Another Cliff Update

The House just voted on the Senate bill, and it passed by a wide margin, so WRONG AGAIN COLE is wrong again. I thought the teahadists would find a way to spike the bill. They didn’t.

The winners in all of this are Obama, the Senate, and Nancy, who once again impressively whipped her caucus and had only 16 no votes. The vote was effectively over when 30 Republicans voted in favor, but Pelosi still managed to keep all but 16. I have no idea who they are, but I am sure it will be an mix of folks voting against for idiosyncratic district regions and a few diehard progressives. Pelosi is perhaps the best leader I have ever seen at whipping her caucus. She’s better than DeLay, and she leaves no fingerprints. She’s really fucking amazing.

The biggest loser, I think, is Cantor, who came out against the bill before Boehner and then could not deliver 218 votes for an amended bill. Boehner probably worked with Pelosi and delivered the necessary votes from safe districts and then released others in more difficult situations to vote against. Don’t be confused by the small number of Republican “yea” votes, as right now, Cantor, Louis Gohmert, the teahadist, and manic progressives like Matt Stoller (all of whom are nihilists) are probably singing Bill Joel at a piano bar over scotch in Georgetown. Boehner’s support was deep enough in the caucus to deliver that many votes while releasing dozens of others to vote against, and he is probably safe as speaker. Cantor, I think, is done. I’ll let the master speak:

When you come at the king, you best not miss, and Cantor missed. His fingerprints are all over this debacle, not Boehner’s. Of course, I am wrong all the time, but I would be really surprised to see any real attempt at dethroning Boehner, and I expect Cantor to be neutered for a while.

But then again, I am always, fucking, always wrong. But that is how I see things now.






407 replies
  1. 1
    horatius says:

    Egad. Now we will see what Obama is made of.

    If he thinks he’ll get a smooth increase in the debt limit ceiling, he’s sadly mistaken. You can always depend on him to voluntarily give up leverage.

    Terrible, terrible vote.

  2. 2
    James Gary says:

    Re: “Looper”: Your taste in movies is still execrable.

    XO

    JG

  3. 3
    Brian S says:

    Of the 20 seats Boehner lost, anyone know how many were teahadists? Could he have actually gained some control over his caucus because of who he lost?

  4. 4
    AxelFoley says:

    @horatius:

    Where do these guys come from? Where do you get these trolls from, Cole? LOL

  5. 5
    General Stuck says:

    I am proud of our democrats, all of them in both chambers and our president as well. It has largely gone unheralded the past 4 years, that the herd of cats that populate the democratic party, have congealed into a pretty reliable group, but not lock step sheeples like the wingnuts usually are. I think Nancy Pelosi is a huge part of that and is just a godsend for a House leader, and Harry Reid has done much better dealing with the wingnuts in a chamber of congress with 100 wannabe despots.

    And Obama is heading toward greatness, with very little personal drama. We are lucky to have this president. flaws and all.

  6. 6
    Cacti says:

    This vote is proof that Obama failed and has betrayed us.

    Primary him!

  7. 7
    rikyrah says:

    Cantor is a fucking weasel.

    He wants to be Speaker, but there is nobody that can tell me that he’d be any better of herding the nutcases than Orange Julius is…

    but make no mistake… if there had been a President Romney and Senate Majority Leader McConnell….Cantor would have shanked Orange Julius on November 7th.

  8. 8
    redshirt says:

    @horatius: And back to Firebagging in comment one. Awesome – sure, dude, you can always count on Obama to lose, right? He’s never accomplished anything.

  9. 9

    I’m too cynical to believe this is the end of the radicals in the GOP, but I’m hopeful this is the plot point where the good guys realize who the real bad guys are — and that they can be beaten.

  10. 10
    Ted_75 says:

    Next up: The MARCH MADNESS debt ceiling!

    Here we come…better pass the Ryan budget or Obambi gets smacked over the head when we hit the debt ceiling…

  11. 11
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    So what repercussions will Cantor face? I’m not a violent man, but something about that guy’s face makes me wish someone would punch it hard. He looks like a spoiled rich kid.

  12. 12
    Corner Stone says:

    When you come at the king, you best not miss, and Cantor missed. His fingerprints are all over this debacle, not Boehner’s.

    Cantor doesn’t want Boehner’s job – at least not yet.
    He voted exactly the way he told Boehner he would and the way they gamed out.
    This isn’t a coup.

  13. 13
    mai naem says:

    They didn’t do anything about the “Carried Interest” rule. I am po’d about that. I think its an okay deal. I hope you’re right about Cantor. He’s in my top 10 most disliked congresscritters list. Slimeball mofo.

  14. 14
    PeakVT says:

    Wrong Cole is always wrong, wrong, wrong! His wrongness wrongs the entire universe!

    Posting a Lily pic would make up for it all, though.

    Also, on topic, the roll call.

  15. 15
    rikyrah says:

    The debt ceiling is gonna be fun.

    not really, but here’s the thing..

    on the one side, you will have the President saying..

    Give me a clean bill..

    on the other side, you will have the lunatics talking about gutting Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid….

    clean bill…

    gutting the social safety net..

    and methinks that there will be few, if any Dems that will allow the nebulous’ oh we need cuts’…

    I believe we will hear the screams of…

    TELL US YOUR CUTS, GOP!

  16. 16
    Gus diZerega says:

    I think Joan McCarter at Daily Kos is pretty clear and convincing as to why this is, yet again, a case of Obama’s pathological inability to ever stand for a principle and so give the impression of weakness that will lead to bigger problems. http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....cliff-bill

    I’d love to be shown wrong, but I doubt it will happen.

  17. 17
    Tonal Crow says:

    Next, the teahadists will once again attempt to make us default on our debt.

    Hold onto your ass, because this is going to be really ugly.

  18. 18
    John Cole says:

    @horatius: I’m so fucking sick and tired of you morons. Explain to me what should have been in the bill that would have gotten through the REPUBLICAN house. Please do not drool into an electrical socket while responding.

    Fucking idiots.

  19. 19
    hildebrand says:

    @Polish the Guillotines: Bingo. I am sensing that the next fights may be a smidgeon easier because the right-wing hacks realize that they are no longer an ascendant force.

  20. 20
    Cacti says:

    @West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.):

    So what repercussions will Cantor face? I’m not a violent man, but something about that guy’s face makes me wish someone would punch it hard. He looks like a spoiled rich kid.

    I’m guessing status quo antebellum.

    Cantor overplayed his hand, but Boner is weakened and damaged as Speaker.

  21. 21
    Mike in NC says:

    Looper was OK.

    But GOP sucks bags of salted dicks.

  22. 22
    waratah says:

    I would be happy to not see Cantors smarmy smile again.

  23. 23
    Citizen_X says:

    @horatius:
    @Ted_75:

    Scoreboard, assholes. Scoreboard.

  24. 24
    moonbat says:

    Typical. Democrats can’t tell when they’re winning and Republicans can’t tell when they’re losing.

  25. 25
    Ted_75 says:

    “The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a Sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. …Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here’. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and Grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”–SENATOR BARACK OBAMA, 2006

  26. 26
    Ted_75 says:

    Oh, some Republicans lost tonight, such as John Boner and the other clowns that voted for this atrocity.

  27. 27
    Anoniminous says:

    The Speaker election, coming on Thursday, is going to be darn interesting.

  28. 28
    hildebrand says:

    @Gus diZerega: Get the fuck out – a GOS A-lister is saying the President is a bad guy? Really? Wow, in what universe could you have expected that? Man, I am suuurrrppriiisseed.

  29. 29
    rikyrah says:

    GET ON AIR FORCE ONE TONIGHT, MR. PRESIDENT.

    GET BACK TO THE FIRST FAMILY!!!

  30. 30
    Corner Stone says:

    Boehner let his caucus puke on this and had Cantor go with them.
    One day Cantor may move up but this wasn’t in any way a part of that.
    This was planned with Boehner’s understanding.
    January 3rd is a beautiful day for John Boehner.

  31. 31
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Boehner basically slapped the teahadists in the face with his vote for the bill. Cantor failed to exert control of the caucus to show up Boehner and Boehner tossed his lot in with the democrats in the hope of keeping his seat.

    Still, around 125 Republicans basically voted for a tax increase. So to say…

  32. 32
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @General Stuck:

    Could you possibly become any more pompous?

    I mean if you as in the know as you present yourself, why don’t you have a show on MSNBC? What amazes is how you throw out all your bullshit as though it is fact, you know, just known fact throughtout the universe because, you know, you said it.

    Wow.

  33. 33
    PeakVT says:

    The House is still in session, BTW, with a lot of angry NY and NJ Reps (of both parties) on the floor complaining about the lack of a vote on a Sandy relief bill.

    ETA: Nancy SMASH is talking now. Nice.

  34. 34
    redshirt says:

    There’s some sort of revolt/outrage going on right now on the floor about Sandy relief. Did Boner just close congress before voting on it?

  35. 35
    Cacti says:

    @Gus diZerega:

    I think Joan McCarter at Daily Kos is pretty clear and convincing as to why this is, yet again, a case of Obama’s pathological inability to ever stand for a principle and so give the impression of weakness that will lead to bigger problems.

    I agree.

    Primary him with Darcy Burner.

  36. 36
    Corner Stone says:

    @Anoniminous: Not really. No one will emerge to actually challenge Boehner for Speaker.

  37. 37
    Linda Featheringill says:

    I’m surprised that the house passed the bill. And I’m surprised that many Republicans risked pissing off the TeaParty. And I’m surprised that Boehner actually cooperated with the Democrats to accomplish something.

    But a lot of human misery has been averted. Unemployment, EIC, etc. And the thing about milk, too.

    I wonder if this bipartisan vote is significant or if it’s just a fluke.

  38. 38
    rikyrah says:

    Peter Baker @peterbakernyt

    For all the complaints from the left, elected Dems disregard them; only 3 Dems in Senate and 16 in House voted no.

  39. 39
    Maude says:

    @rikyrah:
    Obama said tonight that he is not going to debate paying the bills Congress ran up. His statements tonight are wondrous. He is setting up the next battles.

  40. 40
    Feudalism Now! says:

    There was no win in this scenario for the Repugnant-cants. Defaulting on our debt is a much better hill to die on.

  41. 41
    Cacti says:

    @Ted_75:

    Your powers of prognostication are easily on par with Dick Morris.

    Dick, is that you?

  42. 42

    @hildebrand: I suspect it won’t take too long before the “every man for himself” phase kicks in and preserving their earmarks becomes the new freedom fight.

  43. 43
    General Stuck says:

    @Cacti:

    Cantor overplayed his hand, but Boner is weakened and damaged as Speaker.

    It is a looking glass into the volatile state of the GOP. The nihilists want to break things, and tonight, at least enough of the wingnuts said wait a minute. The GOP is an undead party right now, and potentially very very dangerous, to the entire world. I hope Boehner and his loyal troops have made an on going decision to stop short of causing disaster. Time will tell.

  44. 44
    rikyrah says:

    Nerdy Wonka @NerdyWonka

    Pres. Obama ran & won on getting taxes raised on the wealthy. For the first time in 20 years, republicans voted to do so. Well played Sir.

  45. 45
    Gus diZerega says:

    @hildebrand: Get specific and maybe I’ll be able to tell what you are talking about.

  46. 46
    Corner Stone says:

    @Maude:

    Obama said tonight that he is not going to debate paying the bills Congress ran up. His statements tonight are wondrous. He is setting up the next battles.

    Be curious to see how this plays out.

  47. 47
    Ted_75 says:

    “”The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a Sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. …Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here’. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and Grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.”

    Who said that?

    BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA, March, 2006.

    I’m going to enjoy bringing up that quote again and again in the next few months!

  48. 48
    redshirt says:

    @Cacti: Darcy Burner needs to Primary Everything.

  49. 49
    ruemara says:

    It will be interesting, that’s for sure. I’d like to think that this may start a real schism between Republicans and Tea Party Caucus. Depending on how they decide to approach being obstructionist and how willing the President is to let them hang on their words.

    Also too, fuck these firebaggers. Who the fuck is Joan McCarter and when does she take her House seat? You can’t fucking mock the pundits Halprin is asking questions of and then rely on your own. I’ll give a shit when anyone of your favourite pundits actually have to play some political ball. Even on a local level, because that’s a fucked up as national.

  50. 50
    Gus diZerega says:

    @Cacti: Nice snark but avoids the issue.

  51. 51
    Alison says:

    Man, emoprogs are just as predictable as the fucking tea party nutbags. Way to be consistent, I guess. Too bad it’s consistent bullshit.

    Anyway, I’m glad the GOPers made themselves look like tools again. And do I ever wish I could be a fly on the wall of Air Force One tonight. :)

  52. 52
    Maude says:

    @John Cole:
    I don’t think you were wrong at all. It looked like we were going over the cliff and only Wall Street could start the process again. I didn’t know if the Senate bill would pass the House.
    Then again, I’ve been wrong since 1968.

  53. 53
    mir13 says:

    @Gus diZerega: Who the fuck cares what she and the Firebaggers think or say. They just lost AGAIN. Whether they care or not, they are on the same level as the Teabaggers: Losers. And sore ones at that. Must be all the poultry.

  54. 54
    Gus diZerega says:

    @ruemara: You know, I read Balloon Juice because some of the respondents actually deal with arguments. I’m sorry that you don’t.

  55. 55
    AxelFoley says:

    @Gus diZerega:

    Gus diZerega Says:

    I think Joan McCarter at Daily Kos is pretty clear and convincing as to why this is, yet again, a case of Obama’s pathological inability to ever stand for a principle and so give the impression of weakness that will lead to bigger problems. http://www.dailykos.com/story/…..cliff-bill
    I’d love to be shown wrong, but I doubt it will happen.

    Muthafuck, you fools don’t stop with the bullshit, do you?

  56. 56
    Peter says:

    @Ted_75: I really don’t think that quote means what you think it means.

  57. 57
    Mojotron says:

    As a firebagger I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.

  58. 58
    CaseyL says:

    Shame about GOS; I pay about as much attention to them as I do to wingnuts; i.e., if they yell and scream about OBAMA-SOLD-US-OUT-AGAIN I figure he’s doing just fine, thanks.

    257-167 vote, with 85 GOP in favor and only 16 Dems voting against. I’m surprised how many GOPs voted aye. I predicted only 46 would. I also underestimated how many Dems would vote aye, too.

    I don’t see how this neuters Cantor, much as I wish it would. By all reports, the wingnut caucus is going to avenge this defeat by being perfect bastards in 2 months, when both the sequestration and the debt ceiling have to be voted on.

  59. 59
    General Stuck says:

    @Ted & Hellen:

    LOL, are we feeling a little insecure tonight, timmy? Too much Obama success stealing your mojo, or whatever you call it. 4 more years, you should pace yourself.

  60. 60
    Ted_75 says:

    @Peter:

    Obambi voted against raising the debt ceiling every single time it came up.

    Every. Single. Time.

    So why should anyone else vote for it when he didn’t?

  61. 61
    Gus diZerega says:

    @mir13: @mir13: @mir13: You know, I read Balloon Juice because some of the respondents actually deal with arguments. I’m sorry that you don’t.

  62. 62
    Cacti says:

    @Mojotron:

    As a firebagger I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.

    Quick, get somebody from the Green Party to get arrested.

  63. 63
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @hildebrand:

    I agree. Mcjoan? Outside of Kos, who gives a flying fuck? Oh yeah, firebaggers!

    @Cacti:

    Ooh, burn.

  64. 64
    Maude says:

    @Corner Stone:
    We won’t be bored and Happy New Year.

  65. 65
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Gus diZerega:

    Honest question: what principle was he unable to stand up for? The tax hikes on the rich are still here. They’ve gone back up to Clinton-era levels. Yes, the $250,000-$450,000 income bracket didn’t get their taxes raised. Is that really big enough to stick in your craw? (And from a policy standpoint, do you really not see a difference between an income of several hundred thousand dollars and several billion dollars, and maybe that their tax rates SHOULD be different?)

    The center of this whole fight was whether Obama would blink and let the tax cuts keep going in order to stop the fiscal cliff. He didn’t. Instead, he and Pelosi and Reid got 1/3 of the Republican caucus to tax the rich. How is this not a win?

