No Deliberation

The most deliberative body in the world listened to Bernie Sanders for close to two days, and then decided to completely and totally ignore him:

The Senate on Monday advanced the tax-cut package agreed to between President Obama and congressional Republicans, virtually assuring that the Senate will approve the bill on Tuesday and send it to the House, where Democrats are threatening to make changes to a provision granting a generous tax exemption to wealthy estates.

The vote in the Senate was not finished, but shortly after 4 p.m. the tally showed more than 60 senators agreeing to end debate, cut off any filibuster and move to a vote on passage.

The majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, had agreed to keep the vote open far longer than usual to allow lawmakers returning to Washington from the West Coast to make it back to the Capitol.

Shortly after 4:30 p.m., the vote tally was 69 to 10, with eight Democrats, one Republican, Senator John Ensign of Nevada, and one independent, Senator Bernard Sanders, of Vermont, in opposition.

The final tally was 83 to 15. Forty-five Democrats and 37 Republicans supported moving the measure ahead; opposing votes came from nine Democrats, five Republicans and one independent, Bernard Sanders of Vermont.

Forty-Five Senate Democrats supported the bill. I’m sure this won’t stop people from magically thinking that there was some really progressive bill that would have not only not been blocked by the GOP but received enough support from the Democrats to pass cloture. At some point, people are going to realize that not only is the Senate broken procedurally, but that a lot of Senators talk out both sides of their mouth and hide behind those procedural rules to support the money party. And yet today, people are still insisting in the comments below that the PO would pass. It’s just delusional thinking. Folks- there is no bigger group of liars than members of the Senate, and they don’t care if they pit you and me against each other, as long as they serve the folks who donate to them and who will hire them as “consultants” when they retire. See Daschle, Tom.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit

144 replies
  1. 1
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    I hear there is supposed to be around 80 votes for it in the Senate. If that is true then it convinces me that the deal will be bad for us. In this political environment, bipartisanship means that we’re screwed.

    If the repubs are saying NO to everything but this then you know it sucks, especially if the Democrats agree with them.

  2. 2
    Lolis says:

    Yep. So much for the supposed Senate Democrats grumbling. Most of their votes weren’t even needed yet they gave them anyway.

    By the way, the House Dems don’t really want to block the deal. They certainly have the authority to do so. They just want to grumble about it to fool progressives. This whole Democratic opposition was a scam, except for a few real opponents.

  3. 3
    MNPundit says:

    and again I say what the hell is the point of even trying to influence politics if the senators lie to you?

    No, you make them say something on the record and then pressure them to hold it. And yeah, I’ll still maintain that PO was possible, because it fucking was with enough work.

  4. 4
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    The most deliberative body in the world listened to Bernie Sanders for close to two days, and then decided to completely and totally ignore him:

    What did people think was going to happen? Basically Sanders, a very good person and well meaning Socialist, described the Socialist view of America and its merits. One with which I agree to the extent of around 60-70% of his views.

    But his speech had nothjing … whatever…. to do with the real choices on the table before congress and the White House at this particular time.

    Sanders just expreseed his disappointment that things had come to this. However, he offered no thoughts on what he and his peers might have done to prevent it from happening, nor any alternatives for real action now that would be better than the proposed deal. It was an exercise in feelgood and rehetoric, things for which congress has become famous. But congress has a minus then thousand percent approval rating because it CANNOT DELIVER THE GOODS, because it keeps saying A doing X and acting in what appears to be its own interest too much of the time.

    So, yeah. What the hell did you think was going to happen?

  5. 5
    Jc says:

    Plutocrats win. Bottom line. Dean baker thinks that this wil, structurally, be the way that social security gets defunded, is this blithe new normal of ‘fixed’ under generated revenues to pay for obligations.

    Can’t see as this as wrong.

    Now, is getting the unemployment insurance and the (weak) stimulus of this package, with hopes for boosting employment, worth doing a backend defunding of the government, and especially social security?

    I don’t know.

    But the policy choices that the oligarchy has their representatives choose – and that people vote for – is short- term and deeply irresponsible to this nation. And we will all suffer the effects of that.

  6. 6
    WarMunchkin says:

    Our Congresspeople are fools. If we’re going to pass a Republican plan, at least do it on barely party lines and run against them. But no, that wouldn’t be civil and bipartisan. Saluting my senator, Kristen Gillibrand, for having the balls to vote against it.

  7. 7
    BGinCHI says:

    We should start a Progressive Tea Party.

    On my sign it says:

    Representation Without Taxation of the Rich

  8. 8
    General Stuck says:

    After this vote, they will thirty hours to debate and vote on amendments, and the biggie is bringing down the thresholds for the estate tax thing in the original bill, that so many House dems hate. Where most senate dems will want to vote for in the final bill, I think. I am not so sure the Times article is accurate on the procedural path they lay out though, claiming the House has agreed to vote for the vote as is. I am going to research that. Because I do not think the House is going to swallow whole what the senate sends them, without a chance to modify it, and there are some constitutional questions on how this is proceeding and Nancy has taken a hands off approach of letting her caucus work their will without pushing them too much. So we shall see.

  9. 9
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    The most deliberative body in the world listened to Bernie Sanders for close to two days, and then decided to completely and totally ignore him:

    What did people think was going to happen? Basically Sanders, a very good person and well meaning Socialist, described the SociaIist view of America and its merits. One with which I agree to the extent of around 60-70% of his views.

    But his speech had nothjing … whatever…. to do with the real choices on the table before congress and the White House at this particular time.

    Sanders just expreseed his disappointment that things had come to this. However, he offered no thoughts on what he and his peers might have done to prevent it from happening, nor any alternatives for real action now that would be better than the proposed deal. It was an exercise in feelgood and rehetoric, things for which congress has become famous. But congress has a minus then thousand percent approval rating because it CANNOT DELIVER THE GOODS, because it keeps saying A doing X and acting in what appears to be its own interest too much of the time.

    So, yeah. What the hell did you think was going to happen?

  10. 10
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @MNPundit: I will continue to maintain that my professional rugby career was possible for the same reason. Never mind that I am only 5’10”, played at about 13 stone, am not all that fast, and my tackling was merely decent.

  11. 11
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    The most deliberative body in the world listened to Bernie Sanders for close to two days, and then decided to completely and totally ignore him:

    What did people think was going to happen? Basically Sanders, a very good person and well meaning SociaIist, described the SociaIist view of America and its merits. One with which I agree to the extent of around 60-70% of his views.

    But his speech had nothing … whatever…. to do with the real choices on the table before congress and the White House at this particular time.

    Sanders just expreseed his disappointment that things had come to this. However, he offered no thoughts on what he and his peers might have done to prevent it from happening, nor any alternatives for real action now that would be better than the proposed deal. It was an exercise in feelgood and rehetoric, things for which congress has become famous. But congress has a minus then thousand percent approval rating because it CANNOT DELIVER THE GOODS, because it keeps saying A and doing X and acting in what appears to be its own interest too much of the time.

    So, yeah. What the hell did you think was going to happen?

  12. 12
    BGinCHI says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: And you never, ever had 60 votes.

  13. 13
    General Stuck says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    People who play Rugby ought to have their heads examined for a brain.

  14. 14
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    Too many reposts? I don’t care. I don’t have time for that fucking filter.

  15. 15
    Jewish Steel says:

    Yes, this is a drum Hendrik Hertzberg has been beating, along with NPV, for a while. Our 18th C. institutions fail to serve our 21st C. needs.

