More Fiscal Cliff Nonsense

The NY Times reports that they are looking at yet another proposal to avoid the fiscal cliff, which no doubt Boehner and everyone will agree to and then he can take it back to the House where the teahadists inevitably tell him to shove it up his ass.

It seems like since all these lunatics were elected, Congress has spent more time in session around the holidays than before. Or am I just imagining it?

90 replies
  1. 1
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Unless the Bush tax cuts are retained for the top 2%, and make everyone else pay for it, and some grandmas are summarily executed, along with some undeserving mud people, the teatard scum will not go along with it, so why the fuck are we bothering?

    Let it happen. Let the bawling three year old teatards have their fucking way, and reap the harvest it provides them.

  2. 2
    BGinCHI says:

    If we throw all the Tea Party pols over the cliff, eventually they will rise to the point that we can just walk across.

    Problem solved.

  3. 3
    c u n d gulag says:

    Frankly, the more time the Republican House members stay home, the better off the country is.

    When they’re here, it’s like having terrorists in our midst.
    You know they want to destroy sh*t, you’re just not sure what sh*t they want to destroy today.
    Of course, SS, Medicare, Medicaid, the EPA, and Education, are on their daily ‘Bucket List.”

    But who knows what else that actually helps people, they may want to attack next?

  4. 4
    Maude says:

    Instead of home for the holidays, it’s reps in the House for the holidays.
    They hysterics are having the time of their lives in the House. Anything that blocks Obama is good.
    The problem is that unemployment runs out tomorrow.

  5. 5
    Maude says:

    @c u n d gulag:
    You left out ACA and Head Start.
    They are awful people.

  6. 6
    BGinCHI says:

    @Maude: They probably think Scrooge was wrong to listen to the ghosts of Xmas.

  7. 7
    askew says:

    I hope they don’t agree to only a two-month extension. The Dems need to get this mess behind them already otherwise it will eat up Obama’s 2nd term.

  8. 8
    John M. Burt says:

    If you are imagining the dysfunctional absurdity of the teabag-dangling Congress, then it is a folie de sept milliards.

  9. 9
    existenz says:

    According to the NY Times, this plan keeps the Bush tax rates for those under $400k AND leaves the estate tax at its currently ridiculously low rate.

    WHAT THE FUCK.

    I hope the Teatards nuke this deal. But even if they do, the GOP will simply view this offer as the starting point for future negotiations. Hell, just to raise the debt ceiling they will still require painful spending cuts and probably more tax cuts.

    I hope the NY Times story is leaving a lot of stuff out, because if not this looks like the biggest cave by Obama yet. I was really hoping after the election that he was done with all that.

  10. 10
    Tom the First says:

    It’s impossible for me to have less sympathy for members of Congress whining about being at work this week. New flash: most people are working this week. Suck it up.

  11. 11
    Joel says:

    @c u n d gulag: Well, right now the NIH is going to take one in the nuts. This is after four years of budget stagnation.

  12. 12
    c u n d gulag says:

    @Maude:
    How could I forget?

    To keep them happy, we need to deprive the old, the sick, the poor, the disabled, and children, so we can spend that money on tax cuts for the richest, and toys that even the military says it doesn’t want.

  13. 13
    Oltrol says:

    @existenz:

    I know. I wish I had the burden of paying more tax on 400K.

  14. 14
    BGinCHI says:

    The problem here — and the media have no fucking clue about this — is that this “fiscal cliff negotiation” is not in the way of moving forward on other matters.

    It is the negotiation for Obama’s 2nd term.

    He needs to play hard ball now. I get his usual strategy, but this isn’t the time for that.

  15. 15

    @Joel:

    Indeed. I have a K99 proposal waiting to be reviewed by the NIH this spring. I’ve been told that there is virtually 0% chance it will get funded. I’ve also been told that there has been a major drop in applications sent to NIH, because what’s the point?

  16. 16
    Suzanne says:

    @Oltrol: RIGHT?! I really just cannot muster up any sympathy.

    Let these fuckers purify themselves into irrelevancy and extinction. It’ll be better for us all. Pull that Band-Aid off quick.

  17. 17
    BGinCHI says:

    @Afferent Input: But I thought we had to fight these diseases over there so we don’t have to fight them here.

  18. 18
    Hill Dweller says:

    @existenz: The article explicitly states Obama wants the cutoff point for tax cuts to be 250,000.

