To Answer DougJ’s Question

Nothing will happen in the fiscal cliff negotiations until the DOW tanks.

End of story. And even then, the nihilists in the House probably won’t care.

85 replies
  1. 1
    Cassidy says:

    It’s all your fault since you used to be a Republican, but if you pay me money, I’ll suddenly decide that’s not true anymore and stop saying it.

  2. 2
    Persia says:

    Yep. I figure January 2 when the market opens and tanks, everyone in Congress will suddenly feel a new sense of urgency.

  3. 3
    Yutsano says:

    When it starts affecting the 1%. Not a second before. And even then the teatards will keep THAT ONE!! (but in a totes not racist way!) from getting any kind of victory.

  4. 4
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Now, it’s just not fair to call them nihilists, John.

    They’re no-tax nihilist fucktards. Let’s be precise.

  5. 5
    Yutsano says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: We wouldn’t want to risk a slander lawsuit now would we? We cannot ever make teh Grover Norquist cry. Ever.

  6. 6
    gopher2b says:

    That’s why I sold every stock last week and am 100% cash. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em…..

  7. 7
    Derelict says:

    Actually, based on the evidence, the problem here is that Boehner has no control whatever over his majority, Cantor is actively fighting Boehner on the negotiations, and an insurmountable chunk of the Republican caucus is a combination of stupid and insane.

    That’s why Boehner is all but begging for someone–anyone!–to come up with something. He can’t suggest anything because Cantor will instantly undermine it. And he can’t force any kind of deal because he has no power at all within his own party.

    So the market may well tank, but I don’t think even that’s going to make a difference.

  8. 8
    Ruckus says:

    @Persia:

    Yep. I figure January 2 when the market opens and tanks, everyone in Congress will suddenly feel an actual new sense of urgency.

    FIFY

  9. 9
    Augie says:

    I think we underrate the possibility that we go over the cliff and nothing is passed. At all.

    I really don’t see the Republicans passing a tax bill through the House without cuts for the Top 1%. And Boehner won’t bring a bill to the floor with mostly Democratic support because he’ll lose the Speakership if he does.

    I think the Republican plan is to wait until the debt ceiling approaches. And then they will raise HOLY HELL. That’s the real leverage.

  10. 10
  11. 11
    JustAnotherBob says:

    We go over the cliff. Taxes rise. Republicans can honestly say that they did not vote for tax increases, thus not hurting Grover’s fee-fees.

    Some sort of deal is cut that lowers taxes on 98% of Americans. Republicans can honestly claim that they voted to cut taxes, makes them Tea Party heroes.

    And they can now insist that they be returned to office in 2014 in order to finish the job of cutting taxes on the other 2% because we all know that Tea Party members could suddenly become part of that 2%. Magically.

    (Yeah. I know that the 2% benefit from the first round of tax cuts. But the story tells better this way. ;o)

  12. 12
    JustAnotherBob says:

    @gopher2b: Make sure you get back in close to the bottom.

    That way you might recover some of your tax loss….

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Yutsano:

    I’m not interested in making Grover Norquist cry, unless it’s a cry, a plea, for the sweet relief and release of death.

  14. 14
    Judge Crater says:

    The military spending cuts are all that the tea party lunatics care about. Once they take shape, the deal will go down.

  15. 15
    Roger Moore says:

    Nothing will happen in the fiscal cliff negotiations until the DOW tanks Boehner has been re-elected Speaker of the House.

    FTFY. I’m sure that the biggest single reason for Boehner’s reluctance to do anything to whip his caucus is that he knows that it will cause the wingnuts to desert him when it’s time to vote for Speaker. Once he’s re-elected, he’ll be in a better negotiating position.

  16. 16
    gene108 says:

    Nothing will happen in the fiscal cliff negotiations until the DOW tanks.

    Your optimism is amusing John Cole.

    NOTHING WILL HAPPEN. PERIOD!

    The last recession got people ticked off and helped take out Democratic incumbents.

    Republicans can hope the Fiscal Cliff Recession of 2013 can help them do that again in 2014 and who knows, maybe take control of the Senate or some such.

    Unless the polling results for the 2014 Congressional elections look to be highly unfavorable to Republicans, they have no reason to do anything.

    I’d say wait until June 2014 and maybe Republicans may do something to save their skins, if their skins are at risk of not being re-elected.