  16. 16
    freelancer says:

    I’ve listened to Sanders’ Marathon speech over the last 3 days, some portions several times. There isn’t a single claim he makes in summarizing America today that I disagree with. However, passing the bill is necessary if we can get votes on Start, the Dream Act and DADT.

    And as far as starting with liberal positions to then negotiate your way to the center, that only works when you have two parties interested in addressing a commonly acknowledged problem. The GOP is content to sit on their hands on every major issue facing this country and go, “Look at those Democrats, not getting anything done!” It’s worked for them so far, and now they’ll be busy investigating the shit out of the Executive Branch. You don’t negotiate with enemies like that, you can’t. You either kill them or bribe them.

  17. 17
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @BGinCHI: I could have gotten those.

    @General Stuck: I also jumped out of perfectly good airplanes and then went to law school, so you may have a point.

  18. 18
    BGinCHI says:

    @freelancer:

    You either kill them or bribe them.

    Which would be cheaper and lower the deficit?

  19. 19
    Jody says:

    This post fails to point out how this is all Obama’s fault.

  20. 20
    BGinCHI says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Only if you were a hooker.*

    *(rugby reference)

  21. 21
    Calouste says:

    @Jewish Steel:

    Considering that most of America feels that the Constitution is about as much in need of amendment and should be treated with as much reference as the 10 Commandments, good luck with changing those 18th Century institutions.

  22. 22
    gizmo says:

    http://articles.cnn.com/2003-0.....LLPOLITICS

    Not only are our Senators beholden to the entrenched economic interests who put them in office, but many of them possess great personal wealth on their own. Even if some of them are well-intentioned, it is unrealistic for us to expect that wealthy people are going to empathize with the janitor at a grade school, or a waitress at the diner, or the guy pumping gas. They just don’t rub elbows with folks like that in the course of their day.

  23. 23
    WyldPirate says:

    But President Obama said that the Senates action was a demonstration of “bipartisanship at work”

    Funny that. Painted into a corner by their own inaction on the tax bill which they knew was coming for 10 years, the Dems get held hostage to the only thing that they can get and that it is now termed as “bipartisanship at work”.

    Gosh, I know that the Republicans just hated to have to drop the inheritance tax rate from 55% to 35% and raise the exemption from 1 million to 5 million. That was tough., I wonder if giving up the COLA for civilian Fed employees was what pushed the Rethugs to make that huge concession on the inheritance tax.

    /snark off

  24. 24
    John S. says:

    @Jody

    This is all Obama’s fault.

    WyldPirate, Oscar Leroy or Joe Beese (possibly all three!) should be along any minute now to explain why.

  25. 25
    beltane says:

    Our dysfunctional Senate functions quite efficiently when it comes to giving out goodies to those lucky girls and boys who already have it all.

  26. 26
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @BGinCHI: I hooked a little in Sevens, but not enough to count.

  27. 27
    Nick says:

    Remember when we needed a primary challenge to Blue Dog Kirsten Gillibrand.

    yeah

  28. 28
    Davis X. Machina says:

    I was so looking forward to the spectacle of Bernie Sanders and Jim DeMint, standing shoulder to shoulder, calling for the expropriation of the expropriators.

    Le Front Populaire, heureusement, ne vive pas.

  29. 29
    ulee says:

    Go ahead Cole and endorse these Obama money giveaways to the richest of the rich (so much money they can literally burn it for fun) How do you pay your own mortgage or rent? I’ll bet mommy and daddy help you out.

  30. 30
    beltane says:

    @gizmo: That’s true. What the wealthy people in this country really need is a diplomatic mission from un-wealthy America, since as it stands everything they know about this country comes from reading David Brooks’ columns about the salad bar at Applebees.

  31. 31
    Baud says:

    @Nick: I remember when we needed to primary Nancy Pelosi because she was complicit in the war, or something like that.

  32. 32
    General Stuck says:

    Lizard Brain Logic

    “This bipartisan compromise represents an essential first step in tackling the debt,” McConnell said. “[B]ecause in keeping taxes where they are, we are officially cutting off the spigot.”

    You see, to the lizard brain code is all important. Never mind the obvious and utter lack of logic that proposes to pay something down (the debt) by voting to take in less money (collecting taxes) — but focus on the “officially cutting off the spigot” that really means, this sucker (government) and super especial social safety net programs (helping poor people) (especially poor people of color) still is too fucking big to drown in the wingnut bathtub. It is their entire domestic economic philosophy, with but two enduring principles of the lizard brain logic. First, all the money in the world belongs to rich people, and second, stop the liberals from stealing this money and giving it to poor people.

    Their is nothing else that matters to them — In Gawd We Trust, USA

  33. 33
    BGinCHI says:

    Go ahead Cole and endorse these Obama money giveaways to the richest of the rich (so much money they can literally burn it for fun) How do you pay your own mortgage or rent? I’ll bet mommy and daddy help you out.

    Oh shit, it’s on!

    Everybody form a circle.

  34. 34
    Nick says:

    @Baud:

    I remember when we need to primary Nancy Pelosi because she was complicit in the war, or something like that.

    I believe it was because she wouldn’t suck up the entire 110th Congress on impeaching an outgoing President.

  35. 35
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Nick: Caroline Kennedy would totally have made the public option happen.

  36. 36
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @ulee: Did you read the post or are you just barfing up abuse?

  37. 37
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Deleted as redundant.

  38. 38
    Ozymandias, King of Ants says:

    @gizmo:

    Not only are our Senators beholden to the entrenched economic interests who put them in office, but many of them possess great personal wealth on their own.

    This.

    Voltaire said, “When it is a question of money, everyone is of the same religion.” I would add, “and politics” to the end of that statement.

  39. 39
    And Another Thing... says:

    @Jc: Suspending the 2% of FICA may indeed be the camel’s nose under the tent, but at some point if the average American citizen can’t get motivated enough to pay attention to the issues and vote in their own self interest and the interests of their fellow citizens, well….

    As economic stimulative policy it’s effective, fast & relatively easy to do. Basically it’s reasonable for Obama to have agreed to it.

  40. 40
    Jewish Steel says:

    @Calouste:

    Absolutely. The problem looks intractable from this perspective.

  41. 41
    Violet says:

    OT – Richard Holbrooke has died. So very sad. Such an impressive man. Condolences to his family.

  42. 42
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @General Stuck:

    “This bipartisan compromise”

    Note that even Mitch McConnell, architect of the strategy of Republican senators voting no on everything all the time, likes to use the phrase “bipartisan compromise.” It’s a curiously potent phrase.

  43. 43
    Allan says:

    New bumper-sticker:

    It’s the Senate, Stupid.

  44. 44
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Violet: R.I.P.

  45. 45
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @WyldPirate:

    Painted into a corner by their own inaction on the tax bill which they knew was coming for 10 years, the Dems get held hostage to the only thing that they can get and that it is now termed as “bipartisanship at work”.

    I’m afraid that you’re right. This is the same Democratic Congress that allowed the Estate Tax to expire altogether so that now they had to accept a Republicanized version of same. Moreover the party has had decades since Reagan to come up with a counter for the GOP’s messaging on taxes and it still doesn’t have one.

    None of those things can be hung around Obama’s neck. My only criticism of Obama with regard to the above is that I would question the sanity of anyone who would want to attempt to accomplish anything with such a largely ineffectual bunch of wankers to carry out the work.

