Ending the Debt Ceiling Shenanigans

Good:

Whatever House Republicans might think, the White House is all steel when it comes to the debt ceiling. Their position is simple, and it’s typically delivered in the tone of voice that Bruce Willis reserves for talking to terrorists: They’re happy to raise the debt ceiling on their own, as would be the case under their proposal to take authority for the debt ceiling away from Congress. But if Congress rejects that offer, then the debt ceiling is Congress’s problem, and the White House will not help.

The Obama administration is utterly steadfast on this point: They will not suffer a repeat of 2011, when they conducted negotiations over whether the United States should default. If Republicans go over the cliff and try to open up talks for raising the debt ceiling, the White House will not hold a meeting, they will not return a phone call, they will not look at the e-mails. They will move to an entirely public strategy, rallying voters and the business community against the GOP’s repeated brinksmanship. Recall Obama’s speech to the Business Roundtable last week:

    I want to send a very clear message to people here: We are not going to play that game next year. If Congress in any way suggests that they’re going to tie negotiations to debt ceiling votes and take us to the brink of default once again as part of a budget negotiation — which, by the way, we had never done in our history until we did it last year — I will not play that game. Because we’ve got to break that habit before it starts.

They’re almost religious about this: They believe they owe it to future generations to break the back of the idea that minority parties can and should play Russian roulette with the economy.

This insanity has to stop.

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118 replies
  1. 1
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    Finally, the WH has learned what the Israelis learned, oh, decades ago:

    Never negotiate with terrorists. And the Repups act completely like economic terrorists when it comes to the debt ceiling.

    And everything else.

  2. 2
    c u n d gulag says:

    If the Republicans DO want to play games, cut services first in the zip codes of Conservative Congresscritters who don’t go along with raising the debt ceiling.

    Sure, it’ll hurt some Liberals who live there.

    But it’s the only way to make sure that the people who are causing the most pain, and are most vulnerable to any pain themselves, feel the pain first.

  3. 3
    c u n d gulag says:

    WARNING, WARNING!

    WTF’s all THAT about?

  4. 4
    Maude says:

    @c u n d gulag:
    Happened on the previous thread.

  5. 5
    Maude says:

    There’s something in the previous post that set it off.

  6. 6
    ShadeTail says:

    I look at stuff like this, and then I see alleged liberals whining about how the President is a spineless coward who always caves in to the GOP, or who is a secret right-winger who wants to carve off Medicare and SS benefits. And I wonder why these alleged liberals sound more like Faux “News” than like actual lefties.

  7. 7
    Walker says:

    There is some serious thread stomping going on here.

  8. 8
    Yutsano says:

    @Walker: JC is making up for the long absence last night. And FYWP decides to have a moment in collaboration.

  9. 9
    Cermet says:

    President Obama – man of steel; been a lot of years since we had one of them.

  10. 10
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Cermet: Obama’s confirming he’s like most dads: Slow to anger, but the entire arsenal comes out when the line is crossed. You may trick him for a while, but it will eventually come back to bite you.

  11. 11
    MikeJ says:

    @ShadeTail:

    I look at stuff like this, and then I see alleged liberals whining about how the President is a spineless coward who always caves in to the GOP,

    What’s especially funny about that argument is that every time Obama has supposedly “caved”, it turns out three weeks later he actually rolled the Republicans, got everything he wanted and gave up nothing except allowing the Republicans to boast of their “victory” for about five minutes.

  12. 12
    anibundel says:

    I heard the debt ceiling fell on a Romney shill today on CNBC.

    Sadly, he was not hurt.

  13. 13
    sparrow says:

    @MikeJ: This. And I’m not really sure we want to point it out too loudly. I’m convinced that when Obama is done he’s going to shoot to the top of US presidents in terms of what he got done. It’s just that a lot of people don’t have the perspective to see it right now.

  14. 14
    Hungry Joe says:

    This insanity has to stop.

    It’s a stretch, but “This insanity has to stop” makes me think of a great line from a great speech in a great book (“Bang the Drum Slowly”). The manager says, “So I must play my old catcher on days when he feels young, and my catcher that can not hit on days when the power is on, and my wild and crazy catcher on days he ever comes to his senses, which so far he has given me no sign of really having any.”

    The insanity will stop on the day the Republicans come to their senses, which so far they have given me no sign of really having any.

  15. 15
    catclub says:

    @anibundel: Now that would be funny. Remember Captain Kangaroo and the Moose and the pingpong balls?

  16. 16
    Hungry Joe says:

    ??? WARNING WARNING WARNING? I’ll repost repost repost:

    t’s a stretch, but “This insanity has to stop” makes me think of a great line from a great speech in a great book (“Bang the Drum Slowly”). The manager says, “So I must play my old catcher on days when he feels young, and my catcher that can not hit on days when the power is on, and my wild and crazy catcher on days he ever comes to his senses, which so far he has given me no sign of really having any.”

    The insanity will stop on the day the Republicans come to their senses, which so far they have given me no sign of really having any.

  17. 17
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Wasn’t the time to force a showdown LAST TIME? Then we wouldn’t be staring forced austerity in the face. But THEN it wasn’t possible, for some reason or other. Now it’s magically possible, preferable even!

  18. 18
    MikeBoyScout says:

    That’s the president I busted my hump to reelect.