  66. 66
    CaseyL says:

    OK, I’m in Moderation Hell. Let’s see if removing the emoprog caps fixes things:

    Shame about GOS; I pay about as much attention to them as I do to wingnuts; i.e., if they yell and scream about Obama selling us out or caving, I figure he’s doing just fine, thanks.

    257-167 vote, with 85 GOP in favor and only 16 Dems voting against. I’m surprised how many GOPs voted aye. I predicted only 46 would. I also underestimated how many Dems would vote aye, too.

    I don’t see how this neuters Cantor, much as I wish it would. By all reports, the wingnut caucus is going to avenge this defeat by being perfect bastards in 2 months, when both the sequestration and the debt ceiling have to be voted on.

    ETA: Yup; it was the all-caps.

  67. 67
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    @Cacti: Boehner strikes me as a very well-to-do country club drunk: a member of the landed gentry who remains a bit pragmatic in his way and is dismayed by the upstart crows who aren’t playing by the good-old-boy rules. If he is, indeed, damaged in some way by the fiscal fight, I don’t think he’ll care all that much. I doubt he ever had hopes of running for president.

    It’s Cantor who I want to see damaged.

  68. 68
    scav says:

    The highly visible and meticulously documented errant frantic flopping of disjointed elements of the Goopers once proud lockstep machine is a savory treat, especially when served with a side of ted’s prediction of his ever-about-to-incarnate-himself great pumpkin savior du jour.

  69. 69
    FlipYrWhig says:

    Viqueira on MSNBC was at one point talking about disgruntled progressive Democrats voting against the bill. Did they do it? Nope. Kinda interesting to see the customary level of Sturm, Drang, und Angst in the blogosphere manifest as Die Jackensquatz among actual elected politicians. Again.

  70. 70
    Corner Stone says:

    @Mojotron:

    As a firebagger I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.

    God damn. Who stole your mojo 5000 from you?

  71. 71
    Gus diZerega says:

    @AxelFoley:@AxelFoley: Eloquent reasoning. You are getting really good at this.

  72. 72
    mainmati says:

    Cantor is a slime ball, a true Iago to the Orange Othello but since Orange Othello has no real ability to fatally stab our Obama Desdemona, he can only EXIT STAGE RIGHT for the moment to lick his wounds and wait for the next opportunity when King Obama dares to offer a new campaign for the people.

  73. 73
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    Damn, this must be a really good thing, with the way the trolls hit the keys so quickly.

    Obama fucking shanked us, man. He’s weak, he’s right of center, he gave away the whole progressive agenda, Republicans win again…

    Seriously, every fucking time. It’s the same weak-ass shit from the trolls. You guys need to get some better material.

  74. 74
    Anoniminous says:

    @Corner Stone:

    You’re right. The most likely thing is Boner gets another two years as Speaker. On the other hand, the set-up for a nice little GOP faction fight exists.

  75. 75
    hildebrand says:

    @Gus diZerega: When have any of the front-pagers at DailyKos supported the President on an economic issue?

    Now, it is completely their collective prerogative to articulate their position – but to come here and somehow claim some sort of surprise that such a person would stand against Obama on an economic issue is rank foolishness.

  76. 76
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @General Stuck:

    Too much Obama success

    Oh, I agree that he’s succeeding at what he wants…I just think his goals are not what you pretend they are.

  77. 77
    Mike E says:

    Howard effing Coble voted for this thing, sweet tapdancing Moses! Boehner will be reelected Speaker, no fucking doubt.

    After the greatness of Nancy SMASH, behold the Shittiest Speaker of all time.

  78. 78
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Because he SHOULDA GOT MOAR. Which would have been the reaction regardless of whatever he did get.

  79. 79
    gnomedad says:

    Sully’s summary: “Meep, meep.” We shall see.

  80. 80
    bootsy says:

    @TaMara (BHF): Don’t worry, in the other thread these same trolls are denying the existence of ultraviolet and infrared light. I’m pretty sure that’s a sign of having given up.

  81. 81
    Anya says:

    Is @Ted_75 PO? Where was he all this time? Recovering from the failure of the UNLIMITTED CORPORATE CASH?

  82. 82
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @TaMara (BHF): it’s not really trolls, because most of these people genuinely believe what they say and aren’t just trying to get a rise out of everyone. But at some point it would be nice for them to concede that they’re not “the base” and that they don’t represent that big a wedge of public opinion even among committed Democrats.

  83. 83
  84. 84
    freelancer says:

    @Mojotron:

    Make baristas write “Come together” with a checked box on all their orders?

  85. 85
    Cacti says:

    @West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.):

    It’s Cantor who I want to see damaged.

    Cantor will be a hero to the 27-percenters for his opposition.

  86. 86
    Gus diZerega says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Good question. As I iunderstand it along with the relatively trivial issue of the 450/250 tax line, there are two more significant issues. McCarter dealt with one- it kicked the entire sequester issue down the road a little bit, and weakened the democrat’s position to make the issue clear and simple.

    Two, it was an unnecessary compromise that gives the Republicans and this entire “bipartisan” crap a legitimacy they need to lose. For 4 years they have not negotiated in good faith and it is time for Obama to stop pretending otherwise.

  87. 87
    amk says:

    Nice opening of the thread with a firebagger.

  88. 88
    mir13 says:

    @Gus diZerega: I think I see your problem here.

  89. 89
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Gus diZerega: Obama has lost Joan McCarter now? Oh, no. Next you’ll tell me that Matt Stoller and Glenn Greenwald have reacted negatively!

  90. 90
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Ted_75:

    I’m going to enjoy bringing up that quote again and again in the next few months!

    But it doesn’t have quite the same ring as UNLIMITED CORPORATE CASH!!! VICTORY!!!

  91. 91
    Cacti says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    it’s not really trolls, because most of these people genuinely believe what they say and aren’t just trying to get a rise out of everyone. But at some point it would be nice for them to concede that they’re not “the base” and that they don’t represent that big a wedge of public opinion even among committed Democrats.

    If it were not thus, Senator Ned Lamont would be completing his first term.

  92. 92
    Peter says:

    @Anya: Yes and yes.

  93. 93
    gnomedad says:

    @Anya:

    Is @Ted_75 PO? Where was he all this time? Recovering from the failure of the UNLIMITTED CORPORATE CASH?

    I confess I am impressed, in a horrified/fascinated way, by how unembarrassable it is.

  94. 94
    Maude says:

    @TaMara (BHF):
    It’s yes but, when Obama does something well. Tonight it will be yes but, he didn’t…fill in the blank.

  95. 95
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    What ‘more’ was there to get? Seriously, what was at stake in this particular vote-wrangling that we ended up having to abandon? Aside from the bump-up to $450,000 income as the cutoff, is there anything?

    I don’t mind that Gus and GOS have different opinions than most of us about this: differing opinions are good. But they have to be somewhat tied to reality. And what, in reality, did Obama give up on this deal?

    I’m sure there are ways to argue that he didn’t get 100% of what was, technically and academically, possible, but, you know what? Presidents never get 100% of what they want. I’d frankly rather see him take 80% of the winnings, resolve the issue quickly and not let it fester in Media Bullshit-land, and try to get congress do things besides grandstanding, all the while driving a very public and prominent shiv in between the two wings of the Republican party. I just don’t see how a liberal can look at this and see it as primarily a disappointment, even if they didn’t get everything they dreamed about.

  96. 96
    redshirt says:

    This Sandy vote (non vote) is incredible stuff. There looked to be a near riot as Boner gaveled the congress closed.

    Hope this gets play – it had a bi-partisan mix of outrage.

  97. 97
    Goblue72 says:

    I’d frankly prefer going over the cliff and having everyone’s taxes go up. It’s the only chance we had of restoring the revenue we need for the kinds of govt programs progressives claim they want funded. All we accomplished is making 85% of the Bush tax cuts permanent. Woo hoo – we are starving the beast and calling it a Democratic victory!

    Democrats will regret this before too long.

  98. 98
    Ted_75 says:

    @Anya:

    We kept the House and still hold a majority of state legislatures and a majority of Governor’s mansions.

    What does that mean? It means we quietly continue the TEA Party agenda at the state level (where Super PAC cash is much more effective) and gerrymander enough districts to give us a permanent House GOP majority to stymie Obambi and ever turn for the next four years.

  99. 99
    Gus diZerega says:

    @hildebrand: The argument as I rwad her is not economics- the argument is future negotiating positions.

    But yes, progressives as a rule are not corporatists, and corporatists are not monolithic, so I voted for and would again for the corporatist Obama over the corporatist Romney- or any Republican. We vote for the choices we have and we are free to remind anyone willing to listen that often choices are not between good and bad, but between really bad and fairly bad.

  100. 100
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Gus diZerega: All this talk about leverage and legitimacy is bullshit. It takes tangible issues, actual money and actual policy, and makes them a fable about the leader’s strength. That way the outcome isn’t evaluated on what it actually contains, but how it makes future events hypothetically more or less likely. That’s a strange way to talk about politics.

  101. 101
    jheartney says:

    To me the most significant thing out of this is that Boehner broke the Hastert rule. If he’s willing to do that once, he may be willing to do it again. And if it becomes customary to do it, that destroys the Teahadi’s.

    I initially expected that the House would end up going along with the Senate on this bill; for the House to say “no” would mean the Republicans would own the ensuing recession, not to mention the increases in paycheck withholding and the Milkaghedden.

    I’ve never thought Cantor was that smart. It’s the vacant look in his eyes; he just looks dim.

  102. 102
    Yutsano says:

    @CaseyL: The mod filter has been both random and capricious lately. In fact, there is every possibility this will get modererated for pretty much no reason at all. FYWP.

    Also: looking at the roll call, it looks like NancySMASH!! cut some folks loose but only with a guarantee of passage. There was a shiv stuck in Boehner’s back tonight, but it has nonna fingerprints on it.

  103. 103
  104. 104
    Gus diZerega says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Have you any willingness, or perhaps ability, to actually entertain an argument and judge its merits?

  105. 105
    Gus diZerega says:

    @FlipYrWhig: I do not understand what you are trying to say. Get specific and maybe I can.

  106. 106
    Citizen_X says:

    @Ted_75:

    Obambi voted against raising the debt ceiling every single time it came up…So why should anyone else vote for it when he didn’t?

    Because…he…just whittled down the Bush tax cuts that were a major part of the problem? And wanted to got rid of more?

  107. 107
    mir13 says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Of course not, silly Rabbit. Everyone here knows they are exactly what YOU pretend they are.

  108. 108
  109. 109
    gnomedad says:

    Hey, Rocky! Watch me pull UNLIMITED CORPORATE CASH out of my hat!

  110. 110
    lamh35 says:

    Trouble in paradise?

    “@jbendery: Boehner aide refers questions about Sandy aid bill to Cantor’s office.”

  111. 111
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Liberals can find disappointment in everything. The thing that didn’t happen becomes the one thing that had to happen. That way you always feel confirmed that you aren’t a patsy, because you still know that the way things are just isn’t enough. It will never not happen. I guarantee you that the Kossacks will be front-paging anti-Elizabeth Warren rants within the year. Some people just like feeling disappointed.

  112. 112
    mai naem says:

    Some of the Dem nays – Becerra(is he the one who lost cuz of Bloomberg and the NRA?), DeLauro, DeFazio. Matheson, Cooper(thought he was retiring), Scott(VA), MCdermott, Moran,McIntyre,Barrow, Smith of Wash, Schrader and Peterson. Matheson, Barrow and Cooper are Blue Dogs. DeLauro, I don’t understand. Defazio does what he wants. Don’t know enough about the rest of them.

  113. 113
    Anya says:

    @gnomedad: I really expected him to disappear, after the election and never show up here from sheer embarrassment. Well, at least he should have some creativity and change the style.

  114. 114
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Gus diZerega:

    My opinion is that “Bipartisan” is not automatically a bad word. For starters, the Dems are the minority in the House. They are not going to get anything passed, objectively speaking, with only their own votes. Obama ultimately did not want us to ‘go over the cliff’, and bet that enough Republicans also didn’t want it to happen that he could get an important tax increase out of them, something that would have been unthinkable under previous circumstances. Up until this all started, Norquist and the no-taxes-ever crowd had the GOP entirely by the balls. Now they no longer do. That’s something, right?

    Also, I think you might have it backwards. Part of the Republicans’ whole shtick is their united and impermeable front against all things Obama. When you get a whole chunk of their caucus saying, publicly, ‘all right, fine, he’s right this time’, it creates divisions in the Republican Party itself (which can only work to the Dems’ advantage) and a public perception that if so many Republicans agree with it, the plan must be ‘reasonable.’ Yes, that’s a stupid way to think, but as long as the perceptions’s out there, why not use it to our advantage? Most people won’t care about ‘leverage’ and what Obama gained or lost policy-wise. They’ll see a bipartisan bill that passed by a big margin, and that makes people happy for some reason. And now Obama has turned that into a weapon against the Republicans, effectively jujitsuing their united front.

    Also, you know, gosh, I find it at least somewhat relieving that not every Republican is a crazy bugfuck nihilist who will readily destroy the economy to make a political point. I mean, I get the point that de-legitimizing Republican ideas should be a long term goal, but as long as they’re as crazy as they are, they’re objectively dangerous to the country at large, and it’s a bit tiring to have a House that lobs nuclear bombs at the economy that are only stopped by the Senate and the veto pen. You can’t govern the city if you’re devoting all your energy to fighting off the invaders. So if we have enough Republicans who think that economic apocalypse is a bad idea, I think it’s good for the country. Doesn’t mean I support them.

  115. 115
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    @jheartney: I agree about Cantor not looking all that bright. As I’ve already suggested above, he looks like a kid who made the team only because Daddy is a major-mover and was giving the coach heat. Of course, his voters put him in there, so I guess my analogy is wrong.

  116. 116
    LAC says:

    @Ted_75: No. The real loser is whoever let you crawl out of her womb before blocking all the exits and shutting off the oxygen. Now, go get yourself a bag of salted dicks and shut up.

  117. 117
    hells littlest angel says:

    I would enjoy seeing someone put a cap of votes in Cantor’s ass.

  118. 118
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    What ‘more’ was there to get? Seriously, what was at stake in this particular vote-wrangling that we ended up having to abandon?

    The GOP now can say that the Democrats explicitly endorsed the Bush policies on capital gains and the estate tax. You talk about a supposed fight in which Obama would blink and keep all the Bush rates on income tax, but that’s a strawman position, given their expiry.

    But hey, yell “firebagger”, and make sure you cc: Tom Harkin on that. What happens in March will be the judge of what happened tonight.

  119. 119
    Mike E says:

    @mai naem: Brad Miller voted no as well, but I think he runs again when David Price retires, maybe in ’14.

  120. 120
    Cacti says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Also, I think you might have it backwards. Part of the Republicans’ whole shtick is their united and impermeable front against all things Obama. When you get a whole chunk of their caucus saying, publicly, ‘all right, fine, he’s right this time’, it creates divisions in the Republican Party itself (which can only work to the Dems’ advantage) and a public perception that if so many Republicans agree with it, the plan must be ‘reasonable.

    This is the first time in 4 years that the GOP agreed to have something other than tire treads and anthrax for dinner.

  121. 121
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Gus diZerega: “Leverage” and “legitimacy” need to be tethered to actual deeds. Obama gave up leverage he should have used for what? What would a “legitimate” Republican Party do that an illegitimate one wouldn’t or couldn’t? It’s like listening to a sports commentator talk about “momentum,” which ultimately ends up meaning “doing well for now.” I don’t know what “leverage” is, how it gets spent, and how many times you can use it. It’s not like Obama gets 3 leverages and now he’s squandered one instead of leveraging for infinite leverages.

  122. 122
    Geoduck says:

    I don’t consider myself a “emoprog” or whatever label you want to apply, but I think they genuinely serve a useful purpose, and that is every time one of these horrible ideas comes bubbling up about tossing Social Security onto the bargaining table, eleven-dimensional chess or not, there should be immediate and sustained screams of outrage from the left. The Overton Window won’t be pushed back towards the center with just polite support.

    As for the immediate deal, sounds like it’s as good as we were likely to get under the current circumstances.

  123. 123
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @mai naem: mostly Progressive Caucus types, looks like. Becerra is from Los Angeles I think. McDermott is Seattle?