    It’s “Democrats from high-tax, high-wealth states” who are pushing for the 400,000 cutoff.

  19. 19
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    In 2-3 months we will be fighting over the debt ceiling. If we postpone this, then we have the big battle at one time rather than spread across two crises.

  20. 20
    Maude says:

    @c u n d gulag:
    Exactly. It is cruelty and they feel so very smug about it.
    It’s malice.
    Did we mention Food Stamps? No? We’re slipping.
    I can only hope that they go through what you and I have.

    @BGinCHI:
    They think Scrooge is a weenie.
    Makes me want to play the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Bring the oil.

  21. 21
    askew says:

    @Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony:

    They should get everything settled now and then let the debt ceiling be a standalone issue. Obama has said he won’t negotiate with the debt ceiling again and he should stick to that position.

  22. 22
    PsiFighter37 says:

    This is a shitty deal. I know Obama is forced to be the adult and make these kinds of shitty decisions, but why the hell is so much of the country dumb enough to send these right-wing assholes back to Congress? If you want a functional government, you cannot keep sending people to Congress who actively state that they have no interest in governing.

    Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with the people of this country?! Are their minds rotted from all the Fox Noise, or are they really as stupid as Honey Boo Boo portrays them to be?!

  23. 23
    Soonergrunt says:

    @John Cole:

    …which no doubt Boehner and everyone will agree to and then he can take it back to the House where the teahadists inevitably tell him to shove it up his ass.

    You forgot the part where the Washington press corpse will declare that this is all Obama’s fault because he won’t negotiate (where negotiate is translated as ‘cave to all of their demands’).

  24. 24
    Emma says:

    @existenz: Do you wake up thinking “how can I fault Obama today?” Because the article says that it’s Democrats in Congress, not the President, who are pushing this.

  25. 25
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    It seems like since all these lunatics were elected, Congress has spent more time in session around the holidays than before

    From the standpoint of the congresscritter it keeps them out of their home districts. Feature, not bug? Also, the halls of Congress are apparently just about the only place left in America where you are safe from guns these days.

  26. 26
    Napoleon says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Obama is flat out incompetent as a negotiator.

  27. 27
    Brachiator says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    The article explicitly states Obama wants the cutoff point for tax cuts to be $250,000.

    Dammit! There is no reason for the Democrats to be offering any freaking concessions. I don’t care if it is Obama or Reid.

    OK (calming down some), the only reason for any concession would be to get the GOP to stop their nonsense over the debt ceiling.

    Still, the idea that you have to give the Republicans something, when their obstructionism is so clearly suicidal, is bad negotiating.

  28. 28
    askew says:

    I am not clamoring to go over the cliff, but if this is the alternative, Dems should go over the cliff. We can get a better deal than this.

  29. 29
    Napoleon says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    It’s “Democrats from high-tax, high-wealth states” who are pushing for the 400,000 cutoff.

    In other words that is what Chuck Shumer has told his buddies in the newsroom at the NY Times.

  30. 30
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Hill Dweller: Probably means some asshole like Chuck Schumer. I’m one of his constituents (as well as one of the ‘high earners’, and I would tell him to shove that excuse where the sun don’t shine. Yes, NYC is expensive to live in, but you can find cheap places to eat, cheap places to live, and not blow all your goddamn money on luxuries that you don’t need.

  31. 31
    Comrade Jake says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    It’s “Democrats from high-tax, high-wealth states” who are pushing for the 400,000 cutoff.

    This is so fucking infuriating. Wealthy campaign donors win again.

  32. 32
    General Stuck says:

    I like the sources as republican hill staffers. Those clowns are known for their honesty. I’m sure this is an earnest offer by Obama, that the wingnut tea tards will leap at, like they did for the Plan B from outer space. And not some more cya by Obama to keep the blame where it belongs. The only possible way to get any deal as is for no strings passing the Bush tax cuts for under 250,000, and getting every dem vote and a handful of kamikaze nutters. I personally wish O would just let us ride the cliff, and not stir up the emoprogs any more than necessary. We are running out of clean rags. Thank you. Thank you very much.

  33. 33
    nemesis says:

    C’mom baggers. Dont let us down. Please make sure this POS austerity nonsense isnt passed.

  34. 34
    General Stuck says:

    @Napoleon:

    And you are a flat out fool. Or worse.

  35. 35
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Soonergrunt: The Village hacks have been working very hard to pin this on Obama in the last few days, despite Boehner’s obvious ineptitude.