  19. 19
    anibundel says:

    @catclub: It took me so long to remember where I saw it, I missed my edit window.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....2Z7Ds4tzco

  20. 20
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    One of the toxic messes Obama was gifted with when he came into office was a dysfunctional relationship between the WH and Congress which had wandered very far away from what it should be, in which the President only proposes potential legislation, and Congress actually legislates, and each actor in this drama takes the appropriate degree of responsibility in front of the public for what they are really supposed to being doing as their intended jobs under the Constitution. And it seems to me that Obama and the Democratic leadership in Congress have invested considerable effort and much political capital in fixing that structural mess; this is yet another example of such. Hopefully it will bear fruit in years to come, and if it does, eventually BHO and company will get credit for being more forward thinking than the leadership we’ve had for a very long time.

  21. 21
    NR says:

    @MikeJ: In the last round of negotiations, Obama agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich. That’s not “giving up nothing.”

    So at this point, my attitude on stuff like this is, I’ll believe it when I see it.

  22. 22
  23. 23
    ShadeTail says:

    @MikeJ:

    What’s especially funny about that argument is that every time Obama has supposedly “caved”, it turns out three weeks later he actually rolled the Republicans, got everything he wanted and gave up nothing except allowing the Republicans to boast of their “victory” for about five minutes.

    Precisely. But point it out to the alleged liberals I spoke of, and they either ignore it or claim that the empty GOP crowing proves the President *did* cave. It’s obnoxious, how these people spout Faux “News” worthy lies about the man who is at least nominally on their side.

    It’s basically made me give up on Crooks&Liars, for one thing. Susie Madrak over there has at least one article a day whining about how the President *is* going to slash Social Security and Medicare, because he secretly wants to and it’s only a matter of time, and other fear mongering bullshit.

  24. 24
    Rhoda says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: No. The President had an election to worry about winning. This is serious shit. We are talking global depression is a 70% possiblity b/c Republicans are insane. President Obama can take this risk b/c he is free from electoral concerns and recognizes he is fighting to keep the full faith and credit of the country.

  25. 25
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: No, it wasn’t possible last time. We’re not at the debt ceiling limit right now, we’re trying to decide whether to take the cuts Republicans agreed to last time.

  26. 26
    Walker says:

    @ShadeTail:

    It’s basically made me give up on Crooks&Liars, for one thing. Susie Madrak over there has at least one article a day whining about how the President is going to slash Social Security and Medicare, because he secretly wants to and it’s only a matter of time, and other fear mongering bullshit.

    Crooks & Liars was never a good blog. Their claim to fame in the early days was vid captures of outrageous stuff said on the TV. But when it came to policy posts, they were always (several days) later than everyone else and always ignorant of the issues.

  27. 27
    becca says:

    I would like to interrupt this program to take a moment to say…

    I loathe Steny Hoyer.

    Carry on.

  28. 28
    gene108 says:

    I wonder how bad the economy will be in 2013, assuming “fiscal cliff” negotiations fail and the Republicans refuse to raise the debt ceiling?

    Sad part is 45% or so of the population and a majority in deeply red states will continue to vote for the GOP and many will applaud defaulting on our loans as a way to teach ourselves fiscal discipline.

    Never mind the balanced budgets of the 1990’s, which should’ve pointed out to people a blue print to balance the budget, because the budget was actually balanced.

  29. 29
    ShadeTail says:

    @NR:
    You can thank Congressional Democrats for that one. For months prior to the 2010 election, Obama and Pelosi both were pressuring them to end those tax cuts, but they chickened out because they thought raising top marginal tax rates would hurt them in November. So they refused to take that vote, lost the election anyway, and gave the GOP huge bargaining power.

    And despite that, Obama still made the GOP agree to a 99 week extension to unemployment benefits in exchange.

  30. 30
    WereBear says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent): Obama’s confirming he’s like most dads: Slow to anger, but the entire arsenal comes out when the line is crossed. You may trick him for a while, but it will eventually come back to bite you.

    Don’t make me pull over!

  31. 31
    scav says:

    ok, time to be realllly really loud about the situation in Michigan: it’s worse.
    it’s the whole women’s health plus Obama-care thing being rushed too

    In an editorial on Tuesday, the Detroit Free Press said the measures could turn Michigan into “the nation’s most regressive state in terms of reproductive rights”. It has described the idea that a healthcare worker can refuse to provide services to patients as “obscene” and has urged the state governor, Rick Snyder, not to sign them.

    plus more, I just chose one bit.
    damn them to a Merry Hell.

  32. 32

    They believe they owe it to future generations to break the back of the idea that minority parties can and should play Russian roulette with the economy.

    Looks I might get my Xmas wish, after all…

    Still amazes me that the GOP really has no clue just how badly they lost, or that they only kept the House because of creative gerrymandering.

  33. 33
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Will Robinson needs to listen!

    Obama is absolutely right about this. The Teahadi scum needs to be spanked. Hard. Repeatedly.

  34. 34
    TenguPhule says:

    Now it’s magically possible, preferable even!

    The wonders of not having to pander to a mushy middle for reelection are truly mindboggling.

    Also, having the Republicans up for reeelection and facing a hostile public are orgasmic.

  35. 35
    Keith G says:

    Here is an off topic tech retail question. is there a way to order an itunes app as a gift when I am using a phone that has web access but cannot download iTunes? I am trying to purchase the NYT crossword puzzle app for iPhone for a friends birthday and I am on the road without my laptop.

    Apple seems to not want my money unless I have iTunes open in front of me.

  36. 36
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @scav: I guess they’ve decided that Obama can’t win in 2016 if Michigan is razed to the ground.