  124. 124
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @mai naem:

    McDermott’s a prog caucus member from a very blue district (downtown Seattle.) Figure it’s a principles thing. And you know, fine. Really. The problem I have is these sorts of ‘I have my principles’ votes getting in the way of something actually passing. If Pelosi had the votes (and she obviously did) I have no problem whatsoever with the House lefties voting any damn way they please. I think people focus on them too much as the ‘enemy within’ or whatever. I think the big story tonight is the Republicans’ public front of massive resistance cracking, Norquist losing his grip, and that a House with a Republican speaker passed a bill primarily favorable to and voted for by Democrats.

  125. 125
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: I was wondering earlier tonight if part of the appeal to making a deal with this Congress is that some of the retiring Republicans might be easier to deal with than the fresh faces who have to worry about their next election.

  126. 126
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: it also suggests that if you’re a Republican in government you should do your best to get Republican-friendly elements into laws, then vote for them, then take credit — as opposed to seeing your mission as trying to negate the very function of governing because it’s all evil.

  127. 127
    Gus diZerega says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: In many ways I agree. The American system breaks down when there is no bipartisanship. It has broken down. If this vote breaks the stranglehold of the Republican right I’ll gladly say I misread it and Obama got it right.

    My study of the right wing says that will not happen. We will see soon enough, when the issue of extending the debt limit comes up.

    Another point on bipartisanship. It only works when you have a positive sum image of politics. When you equate it with war, overtures from the other side are often taken as signs of weakness. Starting with Gingrich the American right has increasingly seen politics as war and abandoned the entire concept of a loyal opposition.

    I see them as a resurgence on modern garb of the mindset of the Old Confederacy, and so needing to be decisively defeated before conservatism regains its mind and re-enters the world of civilized politics. I do not think that has happened yet, and think their behavior at the state level supports my view.

    Again time, and not much of it, will tell. I’ll admit I am wrong if the debt limit vote is reasonable, will you admit I am right and you are wrong if it is not?

  128. 128
    Yutsano says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    When you get a whole chunk of their caucus saying, publicly, ‘all right, fine, he’s right this time’, it creates divisions in the Republican Party itself (which can only work to the Dems’ advantage) and a public perception that if so many Republicans agree with it, the plan must be ‘reasonable.’

    This is now a big weakness in the Republican wall of obstruction. Now NancySMASH!! has a list of Republicans who have voted with her in the past and she can now go to that well to get legislation done with or without the majority party. Right now this is how the Republicans are operating in the WA legislature so it can indeed be done. She may morph from one of the greatest speakers to one of the strongest Minority Leaders in history. This could indeed get entertaining. And yes that list WILL be prominent when the debt ceiling fight pops up.

  129. 129
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    I’m not screaming Firebagger at anyone, for the record. And I do think the income tax thing is a big deal. If I have my dates right, a section of the Republican caucus this big hasn’t voted to raise taxes on the rich since the early 90’s. So they can say what they want about Capital Gains and Estate taxes. The response should be: “You already voted to raise income taxes and the world didn’t end. What makes these different?”

  130. 130
    AxelFoley says:

    @Geoduck:

    I don’t consider myself a “emoprog” or whatever label you want to apply, but I think they genuinely serve a useful purpose

    Yeah, it’s called entertainment.

  131. 131
    scav says:

    quiet agenda and the tea party in the same sentence (without connectors conveying opposition) and voiced by ted+75? ow ow ow ow ow laughter.

    I’m not sure kneejerk volume-11 emoprog or teahardist opposition shifts windows long-term without consequences. after a point it gets switched to the blah-blah there you go again white noise channel.

  132. 132
    cokane says:

    The real fight is coming up, and the stakes on it were upped with the sequestration delay…

  133. 133
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Cantor will be a hero to the 27-percenters for his opposition.

    @Cacti: Sadly for him, he’s in the wrong fucking district for that to help his personal electability.

    Like I said in the last thread, he’s stupid. Not very intelligent. Ted & Hellen-esqe.

    Now he’s got some newly invigorated enemies and his cozy relations with the Great Orange Speaker is all fucked up.

  134. 134

    @Ted_75: We haven’t paid off the debt from WWII. Was it worth it?

  135. 135
    rikyrah says:

    @mai naem:

    fuck all the Blue Dogs

  136. 136
    different-church-lady says:

    Cole, I laud you for providing a place on the internet where so many people can express nonsensical, ill-informed and conflicting thoughts about important issues.

  137. 137
    Gus diZerega says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Thanks. As I understand it, had the sequester happened because Republicans turned down a $250,000 + tax increase, major improvements in the deficit would have kicked in, a significant cut in a bloated defense budget would have taken place, and in the new congress Republicans would have been asked to approve a genuinely middle class tax cut. The latter would have split them if anything could.

    This state of affairs would have happened if we had fallen off the curb, bizarrely called a cliff. Indeed to my mind, and hardly simply mine, using cliff terminology simply strengthened Republican positions.

    Now ‘entitlements’ are at greater risk when the debt limit comes up, and will become a major press issue. I know some on this list do not like George Lakoff because he thinks for himself, but his point about framing is valid, and ad agencies who think in those terms make millions while wonks play with themselves. We need to attend to BOTH.

  138. 138
    RaflW says:

    @mai naem: re: Carried Interest.

    Actually, they did. By raising the Cap Gains tax rate to 20% for ppl earning $400K or more, the carried interest tax rate goes to 20% as well.

    Now, this is not nearly good enough. The carried interest loophole needs to be closed entirely. But getting a 25% boost in their tax rate is a start.

  139. 139
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    I’d frankly prefer going over the cliff and having everyone’s taxes go up. It’s the only chance we had of restoring the revenue we need for the kinds of govt programs progressives claim they want funded.

    @Goblue72: The revenue that would have been raised by the full restoration of Clinton-era tax rates wouldn’t even cover our current expenses now, let alone fund new ones. You’d be looking back to Eisenhower-era tax rates to start funding new programs, and that’s not going to be supported by anybody. Sucks but that’s the reality of the situation.

    The deficit hawks have a legitimate point. The problem is that now is not the time. Kinda like recommending that someone have cancer surgery while their house is burning down. We’ve got bigger problems than deficit spending at the moment.

  140. 140
    different-church-lady says:

    @Ted_75: Something happened in September of 2008. What was it… what was it? Think!

    ETA: Oh, wait, never mind… just figured out who you are.

  141. 141
    Catsy says:

    @Ted_75:

    Obambi

    Thank you for surrendering any pretense of credibility and helpfully signalling with a single word that you have nothing of value to contribute.

    It’s so helpful when trolls clearly out themselves as such rather than stringing a thread along in the hope that they might say something of worth.

  142. 142
    amk says:

    @Ted_75: what tea party agenda, you idiot? Your basic tenet of “tea” got fucked over right in front of your own eyes by your own fucking caucus. Fucking idiot.

  143. 143
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Gus diZerega:

    Well, the very right wing is going to always oppose everything. I think the million dollar question is ‘are there enough of them to matter?’ We’ve already got 2/5 or so of the GOP saying “I’m not going to crash the economy to appeal to my craziest constituents.” And the debt limit vote failing would be a much bigger existential threat to the economy than these tax rate shenanigans, a point I’m sure Obama and co. will impress very, very often on the GOP’s not-crazy wing over the next two months.

    My personal prediction is nothing wild: some good things will likely go down in the fight, and anyone who wants to play the coulda-been game about what Obama did and didn’t do will have a lot of material to work with. Because, like you alluded to, it’s difficult given the current makeup and structure of government to pass anything as progressive as we’d all like to it be. However: given the weaknesses of the GOP and Obama’s skills in exploiting them, I would be very surprised if the debt limit fight ended in the GOP’s favor on the balance.

  144. 144
    different-church-lady says:

    @Goblue72: Well, good for you! And if you can pay my share of the increase (somewhere between half a grand and a grand at a time when I’ve had temporary crowns on my molars for months because I can’t afford the root canals) I’ll be right there with you on that!

  145. 145
    Jim says:

    Often wrong but never in doubt. Love your blog.

  146. 146
    mir13 says:

    @Peter: It doesn’t. And he doesn’t. Think, that is. That’s why he did it twice.

    @Gus diZerega: Dude, arguments are done. Debate is over. The Firebaggers had their say, and they were rejected. Now, like the Teabaggers they want more time to try to get their way. Nuts to that. They played. They lost. No backsies. Don’t like it? Take your shit and get the fuck out. That’s the game. Play better, or stop complaining. We’re trying to fix things, and enjoy the Obama-induced demise of the GOP, and both ‘Bagger strains want to harsh our mellow. Fah! A pox on both their houses.

  147. 147
    kdaug says:

    “Chill the fuck out” indeed.

    What’s next for this fucker, though? I mean, good lord, he’s already been “leader of the free world”. He’ll be early 50s getting out. Skinny, eats well, exercises – got another 40-50 left easy.

    So what’s next? (Aside from pissing the right people off).

    Tardis? Beating Deep Blue at the 11-dimensiony thing?

  148. 148

    @hildebrand:

    Get the fuck out – a GOS A-lister is saying the President is a bad guy? Really? Wow, in what universe could you have expected that? Man, I am suuurrrppriiisseed.

    Gus is, to be charitable, stretching things in his description of that article.

  149. 149
    Gus diZerega says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: I hope you are right. Here is an interesting analysis of how California has finally freed itself from problems at the state level very much like what the country as a whole is now facing. As a Californian I think it’s pretty good.

    http://www.calitics.com/diary/.....bstruction

  150. 150
    Joel says:

    @Gus diZerega: bwahahahahahahahahah!

  151. 151
  152. 152
    wobbly says:

    Chalk up another win for President Barack Hussein Obama.

    He has many a fault, but he seems to have his head on straight, his ducks in a row, and so on.

    If only Democrats/progressives/Hispanics/African-Americans would show up in “off-year” elections…

    Like in 2010, or something…

  153. 153
    Jewish Steel says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I’m on board with everything you say here, Whig. If I want intangibles I’ll go study the faeries at the bottom of my garden.

  154. 154
    Morzer says:

    @Ted_75:

    And we shall enjoy reminding you that no GOP president in the last 40 years has done anything but massively increase the deficit. Clinton left you a surplus – and your drunken frat-boy pissed that away and then piled on reckless spending for wars he kept off the books.

    Try harder, trollikins.

  155. 155
    Gus diZerega says:

    @Joel: @The prophet Nostradumbass: Are you capable of entering into a discussion? Or are you seeking to be the Balloon Juice version of someone at Red State?

  156. 156
    LAC says:

    @Ted_75: well, since you haven’t a thought in your empty head, no surprise there douche. Thanks for the update. Be sure to post on firedogfucklake and maybe you wiif win a cookie.

  157. 157
    rda909 says:

    @FlipYrWhig: They started doing that a while ago. When Senator Warren’s poll numbers dipped a little a month or so before the election, there was a wave of anti-Warren screeds at DailyKos and the other usual suspects, all claiming with absolute certainty that her embracing of President Obama was her downfall. Of course, the online progressive party was amazingly wrong as usual. And yes, it’ll only get worse from these losers, and it’ll ramp up even more within the first couple of months of Warren being in the Senate.

  158. 158
    JordanRules says:

    @kdaug: Ha! Can’t wait to see what his post-POTUS life brings. Not that I want to sprint thru this term or anything. The possibilities for the futre are fun to think about though given his track record.

  159. 159
    Gus diZerega says:

    @rda909: Daily Kos is not a rigid party line. There are alternative poiunts of view frequently presented. To state that the majoirty of articles were critical of Warren at any time seem based on my memory to be completely untrue.

  160. 160
    MikeJ says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    If Pelosi had the votes (and she obviously did) I have no problem whatsoever with the House lefties voting any damn way they please

    HEck, I’m all for it. Obama got everything, gave up nothing, and if some emoprogs vote against it we can say, “see neither side liked it, we all gave up something” and make the meet somewhere in the middle people happy. But, as you point out, only after we’ve won does that shit fly.

  161. 161
    Morzer says:

    I note with amusement that Paul Ryan voted for the bill.

  162. 162
    different-church-lady says:

    @Gus diZerega: Fine, let’s have a discussion.

    The meat of McJoan’s posting appears to be that a GOP bigwig is spinning this a GOP victory, therefore the deal sucks.

    Happy now?

  163. 163
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @rda909: well give them credit. They held out until a month before her election. Yves Smith declared Warren a failed senator a week before she had confirmed she was running.

  164. 164
    tam1MI says:

    What happens in March will be the judge of what happened tonight.

    It will be hilarious watching the Repugs try to simultaneously be for* and against** spending cuts.

    * – Cuts to the programs they don’t like, such as “entitlements”.

    ** – Cuts to the programs they do like, such as defense spending.

  165. 165
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Daily Kos is not a rigid party line.

    @Gus diZerega: Funniest thing I’ve read all night.

    Wait, you’re serious?

  166. 166
    Joel says:

    @FlipYrWhig: they’re basically marginal. Fringe, less visible and (usually) less bigoted than Larouchites.

  167. 167
    different-church-lady says:

    @Or something like that.Suffern Ace:

    Yves Smith declared Warren a failed senator a week before she had confirmed she was running.

    Hell, then I’m amazed BobSwern didn’t have a rec-listed regurgitation of that very declaration fifteen minutes after Smith made it.

  168. 168
    Gus diZerega says:

    @different-church-lady: You remind me of right wingers I debate. Bye.

  169. 169
    kooks says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: What the fuck are you talking about? Taxes on BOTH caps gains and the estate tax went up, bringing in significant revenues (see here and here). How is this at all Obama endorsing the Bush tax policy?

  170. 170
    Redshift says:

    @Gus diZerega: You’ve listed all the things that were set to happen without a deal that produced pressure on Republicans, and left out the ones that produced pressure on Democrats. In that context, of course going over the cliff is a no-brainer.

    A similar view comes from people who think that the tax rates are the only significant thing that is happening (aided and abetted by a lot of our media.) Again, if you don’t pay attention to unemployment, etc., refusing to make a deal until the next Congress looks like the obvious strategy.

    But the fact is that the sequester was set up to pressure both parties, and after the “cliff,” those pressures reverse — Republicans of course would vote for tax cuts (though does anyone believe we wouldn’t have a House bill then that renewed all the Bush tax cuts competing with other “solutions”?), but Democrats would have to get votes for unemployment, etc. without expiring tax cuts as leverage.

  171. 171
    different-church-lady says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: No, he’s right in a way: DKos is completely bifurcated between ROCKS and SUCKS factions. But most of the front pagers seem to lean SUCKS.

  172. 172
    different-church-lady says:

    @Gus diZerega: I thought you wanted to have a conversation?

  173. 173
    Gus diZerega says:

    @Redshift:

    I was answering a question and saying I was impressed with the reasoning behind the argument. I hope the reasoning is wrong but I see no evidence so far that it is.

    You are right about unemployment- but my guess is that addressing unemployment would rapidly have generated serious pressure on any politician wanting re-election. Like cutting taxes on the middle class. In both cases republican obstruction would only hurt them.

    Of course that is hypothetical. The debt ceiling is not hypothetical. Let’s see what happens.

  174. 174
    Gus diZerega says:

    @different-church-lady: With someone addressing issues not someone wasting my time. Bye for good. I am going to be dsoon.

  175. 175
    Morzer says:

    @Gus diZerega:

    Good night, dsoon.

  176. 176
    different-church-lady says:

    @Gus diZerega: Exactly what issues did McJoan address in that post? Enlighten me.

  177. 177
    mir13 says:

    @Gus diZerega: Have you come here to scold us for our impertinence? Do you really think you can tell us something about the GOS that we don’t already know? You’re not even the first today to try that shit.

  178. 178
    Xenos says:

    Just getting up to speed here… does this mean the ‘Hastert Rule’ has been broken, at least this one time?

  179. 179
    lumpkin says:

    Don’t know why y’all are high-fivin’ n shit here. The cliff is still only 2 months away and the debt ceiling is already in reach. This was a minor political victory in a very small sense that in the long run is a bad deal for progressives and anyone who cares about good governance and fiscal policy.

    Next up: democrats, led by the president propose and then overwhelmingly vote in favor of cuts to social security, medicaid and medicare. They get a temporary extension on the debt ceiling in return. They should have fought to the death on the tax hill to get a long term debt extension, rather than over and over for the next 4 years on the debt ceiling hill.

