What Are They Thinking?

Putting aside the damage this might do to vulnerable citizens, this is exceptionally poor politics:

President Obama’s proposed 2012 budget will cut several billion dollars from the government’s energy assistance fund for poor people, officials briefed on the subject told National Journal.

It’s the biggest domestic spending cut disclosed so far, and one that will likely generate the most heat from the president’s traditional political allies. Such complaints might satisfy the White House, which has a vested interest in convincing Americans that it is serious about budget discipline.

I’m not sure what a Democratic administration thinks they are accomplishing cutting the poor off at the knees a few months after extending tax cuts for the uber-rich. But then again, I’m just some potty mouth with a blog.






146 replies
  1. 1
    Carnacki says:

    What do we need to do to get you to run against McKinley or Capito (depending on how redistricting goes?

  2. 2
    Bulworth says:

    Taxes and aid to poor soshulist and because shut up that’s why.

  3. 3
    evinfuilt says:

    I guess the poor should take their boot straps off and toss them in the fireplace to keep warm.

  4. 4
    Egypt Steve says:

    Well, if they made the point that they would like to fully fund the heating relief, but can’t because of the tax cuts for the rich the Repugs insisted on, and if they made that point every time, so that the linkage was clear … but do they actually strategize that way?

    And, if that is the strategy, it basically amounts to taking your own base hostage and threatening to freeze your own most vulnerable voters in the dark … I agree, even the best spin on this is not particularly appetizing.

  5. 5
    bkny says:

    mr hopey changey once again proving to his corporate overlords that he’s willing and eager to fuck his base at any opportunity. and if you think he won’t offer up social security, you be dreaming…

  6. 6
    Observer says:

    This sort of thing has been predictable for a long time. If you’re talking tax cuts for the rich and your COS is talking about “everybody agrees we need to rein in spending” then you’re talking Grover Norquist / Evan Bayh territory.

    The tax cut deal initially had a tax rise for the poor so you know where Obama’s priority lies. Don’t know if they fixed that.

    So bad policies, bad politics but I’m sorry this has been the trajectory of Obama’s tax and fiscal policies for a long time.

    So no surprise about something like this. IIRC, you freaked when Hamsher sidled up to Norquist during the HCR.

    The only question is what’s being cut and how bad will it be.

  7. 7
    wvng says:

    It’s particularly wonderful during a winter where the cold stretched deeper into the country than ever before, with reasonable prospects for this becoming the norm for the foreseeable future.

  8. 8
    Lee says:

    My first thought was if we really have to subsidize the poor that much for energy assistance, maybe we should be looking for cheaper energy.

    Then the next thought was “This is a really bad idea”.

  9. 9
    BrklynLibrul says:

    Hey, John, now you know why some of us Obama supporters don’t always trust the man’s policies or his eleven-dimensional chess-playing abilities.

  10. 10
    Bobby Thomson says:

    There has to be a mole. This will have no effect on the deficit at all and is entirely symbolic – and the symbolism is terrible.

  11. 11
    gnomedad says:

    If you were Obama and forced to cut something you’d rather not cut, what would you choose?

  12. 12
    Rick Taylor says:

    I know very little about the program I heard someone argue in passing that it ended up funding energy companies more than it did the poor, and that there were other protections in place. I’d be willing to listen to someone who knew the details. That said, this sure sounds horrible, especially in the wake of renewing tax cuts for the wealthy.

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Lee:

    Dick Cheney and his Awl Bidness buddies will not approve, for sure.

  14. 14
    david mizner says:

    The political calculus is that seeming tough on deficits is more important than seeming to care about the poor. All along they’ve overestimated the importance of deficit in driving voters. This clearly worries them.

    “President Obama’s approval rating for his handling of the federal deficit has hit a new low: Just 27% of Americans approve of how he’s doing on the issue; 68% disapprove, according to a Gallup Poll.”

  15. 15
    BGinCHI says:

    If he were still Chief of Staff, what are the chances Rahm would have been blamed for this?

    Approaching 100%, I’d say.

    Maybe Obama was on to something with having a CoS who was a lightning rod.

  16. 16
    gex says:

    @gnomedad: I’d cut missile defense research by half. Next question?

  17. 17
    JPL says:

    If the report is true it sucks. There is no other way to describe it.
    House Republicans sketched their vision for a smaller federal government Wednesday, proposing sharp spending cuts that would wipe out family planning programs, take 4,500 cops off the street and slice 10 percent from a food program that aids pregnant women and their babies. link

    Edit.. Repub motto if it’s not a fetus, do we really care

  18. 18
    p.a. says:

    anyone beginning to get the impression all that was accomplished in the last congress was more because of Pelosi et al, including much-bashed Harry Reid, than the O-man?

  19. 19
    Silver says:

    Everytime a poor person gets fucked in the ass, a banker gets a bonus.

  20. 20
    Observer says:

    @BGinCHI: I don’t think Obama thought Rahm would be a lightening rod for policy; that was just a favorable (to Obama) side effect. I think he was trying to project a tough guy image to Congress.

  21. 21
    Lee says:

    Found this somewhere else. I have no idea if it is true or not.

    “Because the program’s budget was expanded to cover the same amount of fuel with expected cost increases. Those cost increases did not materialize as expected. The amount of fuel provided will not decrease, we just need less dollars to do it so the budget is being reduced closer to the old level.”

  22. 22
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Rick Taylor: Yes, it funded the energy companies to the extent that people could pay their heating bills and be WARM. It meant people could buy fuel to heat their homes.

  23. 23
    The Moar You Know says:

    Maybe Chavez can be persuaded to send some more foreign aid to our cold, poor people.

    Jesus Fucking Christ, how humiliating. Letting people freeze so that some hedge fund trader can have a gold-plated grill on his Mercedes SUV.

  24. 24
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @gex:

    By half?

    Scrap the entire boondoggle. Without a major technological breakthrough, something along the order of missile deflecting force fields powered by geothermal energy, the entire thing is utterly pointless. You can imagine this shit at Industrial Light and Magic all you want, but there is no basis in reality for any of it, from both scientific and military points of view.

    Hell, they can’t get it to work right when they rig the damn tests in ways the North Koreans will never bother to comply with.

  25. 25
    inkadu says:

    @david mizner: Does anyone really vote on the deficit? Deficit seems too abstract for anyone to really care about. If people do vote on the deficit, I suspect it’s in a “the black bogeyman is driving this country to ruin” sort of way.