  46. 46
    Baud says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Republicans use it (and did it) all the time – usually because they buy off one or two conservadems. Really, their base does not go crazy when they hear the b-word.

  47. 47
    General Stuck says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I also jumped out of perfectly good airplanes

    A recuit after enlisting in the Airborne, eagerly asked his Recruiter what could he expect from jump school.

    “Well,” he said, “it’s three weeks long.” —- “What else?” the recruit asked. The first week they separate the men from the boys, and the second week, they separate the men from the fools.” — “And the third week?” the recuit asked.

  48. 48
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @And Another Thing…: And the person who more than any other advocated a payroll tax holiday — albeit structured differently — was Robert Reich.

    It’s been madness to see how many people got it in their heads that the whole concept of a payroll tax holiday is a backdoor defunding of Social Security, when just months ago it was a prescription for economic stimulus geared towards lower and middle-income people.

  49. 49
    MattR says:

    I’m not implying anything about anyone here, I’m just saying.

    The Food and Drug Administration is warning men who take Man Up Now capsules to stop taking them immediately. The supplement contains a variation of an active ingredient found in Viagra that can lower blood pressure to dangerous levels, the agency says. It is marketed as an “herbal” and “all natural” sexual enhancement dietary supplements.

    (EDIT: I absolutely cannot believe I forgot the quote would trigger the spam filter. Good thing I love moderation)

  50. 50
    WyldPirate says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    The President used the exact same phrase.

  51. 51
    Baud says:

    @FlipYrWhig: It’s all about context.

  52. 52
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:

    Did Mary Landrieu vote yes?

  53. 53
    Mumphrey says:

    This is kind of on topic I guess… I saw in yesterday’s Washington Post an egregious piece about whether people making $250,000 a year are “truly” rich. They had a budget worked out and everything and painted a pretty bleak picture. Their answer: Yes, people earning $250,000 (two working parents with 2 children) are indeed struggling to get by. They didn’t come out and say that they can’t afford to see their taxes go up, but they went out of their way to make this average, fictitious family look like they were more or less in the same boat as the other 98% of us.

    That isn’t even the first of such stories I’ve seen in the last few years. I’d be less disgusted by this bullshit if they wrote a tenth as many articles like this about people making $25,000 a year. Or maybe if they wrote a little more aggressively about the plight of the people who can’t even put food on their families because they haven’t worked in a year, since all the jobs dried up 2 years ago.

    I don’t have anything against rich people. I know some. We’re pretty well off ourselves, considering how badly the economy’s doing. So I don’t want to needlessly slam rich people. But I want to hit somebody when I hear assholes in the Post or the New York Times fretting over the top marginal rate going up, what, 5, 6, 8, 10 points, because it might mean the families affected might have to pull their children out of the Hill School.

    You know what? They should just face it and yank the little darlings out of the Hill School if they need to do that to get by. If that’s what it takes to scrape by in this economy for a family earning $250,000, then they should get down on their knees and thank the Dear Lord that that’s all they have to give up.

    Lord knows I feel lucky, and in our 4 generation household of 6 people, 2 dogs and a cat, we have 2 earners who together make about $120,000 a year. We’re lucky enough that I, an able-bodied 40 year old dude, can afford to stay home to look after my 3 year old girl and run my little non-profit that pays $0 a year to me. That’s pretty damned lucky. And if we have to cut back on eating out, and if we never go to movies, then well, jeez, you know, things could be a whole lot worse. I don’t understand how people who are really at the top of the heap here economically can be so lacking in empathy and oblivious to what’s happening in this country that they feel aggrieved that they might have to pay another $10,000 or $15,000 more a year in taxes or whatever the hell it ends up being. If that’s the price you pay for earning $250,000 a year, then suck it up and deal with it.

    I wonder if this country is going to make it when this is what the Serious People are worried about…

  54. 54
    agrippa says:

    @WyldPirate:

    got it in one.

  55. 55
    Steve LaBonne says:

    When you hear about a “bipartisan compromise” think of the Bipartisan Party. That’s where we’re headed.

  56. 56
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Baud: No, I know, but popular lore suggests that Obama keeps saying he wants to be bipartisan and Republicans just keep slapping it down. So one of my pet projects is trying to highlight how often Republicans mouth the same platitudes about bipartisanship, in order to illustrate that “bipartisanship” is extremely often just a platitude, so there’s little reason to get in a dither when Obama says it because ZOMG he must mean it!1’one

  57. 57
    Davis X. Machina says:

    You thought Boehner was crying? There’s got to be a run on sump pumps at GOS….

    Howard Dean: “I don’t think he’s going to face an opponent in the Democratic primary. I think that would be a bad thing for the country and I think it would be a bad thing for the Democratic party. The history of people running against presidents in their own party is the challenger loses and then the president is weakened and loses.”

  58. 58
    Suck It Up! says:

    And yet today, people are still insisting in the comments below that the PO would pass.

    omg. still?

  59. 59
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @WyldPirate: Right, because people like to hear it. If a blatant partisan obstructionist like McConnell uses it, and we know he doesn’t mean it in the slightest, I don’t see why the liberal blogosphere explodes every time Obama uses it, dreading that _he_ must mean it.

  60. 60
    Nick says:

    @Davis X. Machina: You would think Howard Dean’s tea partyesque deficit whining would be enough to make them cry

  61. 61
    General Stuck says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Note that even Mitch McConnell, architect of the strategy of Republican senators voting no on everything all the time, likes to use the phrase “bipartisan compromise.” It’s a curiously potent phrase.

    like I been sayin”, the 2012 presnit campaign is already in full swing, and with still around a 50 50 divided country, both sides turn their eager eyes to the true swing voter indie class, that will likely decide the POTUS election. It is a class of voter, as dumb and flighty as our online progressive community. Easily swayed by pol posturing and pretty words. In the swing voter class, that would be dispatches of kumbaya – bi partisanship, from the lips of a weasel like Mcconnell, or I’m okay, you’re okay drivel

    And in this case Mitch “the bitch” Mcconnell is not going to let Obama drink all this milkshake.

  62. 62
    LosGatosCA says:

    @John Cole

    Very shrill, John. Very shrill.

    Not only do I think the public option was possible, I’m fully expecting this tax cut bill will deliver 10 million new jobs for Christmas – by Santa Claus himself.

  63. 63
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Nick: Historians will look back at the month following the November 2010 elections as the month Herbert Hoover became a Democrat.

    In Chicago, the dead can, and do, vote, but not until the advent of the internet could the dead change their party registration.

    (Moe Udall, IIRC, “When I die, I want to be buried in Chicago. I want to stay active in politics.”)

  64. 64
    WyldPirate says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Right, because people like to hear it. If a blatant partisan obstructionist like McConnell uses it, and we know he doesn’t mean it in the slightest, I don’t see why the liberal blogosphere explodes every time Obama uses it, dreading that he must mean it.

    Let me venture a hypothesis on why the liberal blogosphere explodes.

    1. The people out there in Joe Six-Pack land believes that Obama means it.

    2. And maybe some of those in the liberal blogosphere–rightly or wrongly–feel like they got smoke blown up their ass by everyone from the President to their Dem leaders in the House and Senator.

    3. Perhaps some in the liberal blogosphere expect that their Party could get there shit together over the course of the past 10 years to, you know, develop a plan for dealing with this tax plan.

  65. 65
    Cain says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Everybody form a circle.

