefits but weren’t counted toward reducing the deficit. Translation: there’s more money to loot from what people pay into Social Security. Also, I heard there’s talk of putting a means test on SS, which effectively makes it a welfare program. This is the first step in one of the many campaigns to destroy SS. Next step is we start hearing about “Social Security Queens” driving their Caddies to pick up their checks and old Bucks buying T-Bones with them. You get the point…
@John Cole: Michael has a house in Kona that he rents out. I stayed there for a week with my family. (wonderful house, wonderful location) There was a half pound of Kona Comfort on the kitchen counter when we arrived. When it came time to get the refund on the cleaning deposit, I just had him send it to me in coffee. Man, that was good.
This is something that I have always failed to understand. Why in the hell would a rich old bastard like Peterson piss away so much of his money over so long a time over something he will likely derive no significant monetary benefit from?
Must be some sort of vanity project, I suppose. Either that, or he’s just an old rich crank.
i’m drinking Darjeeling Marybong FTGFOP1 Organic, a first flush Darjeeling that is picked so early it tastes more like a white tea than a black tea.
Never is a long time. The fact is, they’ve now taken an idea that was unthinkable not so long ago and made it fair game amongst the VSPs.
This plan will not die.
@Corner Stone: We can hope, because even with complete control of the media, the goopers are going to have a difficult time not coming off as the obstructionist assholes they are if they take that approach.
It could be that the only way for Peterson to elevate (In the “Young Frankenstein” sense of the word) himself is to diminish as many people as he possibly can.
@John Cole: You are one wired metrosexual, Cole.
@jacy: So much win in those few words! Thanks for a good laugh to start the day.
Please excuse me for bring up the the past and personal shit, but I am very glad to see good things said about Ms. Jane Hamsher here.
In one of my most disgraceful political episodes ever I absolutely destroyed one of her mornings. I’m still deeply ashamed of it, and I’m not discussing the details.
I eventually said I was sorry, donated $100 to her blog when I did it, and have been as gracious and as careful with her as I can be since. Man I was some kinda fuckup to pull that little trick.
There’s a lot of reasons it was wrong, but the primary one was that here in the blogs we are a tiny band on the great American vistas of racism, corporatism, militarism, and Republican dickism. We can never, ever afford to fuck with our own people in any sense, and they all get default respect for trying on the liberal side.
Yeah I’m still sorry, Ms. Hamsher. In the always will be file, I’m afraid.
It will only die when the Republican Revolution stops spinning. At a certain point, people need to be comfortable with the idea of Social Security. They have to be confident it won’t go bankrupt. They have to feel secure that it isn’t EVIL SOCAMALISM. And they have to feel proud of the party that keeps defending and promoting it.
That’s not going to happen any time soon. God willing, we’ll eventually reach the point where the mighty Wingnut Wurlitzer isn’t so good at whipping everyone over 60 into a frothing irrational frenzy.
Obama is going to raise the cost of your electricity!
@John Cole: I’m just imagining you typing this whole thing out in, like, 3 seconds.
It will when the Washington press corps finds a better troll show.
Interesting hypothesis, Dennis SGMM, but it seems as he could find more economical and entertaining ways to validate himself.
Good God. You should be.
Here’s the link to the Steve Benen piece about the letter. They literally walked out of the meeting with the president, wrote it, and got the entire Senate Republican caucus to sign it.
Culture of Truth
which is why they aren’t even going to bother voting on it.
So all the catfood panic was overblown? I’m shocked.
I wonder why the Congress critters from those Southeastern states aren’t demanding that the TVA, like Amtrak, pay its own way. I guess they just didn’t know that their constituents were getting gubmint-subsidized electricity. Now that they do know, I’m positive that adding a surcharge to TVA rates will be one of the first orders of business for those deficit-fighting heroes.
@WyldPirate: Not that I know Peterson. But I’d guess that Peterson probably wants back every penny that SS has stolen from him since he began working. That’s the usual reason I hear that these people are against SS — that it’s theft of their money. And yes, Peterson is so rich that he has more money than he could ever spend. He’s a old rich crank.
So far I am seeing it presented as “playing hardball” .
Kind of a really perfect storm if you ask me. Obama has boxed himself in very tightly and at this point has a problem I don’t think he’s going to make better.
@jacy: tesco value builder’s tea with UHT soy milk over here. Ain’t recessions grand?
Okay, I’m not defending the commission, which I think is dumb, but I think it’s important to be careful.
Liberals on the commission insisted Social Security not be included in any deficit reduction context because of this:
What they didn’t want was the conservative commissioners allocating Social Security trust fund monies (not literally, but in terms of dialogue) to “reducing the deficit”. They (understandably) don’t want Social Security conflated with the general budget.
They don’t want that because conservatives want to privatize Social Security for reasons apart from budgetary or solvency concerns, so they tend to (dishonestly) lump the whole mess together.
I still don’t know why the deficit commission got Social Security, though, because it shouldn’t be lumped with the deficit.
I blame it on the creeping palinization of America. My lack of health insurance means I haven’t been able to afford my anti-poor-white-trash vaccine.