  26. 26
    Culture of Truth says:

    This looks harsh but spring is only a few weeks away.

  27. 27
    mds says:

    @gnomedad:

    If you were Obama and forced to cut something you’d rather not cut, what would you choose?

    Corn ethanol subsidies.

  28. 28
    p.a. says:

    @david mizner:

    “President Obama’s approval rating for his handling of the federal deficit has hit a new low: Just 27% of Americans approve of how he’s doing on the issue; 68% disapprove, according to a Gallup Poll.”

    But all the polls I’ve seen show the deficit basically a non-issue compared to jobs, healthcare, war, schools…

    Turn the economy around and the deficit disappears as an issue. And when the Confederate Party tries to use it as an issue, point to Great Britain and say ‘look what their policies do!’

  29. 29
    Corner Stone says:

    Now, now, let’s not be too quick to judge on this.

    “In real terms, under our budget, LIHEAP funding will be at levels similar to the Clinton administration,” a senior administration official said.

    That sounds pretty reasonable.

  30. 30
    slag says:

    Sorry, Cole, the extension of the Bush tax cuts did it for me. There’s no surprise or outrage left in the holster. As far as I can tell, they proved that they weren’t at all serious about tackling our fundamental economic challenges at that moment. So, I just read this and shrug. What else is there to do?

  31. 31
    Chris says:

    They’re probably thinking that poor people are a minority, don’t vote much and have already served as convenient punching bags for people trying to blame the economic crisis on anyone else.

    It’s disgusting that a Democratic administration would sink to that, but hey, not much can surprise me these days.

    Maybe Chavez can be persuaded to send some more foreign aid to our cold, poor people.

    Yeah, or maybe some of the rich folks right here in this country, the guys whose rising tides lift all boats or some such. That’d be nice, wouldn’t it?

  32. 32
    david mizner says:

    @p.a.:

    Oh, I fully agree. I was just attempting to answer the question in Cole’s headline.

  33. 33
    numbskull says:

    I’m sure the General will be along soon to explain it to me. Especially the optics, which are the only reason to do this.

  34. 34
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    And they said the DLC was dead!

  35. 35
    Alex S. says:

    Kerry’s argument is stupid because the cuts won’t go into effect during this winter.
    Anyway, heating assistance is supposed to return to 2008 levels. Between 2008 and 2011 the program received a lot of additional funds because of the recession. Also, energy prices in 2008 were at record levels, before the stock market crash , that is. So the cuts are not THAT dramatic, but they are only fair if the economy actually returns to pre-crisis activity and if heating costs don’t rise above 2008 levels (with oil at $150)

  36. 36
    piratedan says:

    well obviously Obama was thinking that those poor people could bunk in with the rich folks since they have all of this room that they’re simply not using, call it Winter Sleepover ’11, market it like Spring Break perhaps….

  37. 37
    david mizner says:

    @inkadu:

    Only teabaggers and such who wouldn’t vote for Obama under any circumstances.

  38. 38
    Chris says:

    @p.a.:

    And when the Confederate Party tries to use it as an issue, point to Great Britain and say ‘look what their policies do!’

    The avalanche of propaganda concerning Europe (a poverty stricken socialist hellhole much like Cuba which is about to become a part of the jihadist empire, or so I’m told) has made it nearly impossible to point to any European nation as an example for anything. (Unless the nation’s Switzerland and we’re talking about gun rights).

  39. 39
    TJ says:

    Somebody should explain triangulation to the WH. You’re supposed to aim for somewhere between Democrats and Republicans, not off to the side of both.

  40. 40
    Zifnab says:

    I’m not sure what a Democratic administration thinks they are accomplishing cutting the poor off at the knees a few months after extending tax cuts for the uber-rich. But then again, I’m just some potty mouth with a blog.

    The rich tax cut extensions were used to jam through unemployment extensions and other relief measures. This is part of a separate deal.

    I honestly don’t understand what kind of deal Obama thinks he is going to work out, though. Unless he can peal off Republicans in the House, it’s just going to be dead-lock. The GOP House will pass some god-awful train wreck of a bill. The Dem Senate won’t even give it a vote. The Dem Senate will release some mushy compromise crap that can pass a filibuster. The GOP House will gut it with crazy amendments and send it right back again. Anything crappy enough to pass both houses will need to survive a Presidential Veto. And of Obama signs the garbage they produce, he’ll just hurt his reelection chances.

    It’s a lose-lose for everybody involved. The GOP might come out ahead, but only because they don’t have to defend as many Senate seats in ’12, when anti-incumbent fever breaks out again.

  41. 41
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @JPL:

    This is what I was talking about yesterday. When the GOP has managed to criminalize abortion and slashed all family planning programs what the hell are they going to do with all the unwanted babies (mostly born to poor mothers)? They are not going to let them starve (they would like to don’t get me wrong but it would look bad on tv to the rest of the world) so basically any savings they make in cutting family planning etc., will just be eaten up by increases in medicaid, WIC, SNAP etc.

    As far as I can see having a massive rise in the numbers of the poor will have exactly the opposite effect of what they are looking for. Did they all fail math? Oh and lets not even go into the unemployment numbers 18 years hence.

  42. 42
    Kryptik says:

    @inkadu:

    Why do you think they’re driving at the deficit chickenhawking so much?

    And seriously, what kind of shit is this. Honestly? We extend tax cuts for the rich to assuage their fee-fees, without which they’d never hire (despite not exactly hiring under the rates as the stood to begin with), but we have to leave people literally in the cold because TEH DEFICIT WILL RUIN UZZ?!

    Jesus, fuck it, they really have won the whole argument and the whole fucking country. Why even bother fighting anymore, the game’s already fuckin’ rigged all the way to the top.

  43. 43
    fasteddie9318 says:

    What do you want the man to do, trim a couple billion off the $800 billion DOD budget? Fucking crazy talk. We need that extra couple of tenths of a percent of the defense budget or else we’d all be praying five times a day and have to give up eating pig bacon. You ever eat beef bacon, Cole? No fucking way we’re going down that path.

    If these peasants want heat in the winter, let them pony up a few million to buy themselves some leverage bribes influence free speech and then we’ll talk. Until then, what are they going to do? Vote? Oh, yeah, that’ll make a difference.