  37. 37
    andrewsomething says:

    @ShadeTail:

    I’m confused. Are we allowed to take Ezra Klien’s reporting at face value again? Last week, he said that raising the Medicare eligibility age is on the table. Anyone who believed his reporting then was an :

    alleged liberals whining about how the President is a spineless coward who always caves in to the GOP, or who is a secret right-winger who wants to carve off Medicare and SS benefits.alleged liberals whining about how the President is a spineless coward who always caves in to the GOP, or who is a secret right-winger who wants to carve off Medicare and SS benefits.

    Now Klien with arguing that the administration will not allow the GOP to hold the nation hostage with the debt ceiling again, his reporting is believable again?

  38. 38
    Roger Moore says:

    They’re almost religious about this: They believe they owe it to future generations to break the back of the idea that minority parties can and should play Russian roulette with the economy.

    The way this is written, it sounds as if the author views this as a radical position, rather than common sense. I think it’s the kind of thinking that comes from hanging around too close to the crazy for too long; reporters lose the ability to see that it’s crazy, much less call it out that way in public.

  39. 39
    ShadeTail says:

    @Walker: Agreed, but they weren’t actually bad three or four years ago. That’s changed these days, what with Obama Derangement Syndrome having taken over at least two or three of their front pagers.

  40. 40
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Obama’s confirming he’s like most dads: Slow to anger, but the entire arsenal comes out when the line is crossed. You may trick him for a while, but it will eventually come back to bite you.

    Weird…how many Americans are so eager to view the President, no matter who is in office, as their daddy.

    What’s that about?

  41. 41
    gene108 says:

    Sigh…

    I feel a song coming on:

    I thought my gal called me on Wednesday,
    But it was Miss Argument 2 for wpdb::prepare() called in
    I felt the call was going to be big, I even flashed a great big grin
    But all went to pot, ’cause Miss Argument 2 called in

    So I sang: FYWP!

    And hung up the phone

  42. 42
    lacp says:

    The President is certainly correct in saying that we shouldn’t play games with the debt ceiling. Looks like 2013 is going to be a pretty rough ride.

  43. 43
  44. 44

    Obama has been consistently good on his word*. If he says he won’t negotiate this time, he won’t. I wonder what has changed? I suspect it is the business community part of ‘rallying voters and the business community’. Or from up close, he can tell the GOP House is no longer fanatical, just assholish.

    * I find it interesting that the idiots who think Obama doesn’t keep his word have had to invent both what they think he promised AND what he did.

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:
    I recall that Clinton lost health care reform specifically because he wanted congress to rubber stamp his presidential power. Not only do they want to shuck responsibility, they’re entitled toddlers who want their egos stroked at the same time. Playing ‘We’re partners’ this time really worked for Obama.

  45. 45
    gwangung says:

    The Obama administration is utterly steadfast on this point: They will not suffer a repeat of 2011, when they conducted negotiations over whether the United States should default. If Republicans go over the cliff and try to open up talks for raising the debt ceiling, the White House will not hold a meeting, they will not return a phone call, they will not look at the e-mails. They will move to an entirely public strategy, rallying voters and the business community against the GOP’s repeated brinksmanship.

    Obama’s caving in to the Republicans! He’s negotiating against himself! He’s giving away the store to the plutocrats!

    What’s especially funny about that argument is that every time Obama has supposedly “caved”, it turns out three weeks later he actually rolled the Republicans, got everything he wanted and gave up nothing except allowing the Republicans to boast of their “victory” for about five minutes.

    Um, yeah.

    A lot of folks not only want to crush Republicans, but to take away their face and utterly humiliate them in full national view.

    That might be good for the back brain, but it’s kinda poor strategy.

  46. 46
    Cassidy says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Do you go through your whole life trying to distort what people say or is that a level of shithead reserved for us?

    You know what I find weird? How you used to come here and berate Cole for having been a Republican, and then suddenly he buys something from you and now you don’t. Are all your principles worth $450? How many do you suddenly forget for the smaller pieces?

  47. 47
    Maude says:

    @lacp:
    I don’t think so. Corporations don’t want a shut down. They will put a lot of pressure on the Repubs in Congress.

  48. 48
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Yeah, it is weird. Weird in the sense that comparing him to my father somehow in your mind makes me think he’s my father.

    You must have sucked at the analogy section on the SAT.

    “A potato is to a french fry as a tree is to paper? Why would I want to eat a tree?”

  49. 49
    catclub says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: “Obama has been consistently good on his word*.”

    I agree. The ‘If you earn less than $250k, your taxes will not go up.” line, appears to be written in blood.
    Also, ending Iraq on time. Also, expanding military in Afghanistan. He said he would do it, he did it.

    Also, going into Pakistan if we had information on a serious target, with or without Pakistani permission.

    Also, “If you have employer health insurance, that will not change.” For good or ill.

  50. 50
    liberal says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:

    …the WH has learned what the Israelis learned, oh, decades ago…

    So, given that the Israelis are themselves terrorists, the Palestinians or anyone else shouldn’t negotiate with them?

  51. 51
    meander says:

    @c u n d gulag: Great idea to hit the GOP districts first with pain if there is a funds shortfall because of a debt ceiling debacle.

    But the President needs to be public about this, give speeches where he clearly lays out the payment priorities if there is a funding shortfall because the GOP children in Congress can’t do their duty. “First, we’re going to give IOUs to defense contractors, and then to highway builders in the South, and then to other projects in the South…” and so on. Make it clear to the public what a failure to raise the debt ceiling means, make it clear that funds have already been appropriated and raising the ceiling just allows us to meet our obligations.

    And also continue to work to get rid of this stupid Congressional voting on the debt ceiling.