  17. 17
    General Stuck says:

    It’s always been obvious, unless Obama got everything he wanted. There is more than one way to negotiate, largely exclusive to the dance of the sausage machine. You can do it in standard ways, like starting high for your demands and then settling for something a little less, but hopefully more than you expected. Or, like Obama has been doing, negotiating with offers he knows his opponents can’t take. It is the time honored way of slipping past the media clowns and public for getting the blame, by having full knowledge of what these ‘poison pills’ are and how your opposition will react to them. And after winning the election those P Pills grew much larger to the audacious side of Obama doubling his previous demand for new tax revenue.

    My own personal take on Obama’s and dems preference would be six of one and half a dozen of the other . It is all win, and my guess his, he does want to have middle tax cuts, and raising taxes as much as possible on the rich. IOW;s the real progressive position. But barring that, and the republicans agreeing to split the Bush tax cuts, to keep the middle class ones before they expire, I think O has no reluctance on letting everything lapse, and coming back at it after Jan 1. He has an inauguration and state of the union speech to hammer the nutters with the bully pulpit.

    My take is, that Obama is very uncomfortable with the huge yearly deficits under his watch, and will cry no tears for all the extra revenue going over the fiscal cliff brings. I think he is also concerned about slamming the economic recovery with such a jolt of all the stimulus drying up, especially the middle class bush tax cuts and the payroll tax cuts for the poor. But rightfully assessing the state of play next year, that all the cards remain in his hand to mold fiscal policy and tax policy in his own way, and the wingnuts have nothing but a choice. To either give Obama new permanent middle class tax cuts to his tailoring, or oppose those tax cuts against their sworn mission of cutting taxes whenever possible.

    I do expect some mitigation on the sequester cuts, especially the mil ones and health research, with both side toning those cuts down a tad.

  18. 18
    gbear says:

    @Derelict:

    Actually, based on the evidence, the problem here is that Boehner has no control whatever over his majority, Cantor is actively fighting Boehner on the negotiations, and an insurmountable chunk of the Republican caucus is a combination of stupid and insane.

    I’m waiting for Boehner to hold a caucus meeting in a location where he can legally carry automatic weapons.

  19. 19
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Nothing will happen in the fiscal cliff negotiations until the DOW tanks.

    End of story. And even then, the nihilists in the House probably won’t care.

    Yep, discussion over. They may as well go home.

    I’m looking to buy at the bottom, myself, with the remains of my last paycheck as I suspect very strongly I’m about to be unemployed because of this.

  20. 20
    Maude says:

    The House is coming back in session Sunday.

  21. 21
    Todd says:

    @Derelict:

    He can’t suggest anything because Cantor will instantly undermine it. And he can’t force any kind of deal because he has no power at all within his own party.
    So the market may well tank, but I don’t think even that’s going to make a difference.

    Problem is that Cantor sees himself as a real life Francisco D’Anconia, and doesn’t realize that when the revolution he’s trying to start occurs, he’ll be one of the first ones to be propped up against a wall.

  22. 22
    Liberty60 says:

    I’m curious to know what effect the financiers of the tea Party will do.

    Considering the way Dick Armey’s coup was handled, it appears that when push comes to shove, those who control the pursestrings are able to have a quiet discussion behind closed doors and get shit done.

    As others have pointed out, its all fun and games till someone loses a percentage point of profit.

    But maybe not- maybe they have lost control of the 27% base monster, and even the threat of being primaried with superPAC money isn’t enough to compete with the rabid hordes spurred on by Wingnuttia.

  23. 23
    General Stuck says:

    @Maude:

    That at least makes it possible that Boehner will throw himself on the bonfire of insanity, and let the Senate passed bill have its vote. He can go out a genuine patriot, albeit a republican Benedict Arnold. Poor feller, nolo rose garden for those with a knack of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  24. 24
    Raven says:

    @gbear: And who is going to show the dumb fucker how to use one?

  25. 25
    gbear says:

    @Raven: He’ll just spray bullets randomly until it jambs.

  26. 26
    retr2327 says:

    Put me down as predicting that the DOW will not tank on Jan. 2. Two reasons: first, at this point, it’s entirely foreseeable that nothign will happen on the fiscal cliff negotiations before then, and possibly for some time thereafter, so any market reaction is already baked in; and second, going over the fiscal cliff, while potentially very problematic for small and (to the market) unimiportant groups of people (e.g., the long-term unemployed), is not going to have any drastic short-term effects at all on the larger economy. And in the longer-term, if the economy starts to slow down, it’s at least possible that something will be done, so there’s no call for a crash now.

    The debt-limit crisis, on the other hand, is fast approaching, and the potential ramifications on the Dow and on the economy in general are considerably more severe . . . .

  27. 27
    Maude says:

    @General Stuck:
    That’s what I’m thinking. It’s in the evening Sunday.