  44. 44
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The deficit? Please. The deficit didn’t even show up on the radar until just after 8PM PST on 4 November 2008, when suddenly it became the issue that mobilized the Teabaggers out of their killing brown people porn stupor.

  45. 45
    Captain Haddock says:

    Some of the comments there are mind boggling. I hope half of them are just troll and snark – if not our fellow citizens are truly corrupt and vile.

  46. 46
    cathyx says:

    @Chris: Here’s the problem with that kind of thinking, if in fact it’s true. Many people like me don’t have to have something directly affect them for their opinion to be swayed. This cutback in funding doesn’t effect me, I don’t need the assistance, but it does effect my view of the president, and perhaps my vote in 2 years.

  47. 47
    KG says:

    @Lee: if that is true, then this is much less of an issue, I think. We can do the same thing for less money? What exactly is the problem, then?

  48. 48
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    I don’t quite understand it either, but then again, a lot of these people voted the Republicans into office. Maybe elections have consequences.

  49. 49
    Eric S. says:

    @Rick Taylor:
    I do consulting work for a utility company in the Chicago area. Yes, the utility likes the program. They get paid for services provided where otherwise payment is not always forthcoming. The other side of the coin is that state laws require the utility to provide heating gas during the winter months. So service is mandated – you know, so people don’t freeze to death – and the LIHEAP program pays some of the costs.

    Does that help the customer if they can’t have their gas turned off anyway? It does in the fact that these people get a 400 – 600 worth of their utility costs paid by someone else. (The amount each customer receives is based on their income level and other factors. The amount is determined by the state.) That’s money they can spend on other goods and services. It also helps them keep the gas turned on during the warm months so they can cook food, heat water, etc.

    I don’t know if I’m comfortable giving dollar amounts but federal funding was used to assist just shy of 27,000 customers for the utility last year. That’s out of a total of around 106,000 people that received assistance. The other money comes from state funding sources. Federal funding made up about 25% of the assistance given.

    EDIT: Personally, I don’t like the cuts. Working on improving these programs at the utility actually makes me feel like I’m making some small difference in peoples’ lives.

  50. 50
    El Tiburon says:

    @p.a.:

    anyone beginning to get the impression all that was accomplished in the last congress was more because of Pelosi et al, including much-bashed Harry Reid, than the O-man?

    How about ‘in-spite’ of the O-man.

    Like she said, I am tired of even entertaining the notion of this man. His only positive quality is that he is not John McCain. I guess. You know. Whatever.

    Otherwise, what a total fucking waste of a golden opportunity to change the course of this country. My disappoint

    Oh, but we got Lilly Ledbetter and HCR that is a boon to the very industry that is making life miserable for us.

    Also, nice speech in Arizona. I guess. You know. Whatever.

  51. 51
    Loneoak says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Maybe Obama was on to something with having a CoS who was a lightning rod.

    Hey man, you missed a big opportunity there: A CoS that is a PoS.

  52. 52
    mr. whipple says:

    Now, now, let’s not be too quick to judge on this.

    That’s just crazy talk.

  53. 53
    martha says:

    @Alex S.: Thank you. At least someone brought a few facts to this thread. Utilities “pass through” actual fuel costs to customers and then “refund” them later via fuel surcharge adjustments. Happens multiple times each year. Costs are down, despite the cold weather, so they’re reducing the budget for this program.

  54. 54
    Eric S. says:

    @Culture of Truth: It may very state to state but here in Illinois the LIHEAP fiscal year is August through July. In February all the grant money is more or less allocated. Some late grants are still being applied but it’s mostly done. This change will affect the 2012 heating season (08/2011 – 03/2012) more than this year.

  55. 55
    martha says:

    @Eric S.: Sounds about right to me.

  56. 56
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Corner Stone: Interesting. Do you have a link?

  57. 57
    PurpleGirl says:

    Maybe costs for fuel are down, but I imagine that there are MORE people who need help to pay those heating bills. If they reduce the money for the program it means fewer people get help.

  58. 58
    Uloborus says:

    Soooo…

    Unnamed officials are reporting that Obama intends to cut a government program’s budget. As has been reported already in this thread, it does not actually mean that anybody is getting less fuel, it just means that costs have gone down from a spike. Yet somehow this proves that a guy who put his ass to the fire to get a gigantic increase in medical coverage, extensions of unemployment Republicans had been blocking for months, and who stuck into his response to the financial crisis a fat package to stop banks from screwing the poor… hates poor people and loves only rich people and is throwing them under the bus. Because, hey, one of his bargaining chips to get these things was a small tax cut for rich people, so he must have really wanted the tax cut for rich people and not any of the other stuff.

    I’m filing this with the Catfood Commission as another insane conspiracy theory that will prove to be absolutely baseless.

    Honestly, John, you’re better than this. Less outrage and more context.

  59. 59
    Culture of Truth says:

    so nothing to worry about then. This winter has been so cold the next one is bound to be unusually warm.

  60. 60
    Allan says:

    Did Anonymous hack this blog and turn over the front page to Greenwald?

  61. 61
  62. 62
    mcd410x says:

    They certainly aren’t thinking that something like Egypt could happen here. And when we’re so placated with nifty, new gadgets, they’re probably correct.

  63. 63

    @Uloborus: Yes. This. Can we at least wait to see what the actual proposal is before bashing it?

    @Allan: Snert. You funny. But so true.

  64. 64
    Mary says:

    Considering how inept Pepco has been at actually supplying power to its customers, maybe the administration just figures people’s bills won’t be very high.

  65. 65
    Ash Can says:

    @Egypt Steve:

    Well, if they made the point that they would like to fully fund the heating relief, but can’t because of the tax cuts for the rich the Repugs insisted on…

    According to Matthew Cooper’s follow-up analysis, this may yet be the case. Of course, I recognize the possibility that Cooper’s analysis could be off the mark, and I certainly admit that this proposed cut looks crappy regardless. It certainly has legislators from cold states up in arms — hey lookee, real live bipartisanship! — which might be part of the point. If this particular cut was made and announced now, when many of us Americans are freezing our parts and accessories off, largely for shock value, I can see that as a purpose. But I think John’s right to wonder about the political fallout from this, regardless of the reasoning behind it.

  66. 66
    TJ says:

    Because, hey, one of his bargaining chips to get these things was a small tax cut for rich people, so he must have really wanted the tax cut for rich people and not any of the other stuff.