I didn’t mean that whole section to be in italics and I wasn’t able to edit. The edit box opens, but I can’t move my cursor inside it. Wwwaaaahhh.
Yeah, God Republicans suck. But at this point this behavior is predictable. President Obama and Democrats have to find a way to deal with it that does not involve caving on core principles. I have called my House member to demand he only vote for middle class tax cuts or let them all expire. We need to use the house as our firewall.
I really think the next few weeks will be defining the weeks of the Obama presidency. Not even fighting for the middle class tax cuts was a dumb move, so was advertising that Obama was not going to let any middle class tax cuts expire. I am starting to get where the firebaggers are coming from. The president is just acting stupid, stupid, stupid.
So their first recommendations concern Wall Street cashing out the country’s manufacturing infrastructure and focusing on strengthening the middle class? No?
I think the most important thing is for us all to lose our shit preemptively, making lavish use of words such as “Lucy,” “football,” “spine” and “balls.”
Damn, Mneomsyne. Just read the Benan link. Thanks for that.
I can’t figure how they can all stick together like this other than the fact that Rupert Murdoch must have pics of all of the Rethugs having sex with goats or something.
More sadly this is why our country is well and truly fucked. When members of the “greatest deliberative body the world has ever known” stoop to a stunt like this, then no problems will have any hope of being solved.
@PurpleGirl: I kind of enjoyed the special emphasis. Made me feel you were putting a little something extra in your comment, meant just for me.
@kay: Because the Republicans have wanted to destroy SS since the beginning and this is another chance for them to do so. They know that SS isn’t part of the deficit problem, they know they lie when they so claim, but they want to destroy the program.
What’s a Bodum?
How are you doing?
I am watching the UI bit. I am not on unem, but have been in the past. There are 2 million watching this one.
@Corner Stone: Thank you.
just a nitpick: there is no such thing as a “middle-class tax cut”. our income tax system does not work that way.
Having read David Leonhardt’s piece on the tax cuts at the Times and having my face rubbed in the fact that the GOP is dedicated on turning the US into a banana republic and the Democrats are too ineffectual a political party to stop it….
Let’s just say, I’m ready for pitchforks and torches this morning and we don’t even have a Speaker Boner yet.
More here: http://zombieland-nowbrainfree.blogspot.com/2010/12/pox-on-both-their-houses-but-mostly.html
Gin & Tonic
Has there been one since LBJ, in a position of real authority?
You can ruin my morning for $50.
Good to see you here.
In my opinion. a lousy 2-3 extention of all tax cuts is a small price to pay for votes on START, DADT, DREAM, unemplyment extention, et. al. If that’s the Republicans’ price, pay it. It’s worth it.
@WyldPirate: I don’t know about Peterson in particular, but a large part of the goal of messing with Social Security is to force people to put money into the stock market, to both earn massive money for the financial sector, and as well to blow the bubble up just a little bit more.
Also, the inability to retire would drive unemployment rates up, and would lower wages significantly.
Needless to say, raising the retirement age is actually moving in the wrong direction for the economy as a whole. It should actually probably be lowered.
You Don't Say
OT: Hey! What happened to Ezra Klein’s column at WaPo?
Jeez, nice typing spazz.
@Mike Goetz: What makes you think you’ll get a vote on any of those things after you give the R’s what they want?
In related news, “White House and Congressional Leaders Agree to Jump-Start Tax-Cut Negotiations .” Then they looked at each other, said, “not really!” and fell into a fit of giggles.
This is playing out just about like I predicted a few weeks ago e when the axlerod “slip of the tongue” came out.
Obama and the Dems are boxed in totally. They should have tried to do something about this issue before the election and hang the “Rethugs only care about the rich” mantra around their neck. But no, they were trying to preserve the seats of a bunch of worthless Blue Dogs that were turncoats anyway.
At best, the Dems will limit the extension for everyone to two years. The Rethugs will then wrap it around the Dems neck about the deficit two years from now and in effect pay no price yet again.
Lucy, Charlie Brown, football as someone said above. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Gin & Tonic
Screwed up b-quoting, then went into moderation, but was just trying to ask: has there been one since LBJ?
Obama has stated that there will be No New offshore Drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
To Senator Landrieu (sp?)
Things Republican Senators have said. Expressions of confidence by the White House and Democratic Senators. If you want to give in to despair and discount these things, ok. I haven’t.
@Brachiator: Actually, they held that meeting then one side came out and said “Rose smelling ponicorns” and the other side lowered their pants and had a massive bowel movement on the ponicorns’ shoes.
@Mike Goetz: It’s called “reality”, not despair.
They say they want both the government funded and the wealthy to keep their lovely tax breaks. No discrepancy there!
Which is the core of the problem from a message point as far as the Dems are concerned.
I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen a Democrate succinctly explain that millionaires pay a the same rate as a “middle-class” family on the first 250K. I don’t know if the Dems are too lame to explain it or that they think the idiot populace is too stupid to understand.
Oh, I agree. I think it’s the last big pool of money left to pour into the stock market.
I just disagree on the intent of the careful phrasing that liberals insisted on, so I wanted to clarify. It’s important to start keeping Social Security apart, because conservatives always lie and conflate it with Medicare (which IS in bad shape), for obvious purely political reasons. Their brand-new senior citizen voters are going to run back to Democrats if conservatives start telling the truth on Medicare.