  36. 36
    Punchy says:

    @Soonergrunt: why would O care what the press corps says? Hes 2nd termed already. This should be the start of O’s Fuck All Yoose Nationwide Tour as he shivs the GOP and backhands any lazy or wishy washy Dems.

  37. 37
    JoyfulA says:

    Let’s roll down the fiscal incline a few days. The House that enters on January 3 has more Democrats and fewer Republicans, and the chances of negotiating a decent deal are much better.

  38. 38
    Chris says:

    @Maude:

    It is cruelty and they feel so very smug about it.

    Yep. Never really understood the concept – I get it intellectually, they like making people like us suffer, but I can’t understand how people end up that fucked in the head.

    I suppose religion and the smug “it’s for your own good” outlook on life is how they rationalize their sociopathic tendencies.

  39. 39
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    @existenz:
    …in exchange for extending unemployment insurance and renewing the Making Work Pay tax credit (which had been replaced by the payroll tax cut).

    I don’t like it either, but let’s not pretend that he’s doing it for shits and giggles. The economy is still hurting, and he’s willing to trade horses to do something about it.

    EDIT: Love the name, BTW. Very underrated movie.

  40. 40
    Nina says:

    The conference hasn’t actually started yet, and I suspect that 90% of what you’re hearing is wishful thinking on the part of the reporters. Especially the NYT – trying to start off the negotiations with exactly what THEY want to see.

  41. 41
    Maude says:

    @Chris:
    I’ve known women like that. I don’t get it, but I’ll tell you, it doesn’t make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I just hope they get theirs.

    @Napoleon:
    #26
    DADT ain’t so.

  42. 42
    Raven says:

    It’s
    all
    bull
    shit

  43. 43
    Djur says:

    @Brachiator: $250,000 isn’t a concession. Obama campaigned on that number. I personally don’t think those tax cuts should be retained, especially not in the long term, but that’s the Democratic platform right now.

    The White House is denying these reports, so let’s not give up yet.

    Estate tax should be off the table, because tax cuts on accumulated wealth are not stimulative. It will not damage the economy for the estate tax to go up to a sane amount, and the social benefits of the estate tax are significant.

    I think any deal which includes a bunch of tax cuts and spending cuts and doesn’t protect important domestic programs from the sequester and raise the debt limit (or please, fucking abolish it) is a victory for the Republicans.

  44. 44
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I’ve got a better idea on the estate tax. Make it retroactive, and make it 100%. For select individuals, like Grover Norquist, make it 200%, and seize any current income or assets, of any kind, to make good the assessment.

    That vile asshole needs to be driven into a position where he must apply for food stamps and the only place that will accept his is Wal-Mart.

  45. 45
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Napoleon:

    This from a guy who thought he could invade Russia from the west, and win.

  46. 46
    Napoleon says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I could get behind your idea.

    The estate tax is the last tax cut that should be extended.

  47. 47
    Hill Dweller says:

    FWIW, NBC(Kelly O’Donnell) is reporting that Obama will offer a scaled down deal to Republicans(with Reid’s and Pelosi’s support), but it does not include the $400,000 cutoff.

  48. 48
    Sister Machine Gun of Quiet Harmony says:

    @askew:

    That won’t happen. The debt ceiling is the GOP’s only leverage. A deal that doesn’t include some exchange related to this won’t get done.

  49. 49
    El Caganer says:

    @Raven: That sounds about right.

  50. 50
    Brachiator says:

    @Djur:

    $250,000 isn’t a concession. Obama campaigned on that number. I personally don’t think those tax cuts should be retained, especially not in the long term, but that’s the Democratic platform right now.

    I’m not sure I am understanding you here. There is no reason to raise this number to $400,000, or for any Democrat to be offering to yield on this. I hope the White House denials are accurate.

    Estate tax should be off the table, because tax cuts on accumulated wealth are not stimulative. It will not damage the economy for the estate tax to go up to a sane amount, and the social benefits of the estate tax are significant.

    There has already been some tinkering of the estate tax, with respect to the valuation of assets. This is more complex than a lot of people realize, and I can understand room for compromise here. It’s not just a matter of what percent you settle on.

    I think any deal which includes a bunch of tax cuts and spending cuts and doesn’t protect important domestic programs from the sequester and raise the debt limit (or please, fucking abolish it) is a victory for the Republicans.