    A $400 billion tax cut is not a small bargaining chip, unless you’re a bankster.

  67. 67
    Mattminus says:

    John Hamsher is a racist for turning on Black Reagan Super Jesus!

  68. 68
    brantl says:

    Hugo Chavez to the rescue, again?

  69. 69
    Uloborus says:

    @TJ:
    It is a tiny bargaining chip if you’ve been saying since day one that the deficit is less important than fixing the economy. It’s damned near a meaningless token, as far as I’m concerned. Especially if putting it in ACTUALLY GETS YOU WHAT YOU ASKED FOR like it did here.

  70. 70
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Uloborus: ah, about that unemployment extension… what isn’t usually reported by the MSM is that there are state laws that also involve how long a person gets benefits. Last year, NYS’s total rate decreased by two-tenths of one percent and that cut off the extended benefits. I stopped getting benefits last year. I’m still unemployed. Maybe it’s not the president’s fault but I’d say everyone involved who doesn’t look at the whole picture is at fault. Extension or not, some people were still left without money coming in.

  71. 71
    PeakVT says:

    @gnomedad: Wrong question. The question should be: If you were Obama and forced to cut something that might affect the campaign contributions for your re-election, what would you choose?

    @Alex S.: Oil prices averaged $92/bbl in 2008, vs. $71 in 2010. The monthly average price in January of 2009 was $34/bbl, vs. $81 in December of 2010.

  72. 72
    BGinCHI says:

    @Loneoak: Hey, how do I know if the next mayor is watching me type?

    I only have one dead bolt on the door.

  73. 73
    Stillwater says:

    I think Obama’s on to something here. If we freeze the poor into physical activity, maybe they’ll do something productive (instead of rioting) and jump start the economy! Then rich people can get back to the serious business of exploiting them, instead of subsidizing their too comfortable, luxurious lifestyles.

    Heat is not a constitutional right!

  74. 74
    WyldPirate says:

    Goddamn, people. Don’t you know that Obama has an election to win? He has to get some of the independents to vote for him in the Midwest or he is going to get his ass handed to him.

    Hence, fuck the poor! They don’t vote anyway.

    Seriously, this deficit reduction talk is a charade. Neither side wants to cut anything except to those3 who have the least voice to complain.

    Over at gin and Tacos, this link provides a good overview with simple graphs of how the “fiscally conservative” Rethugs plan on reducing the deficit. It shows that they have no intention of cutting much of shit unless it hurts the least among us.

  75. 75
    Uloborus says:

    @PurpleGirl:
    President still did everything within his power to make sure that money was there for other people’s mouths.

    Do not get me wrong. I feel for you. I’m cringing at the thought of you being cut off from that money. But it was cut off from you in a way Obama has absolutely no control over after he did everything he DID have control over. He still fought for you and anybody who thinks he’s somehow anti-poor is not paying attention.

  76. 76
    Corner Stone says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): It’s from the article Cole links at top:
    National Journal

  77. 77
    El Tiburon says:

    @Uloborus:

    Honestly, John, you’re better than this. Less outrage and more context

    Even if it is true that the program is being cut due to falling fuel prices or whatever, it is still a stupid, bullshit move.

    Unless I see the same for the DOD budget, etc.

  78. 78
    geg6 says:

    @gnomedad:

    DoD. Talk about your welfare queens…

  79. 79
    Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac says:

    Yep, the best thing to do is to tell people the crisis is over, we’re pulling back the funds and we’re reducing everything because there is no longer a crisis when unemployment is still Issue #1 with most people.

  80. 80
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Captain Haddock:

    Some of the comments there are mind boggling. I hope half of them are just troll and snark – if not our fellow citizens are truly corrupt and vile.

    There’s a reason that people become misanthropes.

  81. 81
    Bulworth says:

    maybe we should be looking for cheaper energy.

    And rob our Galtian overlords of their profits? Besides cheaper, alternative energy is the same as Code Pink and the Obama Muslim caliphate.

  82. 82
    Suffern ACE says:

    @JPL: Truthfully, that outline creates a government that really isn’t all that much smaller at all.

  83. 83
    Eric S. says:

    @Alex S.:
    For a utility the price of the commodity is a pass through as stated above. That price won’t be the same for every utility because it is partially based on the company’s buying strategies. They are supposed to implement a strategy that will keep the costs down for customers.

    I did a quick look up for a comparison. Natural gas is billed in therms. November 2008 it was $0.99 per therm. November 2010 it was $0.44 per therm.

  84. 84
    Uloborus says:

    @El Tiburon:
    Well? You just said it yourself. We don’t know what the context is. At all. At ALL at all. What we do have is a cherry-picked outrageous sounding number that even the most preliminary examination shows is not actually outrageous. You have just been deliberately fauxraged by the media. Congratulations.

  85. 85
    PurpleGirl says:

    Employment is still the #1 issue. Not the deficit, not what’s happening in Egypt, even reforming the tax code… it’s JOBS. And I don’t hear the president saying anything that makes me think he truly understands that the problem is jobs and getting people working.

  86. 86
    Alex S. says:

    @PeakVT:

    Record in July 2008: $147. In the aftermath of the crisis, the price dropped to $30 in Dec. 2008.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F.....2003-2008).png

  87. 87
    Uloborus says:

    @PurpleGirl:
    Odd, because I hear it every time he speaks. He just gave a speech to the Chamber of Commerce that said in the most sugary language imaginable that his priority was jobs being made in the US, and that they were either for that or against it as far as he’s concerned. I heard it in his State Of The Union, where he addressed jobs in terms of the many packages he wanted to encourage industries. He was flat-out using the term ‘jobs bill’ before the turn of the year.

  88. 88
    Culture of Truth says:

    Obama was going to propose massive cuts to Social Security in the SOTU. Whatever happened with that?

  89. 89
    Suck It Up! says:

    @p.a.:

    no

  90. 90
    cleek says:

    @Culture of Truth:
    that narrative got ate by the memory hole.

  91. 91
    Corner Stone says:

    @Culture of Truth: Soros told him to wait a bit on that one.

  92. 92
    gene108 says:

    this is exceptionally poor politics:

    I don’t know, the one area where President Obama really doesn’t have the support of the American people is regarding the budget deficit.

    He has a 25% or so approval rating on handling the deficit, which is lower than it was a month or two ago.