I have to say, too, if there IS a commission (and there is, it’s a reality) I’m grateful to the liberals who are in there, at the table, advocating. What’s the alternative? Not showing up isn’t an option.
i sent a “story suggestion” to NPR this AM after hearing yet another long, detailed story about the tax cut debate which didn’t even hint at the notion of marginal rates. i suggested maybe it would be smart of them to spend a couple minutes teaching Americans how their fucking country works.
it’s like there’s some giant conspiracy among media outlets to prevent people from understanding how our tax system actually operates.
I know it seems like it to you. That’s what happens when you’ve surrendered to despair.
That’s not the price. That’s the Democrats’ opening bid. The Republicans will counter with “We want everything and we want you to get nothing” and will not budge from there.
You cannot barter with these guys. The height of bipartisanship was when the stimulus passed with three Republican votes – and one of those Republicans flipped Democrat shortly thereafter.
From the linked article:
“Still, House Democrats said they could press ahead as early as Thursday with a vote to allow the tax breaks for income over $250,000 for a family to expire even though such a plan appears unlikely to be able to clear a Senate filibuster, given solid Republican opposition and resistance from several Democrats. Democrats said they could use the votes to make their position clear and also illustrate that they do not have the votes to block extension of those tax cuts, clearing the way for concessions. ”
This paragraph is totally backwards. The present tax rates will EXPIRE unless action is taken.
Why in the hell would Democrats attempt to illustrate ‘they do not have the votes to block extension of those cuts’? The GOP
needs to show they have the votes to extend those cuts.
Are those ‘Democrats’ named Schoen, Caddell and Morris?
I agree. This makes sense. Otherwise, you’re going to have oldsters holding on to positions longer and chronic under/unemployment amongst the younger workers. A perfect recipe for resentment and social unrest.
That doesn’t matter though. That’s not the “master plan” of the or monied rulers in the oligarchy. This is:
No, it’s called stupidity, and you are king of that on this blog, though wildyracistpirate is stealing your thunder..
Judging from many of the comments around here, a great many of us think the idiot populace is too stupid to understand. It’s our favorite trope, the stupidity of everyone else.
Our local coffee-meister roasts daily on a vintage open-flame gas roaster. If you hit it just right, your bag of whole beans is still warm. Except for our time in New Orleans (where my wife was in the coffee business), we’ve been buying there since the late 70s.
God damn the pusher man.
when you can’t even get the whole commission to sign on to the plan, the commission failed in its mission.
@<a href="@Mike Goetz: Well, I have to kind of agree with you. If things weren’t so desperate, I would be kicking up more of a fuss over an extension (the idea makes me sick, regardless), but I guess desperate measures for desperate times.
“I think it’s the last big pool of money left to pour into the stock market.”
And at the same time, the SS killers will also claim that the SS trust fund ‘DOES NOT EXIST’. Curiouser and Curiouser.
@Mike Goetz: Maybe you’re right. Could you help me out a little? Where does the line form to get a pony like you’re hoping for?
I prefer a fuchsia colored one.
Clown, you’ve never been right about anything, the latest example is about the catfood commission. You are an ignorant piece of shit, period.
cleek, I honestly don’t know if most of those stupid fucks in broadcast journalism have any idea how things work. Most of them are hired for their looks and not what is between their ears.
One exception, though, is Rachel Maddow and her crew. I swear she and her staff can distill the essence of a complicated issue and clearly communicate far better than the entire White House Communication staff.
It’s interesting how the liberal New York times words this. Of course it makes no sense; the Democrats aren’t going to vote to allow the upper income tax breaks to continue; they are set to expire on their own without a vote. The Democrats are voting to continue the tax cuts for those making under $250,000. The Democrats are (I hope) voting to preserve tax cuts, while the Republicans will be fighting this, which means they’re fighting to have them expire. And yet somehow the Time’s here manages to twist it around into a line about how Democrats are voting to end tax cuts.
For eight fucking years, I wondered how I would survive getting up every god-damned morning to find out that George W. Bush had found some new way to rape America. When he left office, I nearly cried with relief.
Now, two years later, I wonder how i can survive another two years of getting up every god-damned morning to find out that Barack Obama has found a new way to grovel before Republicans like a cringing dog and beg them for the chance to help them rape America. And I can look forward to two more years of this gutless wonder, almost certainly followed by four to eight years of some Republican president who will make George W. Bush look like a sensible moderate. I really don’t know if I can take it.
Right now, I am glad that I don’t keep a gun in the house. I’m starting to understand what was going on in Hunter S. Thompson’s mind at the end.
Yep. It’s good to be smart and smug, isn’t it?
We all gotta pump ourselves up somehow.
Let me ask this: would the achivement of DADT repeal, START, DREAM, unemployment extension, and no rise in taxes for the middle class be ruined for you if you didn’t successfully deny the wealthy continued lower taxes? Is the point for you what the wealthy get or what everyone else gets?