  28. 28
    Maude says:

    @Raven:
    24
    Ted Nugent

  29. 29
    JPL says:

    @retr2327: Wouldn’t the increase in revenue push back the need for raising the debt ceiling? Of course by the end of the year when we are in a recession revenues will fall.

  30. 30
    gopher2b says:

    @JustAnotherBob:

    It was a forced sale due to covered calls I wrote. I decided to lock in the gains now and pay the taxes (all LT) instead of buying back the calls. I kinda know what I’m doing.

  31. 31
    RareSanity says:

    To be perfectly honest, I don’t think that any deal will be achieved at any point in time.

    The House GOP clown posse is not only (still) under the ridiculous impression that hurting the economy only hurts Obama/Democrats…but because of their gerrymandering, they have absolutely no fear of losing their seats. With the way their districts are oriented politically, the only thing that could put their seats in jeopardy, would be to actually agree to any kind of deal that Democrats would publicly say is acceptable.

    The only deal that could get GOP votes, is one that (from a Democratic perspective) would be worse than just leaving the sequestration in place.

    The only way something passes, is for Boehner to be able to identify 40-50 Republicans, that are willing to be absolutely crucified by right-wing media, and accept that they will probably have a well-funded primary opponent in 2014, to vote with Democrats to pass something.

    Not. Gonna. Happen.

  32. 32
    Raven says:

    @RareSanity: Spoken by someone with a keen understanding of Georgia!

  33. 33
    General Stuck says:

    @RareSanity:

    I agree, very unlikely. But not all those gerrymandered seats are for hard right tea tards. Some still have at least a modicum of moderate GOP voters. And polls are clear, even a portion of the GOP accepts taxes going up for the rich that is if nothing else the result of the election.

    While I think it would be hard for Boehner to scrounge up enough of those gop votes from a kamikaze squad, it is not impossible. And he only needs 17 or 18, provided all dems voted yes on the senate bill. And while I think the extreme gerrymandering the wingnuts have done to keep the House in their hands, is probly the rule right now, I do believe there is a failsafe point of crazy nihilistic shit, that would cause the House to go back to dems.

  34. 34
    JustAnotherBob says:

    @gopher2b: I frequently encounter people who don’t.

  35. 35
    BrklynLibrul says:

    I agree with ya, John — not sure if the Wall Street marchers have any control over the House GOP, though. For months now I’ve been predicting a civil rupture if Obama was re-elected — looks like we’ll get there soon.

  36. 36
    RareSanity says:

    @Raven:

    Living in the North Fulton suburbs, I have a daily reminders of just how insane the Fox News crowd is. I’d put these Alpharetta/Johns Creek wingnuts up against any other set in the country and wipe the floor with all them.

    Such a large concentration of money and arrogant stupidity…with a heaping helping of Old South racism to give it that extra little kick!

  37. 37
    General Stuck says:

    And the irony of it all? The politics going into next year are best for republicans to just give this one to the dems, and come back next year without an Obama leering down his nose at the House, and ginning up the nations ire on the crazy house wingnuts that made their taxes go up. And all for the sake of a self destructive purity pledge, that now has become the Ark of the Wingnut Covenant. Maybe Indiana Jones will show up and save the day.

  38. 38
    JustAnotherBob says:

    @RareSanity:

    What I’d like to see is a breakdown of those Republicans who are from very safe districts and those who could be unseated by a Democrat in the 2014.

    Let the Republicans put us back into recession while PBO makes only the requirement that the very wealthy pay more taxes and we could take back the House and get some good stuff done.

    Yes, going into another recession would hurt some people. Letting Republicans have things their way and letting them destroy social programs would hurt even more, more deeply and for longer.

    I think we’re seeing the beginning rounds of the 2014 campaign in which Republicans attempt to hold the House.

  39. 39
    Bulworth says:

    We have an approaching fiscal storm of derp.

    First is the Fiscal Cliff, a significant part of which concerns automatic spending cuts that were made necessary when Congress (i.e Republicans) refused to raise the debt ceiling unless large and unspecified spending cuts were promised, but then Congress (i.e. Republicans) couldn’t enact said spending cuts.

    On top of this, we have another debt ceiling showdown looming. I get that Congress (i.e. Republicans) will attempt another hostage-taking ploy. But what sort of hostage will this be? They already couldn’t pass, and don’t want to allow the enactment of, the first batch of spending cuts they demanded last year. So while they spend the early part of next year trying to undue the spending cuts they demanded last year, are we supposed to believe they’re going to demand yet another round of spending cuts?