    Unfortunately, something is going to have to give, at least for the present. And since there is even some 2012 stuff being held hostage, it is really possible to say, “yeah, let’s just go over the cliff and figure it all out later.”

  51. 51
    The Dangerman says:

    @existenz:

    I hope the NY Times story is leaving a lot of stuff out, because if not this looks like the biggest cave by Obama yet.

    More Kabuki theater; don’t react to proposals that won’t have a chance of passing the House, wait for something to actually pass (it won’t; we are going over, which explains the Kabuki).

  52. 52
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    @Napoleon:

    In other words that is what Chuck Shumer has told his buddies in the newsroom at the NY Times.

    Which is also All Obama’s Fault, amirite? After all, if he was a real leader, Schumer wouldn’t stab him in the back.

  53. 53
    Mnemosyne (iPhone) says:

    @Nina:

    I think internet history has proven that a lack of information will never stop some people from concluding that the only possible answer is that Obama sold us out.

  54. 54
    Napoleon says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone):

    Yeah, Obama is responsible for Shumer’s big mouth (imagine a rolling eye emoticon right here).

  55. 55
    dead existentialist says:

    @BGinCHI: Here’s how the Tea Party interprets Dickens’s Scrooge.

    ETA Yeah, it’s totally twisted and tone-deaf to the “original intent.”

  56. 56
    El Caganer says:

    @Mnemosyne (iPhone): And how cunning is that? He sold everybody out on a deal that doesn’t even exist yet, and he did it just so nobody could pin him down. Because it doesn’t, y’know, actually exist.

  57. 57
    Paul in KY says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Granted, VDE, it would have been a big bother to ship his armies to Vladivostok & invade from East.

  58. 58
    Maude says:

    @El Caganer:
    Cause behind that is cutting Social Security. Because he wants to.

  59. 59
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @BGinCHI: I have no idea what’s going on, but TPM says:

    Key Democratic Senate aide tells TPM Dems aren’t interested in a short term fiscal cliff deal.

    I can’t imagine what Obama would offer that Conrad, Baucus, Feinstein and Cantwell would reject, even less that Boehner could sell, still less what Boehner and Pelosi could coax through, assuming he would be willing to work with her, which if it happens will be the biggest surprise of all of this nonsense.

    Which is all because Obama is a poor negotiator, or something.

  60. 60
    El Caganer says:

    @Paul in KY: And aside from Genghis Khan and his crew, invasions from the East weren’t all that succcessful either.

  61. 61
    existenz says:

    Yep, I hope this is just Schumer running his big mouth. I’m a cliff jumper and don’t actually have a problem with ALL of the taxes going back to the 90s rates. The latest reports are that Senate Dems don’t want a short term deal, so I can just calm down now. I don’t expect a last minute capitulation.

  62. 62
    Ben Cisco says:

    @John Cole up top:

    the teahadists inevitably tell him to shove it up his ass.

    Yeah, but first they’re gonna take it, shine it up real nice, turn that sumbitch sideways and THEN…

  63. 63
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Nothing happens until January 3rd, which is when the vote is held on whether Boehner keeps his Speakership or not.

    Then they’ll want a do-over back to December 31 with the old tax rates still in place. I don’t think that anyone’s going to give that to them.

  64. 64
    gene108 says:

    @nemesis:

    Please make sure this POS austerity nonsense isnt passed.

    As Brad DeLong stated, the Fiscal Cliff is actually an Austerity Bomb, which I would add is wrapped in a tax hike.

    The problem isn’t the tax hike, it’s the tax hike and the budget cuts hitting at the same time in an already weak economy.

    The negotiations, from the Democratic side, are to make sure the budget cuts don’t hit all at once and the poors can still get their support.

    The Republican point of view is the tax cuts need to be extended and taxes need to be cut further, while we slash the budget for things the poors actually could use.

    There really isn’t a middle ground between these two points of view.

    President Obama and the Democratic position, during the 2012 election, is actually the middle ground. A small tax hike on the rich, with some reductions in military spending and a relative freeze on spending on social programs.

    The Republicans are so far gone, they view this as a move of a Marxist-Leninist dictator.

    @PsiFighter37:

    why the hell is so much of the country dumb enough to send these right-wing assholes back to Congress?

    The right-wing assholes are Christians, who will keep fetuses safe from genocide, restore God in our schools (to stop bullets, naturally), protect people’s Second Amendment rights, and defend the Constitution from infringement by northern-coastal-godless-liberal-elitists-who-hate-America.