  52. 52
    gene108 says:

    @Maude:

    Corporations don’t want a shut down.

    Corporations don’t want to deal with another recession.

    Banks don’t want to deal with the financial chaos the U.S. defaulting on its debt would cause.

    There are no winners with defaulting on the debt, i.e. not raising the debt ceiling.

    I just don’t get the political calculus that goes into Republican thinking on creating a lose-lose situation for everyone.

    Is gutting Social Security and Medicare so important that you’re willing to screw the rest of the world over? Or is Obama Derangement Syndrome in such an advanced condition, you’d be willing to cut your arms off, because you thought Obama might be squeamish at the sight of blood gushing from your torso?

    And yet people will vote Republicans back into control of the House in 2014.

  53. 53
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @gwangung: Not sure I understand your rant. Why is it a poor strategy for Obama to actually be using the bully pulpit and showing the country what the Republicans don’t want them to see, that they are power seekers willing to sell every non-wealthy person out to just to gain power?

  54. 54
    jon says:

    When he extended the Bush Tax Cuts, he did so to fulfill a promise not to raise Middle Class taxes. Now he ran on raising the Upper Class taxes, and the Republicans are insisting that Middle Class taxes must rise as well.

    He made a tactical error in the first instance, as he didn’t forsee the GOP opposition as being what it was. But now he’s turned those tactics against the Republicans.

    He is a patient, studious player of their stupid games.

  55. 55
    Maude says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:
    The Dems in Congress dumped the Clinton health care plan. I read that plan and the Dems did us a huge favor. That plan was awful. It would have concentrated power to less than half a dozen insurance companies, for one thing.

  56. 56
    ShadeTail says:

    @Kerry Reid: Believe me, I know. But definitely thank you for the additional data point, because sometimes I like to respond to her C&L articles by pointing out how utterly full of shit she is. It’s pretty fun to be able to back it up, rather than just troll.

  57. 57
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Maude:

    It would have concentrated power to less than half a dozen insurance companies, for one thing.

    Yep, and pretty much legislated the HMO nationwide. That’s how Israel’s “universal care” works.

  58. 58
    JGabriel says:

    __
    __

    Their position is simple…: They’re happy to raise the debt ceiling on their own, as would be the case under their proposal to take authority for the debt ceiling away from Congress. But if Congress rejects that offer, then the debt ceiling is Congress’s problem, and the White House will not help.

    As it should be. Congress legislates the money to pay for the programs it votes for, aka the budget, and should be responsible for paying it.

    Honestly, last year, I was kind of puzzled by the House’s insistence that they wouldn’t raise the debt ceiling w/o compromises from the President. It really was like Clevon Little pointing a gun at his own head.

    .

  59. 59
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Ted & Helen is the sort of person you want to take down to the mall during a mass shooting, get the attention of the shooter, and plead with the shooter not to take aim at Ted & Helen.

    Please, don’t shoot this person! Please! Please don’t!

  60. 60
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Will Robinson, your answering machine is paging you.

  61. 61
    Maude says:

    @gene108:
    The Republicans have jumped over the cliff. I don’t understand it, but I bet ignorance counts for a lot of the reason that people vote for the Repubs.
    btw, The PATH train from Hoboken to NYC is still down.

  62. 62
    ShadeTail says:

    @andrewsomething: I’m not sure why you’re addressing that to me, since I don’t recall that I have ever expressed an opinion about Ezra Klein. But since you’ve apparently decided that you want my commentary, I’ll point out that it is possible to look at different news stories written by the same person and have different opinions on each. The reporting about the deal coming together to cut Medicare benefits was noticeably focused on Congress and general beltway villagers, and not on the White House or the President. So I see no reason to believe that President Obama ever intended to go along with raising the retirement age.

  63. 63
    Turgidson says:

    @jon:

    That, and he also squeezed a whole bunch of stimulus, DADT repeal, and New START ratification out of that lame duck session in exchange for the tax cut extension. Once the 2010 disaster happened, he played a bad hand pretty well initially. Keeping unemployment benefits going was more important at that point than killing the Bush tax cuts, in my view anyway.

    One of the things I find endearing about Obama, even as it causes him political grief, is that he doesn’t do a weeks-long peacock strut every time he accomplishes something. He prefers to act like an adult and treat others as adults. Which is unwise in the Village, of course, since they’re all a bunch of mindless twits.

    But I think the administration has learned the hard way that they need to play that game, even if they don’t like it – I mean good grief, the guy got more actual, good stuff done in his first two years than any president in decades, but was forced to run for reelection without doing much of any boasting because the administration consistently lost the spin wars (they tried harder than they get credit for, but it wasn’t enough). That, and a still-weak economy thanks to GOP sabotage, of course.

    Contrast that with Bush, whose first term was a complete, total, epic clusterfuck where everything he touched immediately turned to rancid shit. And that fucker still had the chutzpah to run for reelection as the strong, brave, war president leader guy. And he won. Egads. Meteor time.

  64. 64
    Kerry Reid says:

    @ShadeTail: She also loves to pull out the “anonymous cowards” line. And I have yet to see any evidence of that “award-winning journalism” she claims she used to practice. I’m sure she did work at a paper at one time or another, but most people I know who no longer work at newspapers but still have an online presence usually include their past print affiliations in their bios. Maybe she includes it now — I really stopped paying any attention after her disgraceful attention-seeking behavior with Axelrod in that netroots conference call before the 2010 midterms where she whined about feeling like the town tramp under the bleachers or whatever. She too is part of why I never go to C&L anymore.