They are likely as pig ignorant as our resident puma firebagging twits. Has this blog gone completely insane with the rest of the political punditry? This is about the dumbest thread I have ever read here.
Seriously, check this shit out.
EDIT: Again, I repeat, get someone with balls to negotiate with these fuckers.
It’s hard to see past the pain of your despair, I know. I’m sorry you’re hurting so bad. Take care, friend.
Good business writers, like good science writers, are very rare. This is one of the reasons why McCardle still gets to strut her ignorance. There are people covering the business beat who don’t understand taxes or economics, so they just don’t know how to explain something like marginal tax rates.
Robert Krulwich is, I think, a rare example of someone who can explain stuff like this in a way that makes sense to a wide audience.
I also give props to Ross Perot and wish that Obama or some other Democrat had his flare. Perot’s charts sometimes oversimplified, but they and his laconic delivery, got to the heart of the issue. The Obama administration, despite having used the Internets expertly in the past, don’t seem to know how to use graphics, pictures and short explanations to lay out what should be a winning issue.
It doesn’t matter whether they’re able to get a majority to vote on their plan or not. The Republicans will shut down the government, holding the country’s welfare as ransom, and demand we implement the recommendations. After all, the administration has conceded the importance of deficit reduction, and this is his commission, so it would be hypocritical not to go along. Of course they’d do something similar whether there was a commission or not, but I fail to see the value of giving them a weapon to pummel us with.
I really don’t think the msm knows anything about the tax rates or about much of anything at all. Do you think one has to be ignorant to apply for a journo job these days?
I heard on Bloomberg, several months back, the debt isn’t that much of GDP and isn’t harmful to the US. Harmful, not that it woudn’t be nice to get it down a bit.
Just the opposite of the doomers in the msm.
Suck It Up!
nah, they’re just clueless. Math is hard.
Whether it’s the “Kill the Deficit Now at the Expense of Everything Else” or the Republicans determined to fuck the majority of the American people for the benefit of their rich masters, I have only one thing to say:
All Democrats have to do is take a breath, decide to fight, and say “No.” to the bullies.
If they’re going to play nuclear hardball on every little thing, then give it back to them 10 times over. Use every legislative maneuver to make it harder for them.
Have the President on the bully pulpit pointing out the bad consequences the GOPs actions have on normal Americans EVERY. DAMN. DAY.
Sure, the media might not cover it, but do it anyway. Rage, Democrats, rage against the dying of the light…
Mike Goetz – they are, all stupid – otherwise they would be reading this web sight and learning …
Suck It Up!
And the whole site:
I would of course like to see these on tv
ERROR. IMPOSSIBLE OPERATION. SEQUENCE ABORTED.
No, but I think you have to have the looks to do it in a visual medium.
As far as print or written journalism, that seems shaky as a profession as best, but I’ll admit I have no expertise to judge the career prospects for journalists. I am, however, amazed that I read so many people on blogs–even in comment sections—that absolutely smoke most journalists that have paid gigs.
Boy, if you want to get up to speed on this topic, take 15 minutes out of your life to read this. I’ve posted a couple of exceprts and from it in this thread. It’s enlightening and enraging at the same time.
Why would anyone run as a democrat, and god forbid get themselves elected, when so many of their supporters are faithless piles of baby shit? And dumber even than the republicans, who at least have the sense to care about something that doesn’t involve eating their fucking own on a daily basis. Being the minimum for fratricide, to at least consider something other than complete failure from their reps, at the drop of a hat, before it even happens.
Austan Goolsbee is, actually, real good at this. I think the bigger problem is, as others have been mentioning, the relentless stupidity and triviality of the media.
This. A million times over.
Part of the problem is that the sheeple have too much in the way of “bread and circuses” to distract them. *It’s hard to get their attention, much less get them to focus on anything that can’t be explained in under a couple of minutes. But this lies at the root of the uphill battle Dems have in countering rethug spin and deception. Countering inflammatory 30 second soundbites with four minutes of explanatory “truth” is a monumental communication obstacle. The rethugs have understood this forever and have maximized the mileage from it.
Bookmarked the link. Thanks. I will read it.
I listen to Bloomberg in the a.m. because it doesn’t put me in a foul mood.
@Corner Stone: Actually, they held that meeting then one side came out and said “Rose smelling ponicorns” and the other side lowered their pants and had a massive bowel movement on the ponicorns’ shoes.Yeah, that’s about right.
FWIW, I have to follow some of the tax follies for a living. In the past, even with the Thanksgiving and Christmas Congressional breaks, and lame duck sessions, the president and the leadership often had a working agreement about extending tax breaks, unemployment, etc. This would let Congress critters go home during the break and brag about how they were holding the gummint’s feet to the fire, etc, even though they knew that they were blowing smoke.
This year it’s different. The GOP is being typically unhelpful, maybe thinking that the president and the Democrats will easily cave. And the newly elected ignorant Tea Party and Randoids don’t know that they are supposed to go with the program.
Bottom line: a lot of shit is being pushed to the last minute. And some of this stuff, like Extenders and AMT patches, affects 2010 taxes, not just “middle class tax cuts” or “tax cuts for the rich” next year.