  40. 40
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    Nihilists… fuck me. Say what you will about the tenets of national socialism, dude, at least it’s an ethos…

    Sorry, but someone had to go there.

    More seriously though, I hope that the Repubs get the blame they so richly deserve for this ridiculous turn of events.

  41. 41
    JustAnotherBob says:

    @BrklynLibrul: Because of gerrymandering Republicans are fighting above their weight class.

    If they start a “war” then they start with 27% of the population on their side.

    If this crap continues then the move for our side should be to go hard for every single House seat not extremely well-protected by gerrymandering. Give the 27% a world of butt-hurt in 2014.

  42. 42
    RareSanity says:

    @General Stuck:

    But not all those gerrymandered seats are for hard right tea tards. Some still have at least a modicum of moderate GOP voters.

    Careful General…a moderate Republican, does not equal a moderate Republican voter. Going against their peers is very uncomfortable for this group. Not only that, they have so poisoned what would be considered moderate, and what is full on communist…how can a moderate draw a definitive line without being tarred as a pinko commie?

    I don’t see how a moderate candidate wins a primary when their teatard opponents deal in shouting down, drowning out, and flat out intimidation of those that oppose them. You’d have to be a brave soul to try and attack a teatard from the left in a GOP primary.

    Although I do agree that eventually, there will be something of a groundswell against the crazy, I’m just not sure how far in the future that would be.

  43. 43
    JPL says:

    @JustAnotherBob: Fox News will blame the president’s policies. Republicans believe in personal responsibility for others not themselves.

  44. 44
    Derelict says:

    @RareSanity: Not only that, they have so poisoned what would be considered moderate, and what is full on communist…how can a moderate draw a definitive line without being tarred as a pinko commie?

    Which, really, is the most humorous aspect of modern conservatism. To think that Reagan would be considered a communist by these people–and that Nixon would be an ultra-extreme leftist far beyond the standard of Stalin or Pol Pot–makes me wonder what they’re ever going to do should another moderate get elecgted president.

  45. 45
    danimal says:

    Honest question related to the fiscal shebang negotiations:

    I’ve seen comparisons of Chained CPI vs current CPI, and they usually come down to something like “Over 20 years, a SS recipient receiving $2100 per month with regular CPI would receive $2000 per month using chained CPI.” I’m pulling the numbers out of my ass, but this is the gist of it as best I can tell.

    My question: Isn’t that $2100 vs. $2000 a comparison of inflated numbers? IOW, the $100 difference isn’t $100 in today’s economy, but $100 in a future, inflated economy. Does anyone have a way to tell what the difference is in today’s dollars?

    I’m not wild about messing with SS, but at some point some program changes are going to need to be made. I’m not sure Chained CPI is the hill to die on, depending on the deal, and a little perspective from the experts could be helpful.

  46. 46
    General Stuck says:

    @RareSanity:

    Careful General…a moderate Republican, does not equal a moderate Republican voter.

    I think you’ll be surprised to see how many will become moderate republican voters after their taxes go up significantly, and the wingnuts get blamed for that..

    That is why it is such dumb politics for the GOP to not bite the bullet and concede to Obama on this single tax issue, and live to fight another day. What? they gonna oppose middle class tax cuts next year, by insisting the rich get them too? That is tailspin politicking to oppose your own singular seminal issue. Though it would not surprise me much if they did. POL Manna from heaven for democrats.

  47. 47
    trollhattan says:

    Is this good news for everybody who put their money into ammo and GOOOOLD?

  48. 48
    Alex S. says:

    @Augie:

    Yes, I think this is a possibility – nothing happens at all. Maybe we’ll even blow up the debt ceiling in the process.

  49. 49
    General Stuck says:

    @danimal:

    The only possible way SS is on the table for anything, is with the passing of a Grand Bargain type deal, that has about as much chance right now as me successfully performing brain surgery on myself.

  50. 50
    JustAnotherBob says:

    @JPL: The 27% are unreachable.

    The middle/independents are reachable. Majority wins.

  51. 51
    JustAnotherBob says:

    @danimal: Yes, that “$100” will not buy as many loaves of bread as would today’s $100.

    I agree. Don’t draw the line on which inflation measure to use. Short term the effect is negligible. Longer term we can change the index used and give people a catch-up bonus if we have a stronger economy.

    If needed give a small supplement to the lowest income seniors.

    In order to get some problems fixed be willing to take some minor hits. Pick things that hurt as little as possible, short term, and can be corrected later.

    We’ve got a ‘few year’ problem of waiting for the current version of the Republican party to burn itself out.

  52. 52
    redshirt says:

    Nothing will get done. The Republicans want everything to collapse – great for re-election!