  65. 65
    Cermet says:

    @Ted & Hellen: You are joking, right? What exactly was Washington called? Lets see, Father of our country … . Making the President a father figure was started at the very beginning of our country.

  66. 66
    Elie says:

    @NR:

    Go read some history — Lincoln biographies particularly. Read about real leadership and not about your THEORIES about what it takes to provide that.

    You don’t govern by decree in a democracy — except when its broken.

  67. 67
    Elie says:

    What the Hey is the “missing argument #2” thing?

    Huh?

  68. 68
  69. 69
    Elie says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    I think that you need to re-read his comment… he was not saying what you think he was…

  70. 70
    jayackroyd says:

    @ShadeTail: Except those people don’t exist.

  71. 71
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Elie:

    What the Hey is the “missing argument #2” thing?

    Word Press is like most dads: Slow to a code error meltdown, but the entire stack dump comes out when the line is crossed. You may trick it for a while, but eventually it will pull the car over and then we’re all in for it.

  72. 72
    gene108 says:

    @Maude:

    but I bet ignorance counts for a lot of the reason that people vote for the Repubs.

    A lot of the media misinformation gets filtered to most folks, like how Social Security is going broke and won’t be there and so we should just “shoot it” now to put it out of its “misery”.

    The “Obama’s born in Kenya” stuff is so over the top that unless you are a 27%’er, you think the stuff is nuts and don’t think it shows well that this is what Republicans believe.

    The David Brooks sort of spin, as well as the Peterson attempts to convince people Social Security is broke beyond repair sound reasonable enough that people, who may vote for Democrats may not because they find the Republicans to have the “very serious” attitude towards these problems.

    Republicans have decided something like Social Security solvency is a “very serious problem” right now and want to do something about it, therefore they are the “serious people” and people, who say they are full of shit and Social Security isn’t as big a problem as they imply and their solutions suck donkey dicks get treated as simpletons.

    I’m not sure how to change that sort of dynamic in how information gets filtered to the masses.

  73. 73
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Feh.

    Property is still not theft.
    No one is getting ready to have the workers take ownership of the commanding heights of the economy.
    And Obama still hasn’t called on us to expropriate the expropriators yet.

    I don’t know why I can’t count on a University of Chicago law professor to take those baby steps — it’s certainly what I expected when I voted for him.

    And Hillary would have done it years ago.

  74. 74
    gene108 says:

    @Elie:

    What the Hey is the “missing argument #2” thing?

    I like to think of it like a smoking hot teenage girl, who – from a teenage boys point of view – has figured out she can get any guy she wants, so she starts flirting and playing games, but never goes so far over the line as to really cause a big crash.

    It’s annoying, but you still hold out hope that she’ll get it together and go the prom with you because it’ll do wonders for your adolescent ego to be seen with the hot chick.

    Your interpretation of Missing Argument #2 may differ.

  75. 75
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Property is still not theft

    Hey, give the man a break. We’re still working the bugs out of the whole Room 101 is a Social Security COLA adjustment thing. This stuff takes time to get it right you know.

  76. 76
    Maude says:

    @gene108:
    I don’t know ho to change that either.
    The Republicans don’t want their donors to see budget cuts. Defense, Oil, big Ag, etc. They are scaring people instead.
    The pundits earn a lot of money. They have no feeling for anyone outside their social set.

  77. 77
    geg6 says:

    @Keith G:

    I’d go buy an iTunes gift card. You can get them just about anywhere.

  78. 78
    jayackroyd says:

    I’d also note that the president could follow the same strategy on fiscal slope–demand that Congress provide an actual proposal, and end these behind the scenes negotiation.

    And why aren’t we seeing official versions of proposals? Just big numbers, and then leaked trial balloons on Medicare and SS cuts that force us to go through another week of calling Congress and raising a fuss?

    Talking to DDay on Sunday, he noted that there are multiple actors in the WH, and that those trial balloons could be released to influence the direction of the negotiation. But this is a very disciplined White House.

    At the very least Boehner should be forced to take SOME position in public as the price of negotiations.

  79. 79
    hoodie says:

    There is no reason for Obama to cave on the debt ceiling and it’s critical to gutting Republican’s ability to bitch about “fiscal discipline” while not practicing it themselves. Aside from the true nutjobs, the Republicans don’t want a shutdown, because they know they’ll be blamed. A good deal of the blame will come from their supporters in the business community, who stand to lose a lot of money if sequestration hits and/or the government shuts down. The last time scared them, they won’t want it to happen again.

    The Republicans lost when Obama was re-elected and they failed to take the Senate. They can’t go the public and argue that it’s Obama’s fault that sequestration and tax increases hit because he wouldn’t let them to continue to take hostages and ranson them for tax cuts for rich people. Using the debt ceiling to take hostages after the sequestration hits would be political suicide. Think of all the research grants and other activities that will grind to a halt, just for one, and then shut down the government on top of that? I can’t see any way other than Obama has Boehner’s nuts in a vise. If Boehner listens to the teatard caucus, he’s screwed. If he doesn’t, well, he’s also screwed. Sometimes, if you’re screwed either way, you choose to the do the right thing. I think some of the teatards in Congress are afraid he might.

  80. 80
    dmsilev says:

    @Keith G: I thought the NYT crossword app was free for the app, and that you bought a subscription once it was installed on the user’s machine. At least, I’m pretty sure that’s how it was when I got the thing. Maybe it’s changed since, dunno.

  81. 81
    rikyrah says:

    Just wanted to know – how big a deal is it what Bernake decided to do today?