    I hope I’m wrong.

  180. 180
    Redshift says:

    @Gus diZerega:

    You are right about unemployment- but my guess is that addressing unemployment would rapidly have generated serious pressure on any politician wanting re-election. Like cutting taxes on the middle class. In both cases republican obstruction would only hurt them.

    Have you been paying attention to how the GOP has been dealing with extending unemployment benefits for the past four years? There is absolutely no evidence for that statement, and it amounts to saying “of course they would be forced to deal with that.” Frankly, it sounds like the arguments used to dismiss the things Obama has gotten in a lot of these deals, and unless you have actual examples to cite.

  181. 181
    Darkrose says:

    @Gus diZerega:

    my guess is that addressing unemployment would rapidly have generated serious pressure on any politician wanting re-election

    And for you, and me and a lot of other people, we have the luxury of treating unemployment benefits as an academic issue. The problem is that for many people, that’s not true. The people crying “go over the cliff!” are not the people who would have been hurt by losing unemployment benefits, or certain tax credits, or the economy sliding into a second recession.

    It’s easy to say, “Never give in to hostage takers!” until it’s your wife, or son, or father with the gun against their head.

  182. 182
  183. 183
    xian says:

    @General Stuck: Congratulations to Speaker Pelosi for passing the fiscal cliff cmpromise bill in the House!

  184. 184
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    probably singing Bill Joel at a piano bar

    Bill E Joel, please.

    Sheesh.

    “Bill Joel” is the guy down in accounting who approves your expense report.

  185. 185
    xian says:

    @Polish the Guillotines: Norquist pledge: subverted. Hastert rule: broken.

  186. 186
    mai naem says:

    If Obamacare is done right, I actually think there’s a halfway decent chance that the Dems could take the House back based on that. There’s a lot of “ifs” but if the Repubs don’t manage to totally mangle the implementation and the Dems do a good job of marketing the benefits, it could bring them votes in purple/red areas. If one person gets insurance under it and avoids bankruptcy and he understands its part of the soshulistic Obamacare, he’s going to let another ten people know about the not so evils about Obamacare.

  187. 187
    Redshift says:

    @lumpkin:

    Next up: democrats, led by the president propose and then overwhelmingly vote in favor of cuts to social security, medicaid and medicare. They get a temporary extension on the debt ceiling in return.

    Your concern is noted. Wait, wasn’t that what people like you insisted was happening a couple of weeks ago?

  188. 188
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    If I have my dates right, a section of the Republican caucus this big hasn’t voted to raise taxes on the rich since the early 90′s. So they can say what they want about Capital Gains and Estate taxes.

    Pope Grover I already gave them a special dispensation on that, sort of like how Newt got his annulments.

    @kooks:

    Taxes on BOTH caps gains and the estate tax went up, bringing in significant revenues (see here and here). How is this at all Obama endorsing the Bush tax policy?

    It locks in a couple of bullshit narratives (family farms! the wealth-creating power of capital!) that, along with the $400k “middle class earner”, could do with being challenged head on for the long term.

    Maybe this was the best deal that Dems could get. We’ll know better in a couple of months.

  189. 189
    lumpkin says:

    @Redshift:

    >>> Wait, wasn’t that what people like you insisted was happening a couple of weeks ago?<<<

    Well, yeah – the president keeps saying these will be part of a balanced solution. Like I said, I hope I'm wrong, but if I am wrong, then the president is not going to do what he keeps saying he wants to do.

  190. 190
    mir13 says:

    @xian: Imagine the celebration from certain circles if HRC had done this. As it is, we won’t even get the cursory grunt of acknowledgement before the poo flinging begins anew.

  191. 191
    amk says:

    @lumpkin: gus was all gushing about gos. you should play there.

  192. 192
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @hells littlest angel:

    I would enjoy seeing someone put a cap of votes in Cantor’s ass.

    Cantor is a political abomination, but I’m willing to bet he looks great naked and I would also like to see what you describe.

  193. 193
    rda909 says:

    Notice how the Online Progressive Party seems to exist mostly to throw cold water on anything President Obama gets accomplished? Amazing, really, when you look back over the last four years how consistent it has been, and from people who claim to be liberal no less:

    Massive reductions in troop levels/civilian killings in Middle East? DRONES!!!

    Republican’s favorite boogeyman, Osama bin Laden dead? Gitmo/Bradley Manning!!!

    Manhattan Project level funding for Greening of America/Biggest rise in fuel efficiency standards perhaps ever? KEYSTONE PIPELINE!!!

    The most re-regulation of financial sector in many decades? GEITHNER!!

    And on and on and on…
    Bottom line: Absolutely nothing positive can ever be said about the amazing progress President Obama has made.
    http://www.hamell.net/list-of-.....in-office/

    The sheer amount of time it takes to write so much tripe and have it all be so consistent between all the writers, and the speed with which they show up and derail any article anywhere to toss their wet blankets around and start arguments amongst liberals is amazing. Suggests this pursuit is a full-time job for many of these people.

    It’s proven that Republican/Libertarian activists, who are getting paid by the various billionaire-funded “think tanks,” pose online as liberals to stir things up and get liberals fighting with each other utilizing a “divide and conquer” strategy. Seeing how so many of the bigger liberal bloggers literally cannot seem to say a single positive thing about President Obama for four years now, and are consistently proven wrong about their anti-Obama rants, you really have to wonder what their real purpose is. They’re ramping it up again as much as possible to suppress Democratic voters once again in 2014. We’ll have to see to it that they fail once again though in their end-goals.

  194. 194
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @hells littlest angel:

    I would enjoy seeing someone put a cap of votes in Cantor’s ass.

    Cantor is a political abomination, but I’m willing to bet he looks great naked and I would also like to see what you describe.

  195. 195
    xian says:

    @FlipYrWhig: this. when firebaggers start arguing optics and 9th dimension chess they’ve got nothing.

  196. 196
    lumpkin says:

    @amk:

    >>>gus was all gushing about gos. you should play there.<<<

    Would you please be kind enough to explain what this means in simple English?

    thx

  197. 197
    xian says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: and when March goes well you will claim it’s a sign Obama plans to cut social security etc. *next* time.

  198. 198
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @mir13: Then again, if Clinton had prevailed over Obama in 2008, and then become president, the pro-Obama diehards would have been INSUFFERABLE. Every last questionable thing Clinton did, it would be, like, “that would never have happened under Obama, he’s a True Progressive.”

  199. 199
    Brachiator says:

    @horatius:

    If he thinks he’ll get a smooth increase in the debt limit ceiling, he’s sadly mistaken. You can always depend on him to voluntarily give up leverage.

    The federal government is still going to run out of money in two months, every with some Treasury trickery. This would have been the limit of Obama’s leverage. Meantime with no deal, unemployment benefits would have run out, milk prices may have skyrocketed, and at least 28 million people would not be able to file their 2012 (NOT 2013) income taxes because the GOP was holding the AMT patch and a boatload of individual tax provisions hostage. Or Obama could just have let all the tax provisions expire along with the Bush tax cuts and give 30 million tax filers an extra 2012 tax bill of around $3,500. Because sacrifices must be made while Obama and the GOP duke it out.

    Obama’s mystical ever lasting leverage is largely a fantasy of lazy pundits, especially those who insisted that the fiscal cliff was nothing or didn’t matter. But in the real world, a lot of government operations would have ground to a halt while Obama and the Congress fought things out.

    The other fantasy is that Obama has the power to make the GOP yield, but he is just unable to use it. In the real world, the combined might of Obama, Biden, Reid and Pelosi got the present ragged victory.

    CNN includes a PDF file of the compromise tax bill. It is 157 pages. However, you just need to look over the first few pages to see a lot of the stuff that was settled. It is much more than just raising the tax rates on a sliver of the wealthy. And there is no guarantee that all of this would be obtainable later on. Except of course in Pundit Speculation Fantasy Land, where all things are possible.

    @Goblue72:

    I’d frankly prefer going over the cliff and having everyone’s taxes go up. It’s the only chance we had of restoring the revenue we need for the kinds of govt programs progressives claim they want funded. All we accomplished is making 85% of the Bush tax cuts permanent.

    So, let’s see. You would want to see taxes go up for low income and middle income people, so you could have the revenues to “help them.” This is a contradiction.

    Also, going over the fiscal cliff would have seen the reduction or elimination of the student loan interest deduction, the tuition and fees deduction, the child tax credit, the earned income credit, the child and dependent care credit, the adoption credit, and the American Opportunity credit. What magical progressive programs would you substitute for these, and how would you get them passed by the GOP majority in the House?

  200. 200
    xian says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: actually no Republicans at all have voted to raise income taxes since 1990, till today.

  201. 201
    Mnemosyne says:

    @lumpkin:

    Next up: democrats, led by the president propose and then overwhelmingly vote in favor of cuts to social security, medicaid and medicare.

    I knew I should have put money down on the next date that you guys were going to swear that Obama is totally going to kill Social Security and/or Medicare. After all, being wrong six previous times doesn’t mean you’ll be wrong this time, amirite?

    It really is like trying to convince Harold Camping’s followers that the apocalypse isn’t actually around the corner. Skeptics aren’t allowed to say it isn’t going to happen just because it didn’t happen on the predicted date. Or the next predicted date. Or, well, at all, really.

    (Edited for clarity)

  202. 202
    Ash Can says:

    This is definitely one of the most entertaining threads here in the past couple of weeks. All kinds of kooks and cranks showing up here. On subject, though, it looks to me like the breaking of the Hastert Rule was the linchpin. It pulled the rug out from under Cantor and his Tea Party faction, and it would have made it very obvious just who would have been responsible for milk prices and payroll taxes going up. Boehner still looks weak and Cantor will still likely try to unseat him as Speaker, but at this point it looks to me like Boehner and Pelosi made a deal to trade votes for the Hastert Rule, with the added bonus of bipartisan cooperation in kicking Cantor and his Tea Party pests to the curb.

  203. 203
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @Morzer: I noticed that too. I was equally amused and somewhat surprised.

  204. 204
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @John Cole: The bill as it stands right now “couldn’t” have gotten through the Republican house either, but when push came to shove and they realized that they were going to be blamed for going off the cliff i.e. letting the deadlines expire and the next Congress having to deal with it, they caved. They caved about things they were adamant about not caving on, just hours before.

    The argument is that President Obama possibly could have held ground at 250K for example, and the same would have happened. There’s no evidence that that particular compromise made the difference, that without it, House GOPers would have never caved.

    At least deal with the actual arguments. The one being made here is that maybe Obama could have given away less and gotten the same result, and it’s a valid debate. I can’t say for certain that it would have gone one way or the other, neither can you, and neither can Paul Krugman, and you know, he does this for a living. I don’t think it’s so cut a dried as most people here insist, and dismissing the arguments out of hand is silly.

  205. 205
    xian says:

    @Gus diZerega:

    > major improvements in the deficit would have kicked in,

    you’re a progressive? why are you repeating this deficit frame?

    > a significant cut in a bloated defense budget would have taken place

    paired with draconian cuts to discretionary domestic spending, affecting the neediest
    paired with the end of unemployment insurance
    etc.

    > know some on this list do not like George Lakoff because he thinks for himself

    listen to your smarmy self

  206. 206
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @lumpkin:

    Would you please be kind enough to explain what this means in simple English?

    I’ll translate:

    amk wants you to know that BJ is its personal online obot echo chamber where only comforting platitudes about the wonderment that is Obama are smiled upon, and that as you aren’t offering that sort of bilge, you should go to Daily Kos and comment there.

  207. 207
    mir13 says:

    @Ash Can: Is this the sundae, or the cherry on top? Both are delish.

  208. 208
    guachi says:

    I like the spin from the administration about how this is REALLY $600 billion in debt reduction over 10 years and not a $4 trillion debt increase.

    So, basically, the Republicans can cut taxes and the Democrats only claw back a measly 15% of it and claim “debt reduction!!!!” Do this a few more times and the debt will magically disappear. It’s awesome, new math heretofore unknown to mankind.

    I really don’t see how this is a good thing for our fiscal health in any way. I mostly see that it’s good because Republicans look bad, like we are all a bunch of high schoolers.

  209. 209
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    It’s Bullshitico, but the tick-tock is worth giving them my one clickthrough for the year: Reid thought there was a better deal to be had; Boehner outsmarted himself with what he thought was a grand strategy for the Plan B fiasco, and everybody comes out covered in more shit than glory.

    @xian:

    and when March goes well you will claim it’s a sign Obama plans to cut social security etc. *next* time.

    Like the time you said that you fuck goats because they reminded you of your mother? Because if we’re playing “make stuff up and put it in someone else’s mouth”, I’m happy to join in that reindeer game.

  210. 210
    Emma says:

    @kdaug: TARDIS. Definitely TARDIS.

    Seriously, you know what I’d like to see? Supreme Court. It would blow all the tea-and-fire-baggers brains.

  211. 211
    xian says:

    @lumpkin: “I hope I’m wrong.”

    I don’t believe you. You seem so concerned.

  212. 212
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, I still haven’t figured out why certain people on the left think that losing this battle would have put us in a better position for the upcoming debt ceiling fight rather than hardening the existing positions of the Republicans and making Republicans feel that they can block absolutely anything with no consequences.

    I’m starting to think it’s another of those white guy things where it turns out white guys respect alpha male behavior that (most) women and people of color just find ridiculous and tiresome. And then the white guys are surprised when they find out that, no, we did not find their dick-waving to be interesting or impressive and Obama ends up winning by 53% because Romney and Ryan’s dick-waving only won over white guys.

  213. 213
    Baud says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    If the issue is a complicated as you say (and I agree), there is no basis for the vehemence of the progressive opposition to Obama.

  214. 214
    xian says:

    @BillinGlendaleCA: I used to be disgusted but now I try to be amused.

  215. 215
    Platonicspoof says:

    @Gus diZerega:
    This is the entirety of Joan’s post, minus her quotes of 3 other people:

    The New Year’s Day drama in the House of Representatives over whether or not to send the nation over the fiscal cliff curb is over. The House passed the Senate bill in a vote of 257-167, with 85 Republicans joining 172 Democrats in voting for it.
    The House crazies had their hissy fit, led by Majority Leader Eric Cantor and blustered about killing the bill. But, in the end, they couldn’t do it. Not after Grover Norquist blessed it, and not after they figured out what Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) realized:

    snip quote

    You think this week was mind-numbingly tedious and frustrating and ridiculous and horrible? Wait two months for the next fiscal cliff curb, which will now have the bonus awfulness of a debt ceiling fight. So in addition to this manufactured sequester crisis which Congress has just put off for 60 days, we’ll have the very real and much more serious added risk of government shutdown and financial collapse.

    snip quote

    8:40 PM PT (Barbara Morrill): President Obama just made a statement on the House passage of the fiscal cliff bill, which beyond the huzzahs for bipartisanship contained this warning:

    snip quote

    So a line in the sand on the upcoming debt limit debate. Stay tuned.

    This is what you said at comment 16:

    I think Joan McCarter at Daily Kos is pretty clear and convincing as to why this is, yet again, a case of Obama’s pathological inability to ever stand for a principle and so give the impression of weakness that will lead to bigger problems. http://www.dailykos.com/story/…..cliff-bill

    I’d love to be shown wrong, but I doubt it will happen.

    Are you paraphrasing something Joan said in the Kos thread? I haven’t read those.
    What you said isn’t in the quotes I’ve snipped, nor insinuated.
    If you’re not referring to a later comment of her’s in the Kos thread,
    are you hallucinating?

  216. 216
    Joel says:

    I’m so glad that my progressive betters were cool with a 7% cut in NIH funding, the lifeblood of US research and something that I and a few other commenters depend on. To say nothing of other crucial programs that provide for the unemployed.

  217. 217
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Baud: I’m not vehemently opposed to Obama, and neither is Markos Moulitsas as far as I know, though I don’t read that site that often, and neither is Paul Krugman. They’ve critiqued this deal though, and that’s a position worthy of debate, not all this stupid demonization.

    To be fair to John in particular, he was responding to a post that was more directly dismissive of Obama, but the general tone here is a different story.