    Also, they’ll get air support from Conservative media, who will go balls to the walls blaming all of it on Obama.

    The Dems will capitulate before the Repukes, because they care about the country. Tough negotiating position.

  53. 53
    JustAnotherBob says:

    @General Stuck: If we look at what just happened with Dick Army getting paid to shut up and get out of the way I think we can see that Republicans in “safe” seats might feel a need to keep the top 1% happy.

    That’s where they get their campaign money and big money has the ability to send peasants with pitchforks and torches their way. Those safe seat folks may be safe from a loss in the general but they could get wiped out in the primary if the puppet masters write a new script.

  54. 54
    danimal says:

    @General Stuck: I realize that, but at some point we will need to deal with good-faith Republicans (whenever they crawl out of the sewers to reclaim their brain-dead party, that is if they even exist anymore) over entitlements, and we should have a clear understanding of the various solutions that get thrown around.

    At first, I thought raising the Medicaid eligibility age wouldn’t be a big deal because of the health care exchanges, but I’ve learned that is a terrible solution; I’ve been heading the opposite direction on chained CPI, which may not be as bad as it seems.

  55. 55
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @RareSanity:

    but because of their gerrymandering, they have absolutely no fear of losing their seats.

    Most of your comment sounds plausible, but don’t blame it on gerrymandering. Gerrymandering gives the responsible party more seats from a fixed pool of favorable voters, at the cost of making those seats less safe in future elections. That is because when you gerrymander the goal is to take the other side’s voters and concentrate as many of them as possible into as few districts as possible, while giving your own voters a 51+ percent share in as many districts as possible. By definition this means shaving down your margin of victory in some of those districts in order to swing them your way now. This is effectively a leveraged bet against the political volatility of the electorate.

    So the GOP’s 2010 gerrymandering has given them a majority of seats in 2012 with less than 50% of the Congressional popular vote total, but with the side effect of making the remaining Democratic seats safer, not the other way around.

  56. 56
    danimal says:

    @General Stuck: Also, you’re just a tease to your detractors with the self-conducted brain surgery comment. Throwing out the chum to see what bites???

  57. 57
    JPL says:

    @redshirt: That’s my feeling.
    There was a comment on the editorial about the fiscal cliff in the nytimes that complained about low information voters supporting the Obama policies. Did you know that President Obama signed a law saying we all had to buy low energy light bulbs. I replied that maybe “low information voting” pertained to her because it was President Bush who supported low energy light bulbs.

  58. 58
    RareSanity says:

    @General Stuck:

    I think you’ll be surprised to see how many will become moderate republican voters after their taxes go up significantly, and the wingnuts get blamed for that.

    I sincerely hope you’re right.

    I just can’t fathom how a “moderate” GOP voter, would ever get the message that the wingnuts are actually be the ones at fault. They’re not going to get it from any right-wing media sources…it’s always the Democrats’ fault in the echo chamber.

    The closest they’ve ever come to actually blaming a Republican of anything was GWB, and that was more “George who? I have no idea who you’re talking about”, than actuall blame for anything. Then there’s Karl Rove, which was really more like pointing and laughing…which they like doing anyway. The teatards loved seeing the “establishment Republicans” embarrassed.

    It doesn’t seem like there would still be a large enough pool of people, that don’t subscribe to the “conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed” mantra.

    Those people are the mythical “moderate” Republicans…and it seems to me that they have been on the endangered species list for quite some time, bordering on extinction.

  59. 59
    Ruckus says:

    @danimal:
    Many think the chained CPI is at least OK from a policy standpoint. But the problem is that the way it works means that someone on say SS would be getting less in the future, your $100 loss. So yes as inflation works that $100 would not be worth the same. But look at the payment, not the savings. That $2100 today becomes $2000 in that same future. If that $2100 today is not enough to live on what do you think $2000 will look like down the road? And none of this is necessary.
    The second side of chained CPI is that the rules keep getting changed so that there is the lowest possible COLA, based upon the previous lowest possible COLA. It is a race to the bottom to save a few dollars that will hurt many. (Full disclosure I’m one of the many)
    Also will the chained CPI apply to all federal programs and payroll? It is a small way to get in and help kill any affective government which leads to the conservatard answer, “See government doesn’t work, might as well end it.” And it isn’t necessary.
    I think people have to look at this point in our history one of two ways. Either we continue to give in bit by bit to the conservatives(who then use this as an excuse to wreck more havoc) or we stand on our principles, even if the short term damage is bad.
    We are having a fight with a bully and we have already given all our lunch money and the keys to dad’s car. Maybe it is time to realize this can not continue and there is no bargaining with the bully.