    Whose getting into the circle with rain gear?

    cain

  66. 66
    Oscar Leroy says:

    Yes John Cole, this was a bad deal the Senate brokered–

    –hey, wait a second.

  67. 67
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    You’ve hinted at pulling back the curtains where Oz, the ruler of congress, lives. There is nothing very impressive behind those drapes.

    The truth is, congress doesn’t like having a president (unless it can kick one around for its own purposes), and presidents, and especially this president, don’t like congress. What did Obama do when he became a member? He got the hell out of there and ran for higher office. My hunch is that he detests that bunch of posturing dickbrains. As do we.

  68. 68
    Nick says:

    @Mumphrey:

    Yes, people earning $250,000 (two working parents with 2 children) are indeed struggling to get by. They didn’t come out and say that they can’t afford to see their taxes go up, but they went out of their way to make this average, fictitious family look like they were more or less in the same boat as the other 98% of us.

    I think it depends on where they are. If they’re in Manhattan or parts of Long Island and Northern New Jersey, this is indeed true.

  69. 69
    jeff says:

    I am so angry right now. I’m seeing the same shit I saw in 1999-2000: 1 percent of the party are going to sink us in 2012. Why not go ahead and hire the buses to take us from Brooklyn to DC for the LaDuke rally? So disgusted.

    I don’t mean that I’m not disgusted with DC and the leadership there; it’s just that I will either vote for a plausible candidate–or not at all.

    I’m not going to vote for Republicans or Palin. I’m also not going to add my money and my enthusiasm or my phone banking to primary Obama from the “Left” or the moon or anywhere fucking else.

    I guess, since I’m saying all of this, that I’m also not 20 something years old with time to blow on idiotic performance art/politics.

    For everyone who sees me as “the enemy”: you’re fucking over not only me and you, but our future. We need each other and we need a good chunk of middle America. There’s more to getting elected than getting Williamsburg to host some shit at a gallery for your candidate.

    Also; in a popularity contest, if you start out by alienating the judges, you’re really handicapping yourself.

  70. 70
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @WyldPirate: Well, those out their in the liberal blogosphere should have learned by now that the public statements of politicians are not necessarily identical to their deeply-held views. They apply this lesson all the time to divine the nefarious intentions Obama must possess, but they somehow never apply it toward the idea that sometimes that thing that pissed them off was intended for someone else’s consumption.

    Perhaps some in the liberal blogosphere expect that their Party could get there shit together over the course of the past 10 years to, you know, develop a plan for dealing with this tax plan.

    Obama had a perfectly adequate plan: keep the tax cuts in place for income under $250K, let them lapse for income $250K and over. But not enough Democrats in the Senate supported that. Good plan, insufficient votes. Happens a lot. Laying it at Obama’s feet feels like a stretch, considering that he both came up with the plan and advocated that plan, while 5-10 Democrats ultimately decided they didn’t like it very much and dug in their heels.

  71. 71
    General Stuck says:

    For everyone who sees me as “the enemy”: you’re fucking over not only me and you, but our future.

    Kinda of doubt you are that important, and all my enemies look like republicans.

  72. 72
    cermet says:

    @Mumphrey: Easy- most rich people are exactly like the tiger killing its prey – the idea of feeling for another person is totally alien to them and beyond their understanding. Trying to do so would destroy their feeble minds – that is one reason they are rich (various studies show this lack of feelings for others is a common trait amoung the well-to-do.)

  73. 73
    And Another Thing... says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Once upon a time, I had a pretty serious political crush on Udall. He had good policy chops and a GREAT sense of humor.

  74. 74
    WyldPirate says:

    @Oscar Leroy:

    Yes John Cole, this was a bad deal the Senate brokered——hey, wait a second.

    Goddammit OL, get it right. It was the fucking House of Representatives that negotiated the tax cut extension.

  75. 75
    Oscar Leroy says:

    @freelancer:

    And as far as starting with liberal positions to then negotiate your way to the center, that only works when you have two parties interested in addressing a commonly acknowledged problem.

    So the best response to GOP intransigence is to give up and let them have what they want???

  76. 76
    Hawes says:

    @Davis X. Machina:
    Hoover was a fetishist for balanced budgets and balance of trade. He also wanted a stronger dollar.

    That was why he was Hoover.

  77. 77
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Oscar Leroy: Everyone around here agrees that it’s a “bad” deal, insofar as it includes several elements that we don’t like very much. The questions are, “is it a worse deal than could have been struck under the circumstances,” and “is it worse than striking no deal at all.”

  78. 78
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    @jeff:

    Yeah, nothing is more convincing than “Agree with me, or you are fucking over all our futures.”

    Really, now that you put it that way, I can see it a lot more clearly! Why don’t people just say what they mean. Those damn Republicans are smart! Vote for us, or die! It works, we should try it on our side too.

    Wait … is that first part a line by The Joker? That’s where I heard it before ….

  79. 79
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective:
    I’d be more at ease if there actually was a wizard of Oz who secretly ran Congress. At least that would mean that there was someone in charge rather than a bunch of self-seeking, petty, out-of-touch, assholes who believe that it’s possible to be a fount of goodness while peddling themselves to the highest bidder.

  80. 80
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @And Another Thing…: Cut my political teeth working various Worcester campuses for him in the ’76 Mass primary. A grand man was Mo….

  81. 81
    Hawes says:

    Two things: First, it’s less about the fact that Senators are rich. The Kennedys were rich. The Roosevelts were rich.

    It’s about the fact that Senators don’t know any poor people. As I and other have said, this is a mild recession for college grads. It’s a depression for people with only a high school diploma.

    If you don’t really know any people who have lost their job, it’s tough. Liberals may have more engrained empathy, but ultimately, you don’t have that deep empathy you have to see it up close.

    They don’t.

    Secondly, why the fuck they didn’t deal with this in September is beyond me. The campaign ads would have written themselves.

    Not to mention any movement by the GOP to compromise would’ve sent the teabaggers into a whirling death frenzy.

  82. 82
    Oscar Leroy says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    “Obama had a perfectly adequate plan: keep the tax cuts in place for income under $250K, let them lapse for income $250K and over.”

    Well, of course Obama could never have gone forward with that plan, because it never would have–

    WASHINGTON — House Republican leader John Boehner said Sunday he would vote to pass middle-class tax cuts without an extension for high-income earners, but only if that’s the only way to get an extension of Bush-era tax reductions through Congress.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories.....8401.shtml

    Hey, Obama simply gave the Republicans a gift for no reason. Has anyone ever mentioned that he does that before?

  83. 83
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Oscar Leroy: Under some circumstances, yes. Sometimes you have to take a crappy deal. Sometimes you have to punt. Sometimes you have to grumble and live to fight another day.

    And sometimes you decide to say, “fuck this, I’m not putting up with being pushed around anymore!” Wooo! You want to do that on this? OK, but you’d better have a plan for how to politick your way out of being held responsible for raising everyone’s taxes in a miserable economy. I haven’t seen many convincing suggestions about how to pull that off. You’d think it would be possible to pin it on Republicans, considering that they’re the ones who have been fucking around. Problem is, it hasn’t worked yet. They have filibustered all kinds of things that would be deadly at any other point in American political history and gotten off scot-free.

    If you have that killer app, let’s have it, because we damn sure need it.

  84. 84
    WyldPirate says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Obama had a perfectly adequate plan: keep the tax cuts in place for income under $250K, let them lapse for income $250K and over. But not enough Democrats in the Senate supported that. Good plan, insufficient votes. Happens a lot. Laying it at Obama’s feet feels like a stretch, considering that he both came up with the plan and advocated that plan, while 5-10 Democrats ultimately decided they didn’t like it very much and dug in their heels.