  82. 82
    ShadeTail says:

    @jayackroyd: If you honestly believe that hysterical claim, then I direct you to most of Firedoglake, and a few of the front pagers on Crooks&Liars, just to begin with. Daily Kos is also a goldmine of that mindset, if you’re willing to wade through the sewage to dig at that vein.

    Want a more specific example? I offer you Susie Madrak on Crooks&Liars. She is a particularly prolific member of that faction, and most of her commenters are loyal followers of her train of thought.

    So yes, those people do exist, and they are very loud.

  83. 83
    NR says:

    @Elie: Nobody said anything about “governing by decree.” Your comment doesn’t even make sense.

    The simple fact is that Obama extended the Bush tax cuts for the rich. And yet people here still claim, completely contrary to easily observable reality, that Obama ate the Republicans’ lunch and didn’t give them anything they wanted. It’s mind-boggling.

  84. 84
    Mandalay says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage:

    Finally, the WH has learned what the Israelis learned, oh, decades ago: Never negotiate with terrorists.

    Putting aside your implicit suggestion that the Israelis are not terrorists, Israel does overtly and covertly negotiate with terrorists, as does the United States of course.

    I suspect it may be urban myth, but the tale of Russia’s approach to negotiating with Hezbollah over embassy staff kidnapped in Beirut is a winner:

    In response, the Committee for State Security (KGB), captured the leader of Hezbollah relative. As one of the measures adopted by the anti-terrorist plan, the KGB “castrated him, pushed the sex glands in the mouth, shot him in the head and sent his body to terrorist organization Hezbollah. An accompanying text was attached to the corpse explaining that the other members of the” Party of God “finish their life the same way, if the three Soviet diplomat will not be released.”

    http://www.sodahead.com/united.....n-3366345/

  85. 85
    japa21 says:

    @NR: Well he did eat their lunch. And I don’t think anyone here has ever said that the Republicans got nothing that they wanted. Rather, the prevailing argument is that what was gotten in return for the extension of the tax cuts was worth it.

  86. 86
    Xenos says:

    @NR: what he got in return was this whole fiscal-cliff scenario. So presumably he considers it to be a good strategic position.

    This is the ultimate test for Obama and 11 dimensional chess. If he pulls it off, he is the greatest. If he blows it then we have all been fooling ourselves. If he gets a half measure then who knozs how to score it.

  87. 87
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @japa21: Plus the other argument is that Senate Democrats, even after Obama expended a fair amount of energy articulating why the right move was to extend the tax cuts on $0-$250K but not $250K+1-infinity, _didn’t support that position anyway_.

    @ShadeTail:

    The reporting about the deal coming together to cut Medicare benefits was noticeably focused on Congress and general beltway villagers

    IIRC the key phrase was “smart people in Washington.” In other words, for that to be something to get all in a dither over, _first_ you have to interpret it as a “trial balloon” originating from deep within the realm of What Obama Really Wants. But why should we?

    Washington is full of people doing the equivalent of the Hot Stove League, fans coming up with hypothetical trades between teams, other fans saying that it would be lopsided, etc. Jonathan Chait and Ezra Klein were writing in that mode, it seemed to me: IF there were a deal that matched what the wonks and pundits might kick around, would it be a good one? But across the blogosphere–and not the first time–people leaped to say TRIAL BALLOON SHOOT IT SHOOT IT! The call is coming from INSIDE THE (WHITE) HOUSE! It has happened SO MANY TIMES. Christ.

  88. 88
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Ah, so that was the WARNING everyone’s been talking about…

  89. 89
    Bob h says:

    How do the Party’s Wall St. Masters feel about more of these shenanigans? Maybe some of them will have the balls to speak up this time?

  90. 90
    jayackroyd says:

    @ShadeTail: I read all those people, and your characterization is plainly false. Disagreeing with administration policy on some issue is neither unacceptable nor is it, in point of fact “alleged liberals whining about how the President is a spineless coward who always caves in to the GOP”. In fact most of the criticism is that the president is a strong negotiator with a pretty well defined agenda that he has advanced very well, even though much of it is unpopular.

    Some people do say the caving thing, and others say he’s a bad negotiator. But that’s certainly not what Susie says.

    What I happen to think is he is still a New Democrat (he went off the official rolls for the election) who believes what he says and they say–that we’re in a new era, with a globalized economy that requires painful adjustments to our labor markets and our social insurance programs to remain competitive in new interconnected world. That in making those painful adjustments, we have to make sure that the those of us in greatest need are protected (centrists are no republicans), but that we can no longer afford the programs of the New Deal, that the New Deal is, in fact, obsolete.

    There’s also the part that we need to partner with, rather than regulate, the private sector to remain globally competitive, but that’s another couple of paragraphs, and I have to go.

    If I may say, your caricature is an impediment to your understanding what critics of the administration are saying, and, more troubling, may lead you to support politicians who do not advocate (or at least implement) the policies you believe in.

  91. 91
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @jayackroyd:

    In fact most of the criticism is that the president is a strong negotiator with a pretty well defined agenda that he has advanced very well, even though much of it is unpopular.

    Is this the “let it happen on purpose” theory of the Obama presidency?

  92. 92
    Paul says:

    @Maude:

    The Dems in Congress dumped the Clinton health care plan. I read that plan and the Dems did us a huge favor. That plan was awful. It would have concentrated power to less than half a dozen insurance companies, for one thing.

    Huge favor to who? That was 18 years ago. We can only guess how many people have gone bankrupt since then because of lack of health coverage. Or more importantly, how many people have died because of lack of health coverage since they didn’t get any preventative care?

    Again, favor to who?