Quick example. The IRS is supposed to release 2011 withholding table by December 3. They don’t have anything concrete to work with, but may end up using some provisional stuff that will have to be reworked later. Some people will end up with too much or too little withheld next year.
Here “bringing down the government” concretely means that the IRS might have to delay processing tax returns this year (they need a fixed period of time to program their computers). Some states, notably Indiana, have already said that they will not approve their tax forms for 2010 until the feds have finalized their official forms.
Classic chicken and egg issue, no? Are their supporters faithless piles of baby shit because they’ve watched their elected leaders dissolve into limpid pools of weak sauce over and over again when challenged by Republicans, or do Democratic elected leaders dissolve into limpid pools of weak sauce because their supporters are such faithless piles of baby shit?
This is a party that can’t even manage to craft a winning argument out of the fact that Republicans are blocking unemployment insurance while trying to give billionaires hundreds of thousands in tax cuts. Is it because the party itself is weak or because its supporters won’t back that play?
@General Stuck: It’s like the guards at the asylum let the inmates play outside unattended.
The nice thing to do is go out into the real and speak with real democrats. They have criticisms that are constructive and actually see progress. You would think this type of realization would occur in the blogosphere, but to no avail. Espcially since the typically blogosphere reader is supposedly highly educated, there’s been nothing all that eye-opening in reading typical liberal blogs. Other than that at times, liberals blogs aren’t all that different from some hardline conservative ones.
Sad spectacle really…
Listen, Obama is a lawyer. More than that, a law professor (well, barely, but still, he taught law).
Don’t even start with all this about Obama grovelling and saying he’ll work to reach out to the Republicans and feel their pain.
These sayings are legally meaningless. He can reach out with empty hands, and feel their pain without doing a thing about steering policy in their direction, for years if he likes. He’s a lawyer, you have to look at what he does. This is not Sarah Palin. His words are not hints of where he’s going to take policy. He’s a black lawyer President, and his words are ALL tactics and calculated.
Obama clearly thinks there’s gains to be had among the great confused, and the rightwingers, by APPEARING to continually be ready to work with and appease the rightwingers- rightwingers which the same great confused are not very up to speed on.
Obama’s perfectly aware that the teaparty types are actively out to destroy the country to reclaim it. He’s also aware that the majority of American’s aren’t really up to speed on that.
The tactics are towards supporting his public image among people who aren’t paying attention, they are not about impressing YOU. (you being almost any Balloon Juice reader).
This. (Or “that,” if you’re sick of “this.”) How do you get economic policy distilled down to bumper-sticker levels? I don’t know, and it’s killing the country.
This dead commission recommendation has just been endorsed by Senators Conrad and Gregg. Bipartisan harmony, does it begin here, or end?
How’s that working out so far?
Those people who aren’t paying attention usually vote Republican, and it’s because Republicans know what those people respond to: the appearance of leadership. Not actual leadership, just the showy parts. The non-attention-paying public has, over the past 16 years, seen that:
When Republicans have Congress and Democrats have the White House, the Republicans are in charge
When Republicans have Congress and the White House, the Republicans are in charge
When Democrats have Congress and Republicans have the White House, the Republicans are in charge
When Democrats have Congress and the White House, the Republicans are in charge
None of those statements may actually reflect reality, but the Republicans to a really good job of making them seem true, and low-information voters (and I include most “independents” in that category) respond very well to the perception that one party is in control.
Dude, they have a winning argument on the tax cuts, it is the republicans who have no plan but go nuke and threaten to blow everything up. There will be no vote for highend tax cuts, and only for the mc ones, that wingnuts will be forced to vote no one on. THEN THEY WILL ALL EXPIRE , that is the plan, and if the wingnuts want to shut down the government, well, that is their choice, and like last time, they will likely pay for it with public disapproval. The republicans can block anything they want, they have the votes, and if you haven’t been paying attention, there is not much of anything to stop them from casting their constitutional votes to block unemployment, or anything else. The only thing that can stop them are the voters or Obama declaring Marshall Law, and begin ruling by decree.
You all want Obama to publicly hang rhetorically, a few wingnuts on the WH lawn, and lock some more up in the WH basement maybe, to make you feel like he’s personally satisfying your childlike instincts, for “fighting” the republicans.
I don’t know why I am bothering with this, this blog is toast, and not from ED Kain, or any of the fp’ers. The disease that will kill it are pathological fools in the comment section. It happens to every liberal blog that insists on no banning. It will and is happening here. RIP BJ
The good news is, by and large the democrats out in the countryside, and especially liberal dems, highly approve of Obama and the job he’s doing. The idiots on the blogs could barely fill a medium sized padded room.
yes it is DaBomb.
I don’t want Obama to publicly hang anybody and I’d be THRILLED if it turns out that his plan is to let all the cuts expire on the backs of Republican obstruction. Let them shut the government down, let them default on the debt, go for it. But I’ll believe that’s his plan when I see it.
@Suck It Up!:
See, that’s part of the problem. The administration should have been bringing these charts and short explanations to all the Sunday pundit shows with a relentless message: “Forget the lies, here’s the facts.” They cannot rely on people searching the Internets or going to the White House site to get the message, because obviously this strategy did not work. Instead of saying, “it’s out there is you want to search for it,” they should have been saying “Here it is!” This would have given them some control over the visual and auditory soundbites.