    I don’t know. Maybe he needs to “get tough” on the deficit, because god knows how they did it, but Republicans have made the budget deficit a huge issue in the minds of voters again.

  93. 93
    WyldPirate says:

    @Uloborus:

    Let’s unpack this BS…

    Yet somehow this proves that a guy who put his ass to the fire to get a gigantic increase in medical coverage…

    It hasn’t materialized yet and likely won’t. Health care costs are skyrocketing, still. If you have insurance you are lucky and if you don’t get kicked off you are lucky (one of the benes), but if you have a catastrophic illness, you’re still going to go broke trying to stay alive just paying co-pays (especially so if you can’t work and can’t wind through the disability maze).

    extensions of unemployment Republicans had been blocking for months,

    They stonewalled for months, but caved each time. That is no help whatsoever to the millions that have exhausted their benefits. They’re fucked.

    And yes, I know there is some “devil’s advocate” to this. He traded the tax cut to the rich to maintain all of the tax cuts as the stimulus is running out and the economy hasn’t picked up from the standpoint of employment.

    …and who stuck into his response to the financial crisis a fat package to stop banks from screwing the poor…

    This made me laugh. Banks not screwing poor people due to something Obama stuck in his “financial package”. what, pray tell, is that? Poor people can’t get loans. If they have a credit card, they are probably paying north of 20% APR on it while the feds are essentially giving money away to the banks who then can turn around and make 20% or more on their “free money”. The mortgage bailout plan was a complete joke.

    But hey, we all know that The Infallible President Obama (TM) can do no wrong in the eyes of you Obot fluffers.

    ETA–to fix a few of the grammar and spelling catastrophes.

  94. 94
    Zifnab says:

    @Culture of Truth: I think Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid slapped him upside the head.

  95. 95
    PurpleGirl says:

    Sugary language is just that, sugary language. Can you point to an actual program that increases jobs? I don’t think that the payroll tax holiday will do anything to increase jobs. Two percent of the workers’ tax — which comes out of the workers’ salary — isn’t much of an incentive to an employer to hire people. The government has to stop the incentives to outsource jobs. Do something like what Germany does — when a company goes to lay people off, the government picks up a portion of the salary to keep the people working.

  96. 96
    Rick Taylor says:

    @Eric S.
    Thanks for the context; that definitely makes sense to me.

  97. 97
    Suck It Up! says:

    Since certain factions on the left and the msm have an abysmal track record at judging the president and his actions I am going with the logical explanations provided in this thread by the non-shrill seekers.

    Its like someone said up above, after providing extended aid and more money to programs that help the poor in this country, its disturbing that one budget “cut” is enough to accuse him of hating poor people. I’m sure there is a post coming up somewhere in the blogosphere saying this proves that Obama hates poor black people because this program affects a lot of black people.

  98. 98
    Zifnab says:

    @WyldPirate:

    But hey, we all know that The Infallible President Obama™ can do no wrong in the eyes of you Obot fluffers.

    There’s a difference between doing what you can with what you’ve got and being an Infallible Superman. You can pretend that Obama is Autocrat of the American Empire if you like, but he still had to get bills through an obstinate and thick-headed Senate.

    Remember the original Stimulus package? We gave out another $300 billion in tax cuts there, too. But it was a Godsend to a flagging economy.

    If bloating the already bloated deficit a little further for a few more years is what the Republicans really want to bargain over, then by all means give them a few more tax cuts. From what I’ve seen in the GOP House, they don’t give a flying fuck about budget deficits or jobs. Obama could be playing this game better, but he’s done a respectable job so far given how deep in the whole Bush left us.

  99. 99
    debbie says:

    @ Alex S:

    Anyway, heating assistance is supposed to return to 2008 levels. Between 2008 and 2011 the program received a lot of additional funds because of the recession.

    I’ve had to request heating assistance for the past three years and I can tell you that I’ve gotten less each of the 3 years I’ve applied, so your statement is incorrect. What I got this year is less than half of what I got 3 years ago, even though my income’s dropped to zero. And it’s a far colder winter too.

    In light of my experience, I don’t see why you think cutting funding will result in an increase of assistance.

    @ Martha:

    The electric companies “pass through” everything; I’m not sure why this would bother you more than other pass throughs, particularly when it’s lending a hand to hurting people.

  100. 100
    Suck It Up! says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    “Obama was going to propose massive cuts to Social Security in the SOTU. Whatever happened with that?”

    Huh? Didn’t he and the Democrats gut and slash SS in the lame duck session? oh wait….

  101. 101
    Stillwater says:

    @Uloborus: I may be wrong about this, but the problem Obama faces wrt job creation is structural more than political, in that there are no obvious fixes. Stimulus won’t lead to long term growth, or even sustained employment, in any economic sector (one option, renewable energy, has been awarded heaps of federal grants without any workable results). And artificially sustaining that sector with government subsidies would require increasing taxes (not an option, apparently). That leaves lobbying the investor class to loosen up on venture-capital (which they would do if it made financial sense), or radically changing longstanding ex/im agreements to create a favorable market for US labor (which is, far as I know, not even in the room, let alone on the table).

    Is this view wrong?

  102. 102
    debbie says:

    @ Eric S.:

    It does in the fact that these people get a 400 – 600 worth of their utility costs paid by someone else. (The amount each customer receives is based on their income level and other factors. The amount is determined by the state. (/blockquote>

    Maybe I should move to Illinois. In Ohio, I got $200 this year with zero income.

  103. 103
    Tsulagi says:

    I’m not sure what a Democratic administration thinks they are accomplishing cutting the poor off at the knees a few months after extending tax cuts for the uber-rich.

    Not to worry, the trickle down will keep them warm.

  104. 104
    gex says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Well, I agree on the uselessness of it. I would defund all of it. But for political expediency, I’d start small by cutting it in half. Those sociopaths that make their money off of this can’t all be turned out on the streets at once.

  105. 105
    PeakVT says:

    @Alex S.: Exactly. Quoting the max can be deceptive.

  106. 106
    Allan says:

    Hey John, Kay just put up a new post. It’s really interesting, well-researched and sourced, and advances a coherent argument.

    You should try writing more posts like that.