  218. 218
    rda909 says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Uh, no. Every person I worked with at my local OFA office (in a major urban center) during the campaign would certainly have supported HRC if she were President. We understand progress is the key, and even baby steps in the correct direction can have significant impacts on those most in need, since many in my neighborhood are the most impacted themselves, or members of their families are. Obamacare being one of the clearest examples of this.

    The PUMAs on the other hand, are mostly privileged white folks, hence the tantrums and “take my ball and go home” attitudes when things don’t go exactly as they want, while disregarding the hardships their “kill the bill” approaches have on people who are truly struggling. So I think your suggestion is a false equivalency.

  219. 219
    xian says:

    @guachi: you know what would have been good for deficit reduction? the fiscal cliff! way to take both sides of an argument.

  220. 220
    RareSanity says:

    If I understand the situation correctly, the Democrats in Congress, were basically able to pass wide ranging legislation, through a Republican controlled House, and all they had to give up was raising the threshold for higher taxes to 450k instead of 250k…and these trolls have problem with…the President?

    Understanding that the President can’t pass any legislation…separation of powers and such…and that Republicans basically got rolled, violated the longstanding Hastert Rule, the Norquist pledge, and told the teabaggers to STFU…but they still “lost”?

    Good grief firebaggers are tedious.

  221. 221
    Baud says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Thanks. I was mostly basing my view on the comments I’ve seen here, some of which are worthy of demonization.

  222. 222
    Or something like that.Suffern Ace says:

    @guachi: cutting taxes tends to be more popular than raising them. Gosh, who knew? Also Bush middle class tax breaks were HUGE! But seeing as the liberals only care about rich people taxes and Democrats didn’t exactly run on raising everyone’s taxes, I can see how this outcome seems confusing.

  223. 223
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    They’ve critiqued this deal though, and that’s a position worthy of debate, not all this stupid demonization.

    The problem I have with those guys, though (and I’ll add Jared Bernstein to your list) is that none of them seem to be critiquing what’s actually in the deal. They all seem to agree that the actual deal in and of itself is actually pretty good, and better than they hoped.

    What they all seem to be saying is that they think that making this deal somehow weakens the president’s position for the next round of dealmaking because argle bargle line in the sand. I honestly don’t understand how getting what they all admit is a pretty good deal now weakens the chances for a good deal next time, and I can’t seem to get an answer that doesn’t depend on, well, white dude dick-swinging and appearing strong.

  224. 224
    punkdavid says:

    @moonbat: Absolutely perfect. I’m getting this tattooed on my fucking face.

  225. 225
    Emma says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: The one being made here is that maybe Obama could have given away less and gotten the same result, and it’s a valid debate. I can’t say for certain that it would have gone one way or the other, neither can you, and neither can Paul Krugman, and you know, he does this for a living. I don’t think it’s so cut a dried as most people here insist, and dismissing the arguments out of hand is silly.

    Then for the love of Mike, make the argument. HOW? Just tell me how Obama could have gotten anything better. Just ONE SINGLE PRACTICAL MOVE. Don’t talk to me about “leverage” or “the bully pulpit”. Tell me one thing he could have done with the political reality he faces.

    Krugman is an academic economist with a touching belief in the power of good ideas. But when it comes to the practical side of governing and politicking, he’s as bad a predictor as the crazy man in Speaker’s Corner.

  226. 226
    jayackroyd says:

    @RareSanity: Yeah. He coulda gotten a hundred K. Or the median US household income of 50K.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09......html?_r=0

    He had all the cards. This is the president’s policy. Do you support this policy? Not “I trust the president and I believe him when he says this is the best deal he could get.” Do you support this “compromise” as the MSM is describing it?

  227. 227
    Baud says:

    @Emma:

    “Leverage” is becoming the “bully pulpit” of the second term, isn’t it?

  228. 228
    xian says:

    @jayackroyd: of course. it’s progress. I’m a progressive. I’m *for* progress. What are you for?

    p.s.: he did not have “all the cards.” He had “a winning hand,” and he won.

  229. 229
    karen says:

    About the upping of the taxes to those in the over$400 – $450K bracket, I don’t know how to break it to you but Obama wasn’t the one pushing for that, a lot of the Senators were. Dems who live in NY and California and other areas where there is a high price of living. Obama wanted $250K but the Dems in those areas had been pushing for the upper income bracket. Believe it on not, on Long Island, $250K doesn’t make you automatically wealthy. Wealthier yes. Yearly taxes on the Island can reach from $7K to $12K in the more expensive areas. Their sales tax is nearly 9%. Prices are higher. Gas prices especially. When I visit my folks I rarely buy anything because it’s cheaper where I live in MD. So let’s be honest, that over $400K was not an Obama thing, That was a Dems who live in expensive areas thing.

  230. 230
    punkdavid says:

    Thank God for Balloon Juice. When I need to find a group of people talking sense about the art of the possible, not empty gestures and “redefining the middle class” and other meaningless shit, I can always come here to realign my political compass.

  231. 231
    Morzer says:

    @jayackroyd:

    Except that he didn’t have all the cards.

    He also had rather more responsibilities than bloggers who don’t have to whip votes, don’t have to deal with facts like federal unemployment benefits running out on December 29th, don’t have to deal with a GOP-held House etc.

    That’s an awful lot of cards you are ignoring that weren’t in Obama’s hand.

  232. 232
    Emma says:

    @jayackroyd: He had all the cards. Sure he did. He could have just said to the other branch of government, you know, the one who actually make the laws, “my way or the highway.” And the firebaggers and birthers and haters would have just laughed in his face.

    Between “leverage” and “he held all the cards” I am starting to think that a large portion of my own party is as much in fantasy land as the people who hoard guns because the United Nations will any day now set up concentration camps in the desert.

  233. 233
    jayackroyd says:

    @Emma: The single practical move for a president committed to actually dealing with the “crisis” was to let the “crisis” happen. Let those corporate extensions expire. Let the estate tax grow. Let us return to the Clinton tax regime. Oh, wait, huge defense cuts? That’s a bad thing?

    The president is ideologically committed to the centrist Third Way, New Democrat view he has always expressed support for. And that means dismantling our social insurance programs, and replacing “public-private partnership” for regulation of powerful private interests.

  234. 234
    👽 Martin says:

    @Baud: Well, not just that, but the limit on tax deductions starts at $200K, so at least some of the 4% lost to the higher rate will be made up there. Not as much, but the floor is actually lower than what he was shooting for.

    I think much of the revenue lost over the $1.6T he wanted is due to the (effective) estate and cap gains rates not going up as much as he wanted.

    But we’re right back at this in 2 months. The sequestration is back on March 1, and they still have another $1T or more to find. They can probably kick the debt limit down the road to that date, so we’re going to replay this lunacy pretty soon.

    Interesting that nobody opposed reinstating the payroll taxes. Only goes to show what complete bullshit the GOPs opposition to taxes is.

  235. 235
    rda909 says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: “At least deal with the actual arguments. The one being made here is that maybe Obama could have given away less and gotten the same result, and it’s a valid debate. I can’t say for certain that it would have gone one way or the other, neither can you, and neither can Paul Krugman, and you know, he does this for a living.”

    We’ve got elections to win in 2014. Non-stop arguing over hypotheticals and over things which none us really know for sure, since we’re not in the rooms where the politicians are making their deals, is an incredible waste of time and energy. I propose fewer “valid debates” and more time at your local Democratic Party/OFA office making sure we get back the gavel for Nancy Pelosi.

  236. 236
    karen says:

    @jayackroyd:

    So the answer was to be a hostage taker in a dick measuring contest and fuck the people who will suffer if we went over the cliff? You know, like the unemployed?

  237. 237
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Last thing before I head off to bed:

    I have a theory about that $250K “line in the sand” that I’ve developed over the last couple of days of watching this all play out. I think that Obama knew that it would never get past Democrats in the Senate. Not Republicans. Democrats. So, in retrospect, I think he created that number as a big shiny object to be teed off on in negotiations that could be given up in a very public way to let Republicans and conservative Democrats save a little face.

    Among others, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wanted the upper limit to be $1 million, and Obama got him to agree to $450K instead, because Obama had already created the shiny object of the $250K number for conservative Democrats to focus on.

    Once again, I think people like Krugman and Kos (and Bernstein) don’t understand that the majority of these negotiations were with conservative Democrats, not with Republicans. Once a deal was set that all of the Democrats would agree to stand behind, the Republicans crumbled.

  238. 238
    Emma says:

    @jayackroyd: The single practical move for a president committed to actually dealing with the “crisis” was to let the “crisis” happen.

    I guess you’re rich enough not to need any of the programs that were saved by the deal. There was a good possibility I couldn’t have filed taxes, you jackass. And I use my tax return every year to help support my parents, who were the canaries in the coal mine for all the bad economic shit of the 90s and lost everything, and I mean everything. And even if I had filed, my tax bill would have gone up by more than a thousand dollars. One of my best friends would have seen his income reduced by almost 30% because he had to take early retirement because of disability.

    Nothing like saying “let other people lose their homes” or “let the disabled go homeless” so I can make a political point.

  239. 239
    Baud says:

    @jayackroyd:

    Promise me if I search your history here I want see a single comment by you bitching that Obama is promoting austerity, because that is what you are now doing.

    @👽 Martin:

    Also interesting that some on the left once believed that the payroll tax cut would be permanent and that it was part of Obama’s secret plot to undermine the solvency of Social Security, yet now they are not praising Obama for protecting Social Security.

  240. 240
    RareSanity says:

    He had all the cards. This is the president’s policy. Do you support this policy?

    @jayackroyd:

    Of course I support the policy, and of course it was his policy…but what cards are you talking about?

    In order for a bill to arrive at the President’s desk, for him to sign it into law, it must pass both chambers of Congress. The policy as it was presented, wasn’t going to pass the Congress, so what card was the President supposed to play, specifically?

    The problem that the peanut gallery has, is one of not understanding risk management. The choice that Democrats had, was to pass legislation that was pretty damn close to what they initially wanted, or risk nothing being passed, and a lot of people having to deal with the very real financial consequences of sequestration kicking in.

    The problem is not, whether or not I would have wanted to see the President get everything he wanted. The problem is, am I willing to risk a large number of my countrymen, dealing with repercussions of the other extreme…not passing anything.

    To evaluate the situation rationally, if I’m wrong and the Congress could have gotten more, nobody is “hurt”. Disappointed? Yes. If you’re wrong, and Congress passes nothing, a lot of people get hurt.

    The fact that many people have been saved from unnecessary suffering, is a good thing.

  241. 241
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jayackroyd:

    Let those corporate extensions expire. Let the estate tax grow.

    Let the Earned Income Tax Credit expire. Let the Child Care Tax Credit expire. Let the Making Work Pay credit expire. You did know that those were set to expire, too, right? And that rich people aren’t eligible for the EITC, only poor people?

    At least acknowledge that you were fine with taxes abruptly going up on people making less than $50,000 a year (and in some cases, much less than the median income) as long as the taxes on the rich went up.

  242. 242
    jayackroyd says:

    @Emma: No, Emma, that’s not right. He actually could have proposed widely popular, very effective public policy programs. I don’t know what your roads are like, but here in NYC they’re like driving in Cairo.

    It is batshit crazy that we have no public internet architecture. It is batshit crazy that we don’t have a smart grid. It is batshit crazy that our armed forces are designed to wield off a Soviet threat.

    But I get that you believe in the president. I wish you would cal him more often, because I think we agree on priorities.

  243. 243
    LosGatosCA says:

    It’s only halftime. A good half to be sure. But the game ends in March not now. And depending on how things are resolved/not resolved in March, there could be a whole series of rematches until 2014 mid terms.

    Ideally in March, the debt limit is pushed through until after 2014 mid terms and no one calls Obama on the safety net cuts he has offered when they deal with sequestration which would itself deal with debt reduction just like Obamacare – see you in 5 years.

    Now that would be a crushing defeat for the Republicans and a smashing victory for Obama. And validation that elections have consequences plus vindication of the Democrats/Obama as champions of the average folks.

    We’ll see what happens.

  244. 244
    Mike E says:

    @Mnemosyne: I can only attribute this phenomenon to a pundit’s need to “white-splain” something too complicated for our swarthy president.

  245. 245
    Quiddity says:

    @John Cole: What should have gone through the Republican House was the estate tax schedule of George Bush. That was a minimum rate of 45% and an exemption of $3.5 million.

    Instead, Obama offered an increase from his own estate tax schedule (which he secured in late 2010 for 2011 and 2012) that had a rate of 35% and an exemption of $5 million.

    Obama should have said, “Here is an extension of the Bush Tax schedule for estate taxes” and stuck to it. Now the White House makes this claim:

    “Raises tax rates on the wealthiest estates: The agreement raises the tax rate on the wealthiest estates – worth upwards of $5 million per person – from 35 percent to 40 percent, in contrast to Republican proposals to continue the current estate tax levels.”

    Yeah, it raises the rate, but not from the Bush tax law. It raises it from Obama’s own low number (and keeps the exemption at his high number). Talk about negotiating with yourself.

    The estate tax was only one part of the deal but I think it sheds light on how Obama operates. Who in the White House said, “Let’s start with the schedule that we ourselves got enacted in 2010, and not start from the Bush schedule”?

    A pure extension of the Bush estate tax law would have been better than this.

    The estate tax brings in serious money and can act as a modest brake on income inequality. Now it’s mostly gone as an effective revenue source. That’s one reason Jennifer Rubin and assorted Republicans are delighted with the overall deal.

  246. 246
    Emma says:

    @jayackroyd: Tell me how he could have passed those proposals. Widely popular? Yeah. But guess what? We don’t vote for the laws. CONGRESSMEN DO. And Congress is composed of a large variety of people, a sizable number of which could care less about how “the majority” feels about any single damn thing.

    If you can figure out how the hell to get Alabama, Texas, South Carolina, and a few other states to elect more progressive congressmen,who would vote for those “popular” proposals, get back to me.

  247. 247
    karen says:

    I’m a little confused. Can someone who can figure this all out tell me if the payroll tax cut is gone and my salary has dropped even more?

  248. 248
    mir13 says:

    @jayackroyd: You mean the “both sides do it” MSM? Those fuckheads? Those horserace motherfuckers? Do I believe them and their description of anything?

  249. 249
    Baud says:

    @karen:

    Payroll tax cut is gone.

  250. 250
    jayackroyd says:

    @RareSanity: Specifically? He was supposed to remain committed to his campaign pledge to limit tax increases to 250k.

  251. 251
    NR says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So, in retrospect, I think he created that number as a big shiny object to be teed off on in negotiations that could be given up in a very public way

    Right. That’s why Obama ran on the $250k number and made it a centerpiece of his campaign. Because it was an empty promise that he knew full well he had no intention of ever keeping.

    Good lord, you Obots are something else.

  252. 252

    @Platonicspoof: Gus is, in short, lying.

    @Gus diZerega:

    Are you capable of entering into a discussion? Or are you seeking to be the Balloon Juice version of someone at Red State?

    In your very first comment on this thread, you posted a link to a Daily Kos article, and lied about the contents of it. I see no reason to enter into a “discussion” with you.

  253. 253
    RareSanity says:

    @jayackroyd:

    …and pass nothing.

    It’s a good thing that you’re not dependent of unemployment benefits to keep your heat on or buy food. Because if you were, I don’t think you’d be so hellbent on ideological purity, while sitting around hungry in a cold house.

  254. 254
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NR:

    Awww, does baby need a bottle now that his dire predictions of cuts to Social Security and Medicare have been a bust? Again?

    Don’t worry, you can join hands with lumpkin and come up with a new date for when the apocalypse will totally happen, no, really, I’m not kidding this time, guys, this is totally the right date …

    oh.

  255. 255
    jayackroyd says:

    @Emma: The reason the GOP elected officials will not themselves commit to reductions in public social insurance is because it is deeply unpopular.

  256. 256
    jayackroyd says:

    @RareSanity: Funny you would say that.

  257. 257
    NR says:

    @Mnemosyne: What “predictions” are you talking about? I haven’t made any “predictions.” I’ve simply commented on what Obama himself has publicly stated with regard to SS and Medicare.

    But good job changing the subject and dodging the point.

  258. 258
    Redshift says:

    @karen:

    Believe it on not, on Long Island, $250K doesn’t make you automatically wealthy.