This morning, a local news anchor, talking about Rosa Parks, mangled a pronunciation of the word “desegregation.”
Yeah, the media is dumb and dumber, and is also disappearing as newspapers and magazines bite the dust. But it’s more lazy than anything else. You also have the active animus of Fox and the Wall St Journal and other Rupert Murdoch media concerns.
But since the problem of the crappy media is not going away, it’s up to the Democrats to either deal with it, or get rolled away.
I’ll note only that the NY Times seems determined to use GOP framing- hey morons Congress isn’t “voting to let the Bush Tax cuts for those making over $250,000 expire” and you know it thats why you left the verb “expire” in- they’re voting to extend all the other tax cuts, the upper income ones (and all of the others) expire on their own even if congress doesn’t vote, hence why filibustering by the GOP in fact raises taxes.
“Obama’s perfectly aware that the teaparty types are actively out to destroy the country to reclaim it. He’s also aware that the majority of American’s aren’t really up to speed on that.”
Dean Baker has helped me notice people who are mind readers – and almost instantly distrust their conclusions.
Prefacing the above statement with an ‘It appears to me’
would actually lend credence to it.
That’s fair enough, so how about in the meantime not creating wanking memes of fail out of previous wanking memes of fail, before that day arrives. That is all i am saying. But I just work here, and have less than zero right nor ability to expect anything from anyone on this blog, but by gawd, I will speak my mind.
Was Marshall Law related to Marshall Dillon?
I liked him.
John Cole, you firebagger, go vote for Hillary Clinton, you leftist purist buffoon! ! ! ! ! ! uno ! !
I’m not sure why everyone is so worked up about this. In the universe of shit that matters, this is 4 degrees of meta. It’s a draft of a proposal that almost certainly won’t get approved by a commission that, not having been approved almost certainly won’t even get a vote in Congress, and even if it did get a vote it wouldn’t pass.
The charge of the commission, as Obama will likely have to reiterate at some point, was not to come up with some scheme to reduce the deficit. Fuck, my kids could do that. Their charge was to come up with a scheme that Congress would support. That’s why the makeup and the high bar to passage in the commission – because without the high bar, there was essentially no possibility there’d be support for it in Congress. If no Democrats sign on (or no Republicans), then this commission accomplished nothing that my kids couldn’t accomplish – a deficit reduction plan that won’t ever be enacted. There are an infinite number of such plans that the commission just increased by one. Whoopiefuckingdoo.
If it doesn’t get 14, they’re back to the drawing board. Either the same commission to draw up a new plan, or a new commission. I don’t really see the point of getting outraged by this until it at least gets voted out of the commission, which by all accounts has a likelihood near zero.
Really good post, fasteddie9318. You nailed it.
Republicans learned the old adage– “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, then baffle them with bullshit.” It’s worked for them like a charm since at least the Reagan days and, I would submit, in The republican controlled Congress during the McCarthy era (Eisenhower is exempt because he was a hell of a leader/manager).
Obama’s lack of leadership–or ability in presenting the aura of leadership— has been pretty disappointing. I* can’t say I didn’t have suspicions that he might turn out that way given that he is from the intellectual community and is one himself. It is rare as hell to find someone that has all of those tools.
That’s perfectly reasonable, but there’s got to come some point where this White House has passed up the chance to make the Republicans eat their destructive fringe craziness so many times that we’re allowed to assume that they won’t do it the next time they get the chance. It seems clear to me that they’ve been reluctant to go after the Republicans on this stuff because of the handful of conservative Democrats in the Senate who have been nearly as obstructionist for nearly the same reasons, and I think with the new Congress coming into session next month it’s a perfect time to stop protecting Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman and start doing exactly what you’re talking about. Republicans + Joe + Ben blocking middle class tax cuts? Hey, sorry America, Republicans and Ben and Joe just raised your taxes. Republicans + Joe + Ben won’t allow a budget to get passed? Hey, sorry America, Republicans and Ben and Joe just shut down the federal government. Debt ceiling? Hey, sorry America, Republicans and Ben and Joe just blew up the whole frigging country. Et cetera.
I’m willing to see what happens over the next couple of months, but if we get another year of appeasement don’t expect me to keep assuming that these guys aren’t reflexive appeasers.
I hope you’re right. I don’t understand why the didn’t hold such a vote before the midterms, but I’d be glad to see them hold a vote now. The only reason not to do it would be that it might tic off Republicans and cause them to refuse cooperation and something important, but as they’ve made it crystal clear they’re not going to cooperate on Start or extending unemployment insurance or anything else not matter what we do, I don’t see much of a downside.
They could even hold separate votes on low end tax cuts and high end tax cuts. That would put Republicans in a pickle, would they end up first voting for tax cuts on those making over $250,000, and then when that failed vote against tax cuts on those making less?
Concerning the lame duck vote on tax cuts, Mcconnell has already taken that off the table and included in his demands passing a continuing res to fund the government. Later, next year, is when the showdowns will occur, and the Bush tax cuts will have expired. Pelosi has been firm about not extending or even voting on the the wealthy cuts. When she wavers, get back to me, in the meantime, regardless of Obama’s politicking the tax cut issue is on autopilot to expire them.