  60. 60
    retr2327 says:

    @gopher2b: Yes, the increase in revenues would push back the ceiling somewhat, although I doubt that it would buy all that much time. My understanding (such as it is) is that we’d still be running a deficit, albeit manageable, even with the higher revenues, so given that we’re supposed to hit the nominal ceiling sometime this weekend or so, the higher revenues probably wouldn’t delay that all that much. I don’t think there’s any chance it would enable us to reach the end of the year.

  61. 61
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    @danimal:

    There’s literally zero change in today’s numbers. CPI-W and Chained CPI are/would be used for the cost of living adjustments, not to calculate initial benefits.

    Though I’m pretty sure they’d be used as the inflation measure to calculate initial benefits for future retirees. So someone who’s retiring 20 years down the road would start at $2000 instead of $2100, to use your example.

  62. 62
    JustAnotherBob says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: If you assume that the political mix will change in those Republican-selected districts.

    But if a district has been drawn around the gated communities then there’s not likely going to be much growth in the minority numbers. And the younger, more liberal folks who grow up in those districts are likely to move away.

    Could be that Republicans are creating their own concentration camps.

  63. 63
    PeakVT says:

    @danimal: What C-CPI essentially says is that a future benefit reduction of $100 won’t matter because future beneficiaries will “just” substitute for more expensive products with slightly cheaper ones, i.e. chicken for hamburger.

    There are many reasons why C-CPI isn’t a good idea and is worth fighting. 1) Including SSI in a grand bargain is wrong to begin with because SSI contributes nothing to the deficit. 2) The best way to fix insolvencies in the SS program is to raise the cap so it covers 90% or more of wage income again, or eliminate the cap entirely. 3) CPI-E measures measure seniors’ cost of living changes better than CPI, and C-CPI would make matters worse. 4) With the decline of defined benefit retirement programs, in the future more people will be even more dependent on SSI, so what may look like a small cut in 10 or 15 years will be even bigger in 20 or 30 relative to total incomes.

    C-CPI coupled with fixing the cap and a boost of benefits at the low end would be tolerable, but there’s no deal that even looks like that on offer right now, nor would one have a chance of passing.

  64. 64
    RareSanity says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Hmmm….never heard it explained from that perspective.

    From a strictly non-political standpoint, I am fascinated by how 2014 will turn out…but from a political standpoint, I’m a nervous wreck.

  65. 65
    jayboat says:

    @RareSanity:

    Living in the North Fulton suburbs, I have a daily reminders of just how insane the Fox News crowd is. I’d put these Alpharetta/Johns Creek wingnuts up against any other set in the country and wipe the floor with all them.
    Such a large concentration of money and arrogant stupidity…with a heaping helping of Old South racism to give it that extra little kick!

    I spent the last 6 years of a 20 yr Atlanta adventure living in Alpharetta and Flowery Branch.

    Very familiar with the combo you’re describing- daddy owns a couple grocery stores in Valdosta meets Georgia-Pacific scion between the hedges. Couldn’t stand ’em then, can’t stand ’em now.

    Nasty stupid mentality with matching white belts and shoes.

    Go Dawgs. Team Amerika, Fuck Yeah.

  66. 66
    JustAnotherBob says:

    @Ruckus: Let’s not forget our successes as we consider what we might have to give up during negotiations.

    We have made it possible for every person legally living in the US to have good access to health care an affordable price.

    We have created a department which is tasked with protecting us from the worst practices of the financial/banking industry and it is already helping lots of us.

    We ended DADT.

    There is a very long list.

    We will sometimes have to take a step backward in order to then take two steps forward. Want a higher ratio of forward to backward steps? Return the control of Congress to Democrats.

  67. 67
    RareSanity says:

    @PeakVT:

    Any idea why raising or removing the cap hasn’t been part of Democratic offers from the beginning?

    That seems like the most logical first step to helping SS that anyone can take. I know that Republicans don’t actually want to help SS, but Democrats do…why not make that a part of your proposal from the beginning? Even if at some point it does get scuttled during negotiations.

    At least you made a legitimate attempt…you’ve got nothing to lose.

  68. 68
    General Stuck says:

    @RareSanity:

    I just can’t fathom how a “moderate” GOP voter, would ever get the message that the wingnuts are actually be the ones at fault.

    The table has been set for that by Obama the past year. Providing the appearance of willing to compromise with the wingnuts on taxes, via some fair to generous proposals, or, if you’re an emoprog, selling the farm. But always with the poison pills to wear down the nutters and public with whom they will blame.