    I would love to be a fly on the wall and find out how hard that Obama tried to lobby those 5-10 Dem Senators in private.

    But this gets back to what I advocated in the thread below and in many other threads. We are not that far apart. You said yourself that nothing is working and a working proposal has not been tried. I may be advocating for things that don’t or won’t work–“bully pulpit”, “raging against the liars” whatever. The problem is, this mild and meek shit is not cutting the mustard.

    I also long for someone in this fucking country–in particular our government–to be held responsible for their their damaging idiocy. elections no longer seem to work. It’s going to take something a bit stronger and damaging I think.

  85. 85
    Nick says:

    @Oscar Leroy:

    So the best response to GOP intransigence is to give up and let them have what they want???

    if we can get some of what we want out of it, then yeah. When a hostage taker is holding a gun to your child’s head, thats not the time to see how far he’s willing to go.

  86. 86
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Oscar Leroy: That’s Obama’s fault why? He said that’s what he wanted to do. Major players in the Senate begged him not to do it, including Boxer and Murray and perhaps even Feingold. Then the deficit-hawk Senate Dems said that they didn’t support it either. Take it up with them. They’re not hard to find.

  87. 87
    Nick says:

    @Oscar Leroy:

    Hey, Obama simply gave the Republicans a gift for no reason. Has anyone ever mentioned that he does that before?

    No, because he didn’t give them the gift for no reason. After Boehner said that, Obama wanted Congress to vote and Pelosi didn’t have the votes.

    The blame there lies with Blue Dogs, who weren’t willing to vote for it, and people like Barbara Boxer, who won by 10 points anyway, and Patty Murray, who survived a tight reelection in a state that OVERWHELMINGLY opposed raising taxes on the rich despite being one Obama carried by double digits and despite Obama barnstorming the country in favor of it.

  88. 88
    NobodySpecial says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Because McConnell doesn’t back it up with bipartisan moves, that’s why. He just merely continues to hold the Republican line while saying the B-word. Obama, however, makes a deal to do what the Republicans want, which is why the B-word out of his mouth is virtually the same as waving the Italian Battle Flag.

  89. 89
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Nick:

    I would posit that by procrastinating on the vote until the last second the Congressional Dems loaded the gun and then handed it to the hostage taker.

  90. 90
    Comrade Dread says:

    Forty-Five Senate Democrats supported the bill. I’m sure this won’t stop people from magically thinking that there was some really progressive bill that would have not only not been blocked by the GOP but received enough support from the Democrats to pass cloture.

    No. I don’t.

    I just think that the Democrats in general now suck about 91% as much as the Republicans, and they’re doing their damnest to make it up to 100%.

    And I think you can count the number of true progressives on one hand and the number of true conservatives on the other.

    The rest of the bastards are out for themselves and couldn’t give a damn about the country.

    +2

  91. 91
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @WyldPirate: There were even more than that before the election, if you count Murray and Boxer, who were among the 53 that voted for the decoupled tax-cut bill _after_ the election but implored Obama and Reid not to do it before. I keep referring back to the same article we’ve been talking about. There were two camps, one that presented the decoupled scenario as electoral gold and the other that presented it as damaging. The result was a stalemate, and we saw what happened after that.

    IMHO the root cause of all this stress is that the president doesn’t actually have much leverage over Senate Democrats, who seem to see themselves as dozens of independent power-brokers dealing with distinct local conditions, rather than as a party with a common national agenda. Senate Republicans act as a monolithic force, but Senate Democrats don’t, _and they like it that way_. That’s the biggest problem Obama faces, and the biggest immediate problem for accomplishing liberal policy goals.

  92. 92
    WyldPirate says:

    @Dennis SGMM: @Dennis SGMM:

    I would posit that by procrastinating on the vote until the last second the Congressional Dems loaded the gun and then handed it to the hostage taker.

    Unpossible.

  93. 93
    Oscar Leroy says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    “but you’d better have a plan for how to politick your way out of being held responsible for raising everyone’s taxes in a miserable economy. ”

    Well, most middle class people will see a tax increase under this deal.

    In fact, the only groups likely to face a tax increase are those near the bottom of the income scale — individuals who make less than $20,000 and families with earnings below $40,000.

    Although the $120 billion payroll tax reduction offers nearly twice the tax savings of the credit it replaces, it will nonetheless lead to higher tax bills for individuals with incomes below $20,000 and families that make less than $40,000. That is because their payroll tax savings are less than the $400 or $800 they will lose from the Making Work Pay credit.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....93572.html

  94. 94
    FeFiFo says:

    Both major parties are owned by the rich – just the Democrats enjoy paying a little lip service to the not-rich now and then. Republicans do the same thing, but they take the long way around by making the argument that helping the rich trickles down help to the poor, sooner or later.

    Sanders did more for America by clearly and forcefully elucidating exactly what our goddamn problem is with the ultra-rich in this country than any other idiot in that chamber today. A Democrat could have done it. But no one did, except Bernie. I’m thankful enough for that, regardless of how many op-ed pieces float around asking “but what did he REALLY do?”

  95. 95
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    IMHO the root cause of all this stress is that the president doesn’t actually have much leverage over Senate Democrats, who seem to see themselves as dozens of independent power-brokers dealing with distinct local conditions,

    This just in from Runnymede: Final score, Barons 47, King John 3. A very old story.

  96. 96
    Mr. Furious says:

    I think it depends on where they are. If they’re in Manhattan or parts of Long Island and Northern New Jersey, this is indeed true.

    Bullshit. Please see any of the hundreds of posts mocking that douchebag professor in Chicago. For somebody making a much more typical $60K, the financial issues facing people making $250-500K are not ” struggles” they’re “decisions.”

  97. 97
    Corner Stone says:

    At some point one has to conclude that the policies and outcomes are the desired ones.

  98. 98
    Oscar Leroy says:

    @Nick:

    The blame there lies with Blue Dogs, who weren’t willing to vote for it

    Where’d you read that?

    EDIT: Ok some stories are showing up on the old Google.

  99. 99
    WyldPirate says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    IMHO the root cause of all this stress is that the president doesn’t actually have much leverage over Senate Democrats, who seem to see themselves as dozens of independent power-brokers dealing with distinct local conditions, rather than as a party with a common national agenda. Senate Republicans act as a monolithic force, but Senate Democrats don’t, and they like it that way. That’s the biggest problem Obama faces, and the biggest immediate problem for accomplishing liberal policy goals.

    I fully agree with this. I’m just not convinced that this is something that Obama is really worried about or even disagrees with. I’m concerned that he might just be fine about it, particularly given Obama’s talks about deficit and the seeming lack of problem he has withh going the austerity route. This coupled with the SS “tax holiday” are disturbing given the opening it gives for weakening SS in the future.

  100. 100
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    Obama, however, makes a deal to do what the Republicans want

    That’s the rap on him, but I don’t see it, unless you count as “the Republicans” the single Republican he’s forced to chip away at on every major bill. Honestly, I think that this tax-cut arrangement is the first time since HCR that Obama has legitimately tried to engage Republican politicians in order to get their votes. So the blogosphere liberals rail at Obama’s “bipartisanship” without, IMHO, very much basis. I think it’s all lip service, or, if you aren’t willing to go that far, a way of talking about bringing _voters_ together rather than a way to secure blocs of Republican votes.