Now I’m going to listen to xmas music and turn off the computer and leave you with my fav holiday poem
THE NAUGHTY NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
‘Twas the night before Xmas and all through the house
The whole damn family was drunk as a louse
Grandma and Grandpa were singing a song
And the kid was in bed flogging his dong
Ma, home from the cat house, and me out of jail
Had just crawled into bed for a nice piece of tail
When out on the lawn, there arose such a clatter
I jumped out of bed to see what was the matter
Away to the window I flew like a flash
Threw open the shutters and fell on my ass
The moon on the crest of the new fallen snow
Gave a whore-house-like luster to the objects below
When what to my blood shot eyes should appear
But a rusty old sleigh and two mangy reindeer
With a little old driver a pounding his dick
I knew in a moment, it must be Saint Nick
Slower than snails his reindeer they came
He bitched and he swore as he called them by name
Now Dancer, now Prancer, up over the walls
Quick now, damn it, or I’ll cut out your balls.
Then up to the roof he stumbled and fell
And came down the chimney like a bat out of hell
He staggered and stomped and went to the door
Tripped on his peter, and fell on the floor
I heard him exclaim, as he rode out of sight:
Piss on you all, this is a hell of a night.
This is the whole thing in a nutshell in my view: these fuckers won’t even go along with a nuclear arms reduction treaty designed to improve our ability to prevent fucking terrorists from getting fucking nukes, not even when every significant Republican foreign policy figure of the last half a fucking century has publicly told them to vote for the fucking thing. They’re not serious. They’re not interested in governing. They’re never, ever, ever going to cooperate with this White House on a single goddamn thing. If these aren’t the operating principles of Obama’s White House from now on, there’s something seriously wrong in that place.
I don’t think there’s anything we can do to stop them; I expect their demands will be so extreme, along the lines of unilaterally ending health care reform, that even the most conciliatory in the administration will balk. The only question is how to make the best out of what will be a very bad situation.
Because if you don’t spew out foul-mouthed, mindless, juvenile insults, no one else will?
as with most of obama’s agenda, the blue dogs held it hostage.
This is only part of the problem.
Congress has to vote to approve the extension of some tax cuts set to expire at the end of this year. If they don’t do this, a lot of poor and middle class people will pay more in taxes, and it will look like the Democrats screwed people over, not that the Republicans stood in the way of anything.
The Democrats stupidly allowed some of the tax breaks that came in with the stimulus to expire at the same time as the expiration of the Bush tax cuts.
This gives them a lot less room to negotiate.
On top of this, you’ve got the extension of unemployment benefits, etc.
It’s a tax policy train wreck.
I see it a little differently. The BD’s were going to get wiped out anyway. If you hold the vote near elections then maybe some of the marginal D Congresspeople could use it to preserve that 1% or 2% they needed to stay in office.
If you hold it six months or so before elections then you give a lot of people cover to do what’s needed on their campaigns.
IMO, the blue dogs may have not wanted the vote taken but it was a monumental act of incompetence to not have this vote.
Put the blame wherever it goes, but it’s not on blue dogs.
I wonder what the landscape will look like moving into 2012 if that happens.
@Brachiator: No it’s not. Fuck, the middle class tax cuts were miniscule. For households under the median income, it’s $80/month in savings or less. Sure, I’m not one to toss $80 away, but it’s not an amount that most people will recoil strongly against, particularly when a reasonably large percent of the population even support the middle tax cuts expiring. 65% of voters believe that taxes are going to have to go up. They may not like it, but they seem to be quite realistic about the problem.
And if the Dems put up for a vote extending those tax cuts just for incomes under $250K and that fails due to GOP votes, I don’t see how that isn’t a headline everywhere. It’s a risky move by the GOP.
Looks like it’s already started.
Every single Republican senator signed that. Even oh-so principled Senator Lugar swore to kill Start until the millionaires get their tax cuts.
That is what I was talking about. The showdowns next year will be for other things, though I expect obama to propose his own mc tax cuts when Bush’s expire.
And I don’t buy a big voter revolt over their taxes going up by 3 or 4 percent, and especially two years out from the next election. Things will simply go back to Clinton era tax rates.
Of course it’s a tax policy trainwreck. Our entire system of passing legislation is now a train wreck, and has been for some time, and is about to get much worse. It is nothing short of an all out ideological war between the two great parties and their different philosophy of governance in this county.
Obama and the WH knows this, and why all the kumbaya rhetoric from them, imo. But still, Obama got some big bills passed in spite of it all. He won’t get any more in the near future, and the American people will suffer for it, and make their decisions on who to blame in 2012. It’s all going to be about posturing and bluffs, and who blinks first, and who goes too far with the mad play we will see unfold.
Obama has to make the effort to continue the tax cuts for the poor and mc, but I suspect, personally he doesn’t mind that much getting as much revenue as he can from the taxpayers. And I agree with this attitude. I think it is right for the country all things considered, and whatever pain it causes will be acclimated to by the public.