  107. 107
    Ash Can says:

    @Suck It Up!: This. If Obama had an established track record of favoring policies that clearly and directly hurt the middle and lower classes as a whole — sort of like the Republicans have tended to do ever since Ronnie Reagan launched his systematic and enduring attack on the majority of Americans — then I’d be happy to throw shoes at him over this. Instead, my reaction was, “This makes no fucking sense,” and I went looking for further information. I’m still not satisfied with what I was able to find out — which wasn’t much — but when it’s put into the context of the host of other cuts and increases, and the backdrop of wrestling with the deficit and popular perceptions thereof, it at least appears less like a direct attack on the poor. (Disclaimer: I’m still not quite convinced of its value, I definitely think it looks bad in general, and I wish Obama’s economic policies were more Keynesian than they are.)

  108. 108
    mk3872 says:

    It is part of the overall budget that contains MANY different budget cuts.

    Calling this out in isolation is silly politics.

    Leave this kind of thing to the Firebaggers.

  109. 109
    Alex S. says:

    @PeakVT:

    quoting the average, too ;)

  110. 110
    Corner Stone says:

    @mk3872:

    It is part of the overall budget that contains MANY different budget cuts.
    __
    Calling this out in isolation is silly politics.
    __
    Leave this kind of thing to the Firebaggers.

    Oddly, all of which seem to fuck the same group of people.

  111. 111
    liberal says:

    @Uloborus:

    …and who stuck into his response to the financial crisis a fat package to stop banks from screwing the poor…

    That may be; I assume you’re referring to the consumer protections part of the bill.

    He certainly didn’t keep the banks from screwing the taxpayer.

  112. 112
    liberal says:

    @Mary:
    Heh. We were out 8 hours from the last storm.

  113. 113
    liberal says:

    @Uloborus:
    I guess you’ve never heard of the term “lip service”. Could make a NSFW slight based on that, but…

  114. 114
    liberal says:

    @Zifnab:

    Obama could be playing this game better, but he’s done a respectable job so far given how deep in the whole Bush left us.

    Bull. As has been pointed out by many observers, he never even proposed an adequately sized stimulus.

    Of course, it’s pretty likely he would have never gotten it. But the fact he never proposed it to begin with is a black mark.

    Not to mention his decision to sh1t more treasure and blood down the Afghanistan rathole.

  115. 115
    danimal says:

    The utility cuts are a federal version of the California charade we’ve been through a few times in the Golden State. A few years ago, Gov Arnold proposed shuttering all the state parks, and last year he proposed to eliminate all welfare grants. There was no way in hell that his proposals were ever going to become reality, but the threats gathered a lot of attention.

    It’s budget kabuki, threaten a popular or necessary program in order to gain concessions elsewhere. Expect a lot of this over the next few years.

    Stuff like this works with the Serious People in Bipartisanland.

  116. 116
    liberal says:

    @Stillwater:

    Stimulus won’t lead to long term growth, or even sustained employment…

    And your evidence/argument for this is…?

  117. 117

    Oh, Jesus, more of the same hysterical bullshit as the phoney “cuts” in food stamps.

    Just in case you forgot that episode: Congress votes to fund the program at $X, assuming that inflation will by Y%. Inflation comes in lower than Y%, so providing the same services that they originally voted for won’t cost as much. Congress uses that cost savings to balance out some other spending increase. Netroots reaction? ZOMG! they’re starving poor people! Suddenly, providing exactly the service the critics were fine with a week before, but more cheaply, is unacceptable.

    2008, people. Fuel prices. C’mon, something should be firing in the back of your head about fuel prices and 2008.

    Fucking phony drama by people whose primary political interest is drama.

  118. 118
    HyperIon says:

    @bkny:

    and if you think he won’t offer up social security, you be dreaming…

    um, no.
    seniors vote.
    poor people, not so much.

  119. 119
    trollhattan says:

    @ John Cole,

    Is is maybe a leverage tactic countering Republicans’ defending continuation of oil, gas and coal subsidies? They’re doing this tooth and claw, claiming eliminating subsidies is the same as a–let’s chant it together–“Tax increase.”

  120. 120
    General Stuck says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    2008, people. Fuel prices. C’mon, something should be firing in the back of your head about fuel prices and 2008.

    Now Joe, don’t bring yer durn facts like you always do to harsh a good “O man” bash by the usual suspects. Fluctuating fuel prices be damned, UHG. Less always equals bad for THE OBAMA SELLOUT CROWD.

    Never mind that Obama just raised it (Lheap) in the recent CR for increased need this colder winter. But morons will be morons and kneejerk like morons do, because of course for any president to be so cold as to gut SS and put granny on a ‘catfood’ diet, would not hesitate to freeze her old slow ass, also to.

    These POSSIBLE “temp” cuts are projections for spending in 2012, and rest assured, Obama, nor any dem president, and near certainly, most wingers even are not going to let people freeze when the time comes. The lheap fund is flexible and always haz been.

    And more O man sellout is upon us, OH wait
    !!

    Wonkbook: White House throws states a lifeline. But will the GOP let them catch it?

    Such pure diabolic evil, this Obama dude.

  121. 121
    Alwhite says:

    @Xecky Gilchrist:
    The DLC is dead because it is no longer needed. The Democratic Party has become the DLC with a few hippies left over to be punched when convenient.

    The two partys currently:
    Batshit insane
    Corporate Republican (formally known as Democrat)

  122. 122
    Alwhite says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt:

    What makes you think they won’t let them starve? Absolutely nothing in their recent history indicates that give even a tiny shit about living children. If the kid needs food & clothing I am sure there will be jobs available for them once they do away with all the onerous regulation imposed on our masters.

  123. 123
    Eric S. says:

    @Rick Taylor: You’re welcome.

    The utility biz is generally pretty boring stuff. You’ll never hear me talking business at parties with those not in the utility biz.

    It was kind of refreshing to put the knowledge to use outside of my cube. Although that’s where I am.

  124. 124
    Stillwater says:

    @liberal: Mostly the observation that US unemployment isn’t the result of a liquidity trap, or Americans not spending enough, but rather, that our manufacturing/customer service/programming/legal services jobs have been shipped overseas. There simply aren’t enough jobs out there for job-seekers. Furthermore, housing and the construction trades can certainly be stimulated (by, eg, a stimulus focusing on infrastructure upgrades) but those sectors won’t be thriving to the point of sustaining itself until the glut of empty CRE and residential is occupied, or until manufacturers are forced to repatriate the production process.