    I have no clue how to get through to folks like that, but we somehow have to because otherwise Republicans will feel safe to keep acting like this.

  65. 65
    jp7505a says:

    @gene108: Well actually they want to protect the 2nd amendment and not much else. The senate has re-authorized the Bush warrentless wiretap law after droping the provisions to protect people rights. May the 4th amendment RIP.

    Until these folks reject the extremeist dog-eat-dog every man for himself form of social Darwinissm this will continue.

  66. 66
    Roger Moore says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    why the hell is so much of the country dumb enough to send these right-wing assholes back to Congress?

    Because many people are right wing assholes and they want to be represented by people like themselves. That and they’ve gerrymandered like crazy so the right wing assholes have a majority in the House even though they lost the popular vote.

  67. 67
    Joel says:

    @Afferent Input: Fortunately for us, my wife’s K99 was funded last year. We’re both good through at least October 2014, thank Deus. I will have used up all three years of my NRSA eligibility by that point, however. All in my first three years of postdoc’ing. This is the new world order…

  68. 68
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @gene108:

    The right-wing assholes are Christians,

    No they’re not.

    They are Mammon-worshiping prudes. They soil the term “Christian” by claiming it. If Jesus were to come back today, they’d be the first to demand that he be crucified again.

  69. 69
    General Stuck says:

    As Brad DeLong stated, the Fiscal Cliff is actually an Austerity Bomb, which I would add is wrapped in a tax hike.

    The problem isn’t the tax hike, it’s the tax hike and the budget cuts hitting at the same time in an already weak economy.

    Actually it is the tax hikes, not only the Bush cuts, but the payroll tax, loss of UE bennies, and the like. And they occur on Jan 1, or all disappear on that day. The spending cuts are longer term, and although the economy doesn’t need any dry up in demand. The tax hikes, especially the middle class one are immediate loss of demand and stimulus monies spent into the economy. It is hard to call spending cuts spread out over ten years, “an austerity bomb”, unless you have a narrative to sell. edit – also too, these cuts of 100 bill or so each year, are not small, and are in context with a 13 trillion dollar yearly economy, and not huge either.

  70. 70
    jp7505a says:

    I never got much past Sunday school when it comes to Bible study but it is pretty hard to miss that Jesus stood with the 99% not the 1%. Farmers, fisherman and tax collectors did not own many palaces. Both the old and the new testaments make it very clear that you are your brothers keeper and that you should treat others as you would like to be treated. Jesus is quite clear that what you do TO the least of his children you do to him and that which you do for them you do for him.

    I’m not really sure how the Christanists (as Sully calls them) miss this very basic point. Their ‘every man for himself’ philosophy just seems to be at total odds with the Bible but they shout from the roof tops what great Christians they are.

  71. 71
    gene108 says:

    @General Stuck:

    loss of UE bennies

    Loss of UE bennies isn’t due to a hike in taxes…just sayin’…

    Actually it is the tax hikes, not only the Bush cuts, but the payroll tax,

    A “rational” government could make up the difference in demand by plowing the extra coin back into the economy.

    It is hard to call spending cuts spread out over ten years, “an austerity bomb”

    Brad DeLong’s use of the term:

    Second, and more important, the process is not well-described by the term “fiscal cliff.” It is, rather, an austerity bomb that hits an economy in which unemployment remains high, the employment-to-population ratio remains horrifyingly low, and there are only feeble signs that the large gap between current and potential output is closing.

    Link

    If you read the Link, he explains what I was trying to say by paraphrasing him, better than I paraphrased him :-)

  72. 72
    Tone in DC says:

    @Ben Cisco:

    LULz.

    It DOESN’T MATTER what Boehner wants!

  73. 73
    General Stuck says:

    @gene108:

    LOL, ‘rational government’ / That’s a good one :)

  74. 74
    redshirt says:

    I feel like I must be missing something that perhaps others “get”.

    Tell me why the Wingnuts in the House would accept ANYTHING other than utter capitulation on behalf of the Dems.

    They want to destroy the country. The means is laid out before them right now – if they don’t do anything, then they get what they want.

    Obama, on the other hand, wanting to lead the nation responsibly, either goes along with this destruction, or, concedes most everything to the Repukes.

    I don’t see any leverage at all on the side of the Dems, since, lest you forget, they’re dealing with evil/insane people who want to see everything burn.