    Cry me a river. Your political point about the senators is reasonable, but their political point is crap, and, frankly, a product of the fact that senators as a class are very wealthy. Yes, some places are more expensive to live than others, but there is nowhere in the country where expenses are five times higher, and 250K is five times the median income.

    We often confuse wealth and income. 250K may not be wealthy, but it is high-income, even in places where it is more expensive to live. The real problem isn’t that there are people making 250K anywhere in the country who can’t afford to pay more in taxes (and can without hurting the economy, because they’re not spending five times as much as people of median income), it’s that there are areas where people making 250K are more likely to live near people making a lot more than that, so their income doesn’t feel as high. Rising income inequality doesn’t just affect people at the lower end of the scale, it means that everyone sees the people above them pulling away from them, and feels poorer as a result.

    I can see where the political pressure comes from, but that doesn’t mean we should sympathize with it. It’s no more legitimate than the “taxed enough already” bozos pressuring their representatives.

  259. 259
    guachi says:

    Yes, I’ll say it, I’d have accepted going over the cliff and letting taxes go up on everyone. I don’t recall the Clinton tax rates (for rich and poor alike) were some horror show of high taxes. The alternative is thinking that the “best deal we could get” would be one that is $4 trillion in higher deficits.

    If not now, when? Exactly what other time is deficit reduction through tax increases EVER going to happen. The idea that taxes can ONLY ever go up on super-wealthy people makes a balanced budget at any point in the future mathematically impossible.

    Please, I’d love for someone to do the math and tell me how this deal will get us to a lower debt/GDP ratio at any point in my lifetime. $60 billion in taxes per year is a measly .4% of GDP.

    I also would have been happy with the defense sequester, even if it likely meant I would have been out of a job because of it in 3 years or so.

  260. 260
    Emma says:

    @jayackroyd: Jesus Christ. Yeah. Because their states are full of people who would come after them with a hatchet if their SS payments dropped.

    But those are the same people who really think that EVERY OTHER GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURE is taken out of their salaries to benefit the ni-clangs and the sp-icks. You mention infrastructure, and investments in green energy, or counteracting (as much as possible) global warming and they will vote against their own best interests every time.

    Damn it all, haven’t you been paying attention over the last four years!?

  261. 261
    xian says:

    @jayackroyd: “Oh, wait, huge defense cuts? That’s a bad thing?”

    Funny how you only mentioned half the sequester.

  262. 262
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Mnemosyne: Just as a general response to both your comments and several others:

    Obama pushed forward despite strong reservations by top congressional Democrats — especially Reid — who privately described it as a “bad deal” that would increase Republican leverage in future budget fights.

    Assuming that Harry Reid is either a know-nothing about politics or a “Firebagger” would be pretty absurd, I think you’d have to agree.

    You raise some good questions, who knows.

  263. 263
    mir13 says:

    @NR: Not nearly as much as you are something else. Come to gloat about your VICTORY? Go easy on us, please. It’s been a rough four years, with very little to show for it. But you probably can’t relate to that, so you can afford to be merciful. Remember, with great power comes great responsibility.

  264. 264
    RareSanity says:

    @jayackroyd:

    Not as funny as you not responding to it.

    You wanted Democrats to sit around and take the “my way or the highway” stance. Then, by some sort of magic, the House GOP would see the error of their ways, and miraculously pass the Democratic bill completely intact.

    The problem is, you have absolutely no idea when this magical moment would happen. While waiting for that moment, very real people would be dealing with the very real consequences of you cheering on a pissing contest.

  265. 265
    👽 Martin says:

    @karen:

    Believe it on not, on Long Island, $250K doesn’t make you automatically wealthy. Wealthier yes. Yearly taxes on the Island can reach from $7K to $12K in the more expensive areas. Their sales tax is nearly 9%. Prices are higher. Gas prices especially.

    Ok, this is bullshit. I live in the 6th richest city in the country. Median household income is $140K. Median home price is $750K. Sales tax is 8% here. I’m supporting a household of 4 on way less than $100K per year, and own a detached home.

    My neighbor earns about $200K per year and has a fucking Lamborghini Gallardo in his garage. Any normal household here should be able to get by just fine on $100K, and very comfortably at $200K. Hell, my fucking barber, who lives here has a vacation home in Hawaii.

    This business about ‘ZOMG, I can’t live on $250K!’ is just utter bullshit. Hell, 25% of Manhattan residents live below the poverty line.

  266. 266
    Emma says:

    @guachi: Tell me about your own personal situation. Or your parents. Or your best friend’s. Tell me how you’re going to explain to them that it’s fine they lose their home, or eat whatever the local St. Vincent de Paul society can scrounge up — or feed their kids while going hungry.

    Clinton era tax rates were great because the economy is doing, if not great, MUCH, MUCH better than now. We’re in a global economic mess and a regular person’s ability to cling to a decent life, never mind the middle class, is disappearing faster the the ice shelf. Until that improves some more, people need the support of all those tax credits and programs to survive.

  267. 267
    xian says:

    @Emma: he also ignored, of course, that Obama has proposed an infrastructure bank, and so on.

  268. 268
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Emma: All I can suggest is reading my post again.

    You’re assuming that exactly the compromises that were made had to be made to get the House Republicans to cave. How do you know this? They would have caved with less offered to them, is the argument. That’s as clear as I can make it. It’s a valid argument, and see above, Harry Reid was among those making it.

  269. 269
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NR:

    I haven’t made any “predictions.” I’ve simply commented on what Obama himself has publicly stated with regard to SS and Medicare.

    And yet none of it has actually come to pass. There have been rumors and statements, but nothing ever gets put into actual legislation that will actually be enacted.

    Now, for a normal person, that would make them start to think that maybe what Obama has been saying in public about Social Security and Medicare are things that he knows the Village wants to hear and he says them to sound reasonable while the teabaggers are running around saying crazy shit. But, no, not you. You will never waver in your belief that Obama is dying to kill Social Security and Medicare and he just somehow accidentally keeps screwing up his own plan over and over again when it comes time to actually implement it.

    Maybe the Scooby-Doo kids keep showing up at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue every time he’s about to execute his plan.

  270. 270
    xian says:

    @jayackroyd: in fact deductions start phasing out at $200k! He beat his number!

    Oh, not shiny enough for you?

  271. 271
    Baud says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    You didn’t link your quote, but I thought Reid’s reservation came from the two-month delay on sequester rather than one year. I don’t see how the compromise on tax brackets increases GOP leverage.

  272. 272
    Emma says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: I am working very hard to assume that this is good faith. Harry Reid can say anything he wants, considering that Biden had to come in to work the deal because Reid couldn’t get them to bite. I want ONE SINGLE THING that would make the Republicans even consider caving. ONE.

  273. 273
    Djur says:

    @Gus diZerega:

    A: Unemployment benefits were also at stake, and that would have had an immediate negative impact on individuals and a short-term negative impact on the economy.

    B: “List?”

  274. 274
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @rda909: Meh. People are arguing about this already, I’m just saying be honest in the arguments. Implying that all of this was going to go down without healthy debate in the country is pretty silly.

  275. 275
    Yutsano says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: So Reid wasn’t listening to his own caucus? Because it was Schumer and the other high wealth Senators that pushed for the higher number. It’s certainly possible, just as it’s certainly possible that the $250K number would have passed. It’s really academic at this point.

  276. 276
    👽 Martin says:

    @Redshift:

    250K may not be wealthy,

    If you took away all of my assets and gave me an income of $250K for just 6 consecutive years, I’d end it a free and clear millionaire. 7 figures in the bank – and still own a median value house and 2 cars and a garage full of tools. Put me back at my current salary after 6 years and I could send both of my kids to any college they wanted anywhere in the world and retire comfortably at 60.

    $250K should make anyone instantly wealthy. The median net worth in this country is $57,000. At $12K per month, even at a 39% top marginal rate, you’d have that $57K covered in 6 months – easy.

  277. 277
    Morzer says:

    @jayackroyd:

    I can see that you have a rich and complex fantasy life, which, I suppose, is admirable in some ways. What mystifies me is why you choose to waste your imagination on conspiracy theories about Obama. Any chance of you trying some fact-based analysis, starting with the fact that the GOP control the House?

  278. 278
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Gus diZerega:

    Good for California. Now let’s take a look at the bullet points:

    In short, the steps to stopping Republican obstruction in California involved changing the rules and changing the electorate:
    _
    • Ending a supermajority procedural rule (Prop 25)

    The problem in the US Congress right now isn’t that the Republicans have a 1/3 +1 minority with which to obstruct, they’ve got the majority of the House.

    • Growing the electorate through massive organizing

    Duh. But that’s more a function of the political process rather than the governmental process.

    • Making it easier to vote (online voter registration, easy access to vote-by-mail)

    Both good ideas, but it’s constitutionally in the hands of the states. (more on that later) And due to state sovereignty on an issue like this- vote-by-mail, anyway- you could end up with two ballots (1 federal, the other for every other office/issue from the state level on down, which could confuse the hell out of low-info voters).

    • Ending gerrymandering (Prop 11 redistricting commission)

    Removing districting from the individual states would require a constitutional amendment.

    It’s later. This would take a constitutional amendment, which would require first 2/3 of the House and Senate OR 2/3 of the states at a constitutional convention in order to officially propose the amendment to the states, and second, 3/4 of the state governments to ratify. The country as a whole isn’t California, with an amendment process that requires a simple majority vote by the electorate to pass an amendment to its state constitution. Imagine if you had to go through county-by-county in California and had to get 3/4 of the county governments to approve an amendment. That means LA County gets the same weight in the process as some conservative county in the vastly-less-populated high desert. How often will you get amendments passed? If you can’t see the difficulty- the near impossibility- of getting 3/4 of the states to waive their soveregnty on this, you’re not just blind, but also deaf and insane.

    • Naming the problem (calling out Republican obstruction)

    Duh, again. Done and done.

    So five points, but one- the most critical of ’em all, dealing with the gerrymander- isn’t going to work until at least 75% of voters in 75% of the states all agree on something.

  279. 279
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    They would have caved with less offered to them, is the argument.

    Now I feel like we’re getting back to arguing about the PPACA and what should have been in it three years after the goddamned law was passed.

    Honestly, once the law is passed and signed, I don’t care about the sausage-making anymore. I don’t care about the coulda woulda shoulda unless there’s something obviously wrong with the actual piece of legislation that was passed (like, say, the flaws in the way NAFTA was written).

    It’s water under the bridge, and wringing our hands about it afterwards is like looking at a Super Bowl game and saying that the winning team’s victory doesn’t count because they missed a field goal in the second quarter.

  280. 280
    NR says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Now, for a normal person, that would make them start to think that maybe what Obama has been saying in public about Social Security and Medicare are things that he knows the Village wants to hear and he says them to sound reasonable while the teabaggers are running around saying crazy shit. But, no, not you. You will never waver in your belief that Obama is dying to kill Social Security and Medicare and he just somehow accidentally keeps screwing up his own plan over and over again when it comes time to actually implement it.

    It’s not my “belief” that Obama wants to cut Social Security and Medicare. Obama has said himself, publicly and on the record, that he wants to do this.

    Oh, I forgot. Obama doesn’t actually mean anything he says. We shouldn’t pay any attention to what he says, we should just believe that he’s only taking massively unpopular positions in order to make himself more popular with the public. Or something. Anyway, we don’t need to pay attention to silly little things like Obama’s public statements, we all know what he really wants deep down!

  281. 281
    rda909 says:

    @jayackroyd: Wait. Several people here are making the point about the most needy in America needing the various assistance Obama has been fighting to maintain in these deals, and you respond whining about some bumpy roads in NYC?!? Do you realize how ridiculous that sounds. And by the way, I just drove extensively throughout Manhattan last month for work, and the quality of the roads never entered my mind at all.

    Oh, and if only someone would try to do something about those things you whined about. Hmmm….who would do such a thing, and is trying to do even more right now?!?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A.....Investment

  282. 282
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Emma: The Republicans did cave. The one single thing that made them cave was that they were made to understand that they were about to be blamed for going off the cliff.

    I’m not sure I’m following what you’re asking, but that’s the answer I have, and definitely all in good faith, if I understand what you mean by that (you’re referring to this discussion and not the Republicans I think?)

    You’re asking what would make them cave, assuming that they wouldn’t have with the cutoff at 250 instead of 400K, for example. How do you know they wouldn’t have in that case also?

  283. 283
    guachi says:

    Emma, when the economy is doing better, taxes are not going up and spending is not going down. It’s just not happening.

    This tax deal isn’t about the next year or two. It sets the tax agenda for the next 10-20 years. The current tax and spending regime leaves huge deficits for as far as the eye can see. If we were talking about a 1 year extension of tax credits, I’d be all for it. But to extend these massive tax cuts forever because of a short-term recession is ludicrous.

    How, exactly, does this deal put us on a more sustainable budgeting path than ANY of the other deals that have been floated? Somehow we’ve whittled $4.5 trillion in tax increases and $1 trillion in spending cuts down to $600 billion in taxes and spending cuts to be named later.

    I mean, is the US economy supposed to be a basket case for the next 10-20 years? So horrible that we need the stimulative effect of $400 billion in deficit spending to help us limp along?

    Or are you telling me that Dick Cheney was right? That deficits just don’t matter.

  284. 284
    karen says:

    @Baud: Fuck. I understand why things were done and I’m glad taxes are raised on the rich but I’m already struggling. So we’re going to get a 2% raise in our payroll taxes? Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad the unemployment funds are back and that Social Security isn’t getting screwed. Is there any chance they’re coming back?

  285. 285
    Shalimar says:

    Boehner isn’t going anywhere. Yes, he’s inept at goat-herding. But, the rest of the Republican caucus consists entirely of goats. Who else is actually capable of leading them anywhere but over a cliff? When Boehner does finally lose control, it will be because his party has given up all pretense that government has a constructive function in society.

  286. 286
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Yutsano: It’s funny how everyone here is making it academic and water under the bridge when the following morning hasn’t even dawned on the whole vote yet ;)

    I have no idea, I’m just pushing back against some of the more absurd charecterizations here that anyone who thought maybe it was a “bad bill” is an extreme left wing Firebagger etc. People can have doubts about it without being extremist loonies.

  287. 287
    Baud says:

    @karen:

    I don’t think they are coming back. The cuts were meant to act as a stimulus during the worst of the recession, not a permanent cut. And there is no constituency. The right doesn’t care about working people, and the left doesn’t want to see the funding source for Social Security decreased.

  288. 288
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Okay I’m getting out of here because this point, in my experience, is where Balloon Juice threads start devolving, plus it’s morning and coffee beckons. Night all.

  289. 289
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NR:

    It’s not my “belief” that Obama wants to cut Social Security and Medicare. Obama has said himself, publicly and on the record, that he wants to do this.

    Actually, no, he hasn’t. What he has said is that Social Security and Medicare need to be fixed in order to be solvent for the long term.

    Are you unaware that Medicare is a huge problem in our budget because healthcare costs are rising faster than inflation? Do you really not know that the Social Security Administration is projecting that people who retire after 2038 will only get 75% of their promised benefits? Is all of this such a surprise to you that you’re shocked and horrified when Obama says we need to fix these programs? Were you in a decade-long coma before 2008?

  290. 290
    Yutsano says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: I think it’s a fair point, and the real problem with the sausage-making is we don’t know for sure who said what. Instead we get anonymous leaks of varying accuracy until there actually is a bill. Odds are that yes the Republicans would have caved on $250K especially since Pelosi is really the one who got this shit passed. The Republicans more or less took themselves out of the equation, at least in the House. The other point is this doesn’t mean there can’t be future changes even when the next Congress comes into session, when Nancy needs even fewer Repub traitors to go along with her. I doubt these things get revisited, but stranger happenings have occurred.

  291. 291
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    That’s the thing, though — the people you cited weren’t saying it was a bad bill. They were saying that they feared the negotiations to get the bill had somehow damaged the upcoming negotiations for the debt ceiling.

    If you can find me someone who actually argues that the bill itself is a bad bill, then we can have that argument, but all of the people you’re citing are criticizing the negotiations to get the bill, not the actual bill.

  292. 292
    NR says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Actually, no, he hasn’t.

    Actually, yes, he has.