    Most of the deals Obama has made are deals to secure the support of center-right Democrats (like, for instance, pulling the plug on the public option or public-option-like features). Because we’re liberals, we may see those features as “Republican,” but they’re not (entirely) that.

  101. 101
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Oscar Leroy: Sounds like a good reason to think it’s a bad deal. The other question remains, however, was there a way to scratch out a better deal, and I don’t know that there was.

  102. 102
    FeFiFo says:

    @Nick: have you considered that the gun’s pointed at your head (and your family’s) and both parties are in on it? Good cop/bad cop has a long history, you know.

  103. 103
    Nick says:

    @Oscar Leroy:

    it will nonetheless lead to higher tax bills for individuals with incomes below $20,000 and families that make less than $40,000.

    they don’t pay any income tax anyway

  104. 104
    Oscar Leroy says:

    @Corner Stone:

    “At some point one has to conclude that the policies and outcomes are the desired ones. ”

    Are you saying that Obama gives Blue Dogs what they want, but tells liberals to go take a hike?

  105. 105
    Oscar Leroy says:

    @Nick:

    The article explains all. And individuals making $20,000 do pay income tax.

  106. 106
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @WyldPirate: Well, he did say on Jon Stewart that he hoped to see filibuster reform, which suggests he’s not totally satisfied with Senate performance.

    But, you know, the Senate has a role to play, and the Senate sets its own rules, and short of pulling a Boris Yeltsin and having tanks shell the Congress, I’m not sure how anyone outside that stupid chamber is going to convince it to change its ways. I hope the Merkleys and Frankens who have arrived there lately can jolt the institution out of its stupor.

  107. 107
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Corner Stone:

    At some point one has to conclude that the policies and outcomes are the desired ones.

    This.

  108. 108
    burnspbesq says:

    @Jc:

    Now, is getting the unemployment insurance and the (weak) stimulus of this package, with hopes for boosting employment, worth doing a backend defunding of the government, and especially social security? I don’t know.

    I’d suggest that you ask someone who is facing starvation or freezing to death as a result of their unemployment insurance running out.

    When the best thing on the menu is a shit sandwich, order the shit sandwich.

  109. 109
    Oscar Leroy says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    The other question remains, however, was there a way to scratch out a better deal

    Worst case scenario: the budget-busting tax cuts expire if no one did anything, thanks to the person who created them–George W Bush.

    Here’s what I’d do: I’d let everything expire. Then I’d get some money from the DNC and make a commercial ripping Republicans for fighting a middle-class tax cut, and call Boehner and his usual gang of idiots into the oval office and show it to them. Tell them “I’m going to propose a middle-class tax cut. You can make it so I never have to run this commercial.” And rub Boehner’s comment in his face.

  110. 110
    Karmakin says:

    The real question is how can we ensure that all the deficit reduction measures are entirely measured upon the upper middle and the upper classes. I suspect that we can’t, and that all these tax cuts are going to be paid for by the poorest among us who can least afford it.

  111. 111
    FeFiFo says:

    @burnspbesq: Starve now, or starve later. Hell of a choice.

  112. 112
    jeff says:

    @DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective:

    I don’t really get what you mean. I think you might mean that I seemed to threaten that I would withhold support if everyone else doesn’t do what I say? If so, I really failed, because I really only wanted to register my disappointment and resignation about the inevitable disintegration of the coalition of Democrats and lefties that won us the last election.

  113. 113
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Oscar Leroy: Unless you like seeing bills go down to defeat 35-65, you kind of have to put together a coalition of blue-state liberals; red-staters, moderates, DLCers and Blue Dog types; and maybe even a token Republican or two. Try to pass legislation that gets the votes of only liberals–or, for that matter, only Blue Dogs–and you’ll just lose, and what good does that do?

    Republicans had it easier when they had a majority, because they knew they could count on enough Democrats feeling that filibusters were unsportsmanlike or something. Sigh.

  114. 114
    Oscar Leroy says:

    @burnspbesq:

    “When the best thing on the menu is a shit sandwich, order the shit sandwich. ”

    I should open a restaurant in your neighborhood.

  115. 115
    WyldPirate says:

    @Corner Stone:

    At some point one has to conclude that the policies and outcomes are the desired ones.

    Along these lines, check out Howard Dean’s comments on the tax cut proposal:

    “This is a short-term Washington fix,” former DNC header Howard Dean declared on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “It does nothing about this biggest long-term threat to America, which is the deficit. I don’t hear Republicans or Democrats talking about the deficit. There is no pain in this agreement. This is the easy way out for everybody, much as everybody is complaining, hooting and hollering, this is an inside-the-beltway fuss and somebody needs to do something about the long-term problems to this country. It is not in this bill.”

    “The thing that bothers me about it is we have yet to deal with the biggest problem that is facing this country, which is the size of the deficit, and nobody is doing anything about it,” the former Vermont Governor added later. “It is easy to promise everybody tax cuts all the time. You have got to make some cuts if you are going to do that.”

    Wonder who and what is going under the knife? Bet it isn’t any program that benefits the well-to-do.

  116. 116
    Oscar Leroy says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    “Unless you like seeing bills go down to defeat 35-65”

    Like I said, I’d have no problem at all with this tax cut expiring, period.

  117. 117
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Oscar Leroy:

    Here’s what I’d do: I’d let everything expire. Then I’d get some money from the DNC and make a commercial ripping Republicans for fighting a middle-class tax cut, and call Boehner and his usual gang of idiots into the oval office and show it to them. Tell them “I’m going to propose a middle-class tax cut. You can make it so I never have to run this commercial.” And rub Boehner’s comment in his face.

    Sounds good, but I still don’t think you have the votes to make it happen — plus you’ll have Democratic senators and strategists making the rounds and talking to the media about how risky it is to have presided over raising taxes during a recession, and Republicans saying consistently that their position is that all taxpayers deserve a tax cut (obscuring that the issue is income over $250K).

    So you’ll be trying to create a climate where a Democratic president and a lame-duck session of a Democratic-majority Congress did something — most people won’t know the details — that resulted in everyone paying higher taxes, but arguing that it was actually the Republicans’ fault…

    …while Republicans get to say, “Regardless of what they’re trying to tell you now, you know what Democrats are like; they just wanted to stick you with the bill before they got run out of town. Well, here’s our solution, the American Pickup Truck Cowboy Tax Cut Act of 2011, which gives every American a tax cut.”

    I think that’s a strong hand they have to play. Yours has the virtue of being true, but it’s totally counterintuitive. I don’t think it would work.

    (I think you might be able to get a separate UI extension bill out of it, because that’s much more intuitive.)

  118. 118
    Admiral_Komack says:

    “The most deliberative body in the world listened to Bernie Sanders for close to two days, and then decided to completely and totally ignore him (:)”

    …and why are you surprised, exactly?

  119. 119
    MBunge says:

    @Oscar Leroy: Here’s what I’d do: I’d let everything expire. Then I’d get some money from the DNC and make a commercial ripping Republicans for fighting a middle-class tax cut, and call Boehner and his usual gang of idiots into the oval office and show it to them. Tell them “I’m going to propose a middle-class tax cut. You can make it so I never have to run this commercial.” And rub Boehner’s comment in his face

    So, if someone treated you that way…you’d just bend over and take it? The basic stupid mistake made by all these “get tough” negotiators is they never think about how they’d respond to the tactics they advocate. They’re like the generals who thought “shock and awe” would make the Iraqis just give up.