No one knows how all this will play out, but I am glad we have the person we have in the WH. And I don’t care who knows it.
OK, can you define how this is Obama’s lack of balls? What exactly is his negotiation tactic here? How is this in his province as this is the Senate? What sort of media coverage is this getting, at all, outside of wonk sites?
Suck It Up!
You (in same comment to other person)
lol! You praised Obama’s team for how they used the internet to get their message through during the campaign, now you rip them for using the internet to get there message through.
I want to see those vids on tv as commercials NOT filtered through the news networks or cable news ’cause as you say “the media is dumb and dumber”. Where’s the money going to come from? If the media was interested in showing these vids on their shows, they would have done so already. Don’t think for a second they don’t know about that site.
SO sweet how John takes the opportunity to suck up to Jane every time she says something halfway sane that everyone else on the blogosphere has already said. [eye roll]
@Martin: No it’s not.
What are you talking about?
Here are some of the expiring tax benefits:
Exclusion of $2400 of unemployment compensation ($4800 for married couples) from taxable income
Above the line deduction for tuition and fees, and for educator expenses
Additional standard deduction for state and local sales taxes,
property taxes and casualty losses
Increased Earned Income Credit and Child Tax Credit thresholds. This hurts lower income taxpayers
Requirement for minimum distributions from IRAs. Screws over retirees.
The expanded education credit, good for a refundable $1,000 on top of a tax reduction of up to $1,500 is scheduled to go away next year.
Energy credits expire (good for another $1500)
Some business tax breaks are also scheduled to expire, which would increase the taxable income of real small businesses (Schedule C filers)
If the alternative minimum tax is not patched by a tax extenders bill, a lot of middle class people will see an unnecessary tax increase.
The fight is not just over an increase of marginal tax rates, or the estate tax.
It’s obviously about more than $80. And I disagree with you here about how accepting taxpayers will be about all this. Last year, people were complaining that their taxes went up and blamed the federal government when the increase was likely due to state income tax increases (especially in California).
The average taxpayer has no idea of how his or her taxes will go up because of the failure of Congress and the president to get something done. But they will be howling come April 15. And they will blame the Democrats for not protecting them from tax cuts. Some people will see tax increases even if their wages have been cut or frozen. I don’t see them being very “realistic” or stoic about this.
And note that because these benefits were phased out for upper income taxpayers, rich taxpayers don’t care whether these benefits expire.
@Suck It Up!:
No. There is a difference between people looking to find out information about Obama during the campaign, and then having to use the Internets to find out about his tax proposals right now. There are people who still passively absorb the news, rather than going searching to find out information.
Even in the age of the Internets, even some informed Balloon Juicers ask “I don’t want to have to search for the info or even click on a provided link, so can someone explain x and y for me?”
People were motivated to find out about Obama during the campaign. He loses a large portion of any viewership if he expects large numbers of people to log on and go the the White House site to get the facts about taxes.
Isn’t there a difference between just putting your message out there and hoping that people choose to look for it and watch it, and trying to actively get your message out in as many venues as possible?
And when someone passively watches TV or listens to the radio, they would pay more attention to informative charts than listen to a long speech, or even a snippet of a speech.
When a Republican on a pundit show talked trash about taxes, an Obama spokesperson should have been there with a freakin’ chart or diagram from the web site. Smile and point.
Reporters are as passive as the average citizen. Why should they go to the White House web site to dig up the data, especially if they are math averse?
During the tax season, we had to respond to supposedly knowledgeable tax preparers who heard an incorrect news story about a tax law change. Obviously these people were watching TV and listening to the radio, and here they got official government news releases wrong.
But the media will always cover a sexy story. Some people still remember the Perot sound bites because they were delivered well. Hell, Perot’s charts were even parodied on Saturday Night Live episodes.
People will skip past commercials, and especially skip past political commercials. But some people will pay attention to Sarah Palin’s dumbass tweets. Because they are delivered in a false folksy style and because Palin makes for hot news coverage.
Bill Clinton got news coverage, he still gets news coverage, because of his charisma and his delivery.
When I listen to the radio, I hear the Boehners and the Palins and other GOP goofballs, often because their negative message is pithy. Stupid, but pithy. Wrong, but pithy.
YOU may want to get Obama’s message unfiltered. The web ain’t working for this (all those who know people who regularly go to whitehouse.gov rattle your keyboards).
It’s PR, but Obama has to get his message across and also blunt the message that the GOP is putting out.
And yeah, put the stuff on the Daily Show, Rachel Maddow, etc.
ETA: having posting problems. Odd that.
@General Stuck: well if you are going to take your ball [sic] and go elsewhere, somehow or other the blog will just have to carry on without you. and if the blog is indeed toast, as you say, then perhaps you should avoid getting singed, especially since you posted after you said you were leaving.
now–i would like to take a moment to remind the party/Obama loyalists here exactly who came up with this brilliant idea in the first place:
from whitehouse.gov, 18 Feb. 2010. note also the appointment of the chairs by Obama.
Obama’s not stupid, so it’s hard to tell whether he’s getting played or playing the public. after two years of these kinds of events, i think it’s reasonable to at least consider the latter notion.