    Essentially what we had offered Speaker Boehner was over a trillion dollars in cuts to discretionary spending, both domestic and defense. We then offered an additional $650 billion in cuts to entitlement programs — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security.

    And btw, his Treasury Secretary has said the same thing.

    Addressing the Council on Foreign Relations Wednesday afternoon, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said that the debate about the path to fiscal responsibility “really began with Bowles-Simpson and that’s where it’s going to end.”

  293. 293
    👽 Martin says:

    @Djur: But even if it did apply to the $250K+ earners, it amounted to $400K in additional taxes on every $10,000 earned. If you earned $300K, it’s $2000 more in taxes. Everyone I knows that earns $300K blows two large on dinner from time to time. Another $2K in taxes wouldn’t have even been noticeable to any of them.

  294. 294
    Brachiator says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    At least deal with the actual arguments. The one being made here is that maybe Obama could have given away less and gotten the same result, and it’s a valid debate. I can’t say for certain that it would have gone one way or the other, neither can you, and neither can Paul Krugman, and you know, he does this for a living.

    It’s true that Krugman criticizes Obama for a living, but he has no experience negotiating with Republicans.

    I know that this is not quite what you meant, but even though Krugman is obviously knowledgeable about economics and can be persuasive about the possible impact of a particular fiscal policy, he is not much of a guide in the nitty gritty of the kind of political fighting that you have to do to get from point A to point B.

  295. 295
    rda909 says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: I stop by sites like this occasionally and see people having the exact same arguments every single time. Year after year. That’s what I was addressing.

    So you have fun then being a brave warrior in the War of Ideas. Us Obamabots will just have to go out, knock on doors, make phonecalls, and other organizing to win more elections…yet again. I’ll check back from time to time to see how much Obama is screwing us over some more though. Thanks though to all the Keyboard Kommandos out there for all their hard work.

  296. 296
    rda909 says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: Ah yes. Anonymous source from Politico. Must be true then.

  297. 297

    @Brachiator:

    It’s true that Krugman criticizes Obama for a living,

    If you think that helps your argument, you’re wrong.

  298. 298
    Platonicspoof says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass:
    While waiting for an explanation of his completely fabricated ‘paraphrasing’, I scrolled through the 500 plus names in the Kos thread and I didn’t see Joan McCarter’s name even once.

    I also scrolled through Joan’s recent diaries to see if Gus linked to the wrong post, but there’s nothing to suggest she’s recently said President Obama is weak or unprincipled.

    I haven’t read many of her posts since the healthcare debate, but her posts at that time made the so-called paraphrasing by Gus seem completely out of character for her.

    There’s trolling and then there’s malicious trolling while simultaneously trashing someone else’s reputation.

    Unless there’s a valid explanation, I think both Markos and John have a reason to ban him.

    Joan doesn’t deserve this crap.

  299. 299
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NR:

    Gosh, I can’t imagine why Obama would say something like that in remarks to the press where he was laying the full blame for the breakdown in 2010’s debt ceiling negotiations on the Republicans and specifically on John Boehner, by name. Obviously he must have been telling 100 percent of the truth and expressing his true intentions to kill Social Security and Medicare. I mean, what other possible motive could he have?

  300. 300
    Darkrose says:

    @NR: Have you ever negotiated on anything before in your life? Because I’m not aware of any negotiations that go: “All right, here’s my proposal, and I’m not deviating from it in any way so take it or leave it.”

  301. 301
    JustAnotherBob says:

    @NR: How about including the entire statement?

    We then offered an additional $650 billion in cuts to entitlement programs — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. We believed that it was possible to shape those in a way that preserved the integrity of the system, made them available for the next generation, and did not affect current beneficiaries in an adverse way.

    Or would that damage your outrage?

  302. 302
    Redshift says:

    @Brachiator: Exactly. I like Krugman a lot, and I do my best to understand his explanations of economic issues, but I’ve learned to take his analysis of politics and negotiations with a grain of salt.

    As for “he does this professionally” (which was said somewhere upthread), he does economics professionally. Sure, he gets paid to write about politics part of the time, but so does every other pundit. Being a professional pundit is no recommendation for being authoritative.

  303. 303
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @NR:

    What don’t you get about political kabuki?

    Coming out of the 2004 election, G.W. Bush, Stupor Mundi, took his “mandate” and tried to privatize- not make cuts to, but privatize- the Social Security trust. He had a Republican majority in both houses of Congress, and he couldn’t get his boys to put any legislation on the floor. Republicans know that they can’t fuck with S.S. or Medicare without losing their older voter base. How do you think that GOP voter in Kentucky reacts when he can’t get his scooter/wheelchair on the Medicare dime?

    So Obama knows they aren’t taking these deals with S.S. or Medicare cuts, no matter how serious the Republicans pretend to be about balancing the budget. the fiscal cliff, austerity, whateveh. By putting these cuts on the table bundled with things like tax hikes for the wealthy, knowing that the GOP won’t bite, he paints them into the corner marked “unserious”.

  304. 304
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Darkrose:

    Some people really do think an ultimatum and a negotiation are the same thing, but they’re rarely people who get what they say they want.

  305. 305
    Humble Lurker says:

    @Ted & Hellen:
    EW! Dear God in Heaven, where’s the brain bleach!?

    Then again, this is someone who’s mad at Obama for not lowering the age of consent, so….does that mean Cantor’s a step up? Jesus is that a sick thought.

  306. 306
    Mnemosyne says:

    I think I said an hour ago that I needed to go to bed, so I’m really going this time. Especially since Keaton has started physically herding me in that direction.

    (No, I don’t know how we ended up with a cat who’s part border collie. Just lucky, I guess.)

  307. 307
    karen says:

    @👽 Martin:

    This is what I meant and keep in mind, my folks’ friends are Democrats.

    The wife is a retired NYC public school teacher so she gets a decent pension because she retired when teacher’s unions weren’t villainiized. The husband was a CPA and worked crazy hours and now he teaches a class at CUNY once a week. They lived in Kings Point.

    The other couple has a wife who is a retired teacher in the NYC public school system and her husband was a principal. They lived in Commack.

    The money they made was not on the backs of other people. You’d be surprised how many of these type of people are on the Island. Working class people who managed to make a decent living and got paid higher salaries. They bought houses when they were cheap in the 70s and sold their houses at 10 times what they bought them at because they moved to a retirement community. They’re saving money for when they need a nursing home and yes, they travel.

    They saved their money over the years and invested it to have a nice nest egg, to be able to put their daughters through college and pay for their weddings.

    My parents on the other hand? My mom worked at Geico for 25 years or so. My father worked two jobs as a projectionist and a salesman. He’s fucking 78 now and STILL has to work. My parents bought their house in the 70s at $43K and the value skyrocketed up to nearly $400K during the bubble. Long Island seems to have suffered less from it or have dreams because McMansions are still being built.

    I know my parents don’t make $250K. I doubt they even make $100K. But they’re not wealthy.

    I dare anyone here to say that these people are parasites who live off others and never pay taxes. Go on. I fucking dare you!

  308. 308
    rda909 says:

    I know they’re not as reliable as anonymous sources in Politico articles, but the White House and CBO have weighed in on the new deal:

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog.....37-billion

    “So H.R. 8 not only keeps taxes low for the middle class, asks the wealthiest to pay their fair share, and helps the economy continue to grow, it also reduces the deficit by $737 billion under this more realistic scenario.”

    When Obamacare takes full effect over the next couple of years, and with continued improvement in the economy, stronger economic conditions leading up to the 2014 midterms should help get Democrats control of the House again. Of course, we’ve got to go out there and make it happen though…

  309. 309
    karen says:

    So is that $406 amount quoted in the Washington Post off every paycheck or for the year?

  310. 310
    kdaug says:

    @Emma: I like the cut of your jib, Emma.

    The wailing? Gnashing of teeth? Hair pulling out?

    Epic.

    Just… Epic.

  311. 311
    burnspbesq says:

    Bad deal. Obama gave far too much.

    The House Republicans’ takeaway from this will be “hostage-talking works.”

    The debt-ceiling negotiations are likely to get unprecedentedly ugly. I predict that large portions of the Ryan plan will get enacted.

  312. 312
    horatius says:

    @John Cole:

    2 months?? 2 fucking months is all he could get for giving up all that leverage? Why couldn’t it have been 1 year? Is that too much to ask?

  313. 313
    horatius says:

    @amk:

    Fuck off with your namecalling. I reserve the right to criticize Obama when I think he’s wrong.

    I still think he’s the best President the democrats have had in these times of Repuglican lunacy.

  314. 314
    priscianusjr says:

    “right now, Cantor, Louis Gohmert, the teahadist, and manic progressives like Matt Stoller (all of whom are nihilists) are probably singing Billy Joel at a piano bar over scotch in Georgetown.”

    Beutifu;, Cole, just fucking beautiful. I wish I could be there. Hell, I’d buy ’em all a round.

  315. 315
    burnspbesq says:

    @Humble Lurker:

    One imagines that T&H stood up and cheered when Gov. Corbett announced that the State of Pennsylvania is going to sue the NCAA in an effort to rescind the sanctions imposed on the Penn State football program for its role in the Sandusky cover-up.

  316. 316
    priscianusjr says:

    @Cacti:

    Cantor overplayed his hand, but Boner is weakened and damaged as Speaker. won this one big time.

  317. 317
    priscianusjr says:

    @Cacti: Cantor will be a hero to the 27-percenters for his opposition.

    Right. And what percentage of the population are the 27 percenters again?

    Has that figure changed in 60 years? No.

  318. 318
    David Koch says:

    Obama must be primaried in 2016.

    We can not reward him with another term, not after this betrayal.

    Dan Choi 2016!

  319. 319
    Kathleen says:

    @redshirt: The early morning ABC “News” covered it and even mentioned bi-partisan outrage. Let the magic ponies start dancing!

  320. 320
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Maude: Obama said tonight that he is not going to debate paying the bills Congress ran up. His statements tonight are wondrous delusional.

    He’s already unilaterally taken off the table any means he would have had to avoid such a debate

  321. 321
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @burnspbesq: Ouch.

  322. 322
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @burnspbesq: I hate it when you’re right.

  323. 323
    Keith G says:

    @Baud:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:
    If the issue is a complicated as you say (and I agree), there is no basis for the vehemence of the progressive opposition to Obama.

    All progressives? Many? Some? A few who have other axes to grind and therefore attack almost anything?

    Every political coalition seems to have outlyers who complain just to complain, as well as those who are misguided enough to not want to give in any of their pure image of what is needed.

    I wonder if the best response is just to note the disagreement and then quickly move on unless there is evidence that they are engaging in good faith with an open mind.

    Of course that last point should work both ways.

    edit…I should have added that there are those who just see the decisions made through a different (not better/worse) lense.

  324. 324
    Keith G says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim: I missed this in my inital scan:

    I have no idea, I’m just pushing back against some of the more absurd charecterizations here that anyone who thought maybe it was a “bad bill” is an extreme left wing Firebagger etc. People can have doubts about it without being extremist loonies.

    There are a number here who seem to want/need to assume bad faith as well as want/need to ridicule those with a different view. Maybe it’s an internet thing. Maybe it’s group psychology.

    Whatever it is, it does get in the way and shows that some here are no better than the conservatives we mock.

  325. 325
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @rikyrah: AMEN! I hope he’s able to enjoy a few days of rest in Hawaii. He’s going to need to rejuvenate before the next battle with the House GOP.

    Bummed that the payroll tax holiday is over.

  326. 326
    Bruce S says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    “Now, for a normal person, that would make them start to think that maybe what Obama has been saying in public about Social Security and Medicare are things that he knows the Village wants to hear and he says them to sound reasonable while the teabaggers are running around saying crazy shit.”

    Yeah, that’s a reasonable assumption for “a normal person” but has it crossed your mind what an absolutely terrible rationale that is for the President of the United States? At best, it helps legitimatize absolutely terrible policy. It’s not the President’s job to make these Village assholes – or the crap merchants sitting around Joe Scarborough’s Morning Elite Fest – feel good about the fact that they’re wrong about almost everything. I expect better. If this is a “defense” of the President’s persistent nods toward bad policy, it doesn’t reflect much better than if he actually believed that shit.

  327. 327
    amk says:

    @horatius: If you quack like a firebagger, then you’re a firebagger. eos.

  328. 328
    Ron says:

    Wow, watching Joe Scarborough melt down over the deal makes me think it was probably a good deal!

  329. 329
    jayackroyd says:

    @Emma: Yeah. He had all the cards. Just like Clinton did in 1994. And he chose not to play them. Even the nimrods who say they hate the government, and vote republican, rely on the government. That’s the deep irony of “keep the government’s hands off my Medicare.” That’s why Republicans won’t actually propose spending cuts.

    The president is committed to the Third Way, but that’s a deeply unpopular position, which he is also aware of. He saw the B-S vote. So we are gonna see all this happening in the least accountable fora–like the tail end of the lame duck.

  330. 330
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @xian: Is Norquist somewhere crying tears of anguish? Hope so.

  331. 331
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @burnspbesq: Why did the House Dems go along with President Obama then, if he gave up too much? He’s not a dictator.

    How is Ryan’s budget going to get through with a Dem-controlled Senate?

  332. 332
    Emma says:

    @jayackroyd: WHAT CARDS? Jesus. I promised myself the new year wouldn’t include talking to people who speak in generalities. Half the country elects people to Congress who hate government itself. Spell out the cards or admit it’s just a slogan to make you feel better about hating the man.

  333. 333
    jayackroyd says:

    Also, what the appeal of Omar? I mean I fall for it too, but he’s a heartless murderer. Is it that he’s a principled heartless murderer, like Dirty Harry?

  334. 334
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Ash Can: Payroll taxes are going up.
    http://blogs.wsj.com/economics.....l-you-pay/

  335. 335
    jayackroyd says:

    @Emma: That the Bush tax cuts would expire. Those cards.

  336. 336
    Lojasmo says:

    @Ted_75:

    And EVERY republican voted for it EVERY time when BUsh was president.

    You fucking idiot.

    How are you liking President Elect Romney these days?

    Idiot.

  337. 337
    jayackroyd says:

    @Emma: Oh, and it was less than half the country who elected this Congress. And even those elected officials won’t put their fingerprints on cutting spending. Cutting spending is deeply unpopular. It can only take place in the out years–where it can be reversed when the time comes.

    Obama had the same opportunity Clinton had–to call out the Republican lies about cutting spending. The president chose to
    “compromise” with himself. The debt ceiling insanity looms, and he is entering it having folded aces.

  338. 338
    4tehlulz says:

    @jayackroyd: Along with unemployment insurance for millions.

  339. 339
    jayackroyd says:

    @Emma: And, just saying, I wasn’t speaking in generalities. But if you want more detail:

    http://www.eschatonblog.com/2011/10/centrists.html

    And click through to the pdf, and see what they say.

  340. 340
    xian says:

    @guachi: arguing both sides? want deficit reduction? go off the cliff and fuck the poor. wheee!

  341. 341
  342. 342
    xian says:

    @NR: so you really think that a compromise offered in a deal negotiation is what the negotiator *wants*? Do you even understand what negotiation means?

  343. 343
    jayackroyd says:

    @4tehlulz: Are you serious? I mean I know that’s one of their talking points, but really? You thing the president folded because he thought he couldn’t pass unemployment benefit extensions? Really?

  344. 344
    xian says:

    @burnspbesq: I predict zero percent of the Ryan plan gets enacted and that you will still claim the next deal is a bad deal for some new and different reason while moving the goalposts for Obama’s inevitable sellout to the subsequent standoff.

  345. 345
    Ash Can says:

    @burnspbesq: This is snark, right? (I have to ask because it’s early in the morning, I haven’t had any coffee yet, and I have bonus mind-fog from a head cold.)

  346. 346
    xian says:

    @Keith G: I’m starting to understand why progress is so hard in this country, when such a large group of people with good (left) politics are so hopelessly naive and deluded about how to, you know, make progress.

  347. 347
    jayackroyd says:

    @4tehlulz: Yay.

    But do you really think that was off the table? That the GOP would have voted against it, up or down? They advocate deeply unpopular policy, and they won’t sign off on that advocacy. Do you really think calling them off on this is a bad idea?