    And the polls, and more importantly, the media is sold on pointing the fingers at the wingnuts. Especially if we go over the cliff and they oppose middle class tax cuts next year. 11 dimensional checkers played at its finest, against congenital morons.

    What do republicans care about most of all? Money. and when it’s their money and they are middle class, it will matter if anything would. An empty fridge has a liberal bias. Or at least is a registered independent. The argument is to get enough House seats for a dem majority in that body. And 17 isn’t really all that many.

    Then there are true swing voters who it wouldn’t take as much to swing to the dems at a high percentage.

  69. 69
    Brachiator says:

    @JPL:

    There was a comment on the editorial about the fiscal cliff in the nytimes that complained about low information voters supporting the Obama policies.

    This nonsense has been hammered home by the moran sitting in for Rush Limbaugh, that Obama only won because of “low information voters.”

    They are desperate to try to keep the wingnut base loyal to them, even as the GOP implodes.

    Meanwhile, the House is coming back on Sunday (from yahoo news).

    Will parachutes be provided? Republican House leaders informed their rank-and-file on a conference call Thursday that they have to be back at work at 6:30 p.m. Sunday – giving them, oh, 29.5 hours to forestall the “fiscal cliff.”
    __
    Absent a last-minute compromise, Americans will see across-the-board income-tax hikes and painful federal spending cuts come into force January 1. Some economists fear that, taken together, the measures could plunge the economy into a new recession.
    __
    Technically, however, the Congress could vote the cliff into oblivion at any time – either before OR after the income-tax increases and spending cuts are slated to take effect. Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor noted on Twitter that lawmakers “may be in session through Wednesday, January 2.”

    Hmmm. Two days, Sunday and Monday, to fix everthing before the year end. They just can’t avoid a cliffhanger ending.

  70. 70
    General Stuck says:

    @danimal:

    Also, you’re just a tease to your detractors with the self-conducted brain surgery comment. Throwing out the chum to see what bites???

    I went to brane surgery school, so the joke is on them.

  71. 71
    Kane says:

    These are the same people who cheered when President Obama was unable to bring the 2016 Olympics to Chicago. The same people who had to be reminded by their leadership not to appear too gleeful in public when they caused the downgrade of the U.S. credit rating.

    They just don’t care.

  72. 72
    Ruckus says:

    @JustAnotherBob:
    Absolutely. Agree on your entire post.

    But. And it is a big, big but. We are at a crossroads here. We are in the position of having to give up what look to me to be big chunks off our side to get by next week. IOW I’m down to selling blood to buy food. That might work this week but it’s six weeks to give again and I’ll starve by then. Maybe I’d be better off robing a bank than going to the blood bank. So neither is a good option and I may be forced to sell blood but it doesn’t solve my problem, just pushes it back. And that is to me the crux here. Because of the fucking crazy all we can do is put off things for a bit here and a bit there. At some point we either have to win big or we run out of blood to sell.

  73. 73
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    @General Stuck: Do you get the feeling that the MSM sort of wants us to go over the so-called cliff? If it bleeds, it leads and all that…?

    Yes, I agree with the observation made above (JustAnotherBob) that 27% of the population simply are absolutely, irretrievably stupid and cannot be “reached”. They believe the worst of the worst of all the ridiculous conspiracy theories and horseshit put out there about Obama, Democrats in general, science, teachers, and so forth. To paraphrase, “They’re all evil/corrupt/stupid/socialist/communist/atheist/homosexual (and so forth). I guess that leaves us with the right-leaning remaining 20% or so to try to forge working policy.

    Interesting times, to be sure….

  74. 74
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @RareSanity:

    never heard it explained from that perspective.

    The way I think about it is that, from a practical standpoint every vote on the winning side above the 50%+1 threshold needed to win in that district is structurally a wasted vote, in the sense that those votes had no determinative effect on the partisan allocation of seats in Congress. The objective of gerrymandering is to move voters around so as to try to waste as many of the other side’s votes as possible while maximizing the number of your side’s votes which are not wasted. The end goal is to squeeze as many won districts as you can out of your available vote pool.

    But you can’t spread V number of voters across N+G districts (N = the number of districts you would have won without any gerrymandering, G = the number of additional districts you can win purely as a result of clever gerrymandering) without diluting the margin of victory you would have enjoyed in a N+zero scenario.

    It is taking the same amount of butter and spreading it across more toast.