  93. 93
    Paul says:

    @ShadeTail:

    I look at stuff like this, and then I see alleged liberals whining about how the President is a spineless coward who always caves in to the GOP, or who is a secret right-winger who wants to carve off Medicare and SS benefits. And I wonder why these alleged liberals sound more like Faux “News” than like actual lefties.

    It is funny considering that both Jimmy Carter And Bill Clinton promised health care reform and both failed totally to deliver. At the same time, President Obama has done what those two failed in doing. I don’t think people on the far left has any appreciation for the difficulty it is to get massive reform in this country.

  94. 94
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @jayackroyd: Or, to put it another way, it seems like your theory of Obama is that Obama is actually Bill Clinton.

  95. 95
    General Stuck says:

    @jayackroyd:

    What I happen to think is he is still a New Democrat (he went off the official rolls for the election) who believes

    but that we can no longer afford the programs of the New Deal, that the New Deal is, in fact, obsolete.

    You can believe anything you want. But this statement is the stupidest motherfucker thing ever said on this blog. And that is a very high bar to meet.

  96. 96
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Paul: It makes sense if you believe that your views are actually, deep down, held by the majority of people. If that were true, then it would make sense to complain that politicians weren’t trying hard enough to win (i.e., to get done what you want to see done, which is what most people actually want to see done). And to extend that argument to suggest darkly that politicians probably were trying so little… on purpose!

  97. 97
    ShadeTail says:

    @jayackroyd: If you really had read all those people, then you would not be able to say with a straight face that I was mischaracterizing them. What I said about them is 100% accurate; they are constantly wailing that Obama fully intends to cut Medicare and Social Security benefits, either because he really wants to due to being a secret republican, or because he’s a spineless triangulator who will cave to the GOP demands because he cares more about bipartisanship than about the country.

    That absolutely *is* what Madrak writes in her anti-Obama rants, as well as a few other people at C&L, almost everyone at FDL, a fair number at Daily Kos, and several other voices around the internet. This is simply not rationally debatable; what I write about these folks is clearly and plainly true. For you to say otherwise means you are, at best, hilariously uninformed about what you are reading.

  98. 98
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @ShadeTail: I think jayackroyd here is actually subscribing to a variant on the “secret republican” idea, to wit, “secret DLC.” For him, Obama isn’t an inept liberal, but doggedly and cannily advancing DLC-ism (e.g., entitlement reform, balanced budgets, public-private partnerships).

  99. 99
    ShadeTail says:

    @FlipYrWhig: If you’re correct, then that changes jayackroyd’s replies to me from “hilariously uninformed” to “blatantly dishonest”.

  100. 100
    LanceThruster says:

    Get some. GET SOME! (p-chew, P-chew, P-CHEW…)

  101. 101
    LanceThruster says:

    FYWP

  102. 102
    Bokonon says:

    @Turgidson: And yet the GOP relentlessly accuses Obama of being a preening egomaniac showboat anyway. And the media passes it along.

    For example, remember how the GOP tried to bury the triumph of Osama Bin Ladin’s death with their screeching about whether Obama was “spiking the ball” and taking credit away from the troops?

    The GOP spins their own reality through their manipulations of the media.

  103. 103
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @jayackroyd:

    And why aren’t we seeing official versions of proposals?

    Because you aren’t reading the news?

  104. 104
    mclaren says:

    Incredibly bad news. As soon as Obama starts saying things like “I want to send a very clear message to people here: We are not going to play that game next year,” it means:

    “I’m going to cave in again, do a bait-and-switch to betray all my supporters, and play exactly the same losing pointless self-destructive game on the debt ceiling in 2012 that I foolishly did in 2011.” — Barack Obama

    As history shows, Barack Obama always does the opposite of what he says he’ll do. So when Obama sends a clear message that he’s not going to give an inch on the debt ceiling, he’s telling us that he’s going to fold like a cheap suit and give away everything liberals are terrified he’ll give away: massive cuts to social security, raising the medicare eligibility age, vicious cuts to medicare, effective abolition of state medicaid, and massive new restrictions on medicare that will prevent huge numbers of people from qualifying for it at all.

    Bad news.

    Very very very very bad news.

    Barack Obama, the Great Betrayer, is preparing his worst and most heinous bait-and-switch. The election of 2012 will go down in history as the end of the New Deal and the historic surrender of the left to sadistic corporate monopolies fanatically intent on completely destroying America’s safety net.

  105. 105
    mclaren says:

    Incidentally, there’s something badly wrong with the comment system. Garbled error messages are popping up for no reason. And don’t try to tell the lie that “it’s because you don’t know how to comment, hahahah, lol!” This is happening to lots of different people, not just me.

  106. 106
    dangerfield says:

    @ShadeTail: I agree with you about Crooks and Liar and I think Susie Madrak nothingh more than a selfish, ignorant fool. But I will continue to comment over there because no matter how depressing the super lefty, firebaggers are you must never leave the field of ideas to them. Lest those dumbasses think that all of us agree with there bullshit .

  107. 107
    ruemara says:

    @mclaren: Oh honey, we are so used to your garbled comments, we just did not notice.

  108. 108
    mclaren says:

    @NR:

    The simple fact is that Obama extended the Bush tax cuts for the rich. And yet people here still claim, completely contrary to easily observable reality, that Obama ate the Republicans’ lunch and didn’t give them anything they wanted. It’s mind-boggling.

    This is epistemic closure on the left, the liberal equivalent of global warming denial and evolution denial on the right.