  125. 125
    Stillwater says:

    And to clarify the above comment a little, what I’ve written there doesn’t preclude that a general stimulus would increase employment by increasing spending. But I guess I reject that that alone is sufficient to increase employment long term. One other necessary condition is that the economy have some sort of open texture, in which job-creating expansion into other markets (via the creation of new markets or by becoming a new player in established foreign markets) is in principle possible. The US in the thirties certainly had this open texture. The US of 2011 most definitely doesn’t.

  126. 126
    morzer says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    And what happens next winter FFS?

    All that this monumental piece of idiocy will achieve is to lose Obama votes, make the Democrats look like meanspirited incompetent idiots, and give the Republicans cover to be the truly mean party. If this is the best the White House can manage in terms of political strategy, it’s time to wait for Obama to lose, and hope we can find a real Democrat from somewhere, or failing that, to try and build a real popular party and let the Dems sink into the shitswamp that they seem set on constructing.

    From today, not a penny for the Dems, and not a minute of activism either.

  127. 127
    morzer says:

    @General Stuck:

    It remains idiotic policy, it sets a terrible precedent, and the optics are abominable. It’s not enough to wander around trying to pretend that nothing matters and it’s all good because Obama comes across as a nice guy.

  128. 128
    Father Tyme says:

    Interesting that at the Huff Post there was a huge headline about this this morning. However, it now looks as though it and ANY mention of it have been scrubbed from the site.
    Curiouser and curiouser.

  129. 129
    General Stuck says:

    @morzer:

    It remains idiotic policy, it sets a terrible precedent, and the optics are abominable.

    It does not set a precedent. It is a reflection of fluctuating energy prices. And the only bad optics are those from pol junkies on the left over reacting, like they always do. The only thing that matters here is that Obama is seeing to it in the here and now that poor people are getting help with their heating bills, this winter. It is why he raised it in the recent continuing resolution to fund the government. Here is the link to the Lheap website, and one from those leftists at DU.

    I know there is a lot of outrage over the rumor that Obama is proposing to cut these funds, but this CR is fact. Another thought on Obama’s as-yet-to-be-official proposal, he might be asking for the cut because it is a lot less of a cut that the pukes are going to ask for. Just a thought.

  130. 130
    morzer says:

    @General Stuck:

    That was a lovely speech on behalf of the really hardcore Obama loyalists, but it won’t fly in the real world. Fuel prices aren’t fluctuating by anything like the percentage Obama is proposing to cut, and you ought to be able to make that calculation with ease. Nor are the optics bad because of pol junkies. They are terrible because the White House is clearly trying to rat out the more vulnerable groups in society in order to appease the crazies and the deficit hawks. Even if this is a trial balloon, it still looks terrible. As for the idea that we had to cut brutally now, in order to deflect more brutal cuts – anyone who buys this argument for grovelling surrender needs to be given medication and a decent education in logic.

    Sorry, General, but you aren’t making a case for the defense. What you offer is an invitation to grab our ankles and hope that we get some lube once in a while. You may like this undignified position, but I am not going to go along with the plan any longer.

  131. 131
    morzer says:

    @joe from Lowell:

    Are you seriously telling me that fuel prices have dropped by that much, because I can tell you that as someone who pays for his own heating bill, it sure hasn’t shown up in our billing statements.

  132. 132
    General Stuck says:

    @morzer:

    Sorry to see you go full frontal firebagger morzer. Your analysis is full of shit. Obama just raised the fund to keep poor folks heat on this winter. The politics are politics for deficit cutting which is a viable issue currently, and what matters is what actually happens, and you are telling me you know better those politics than Obama. No sale dude.

  133. 133
    Internet Dragons says:

    @danimal:

    The California budget cuts were far from “kabuki” that would “never become reality”. I know this because I work in state AIDS services, which Arnold completely eviscerated that year. State HIV care dollars were entirely eliminated. HIV clinics were closed — and I mean really active, busy clinics. HIV testing was completely defunded.

    It’s been absolutely devastating. In a budget climate like this one, never ever be naive enough to breezily dismiss threatened cuts as kabuki. People die over this stuff, and I am saying that with complete and literal seriousness…not as a rhetorical device.

  134. 134
    morzer says:

    @General Stuck:

    I see, so you don’t have an intelligent argument to offer, instead, you whore yourself out as a Blue Dog propagandist and scream insults when it’s pointed out that in the real world actions have consequences. You are one sad little loyalist, son. Keep donating those dollars and defending the people who screw the poor over. Change we can believe in, sho ’nuff.

  135. 135
    General Stuck says:

    @morzer:

    I see, so you don’t have an intelligent argument to offer

    LOL, I am not the one going stupid over a budget that hasn’t been released and with only unsubstantiated reports. And offer confirmed facts that Obama raised the lheap just recently. Take another drink , or two, then sleep it off

  136. 136
    lol says:

    @Alwhite:

    If the DLC had taken over the Democratic party, then their poster boy John Edwards would’ve won the nomination in 2008, not Obama.

  137. 137
    Cerberus says:

    Let me guess.

    Thinking this is a bad idea and disagreeing strongly with this and feeling like I should let my congresscritters know in the hopes of passing better policy just means that I’m a deluded purist who doesn’t understand policy and must have an irrational hate for Obama and probably read FDL all the time and all the time I’ve spent getting Democrats elected is now null and void because I’m a whiny quitter.

    Have I hit all the usual points?

    Cause this is a bad idea. I think we should all contact our elected congress-critters to resist this and we should be hammering home in our culture the fact that the only way we’re going to have a functional economy and thus “lowered deficits” (not that anyone really cares about deficits, especially not the fuckers who couldn’t wait to spend the Clinton surplus like it was a Christmas bonus) is if we massively invest in the poor (and tax the shit out of the rich, thus making it bad economic policy to sit on massive reserves of wealth).

  138. 138
    Cerberus says:

    @General Stuck:

    Uh, General? Are you personally a member of Congress?

    No?

    Then you know what, we don’t have to wait and see what the final bill is. Our role on the ground, what we can affect, is culture, shifting debates, discussing what we do and don’t want to see in future bills and letting our congresscritters know so that bad bills aren’t forwarded.

    Sure, this shouldn’t be some big “well I’m never voting for Obama again” impetus. But nor is it a call for us to sit on our ass and do nothing.