  75. 75
    Ash Can says:

    Count me among those who don’t think these yahoos will care if the Dow tanks. I’m not sure that will even happen — there’s a good chance it will go down, but as has already been mentioned, the majority of the uncertainty has already been built into investors’ behavior. Furthermore, the congressional miscreants and their bankrollers alike don’t give a crap about the Dow tanking. In fact, they’ve probably already hedged their investments in such a way that they’d gain if the Dow were to tank. Probably the most effective way to minimize the damage they could do at this point is for them to dump Boehner and install a nutcase as Speaker. Fixing it so that the entire world can plainly see that all the bullshit is their fault and theirs alone prevents them from shifting any blame to the Dems and ties their hands.

  76. 76
    RareSanity says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    It is taking the same amount of butter and spreading it across more toast.

    Awesome “gerrymandering in a nutshell” statement.

    That is something that will definitely stay with me.

  77. 77
    Ohio Mom says:

    @danimal: There are lots of problems with Chaining, here are the ones I remember:

    The rationale for chaining is that consumers can always substitute: if beef prices go up, just eat more chicken or beans, if winter coats go up, just wear last year’s. But seniors tend to spend a lot on medical care, and you can’t substitute cheaper foot surgery for heart surgery, plus the cost of medical services actually goes up faster than inflation. So SS recipients will fall behind at a faster pace than others might under the same rate of inflation.

    Chaining is the opposite of compounded interest, which of course makes your money grow, as each year you earn interest on the interest you earned the year before. In chaining, its cutback-effect grows larger as each year, another cut is calculated on what was left over from the last’s year cut (I read this in a letter from the ARC, an advocacy organization for people with disabilities. Chaining will be a disaster for disabled people who depend on SS).

    Chaining also has the effect of raising taxes on lower-incomed people and reducing taxes (bet you can’t tell what’s coming next) on wealthier people. I don’t remember the mechanism for this so I can’t explain it to you, but maybe this effect is why Republicans like this idea so much.

    Social Security isn’t why there’s a federal debt, that would be Bush’s tax cuts and wars.

    I’m going to look around and see if I can find the Youtube of that Representative explaining all of this. Wish me luck in my search…

  78. 78
    danimal says:

    @Ash Can: Well, Speaker Bachmann would certainly be a good representative of the GOP hive-mind. Let’s see if reverse psychology can make it happen.

    Please, Mr. TeaParty CrazyMan, don’t dump Boehner and vote Bachmann for Speaker, all of us Dems are terrified of her…She would really push the tea party agenda aggressively and that scares us.

  79. 79
    Brachiator says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    There are lots of problems with Chaining, here are the ones I remember:

    Chain Chain Chain
    Chain Chain Chain
    Chain Chain Chain
    Chaining of fools

    good explanation of some of the pitfalls here.

  80. 80
    Ohio Mom says:

    @danimal: Here is one link that explains, among other things, how Chaining affects tax rates: http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....-one-post/

    And here’s Representative DeFazio shredding this idea to pieces:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....r_embedded

  81. 81
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    @FormerSwingVoter:

    Though I’m pretty sure they’d be used as the inflation measure to calculate initial benefits for future retirees. So someone who’s retiring 20 years down the road would start at $2000 instead of $2100, to use your example.

    Every proposal I’ve seen for a switch to C-CPI — including the ones from the odious Simpson and Bowles — couple it with an increase in initial benefits to offset the slower growth. So, instead of starting off at $2100, benefits would start at $2500 and grow more slowly.

    I have not seen a single proposal that says we should keep minimum benefits where they are now but switch to C-CPI. Not one.

  82. 82
    danimal says:

    @Ohio Mom: Thanks.

    I’m more interested in the policy than the politics of the issue, so it’s good to see some solid analysis. I don’t want elderly people to eat cat food, but I do understand that SS solvency needs to be addressed at some point. Raising the eligibile income limit is an obvious first step; chaining CPI looks like it should only be considered in conjunction with increased initial benefits and excluding SSI, which kind of defeats the purpose, IMHO.

    None of this matters unless we can find ways to control health care spending (which, thank God, has begun with Obamacare).

  83. 83
    Oltrol says:

    Yaaah!

    We could handle a 2000 point drop, like 2000 X-Rays, and it would be good for us.

    And we should hav’m too!

    “It looks like sausage, HaHa!”
    “It’s not sausage, you Asshole!”

  84. 84
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    This is about a week old, but I don’t think it’s been addressed on BJ (happy to be corrected if I simply missed it over the holidays). Somebody commenting on Gin and Tacos the other day posted this link http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/.....3000136750 and honestly I can’t remember seeing a ruder, more obnoxious person. I include Ann Coulter in that list. Who is this woman, anyhow? Because, jeez.

  85. 85
    PeakVT says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: She’s the Money Honey. (Which is different from being the money.)

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