  75. 75
    imbrium says:

    All this NIH talk is making me shudder a bit. (Intramural postdoc)… Makes me shudder even more when I think of how dependent the UC system that spawned me is on federal grant money.

    @Afferent…, you can try going to NIH RePort system and looking up K99 success rates by institute. Some institutes get fewer applications or fund more of them than others and you might be able to retool your proposal a bit to focus on whatever would appeal to the target institute of choice.

    http://report.nih.gov/ of course the site is undergoing maintenance (or something) until Dec 29th, but still.

  76. 76
    General Stuck says:

    @redshirt:

    Tell me why the Wingnuts in the House would accept ANYTHING other than utter capitulation on behalf of the Dems.

    I will try to describe my take. First, the tea party folks aren’t like most goopers, and only nominally part of the republican party. Most of the old guard nutters, are just as austerity crazy as the tea tards, but just aren’t as nihilistic in their tactics. With enough sanity to know that mucking around with the debt ceiling, and the foregoing of smart politics for the longer term, is a recipe for disaster beyond what they consider in their best interests.

    And since there are enough of the 27 percent class crazies to keep the American bus headed for the cliff, it still is an open question whether more sane republicans are willing to do what is necessary to stop them, which is join dems to some degree. The leverage dems have in a sane political world, is check mate all around on the tax issue, especially coming off a big election win. But we aren’t in a sane world

    So we got basically two ways to go as democrats. One is the sane republicans are not too weak to put a stop to the madness, and agree to pass vital bills to the survival of the country, with dem votes. Or, they don’t and we keep on trucking for the national crackup. With the only hope, and the main issue of surviving or not as a country, in the hands of the voters next elections. As it should be when one party goes insane.

    For the purpose of sane nutters putting a stop to the tea tards, would also signal a full and raging civil war in the GOP tent. And really an overall existential question for them existing any where near as is in the new American demographic.

    I have no idea what will happen. Though I suspect in the fever swamp of the tea tard primitive brainstem, what they are angling for is to force Obama and dems to employ radical measures to save the country, and run on that next election as being the thoughtful ones.

  77. 77
    NR says:

    @redshirt:

    I don’t see any leverage at all on the side of the Dems, since, lest you forget, they’re dealing with evil/insane people who want to see everything burn.

    If that’s the case, then we’re screwed no matter what we do, so it’s better to stand firm to Democratic principles.

    Giving the teahadists everything they want just makes it impossible to draw clear distinctions between the parties in the next election.

    Seriously, who is going to bother voting for Democrats if all they do is give in to the Republicans all the time anyway?

  78. 78
    redshirt says:

    @General Stuck: Well said. The key points I take from your post is the issue of “political sanity”. In a normal world, yes, the Dems would have tons of leverage here. But we are no longer in a normal, sane political world.

    Not only are there legitimate nutters with real power, but there is a massive amount of money behind the scenes ensuring he nutters stay nutty. Think the Koch boys are going to support your average House Wingnut if he gives in to common sense here? No way – Primaries from the Right for all!

    I do think we’re damned here no matter, what, so like NR says, let’s get to it. We’re fighting another battle in the unfinished Civil War here, and it’s time to end it. Pain for many, but if we can break up the Republican Party for good, it will be worth it.

    But even then, I’m dubious. The nutters have a well oiled propaganda machine working on their behalf, and you can be sure the truth will not be heard from it. Rather, every Dem will be smeared with the pain of your average American who suffers because of Wingnut intransigence.

  79. 79
    ArchTeryx says:

    @imbrium: I’m already a casualty. My postdoc was cut two years short because my PI’s funds were cut and she could not keep me on.

    The bloodbath in the NIH is just beginning, and it ain’t going to be pretty.

  80. 80
    imbrium says:

    @ArchTeryx: Oof, sorry to hear Arch. “Bloodbath,” incidentally, is the precise word my advisor used to describe what would happen if sequestration/fed budget cuts kicked in.

    But of course, all that really gets talked about are tax cuts and the military.