    Mike

  120. 120
    Nick says:

    @MBunge:

    So, if someone treated you that way…you’d just bend over and take it? The basic stupid mistake made by all these “get tough” negotiators is they never think about how they’d respond to the tactics they advocate. They’re like the generals who thought “shock and awe” would make the Iraqis just give up.

    I love how suddenly the Republicans are rational people.

  121. 121
    Svensker says:

    @Nick:

    I think it depends on where they are. If they’re in Manhattan or parts of Long Island and Northern New Jersey, this is indeed true.

    Well, it depends on how you describe “struggling.” Having to settle for used ski equipment for the trips to Vail? Having to cut the nanny’s hours back a bit in order to pay for the 2 kids’ tuition to the private school? Skipping the 2 weeks in Normandy and having to put up with a vacation at Martha’s Vineyard instead? Having lived in Northern NJ and known a bunch of folks who live in NYC, I’m not crying any rivers.

  122. 122
    Nick says:

    @Svensker:

    Having to settle for used ski equipment for the trips to Vail? Having to cut the nanny’s hours back a bit in order to pay for the 2 kids’ tuition to the private school? Skipping the 2 weeks in Normandy and having to put up with a vacation at Martha’s Vineyard instead? Having lived in Northern NJ and known a bunch of folks who live in NYC, I’m not crying any rivers.
    Reply

    those people aren’t making $250,000 a year.

    I’m talking more about people in, say, Massapequa Park who have to pay college tuition for their two kids, their mortgage, their $12,000 property taxes, their car insurance for their two cars, one of which has to take dad to the LIRR station where he spends $200 a month on a train ticket.

  123. 123
    DickSpudCouchPotatoDetective says:

    @jeff:

    You didn’t really fail as much as the blog has failed.

    Either we play along with the Godzilla vs. WyldPirate black-white view of the end of the world as we know it, or we just sit over here and bitch about Godzilla and WP. Which is where I am now. Overly sensitive to hyperbole. All we are doing is putting an extension of a set of tax rates in effect for about one more congress. This ain’t going to break the country, or save the country either. It’s just a good move at a bad time.

    I get what you were saying, but the language is just over the top. Unless an armed invader is about to nuke the entire East Coast and the District of Columbia, I am not buying into any version of any hyperbole. I am sick to death of hyperbole. Your’s wasn’t really all that bad, it was just badly timed.

    Getting “angry” about this tax bill is really a waste of time. Nobody got that angry when the cuts were originally passed, did they? Or when the stupid Iraq war was started, which cost more than the tax cuts?

    This country is run basically by coalitions and machine politics. We either support our machine, or we let the other machine win. And if we don’t like what our machine is producing, then we are obligated to try to build a better machine.

    Don’t like congress? Work to elect a better one. Want a leftist president instead of a centrist? Then try getting a lefty candidate nominated. And try doing it in a cycle where that person might actually have a chance. Otherwise, stop whining and get with the program. Politics is a team sport, not an individual sport.

    What did the people on the right do when they got their asses kicked? They got their ignorant hillbilly asses in gear and fought back. They did not sit around and have food fights with each other on blogs. They are teaching us something, but I am not sure we are learning. Politics abhors a vacuum. Almost half of voters did not vote last month. The half that stayed home? They are the enemy.

  124. 124
    Svensker says:

    @Nick:

    I’m talking more about people in, say, Massapequa Park who have to pay college tuition for their two kids, their mortgage, their $12,000 property taxes, their car insurance for their two cars, one of which has to take dad to the LIRR station where he spends $200 a month on a train ticket.

    I’m one of those folks and I don’t make anywhere near $250K. So, like I said, no crying here.

  125. 125
    PeakVT says:

    The Village of Massapequa Park is located within the Town of Oyster Bay in Nassau County, New York, USA. The population was 17,499 at the 2000 census.
    __
    [snip]
    __
    The median income for a household in the village was $79,403, and the median income for a family was $86,177. Males had a median income of $60,083 versus $36,982 for females. The per capita income for the village was $29,781. About 1.0% of families and 1.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.3% of those under age 18 and 2.5% of those age 65 or over.

    Massapequa Park, New York

  126. 126
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Svensker:

    Anyone who says that making $250,000 a year is ‘just scraping along’ is full of shit. For example; you have to pay for your kids college tuition? What about those families who can’t afford to do the same? What makes your kids so damned special that we should care about your situation when there are millions of kids out there whose parents can’t spare a dime to send their kids through college?

    No, 250K a year isn’t scraping along or barely making it. The only tears I will shed when I hear this lame-assed excuse are tears of laughter.

    @PeakVT:

    End of argument…lol!

  127. 127
    WyldPirate says:

    Here is what then Senator Obama had to say about the Estate tax in 2006:

    “First of all, let’s call this trillion-dollar giveaway what it is – the Paris Hilton Tax Break. It’s about giving billions of dollars to billionaire heirs and heiresses at a time when American taxpayers just can’t afford it.

    he Republicans have brought out the Paris Hilton Tax Break in June because they’re eager to make it an election issue in November.

    And I think that’s fine. In fact, I’m eager for the American people to choose. Because if people want their government to spend one trillion dollars – an amount more than double what we’ve spent on Iraq, Afghanistan, and the War on Terror combined – on tax breaks for multimillionaires and multibillionaires, than the Republican Party is your party.

    If the American people want to borrow billions more from the Chinese, spend billions more in taxes to pay the interest on our debt, and watch billions cut from health care and education and Gulf Coast Reconstruction, then. the Paris Hilton Tax Break is your tax break. “

    We must be able to afford it and at even a lesser rate than before

  128. 128
    J says:

    @Mumphrey: Well put, but it seems to me there is still another flaw in articles of the kind you criticize and the attitude of which they are the expression. They routinely fail to explain that it is marginal tax rates that were going to go up under Obama’s proposal. That is, even if you think, say, $270, 000 isn’t all that much money to make a year (and I’m with you in thinking that view is ridiculous), it would only have been the $20,000 above $250, 000 to which the rise applied. What is more, the tax cuts were scheduled to expire. The right attitude was to see them as something like like a bonus in an unusually good year, or overtime that one earned during a temporary period of extra hours, and be glad one had the extra money when one did.

    Obama’s plan, which would have extended the lower rates for the first $250, 000, would have meant lower taxes for everyone, lower that is than what people should have been expecting to pay when the temporary cut expired.

  129. 129
    Jules says:

    @Nick:

    no
    nonononono

    No matter where you live, if you make $250,000 you are NOT struggling because you can always, always cut something out.
    You can stop going out to restaurants 3 times a week or sending your kids to private school or get cheaper cars or drop your club memberships or stop taking your dogs to the groomers or stop the expensive hair cuts…..

  130. 130
    WyldPirate says:

    @Jules:

    yes, if you pay 50% tax on 250K per year it must be traumatic to try and get by on 10k per month.

  131. 131
    Alison says:

    @Mr. Furious:

    For somebody making a much more typical $60K, the financial issues facing people making $250-500K are not ” struggles” they’re “decisions.”

    Seriously. I will be using this sentence many times in the future, hope you don’t mind.

  132. 132
    Binky the bear says:

    @Dennis SGMM: The wizard of oz thing is my sort of thought when the teabaggers give me the one eye up one eye down and tell me about how the Jews secretly run everything. I always have to ask how can we find these Jews that run everything because they are making a lot of rookie mistakes!