    It’s a call to arms precisely so we can try and prevent bullshit like this from making it to final deals that we then have to swallow because “hey, it was the best deal at the time and besides, he had to look like he was proactive on this issue because everyone who cared about the issue sat on their asses and let the teabagger disingenuous fucks rule the debate.”

    Maybe it makes us feel more powerful to act like we’re sitting congresspeople and we should always wait and see, but we’re not. We’re the peons. We need to respond early, we need to be advocating constantly for the best period, not the best possible, because we’re the ones who affect the landscape that the shit sandwich deals use to figure out the possible and if we wait, it’s way too damn late for real people who will really die.

  139. 139
    General Stuck says:

    @Cerberus:

    Well then, get off yer ass and off the blogs and hit the streets to protest, or call congress or the WH. But we have been through this many times before, and it nearly always turns out to be Obama playing politics, and very well, and granny don’t get catfood and poor people will not end up freezing.

    You do realize Obama is a politician, don’t you? That says things for political reasons that sometimes sound antithetical to what he and you wants. But by all means, feel your outrage, that is what is there for, but blogging isn’t really a very good activist outlet.

    You all want to know how much Obama cares for the lower classes. He signed a tax cut for the rich, he promised not to do, in order to meet a more important promise to continue tax breaks for the lower income folks. Only to get ripped to pieces by the concerned pol warriors of the left.

  140. 140
    Cerberus says:

    @General Stuck:

    137 is prescient.

    Also, yeah, I do all that, while also being the type of human wreckage ground into the ground and killed with all this “fluff” (the unemployed, the wimmins, the queers, etc…)

    And it’s the same damn shit from over-pampered white middle-class fuckwads who seem to think acting like they are the same person as Obama means they have any control over this massive shit sandwich we’re asked to eat and by that I mean the current situation of life in the States.

    But yes, ignore ANY substantive criticism as “FDL sour grapes” by professional gripers on the net because somehow that will make things suck less.

    Hey Stuck, we’re not Obama. We’re NOT. And we don’t make these deals nor should we take these deals as the beginning and end of how we talk about issues, what we imagine for our country and what we argue.

    You know who especially agrees with that?

    Fucking OBAMA!

    So, in short, I’m unemployed. I’m on a ticking clock to eviction. I can’t get the medicine I need to be who I am. I have to lie on every application I send out and every day is a war against the blade because America is so fuck broken that people are now too DAMN SCARED to imagine a better society if it isn’t the current compromise balloon being floated.

    Oh yeah, and there’s a hanging death threats around me and a number of my friends, both the generic for being hated minority groups that are targets for the wingnuts and the specific in I have a number of friends with actual death threats being levied at them.

    Fuck I hate America.

    Ok, that dipped a bit too far into the personal, but seriously, this shit is infuriating where we have all so completely lost the plot in this country that we forget that grassroots liberals can even exist or matter. So we get wound up either defending the Democrat Party Line as if that means we’re politicians now or we end up trying to personalize all our pain on one figure (seriously fuck Obama as either a figure of focused hate or focused love, he’s one guy doing a tough job and who is just as susceptible to bad ideas as anyone else, especially in a bad culture).

    And what we CAN affect isn’t any of that. But we can argue for a better culture. We can get the word out. We can “dream” by fucking advancing what we need in this society to the point where it’s no longer “freak show” and “weird” like you know every civil rights and economic rights movement in every fucking country ever.

    Or is that too FDL-lover/Obamabot for the lazy white fucks like you?

    P.S. Obama is bigger than us. Obama SHOULD be ripped apart by the left. Even a mystical FDR robot spouting Chomsky should be ripped apart by the left. That’s the job of the left. To advance the ideas that will be no-shit in 100 years ideally before 100 years have passed. Also, when Obama, his spokespeople, Democrats in general do something stupid or make deals that hurt us, we should respond. Why? Because the left isn’t a fucking cheerleader side for a football team, but people who care about various issues that affect real people. If that means complaining about people who are otherwise good on an issue, it’s important to do so, to highlight what needs to be fixed, what is non-ideal, and the lives negatively affected.

    And a good politician wants to hear that, because it helps them know about lives that are outside of their knowledge base and gets an idea of how their policies affect people and so on.

    It also affects that oh so holy “What is possible” that dictates so many of these unfortunate compromises.

    So yeah, I guess in essence, I’m saying is that I understand the despair and the bullshit, but fuck man. Just fuck!

  141. 141
    General Stuck says:

    @Cerberus:

    Sorry you are in such pain, but we have to quit meeting like this, people will talk.

  142. 142
    Stillwater says:

    @General Stuck: Stuck, you ass. Click on his name and go to his website.

  143. 143
    General Stuck says:

    @Stillwater:

    I’ve had about enough of you shit stillwater, I said i was sorry this person was in such pain, and meant it. You seem to be following me around for some sick reason. it is getting to be like blog stalking. Now fuck off and mind your own business. The reason I said we have to stop meeting like this, is that this person has been making it habit of coming onto dead threads and unloading on me. It has happened several times before. I don’t know why, but note I didn’t attack back. get a grip pea brain wanker, or stick your nose up Cole;s ass some more. Your choice.

  144. 144
    El Cid says:

    @lol: The DLC freaked out because Gore ran too fire-breathing class war populist of a campaign.

    If Edwards had been his same ‘Two Americas’ guy, the DLC would have been calling him an outright Communist.

  145. 145
    Cerberus says:

    @General Stuck:

    Yeah, it’s happened twice.

    Yeah, my life sucks, and as I say, it’s something that’s been pissing me off a lot lately and you’ve happened to engage in the behavior that’s triggered a rant. Though I’ve gone off on a few other people.

    I appreciate that you “feel my pain” as it were and really it’s not fully about you, merely a style of argumentation and assumption and bad activism that’s been getting on my tits lately.

    Why I’m so ready and able to rip the flesh on those who are triggering me in that way, probably has more to do with how much my life sucks than them personally, so I apologize for that and I can understand that certain people are just trying to be “extra-vigilant” against a type of argumentation that runs “Obama can do no right and oh yeah is personally responsible for Congress’s failures” (which annoys me too).

    It’s just…frustrating sometimes.

    And I suspect those I’m yelling feeling the same, hence the over-personal investment with political “reality” rather than the messy often unfulfilling life as a grassroots activist.

    I mean my bile alone probably shows how frustrating that can be.

  146. 146
    "it" says:

    “Though I’ve gone off on a few other people.”

    Didn’t you just.

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