  81. 81
    Elie says:

    @c u n d gulag:

    You know this. Their target is not those programs but to make funding and administering those programs impossible. Their actual target is to discredit and deligitimize government by any means possible. They actually think its a good thing if liberal/progressives become more angry and help them out by disengaging or holding to very rigid negotiation points. Then they can continue to use our hands to damage governance. They want you to think “protecting our programs” where they are after bigger game. They want to break the whole effing system such that nothing can be made to work for people. Do not — DONOT get fooled into criticizing the administration about being poor negotiators. They are negotiating as the protector of competent and rational governance — a bigger and more critical goal than any one program. We have to bend them to acede to the fucking godammed rules of our governmental system. We START there. We have to fight off their very real (and effective) coercion to give up, scream and break our own rules. Way too many of the progressives don’t seem to see this and it worries me. This is not hard ball clubbing them into submission. This is squeezing them into anoxia where they cannot breathe by slowly taking alternatives away EXCEPT to follow the godamned rules. We trade and dangle carrots here and there to get the vicious animals into the effing trap. Stop bitting on the lures, for gosh sakes! We have extremely feral and dangerous, destructive beings to manage — and it is NOT easy. They want a civil war — and indeed we have one. But the victory on our side will come in having them accept the rules and slowly, that is where they are being forced. Observe and respect that process…

  82. 82
    Elie says:

    @redshirt:

    You did not pay attention to the part of what happens when we are over the cliff. The PR is already set up. The public will blame the repubs for consequences, to a good extent. Part two is that they have no “wiggle” room and the Democrats are still “following the rules” in the system. The Republicans become discredited insurgents — obviously willing to blow up the system to achieve ends that make no sense to the majority of Americans: allowing very rich to escape taxes while slamming the middle class and poor on programs that they need. You can’t go home in the 7th inning on this thing…you also have to think through the consequences from beginning to end. Its not about the superficial “win” but what that “win” means in relation to the status of government as a viable actor in formulating and implementing solid and reliable policy.

  83. 83
    ArchTeryx says:

    @imbrium: I didn’t mention that I was an NIH postdoc; sorry about that oversight. I’d gotten in on an intramural fellowship, and the 3-year mark was the end of it; my PI couldn’t get me for free any more, so she had to put the money up for me or let me go. She chose the latter (this was in 2010; I officially left in 2011).

    Before I left, the word from the top of the National Cancer Institute, where I worked, was that 50% of the postdocs could be let go if the sequestration kicked in fully. That was the starting point. I didn’t even ask what that meant for the EXTRAMURAL grants.

    Not a good time to be a scientist. Wouldn’t it be my luck that NOW would be the time I was trying to start a career in it?

  84. 84
    redshirt says:

    @Elie: Rational arguments, and good ones too. But I don’t see how they apply to today’s Republican party. They don’t care! The media will cover for them – get ready for a barrage of “Democrats raised are taxes!” stories. This is how the Republicans work: They break something, and when a Dem tries to fix it, they try and stop them. When the Dem fails, the Repukes can bluster “See! Government’s not the answer! Now watch this drive”.

    Simple question: Do you believe the Republican party “True Believers” really want to drown the government in the bathtub?

    If yes, then isn’t this a great chance to do so? What do they care of the consequences, since they’ll spin them to their benefit anyways, at least in enough districts/states to maintain power.

  85. 85
    imbrium says:

    @ArchTeryx: 50% o_0?! I found remarks from Harold Varmus suggesting NCI extramural grants could drop by 40% . Wonderful. You’d think the people trying to cure cancer would get a touch more attention in this whole mess…

    I’m at a different institute in the grand acronym stew. 2nd year. Who knows…

  86. 86
    Elie says:

    @redshirt:

    Of course they don’t care. My whole argument is that because WE (the administration and Democrats do), our leverage and power is used to force them into bending to the rules. Willingly? NO. This is the hypoxia coercion — they are pushed into submission — not AGREEMENT or cooperation. But they must be seen as having received that fate by the enforcement of the rules. They must be acknowledged to have been defeated within those rules. We have proceeded along one milestone after another to accomplish this. We just have to continue. It is hard thankless work to defend our current constitutional democracy and the rules that support it.

  87. 87
    Mnemosyne says:

    @redshirt:

    The one thing our side has going for us is that the Republicans are still the party of Big Money, and Big Money is NOT happy that Congress’s dicking around is making the markets plunge. I’m guessing that Boehner and McConnell got a few new holes ripped over the holiday.

  88. 88
    ArchTeryx says:

    -@imbrium: I wish you best of luck in riding out the storm. If you want, contact me at archteryx01 at gmail dot com; I wouldn’t mind finding out about how this shakes out, as I still maintain my contacts at the NIH whenever I can.

  89. 89
    onlymike says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: This. Absolutely this!

  90. 90
    Michael James says:

    A different Cliff seems to understand the situation

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