    The evidence clearly shows that Barack Obama has extended the Bush tax cuts, extended Dick Cheney’s insane and self-destructive illegal global assassination program to include U.S. citizens living overseas, Obama has extended the Bush war crimes to include not only murdering innocent women and children using drones but even using drones to deliberately target and murder Red Cross aid workers who try to help those innocent women and children, Obama has massively extended the Bush panopticon surveillance program to include every text message and ever email and every bank deposit and every phone call made by every American within the United States, to the point where NSA whistleblower William Binney now says “the NSA has a dossier on almost every American,” Obama has massively extended Bush’s crackdown on dissent by using military weapons (LRAD sound cannons) against non-violent protesters.

    And yet the deluded obots continue to drift around in a fantasyland where Barack Obama is a liberal icon who defeats the nefarious plans of the evil conservatives while leading us all to a liberal utopia.

    Under Obama, we’ve gotten more endless unwinnable foreign wars, more DEA crackdowns in the War on Drugs, a massively expanded endless unwinnable War against Copyright Infringement, more censorship of the net, more illegal detention of suspects without trial or charges, more assassination of U.S. citizens without a trial or charges, more people without health insurance, and more illegal surveillance and more austerity economics than under Bush.

    Just as conservatives live in a Bizarro fantasy world where Adam and Eve rode to church every Sunday on dinosaurs, liberals live in a Bizarre fantasy world where unions are gaining in strength and America’s broken medical system is being reformed and we’re ending our pointless unwinnable foreign wars and reducing our military spending and rebuilding America’s decayed infrastructure — instead of the exact opposite, which is what’s actually happening.

    Websites like this one represent echo chambers in which anyone who points out the documented fact that today, in 2012, there are more Americans without health insurance than when the so-called ACA “health care reform” was passed, get shouted down by fevered online lynch mobs of groupthink liberal crackpots.

    Ask yourself: how is this different from websites like Red State, where anyone who points out that Bush and company are mainly responsible for our current deficits and collapsed economy gets shouted down by fevered online lynch mombs of groupthink conservative crackpots?

  109. 109
    mclaren says:

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    ruemara Says:

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    @mclaren: Oh honey, we are so used to your garbled comments, we just did not notice.

    Whoever made that post generated error messages so garbled they’re essentially unreadable.

    More reality denial from the liberal crackpots. Standard stuff.

    You people are the liberal equivalent of the Tea Party — a group of kooks gibbering drivel, smugly sealed in your airtight echo chamber, completely sealed off from the real world.

  110. 110
    johnny aquitard says:

    @mclaren:

    gibbering drivel, smugly sealed in your airtight echo chamber, completely sealed off from the real world

    That could describe a lot of your comments here too, ya know.

  111. 111
    johnny aquitard says:

    “Warning: Missing argument 2 for wpdb::prepare(), called in /home/jcole1/public_html/bal/wp-content/plugins/wp-ajax-edit-comments/lib/class.core.php on line 470 and defined in /home/jcole1/public_html/bal/wp-includes/wp-db.php on line 990”

    Looks like WordPress has been totally bogarted.

  112. 112
    mclaren says:

    @johnny aquitard:

    Oh? Really?

    Which part of Amendment 5 to the United States constitution represents “drivel…completely sealed off from the real world”?

    The constitution is the supreme law of the land, buckaroo. You need to wake up and recognize that fact.

    The constitution of the united states specifically prohibits the government murdering U.S. citizens without a trial and without charges. It’s not vague on this point. Amendment 5 doesn’t say “unless the president feels like killing U.S. citizens, then it’s okay.”

    Amendment 5 doesn’t say “unless everyone is really scared, then the president can order hits like a mafia don and it’s fine.”

    I’m still waiting for you to show us which parts of my posts are “drivel…completely sealed off from the real world.” And I’m not getting any answers.

    And we all know why. Because you’re spouting bullshit. Just more character assassination of anyone who steps out of line with the obot groupthink, no different from the character assassination perpetrated on right-wing forums against any conservative who steps out of line with the global warming denial groupthink.

  113. 113
    Turgidson says:

    @Bokonon:

    Absolutely. That is part of the reason Obama’s lost the messaging war multiple times. The Village is little more than a high school lunch table full of uncontrollable gossips. They love to relay the latest GOP projection onto Obama. It’s the Village version of “omg omg omg did you hear? Jimmy called Suzie a slut, and to prove him wrong, Suzie shagged Jimmy’s friend!”

    After suffering through Bush spiking the football every time he successfully went to the bathroom and then having surrogates fan out to sternly lecture liberals that opposing Bush, ever, made them enemies of the State, it was particularly rich to see many of the same assholes complaining about Obama’s rather mild bragging about getting bin Laden.

  114. 114
    NobodySpecial says:

    Is this that ‘bully pulpit’ thing we’re supposed to reject as being the product of fairies and unicorns?

  115. 115
    mclaren says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    Yes indeedy. Obama can’t possibly be doing what he’s doing, because, as so many wise and insightful Balloon Juice commenters have sneered at me, “Obama can’t change Washington by sheer force of will.”

  116. 116

    @mclaren: Then why don’t you go away and leave us to our little bubble?

  117. 117
    Yutsano says:

    @mclaren:

    You people are the liberal equivalent of the Tea Party—a group of kooks gibbering drivel, smugly sealed in your airtight echo chamber, completely sealed off from the real world.

    And yet…here you are. What does that say about you?

  118. 118
    Porlock Junior says:

    @gene108: “…you’d be willing to cut your arms off, because you thought Obama might be squeamish at the sight of blood gushing from your torso?”

    It’s only a flesh wound.

Comments are closed.