  133. 133
    mds says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I’d suggest that you ask someone who is facing starvation or freezing to death as a result of their unemployment insurance running out.

    Good idea. We’d better hurry, though, because if it’s running out because of the 99-week limit, they’re still fucked, since this deal doesn’t help them. Or anyone who passes 99 weeks in the next thirteen months. Or anyone looking for any extension beyond 26 weeks after that.

  134. 134
    jcricket says:

    @mds: But don’t you know, giving people 1/3rd of their former salary and no healthcare while requiring they look for at least 4 jobs a week is a disincentive to work. Lazy unemployed people.

    Seriously, I just don’t know what it’s going to take in this country to get anything fixed. Our infrastructure is crumbling, our schools are failing, pensions are underfunded, SS needs more money, Medicare is going to bankrupt us (hell, even private insurance is bankrupting us), 50 million people don’t have healthcare, close to 20% of the working-age population is unemployed or underemployed, wages have been stagnant for 30 years. Top it all off with potentially irreversible climate change, regulation-ignoring companies producing toxic products that kill our kids and it sure sounds like a recipe for disaster to me.

    And yet it’s all “tax cuts for the rich”, “get rid of the death tax”, “regulations stifle innovation”, “global warming is a hoax” and so on. The intoxicating brew of bigotry, anti-government hysteria and outright economic nonsense peddled by the GOP, lapped up by a large majority of morons and meekly countered by the Dems will doom America to second class status in a generation. Funny how Republicans are always talking about how liberals/Democrats “want to destroy America” and that’s exactly what the GOP is doing. Projection rears its head again.

    Hey John Cole – That’s what’s depressing. It’s not really rage at Obama, per se. It’s the sad realization that despite having control of all three branches of the gov’t, we got some shit, but barely enough to be considered a “dead cat bounce” from the GOP years, and now we’re headed rapidly backwards. He’s just the target of our liberal rage that so many of our country-folk are dumb enough to buy the GOP shit sandwich (maybe just to keep it out of the hands of the darkies).

  135. 135
    dogwood says:

    @MBunge:
    Great analogy. And there are still die-hards who think Iraq was the right thing to do. I think what has made this schism in the party so painful for many of us non Kos/Firedog Lake democrats isn’t that the president has been criticized, but that some real sensitive rhetorical lines have been crossed. It probably hit a lot of us at different times, but for me it crystalized over the weekend when I visited the Daily Kos for the first time in months. I read a comment there that stopped me in my tracks. I couldn’t believe a democrat could speak publicly of any African American with the reference that was used toward the president. It was like that moment when you were a kid fighting with a sibling and one of you crosses the line, says the thing that should never be spoken aloud. It tears the bonds that bind us in ways that can’t be mended with simple apologies. In that respect this has nothing to do with the President; he had a great life before serving and the same will be true afterward. He is a significant figure in American history and nothing can change that. This is about the party. It’s been tough going for Democrats for over 30 years. The language now used to describe the pres. is the language that’s been used against all of us for decades. Using that language doesn’t show passion, commitment or principle; it shows a lack of self-restraint. People like that will say anything to make a point; therefore, they cannot be trusted.

  136. 136
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    @burnspbesq:
    .
    .

    I’d suggest that you ask someone who is facing starvation or freezing to death as a result of their unemployment insurance running out.

    I’d suggest that if you don’t draw the line on 100 people now, 100,000,000 people will face the same thing further down the road. In the meantime, there is nothing preventing everyone from helping each other out personally.

    When the best thing on the menu is a shit sandwich, order the shit sandwich.

    This is not smart either, to my way of thinking, because if you accept the shit sandwich now, next time there will be nothing at all on the menu – you’re dealing with a sociopathic restaurateur. The smart thing to do is to shove that shit sandwich in the owner’s face and make him swallow it, and get your friends to come and take over the restaurant through political and civil action/disobedience and start putting good reasonable food on the menu. And if the choice is eating a shit sandwich and then eating nothing and starving to death, eating nothing and starving to death, and eating nothing and starving to death after burning the restaurant down, choose the latter. Also too, live free or die, muthafucka. Brought to you by Analogies R Us.
    .
    .

  137. 137
    Uriel says:

    @Mumphrey:

    the plight of the people who can’t even put food on their families

    This should never happen in a country as great as America. I always say, “Show me a child with no pork chop on his head, no pudding on her back, a child with no arugula proudly draped over a patriotic navel- whether innie or outie- and I will show you a child that will never know freedom the way you and I do.”

    (I kid, I kid. And I totally agree with your larger point.)

  138. 138
    Uriel says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    I’d suggest that if you don’t draw the line on 100 people now, 100,000,000 people will face the same thing further down the road. In the meantime, there is nothing preventing everyone from helping each other out personally.

    And I would suggest that it is exactly this sort of fear drenched appeal to some completely speculative nightmarish slide down a slope laced with grease, broken glass and rock salt- conjured from nothing more than the thin air of “I want something, so it must be right,”- that has empowered every self-aggrandizing, monomaniacal sociopath the world has seen in the past century. And generated more devastating, irreparable harm than the world has ever had to bear in the process.

    Including the “gotta fight ’em over there so we won’t have to fight ’em over here” set. I’m sure you can think of other examples.

    Just thought I’d mention it, while were all suggesting stuff and such.

  139. 139

    A recuit after enlisting in the Airborne, eagerly asked his Recruiter what could he expect from jump school.

    The British lieutenant was prepping his troop of Gurkhas for their first trial jump — from 1,000 feet into a low-lying valley when he was interrupted by a growing clamor from his men. The lieutenant asked the head Gurkha to step forward and inform him of the problem.

    ‘We don’t want to jump out of the plane from 1,000 feet, sir,’ the head Gurkha said.

    ‘I’m afraid I don’t follow …’

    ‘We don’t want to jump from 1,000 feet. The men, sir, they say they’ll only jump from 500 feet … and only if it’s into a snowdrift.’

  140. 140
    Uriel says:

    @Uriel: Sigh. No one ever sees my best work….

  141. 141
    DPirate says:

    If there was no other deal that could pass, they could still have done nothing. Just because they can pass this doesn’t mean they had to. The only thing that would have changed then is that the tax cuts would have expired, isn’t that right? Don’t try to say that all the add-ons were worth it, because they are individual separate issues that only got rolled up into the dialogue in order to keep the rich getting richer. I’m sick of all the packaging that goes on solely in order to obfuscate things. How people can buy into that is beyond me.

  142. 142
    matoko_chan says:

    rawr.
    look….Obama is a machiavellian pragmatist.
    he is doing the best that he can given the circumstances.
    his Kepler-Trigo decision matrix optimized extending unemployment benefits over filibustering the rich ppl tax cut.
    im not saying don’t fight– he is fighting.
    but until the demographic timer goes off we live under the tyranny of the Stupid.
    I say cudlips because the conservative base has been memetically bred like cattle for stupidity– conservatism is selection for stupid.
    the dimwitted bovines have been bred to be religious, to believe they have the right to be creationists, racists, homophobes, been told that commonsense > intelligence, and that the only kind of smart anyone needs is godsmart.
    this worked for 50 years.
    it is FUCKING AMAZING that HCR passed.
    HCR is the doom of the conservitards.
    remember what the doormouse said.
    Forever defeat.

  143. 143
    agrippa says:

    @dogwood:

    Words are actions and have consequences.

  144. 144

Comments are closed.