  348. 348
    4tehlulz says:

    @jayackroyd: Just admit you don’t give a shit about the unemployed; it’s all about telling the GOP to “Suck on this.”

  349. 349
    xian says:

    @4tehlulz: ackroyd doesn’t respond to counterarguments. just keeps repeating the same “all the cards” hyperbole, as if Obama could have simply murdered the GOP and kept on rockin’.

  350. 350
    Bruce S says:

    @xian:

    “Progress” is made when you have a healthy mix of pragmatists and idealists (a few zealots, even) who share the same approximate goals but each play a different role in the long slog. That’s the lesson I get from history – not that the President or the political insiders are the key, without folks on the outside who are demanding “MORE!” It’s easy to always endorse what actually happens as “inevitiable” or “progress” but without visionaries – who are often barely distinquishable from cranks – the whole game is played (as we’re experiencing to a large degree now) on the other side’s terms.

    Go see “Lincoln” if you don’t understand this.

  351. 351
    Bruce S says:

    So, for those who are declaring “victory” in this battle, what is the Dem leverage when the GOP refuses to raise the debt limit and sequestration kicks back in?

    Any answers? Other than a government shutdown, which will hold the same nasty consequences for the most vulnerable that you are using to rationalize not pushing the “cliff” battle any further than it was taken.

  352. 352
    xian says:

    @Bruce S: I do understand that, and I like it when people shout for MORE. This does not imply that the people asking for more must trash the results when they come in with some more but not all the more.

  353. 353
    xian says:

    @Bruce S: false. a government shutdown is not the same as unemployment insurance running out. c’mon!

    i predict the shutdown, if it happens, will last for 1-2 stock market days at most.

  354. 354
    The Sheriff's A Ni- says:

    @Bruce S: Maybe the same strategy he used the last two ‘crisis’: Wait for the last possible moment for Boehner to come crawling back to him and Pelosi to get something done. Maybe he’ll be flipping platinum coins like Harvey Dent to put even more of a squeeze on Johnny Orange.

  355. 355
    Emma says:

    @jayackroyd: So what? Have you looked at the electorate lately? Have you noticed how many states have elected nihilists as their representatives in Congress? Do you really think you can have leverage over the minds of people who are, by golly, CONVINCED the socialist Kenyan in the White House if out to impose Socialism in this country?

  356. 356
    amk says:

    @Bruce S: The same moneyed interests that were at work y’day night will do it again if needed. That’s the ‘leverage’ you keep whining about.

  357. 357
    Emma says:

    @jayackroyd: Really? Honestly? Atrios and Pierce? COmpromise is for suckers? How nice to know well paid, economically comfortable men feel entitled to screw me and mine over in pursuit of their principles.

    One of my favorite sayings from Dorothy Sayers is the first thing a principle does is kill someone. It’s just wonderful to see how many people want others to suffer for their principles.

  358. 358
    Bruce S says:

    @xian:

    But that’s the nature of the game. You can’t have pragmatists who routinely praise the outsiders who are criticizing them and angry outsiders who pat the insiders on the back every time there is a tactical or short-term victory. Tension – even vitriol – is part of the deal. It’s not only human nature embedded in this symbiosis – it’s the way this shit works.

    When I’m among some of the more radical folks I work with on some local issues, I catch hell because I defend Obama against their vitriol and assholery. Here, in certain threads, I get called a Firebagger just for raising uncomfortable questions about strategy (usually without pretending to know the answer.) I’m also convinced that the fact that I catch hell from “both sides” doesn’t give me any special credibility. Just happens to be the case. I haven’t discovered some “Golden Mean” and it doesn’t buy anything in the “real world.” Probably just a feature of being old, around too long. And of course, unless I get in a shitfest with some nitwit like General Stuck, it makes my comments pretty boring.

  359. 359
    Bruce S says:

    @Emma:

    I don’t know shit about Dorothy Sayers, but that’s an asshole POV. Really. No principles? Now what one does in service of principles is the tough one. But demeaning the notion of having principles is just shit. Dorothy Sayers can go fuck herself.

  360. 360
    Morzer says:

    @Bruce S:

    What’s the Democratic leverage?

    a) The sequester
    b) The GOP doesn’t want to spell out what it really wants – i.e. cuts to Medicare – because the angry bluehairs will revolt.

    That’s your leverage. It’s a lot more powerful than you might suppose.

  361. 361
    Bruce S says:

    @xian:

    But the same argument could be made about the phony “Fiscal Cliff” – a short-term version would have minimal consequences. Longer-term it’s fucked. If the government shut-down is guaranteed to only last a day or two – there’s no teeth. The only way it becomes a serious threat is if the length of shutdown looks like it might have real consequences for real people.

    I think your response is mostly just an evasion of the question.

  362. 362
    Bruce S says:

    @Morzer:

    I hope you’re right. I haven’t seen a good argument on this – will be looking for one. Do the Democrats want to be responsible for the sequester kicking in any more than the GOP? The actual Democrats in charge of this shit in DC?

  363. 363
    Bruce S says:

    @The Sheriff’s A Ni-:

    The one thing he won’t be doing is “platinum coins” – although I’d love to see him just ignore the “debt ceiling” BS on the grounds that the spending has already been authorized by Congress. But I don’t see that in the cards. I think if he does decide to go gangster on them, it will be in principle not platinum.

  364. 364
    scav says:

    @Bruce S: Having read the position in context, might I suggest you should understand it and Dorothy Sayers before writing it all off? (anathma, I know, on the innerwebs).

    ETA: because the two of you seem to articulating the same issue / problem, albeit differently.

  365. 365
    horatius says:

    @amk:

    Go fuck yourself.

  366. 366
    xian says:

    @Bruce S: we’ll see.

  367. 367
    Bruce S says:

    @amk:

    Oh, so we will be saved by Wall Street. What a relief. Liberals can rest easy.

    That’s the lamest response to date. Not surprising considering ou’r “Firebagger” hysterics when there’s any debate outside of your comissar’s PC.

  368. 368
    amk says:

    @Bruce S: Until teh libruls take over the house, the moneyed interest is what gonna hit the rw caucus. Neither obama nor boner swung all the 80 repubs y’day night. Of course, you are free to have your own fantasies about center left country and all that crap.

  369. 369
    Bruce S says:

    @xian:

    Yes we will have to see – which is why I’m not taking some final position on what we’ve just been through. It’s Act One of – at the least – 2 Acts. In itself given the immediate alternative, I don’t have any major criticism of the bill that just passed. I am uneasy about strategy moving forward. But, frankly, beyond the “other half” of this “crisis” unfolding within two months, I’m not really in love with the notion that the Clinton era tax rates are effectively dead and it’s no longer “Bush’s” fault. Across the board tax increases would have been bad in the window of the next two years, but making the Bush tax cuts nearly 99% permanent isn’t my idea of a great day for Democrats. Against what was possible, with a wack GOP congress, probably the best that could be gotten – but not a day for cheers and shouts of “Victory!”

  370. 370
    Bruce S says:

    Incidentally, people who are excoriating various “progressives” here – as well as self-styled progressives – might note that nearly all of the notable progressives in Congress – Sanders, Ellison, Lee, Grivala, et al.- got behind this bill. It’s not like there has been some major split. But given that, I don’t get the vitriol at folks taking positions that even as staunch an administration defender as Jared Bernstein has put forward. This is a tough one – not transparent. Everbody is speculating. Get over any self-righteousness, whichever end of this thing you land on.

  371. 371
    xian says:

    @Bruce S: ok, let’s not evade it. let’s game it out.

    we go over the cliff. I totally agree that would also only have lasted for a few days of stock market declines.

    now tell me the deal we get after the fact and where is it better (or worse) than the deal we got?

  372. 372
    xian says:

    @Bruce S: it’s actually Act II already at best.

    You may recall that Obama held “all” the cards this time because of his negotiation last time. Do you recall how that last negotiation was regarded but the purest of the pure?

  373. 373
    Bruce S says:

    @amk:

    I don’t have any fantasies about a “center-left” country. But I do know that large majorities – even among the GOP – oppose the Beltway conventional wisdom on so-called entitlements and greater tax equity. Frankly, with assholes such as yourself trying to shut down any vigorous debate among Democrats, we’ll be stuck with this “best of all possible worlds” you’ve declared.

  374. 374
    Bruce S says:

    @xian:

    I don’t know that, any more than you know that a government shutdown of only two days is going to yield the desired result in two months. All of this is speculation. What IS bullshit IMHO is accusing people who wanted to “go off the cliff” as having no empathy for people on unemployment. Same goes for government shutdown if it is extended. Thank god it’s not my job to game this out. But the notion of doing the bargain when you had the tax cuts as leverage – and it WAS leverage – makes more sense to me than splitting the issues, kicking the can down the road and taking on half of the loaf when you don’t have much in your pocket. Other than threatening pain to the unemployed, retirees, etc. Just don’t see that as an adequate alternative strategy. Certainly not a basis for accusing those who disagree with all sorts of base motives – which I’ve been seeing a lot of here.

  375. 375
    xian says:

    @Bruce S: you just undermined your own point via semantic confusion. I’m a progressive. I’m with Bernie Sanders on this. I am not annoyed by progressives but by the eeyores who can only ever see how things are short of some imagined better outcome.

  376. 376
    xian says:

    @Bruce S: you again mixing up short-term consequences of failing to get a deal with long-term consequences of failing to get an outcome. hard to debate you when you squirm around this way.

  377. 377
    amk says:

    If you do “know” such majority did exist, then why are you chicken littling and whining that the dems could have done better ? Your ‘vigorous debate’ = hey, I see a new hair. Go at it, all you want.

  378. 378
    xian says:

    @Bruce S: you are aware that there were no cuts in this deal (there was additional spending) and that leverage in 2 mos includes the pentagon sequester? you are now quibbling about the best order to do things in. and to be honest I don’t believe you have better insight into Obama’s leverage than he and his do. Or you believe like special Timmeh that Obama seekritly is angling towards massive social welfare cuts?

  379. 379
    Lojasmo says:

    @NR:

    You are a dishonest person.

    From your Obama presser link…THE WORDS FOLLOWING THE ONES YOU QUOTED

    We believed that it was possible to shape those in a way that preserved the integrity of the system, made them available for the next generation, and did not affect current beneficiaries in an adverse way.

    From now on, I will only respond to you by calling you a liar, liar.

  380. 380
    General Stuck says:

    I’m a progressive. I’m with Bernie Sanders on this.

    So am I, and a proud Obot. Proud as a peacock today.

    The tears of the disappointed, only sweeten my tea.

  381. 381
    amk says:

    @horatius: nice bonerspeak.

  382. 382
    Bruce S says:

    @xian:

    Okay, now you’re reading my mind. So you can go fuck yourself.

    The leverage of the tax cuts was huge. I don’t see anything that big in the next round. I don’t “secretly” think Obama wants to sell us out – but I do openly think that Obama has been less than stellar in pushing back on the deficit hawk paradigm he’s been dealt. I believe he’s playing what he sees as his best shot in context. But, frankly, it’s not what I would consider stellar leadership. Smart politics perhaps. But I expected a bit more from this man. My bad.

  383. 383
    Bruce S says:

    @xian:

    I didn’t undermine my point of view. I’m looking at the total picture – what the progressive Beltway folks chose to do when faced with an up or down. That doesn’t mean that the strategy that got them there was “the best of all possible worlds.” It’s apples and oranges. Frankly, I see far more bullshit emotional baggage in this thread coming from the assholes whose first impluse is to shout “Firebagger.”

    I’ve got real shit to do…later for this crap.

  384. 384
    Bruce S says:

    @xian:

    “I don’t believe you have better insight into Obama’s leverage than he and his do.”

    When “his” include Timmy Geithner, I beg to differ that there aren’t areas where I might have “better insight.” As did Christie Roemer and others who worked for the President. On this one regarding the leverage of the past weeks, I’m leaning to agreement with Jared Bernstein, another of “his” who begs to differ with those declaring “victory” and drinking Sweet Tea laced with the blood of “Firebaggers.

    Of course you can brand Jared Bernstein and myself as “Firebaggers” and shoot us…with spitwads. Seems to be the weapon of choice.

    (You’ve been pretty good in this discussion – with the exception of making suggestions about what I “really” believe about Obama. Others, not so much.)

  385. 385
    xian says:

    @Bruce S: describe the better deal he could have gotten after the cliff. honestly, I’m all ears. I apologize for suggesting you might wish for worse like our pathological troll friend. I value your point of view, and you make the best, strongest arguments I’ve heard against my current thinking, which is why I enjoy engaging with you (and try to resist anything past mockery with trolls).

    If I sound cutting, it’s partly the brusqueness of brevity and partly an impatience with the cloudy-lining note in the great progressive chord, but I do apologize for that.

    But really, look at the deal as was gotten and let me know where you think it would have been better afterward. Happy to discuss that.

    One other thing: if the fiscal cliff was a real thing then we did in fact go over it, so…?

  386. 386
    xian says:

    @Bruce S: jinx…

    again, sorry for the snark

    not going to take the whole geithner side bait. let’s just say i do agree that in principal obama can get bad advice or make bad decisions. i do not think he is infallible. give me the credit to believe i am gaming it out in my head as it goes on and i honestly think this is a good deal?

    ok, you have jared (arguing on optics not substance by his own admittance, and i’d listen to his more recent TV utterances beyond his column), and no doubt others. I’m not sying you’re outside *my* Overton window! Just that I disagree (for reasons stated upthread).

  387. 387
    NR says:

    @Lojasmo: Apparently you can’t read. Obama specifically said that current beneficiaries wouldn’t be adversely affected. Future beneficiaries? They’d get benefit cuts. Oh, excuse me. “Adjustments.”

    But congratulations on making yourself look like an idiot. Maybe you should try actually comprehending the words in front of you before calling someone a liar next time.

  388. 388

    […] “losers” of yesterday’s lengthy House soap opera (see this). I happen agree with John Cole’s assessment the […]

  389. 389
    NR says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m just curious, if you really believe that Obama is a liar and a phony who doesn’t say what he actually means, but only says what he thinks will bring him political benefit, why do you support him?

  390. 390
    imbrium says:

    I work in the federal gov’t. I would just like to take this moment to say: everyone arguing that we could have sailed over the sequestration/UI cut part of the cliff painlessly only to have suddenly reasonable republicans turn around and quickly give us a progressive dream bill and then have the gov’t, in all its sleek efficiency, implement everything in said bill so quickly that the unemployed would get their next paycheck, the many programs dependent on federal funding wouldn’t be devastated and no one would be furloughed…are detached from reality.

    This “curb” was designed to hurt people. It would have hurt people. It would have been a clusterf*ck (by design) and we would have had to slowly claw back spending on every program except the military.

    The House didn’t even vote on the Sandy aid bill. Why do people seem to think they would suddenly care about people suffering?

  391. 391
    xian says:

    @NR: I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!

  392. 392
    burnspbesq says:

    @xian:

    I predict zero percent of the Ryan plan gets enacted and that you will still claim the next deal is a bad deal for some new and different reason while moving the goalposts for Obama’s inevitable sellout to the subsequent standoff.

    You’re so god-damned smart, you tell me what Obama gives away to get the next debt-ceiling extension. And he will have to give something away, because the fiscal cliff negotiations will be interpreted by the nihilists in the House as proof that hostage-taking works.

    I’m tired of watching Obama negotiate with himself.

  393. 393
    General Stuck says:

    @burnspbesq:

    And he will have to give something away, because the fiscal cliff negotiations will be interpreted by the nihilists in the House as proof that hostage-taking works.

    Are you serious? The republican run House of Reps just passed a major public bill with a minority of republican votes and a majority of democratic votes. That in no way implies a win for the nihilists. They failed, and no doubt will try to destroy us all, and will fail again, till we can be rid of them.

  394. 394
    Mike Lamb says:

    For those discussing Obama’s leverage–doesn’t a lot of it go away after the deadline? Everyone’s taxes go up and the sequester kicks in–so now who has leverage? Everyone is getting dinged and it’s a total level playing field. I think it’s plausible at that point that the GOP sits tight until the debt ceiling fight.

    I know some speculated that the markets would tank if no deal was reach and the subsequent pressure would provide impetus for a deal. Isn’t it far more likely that the fiscal decline/curb/cliff was already baked into the market some time ago?

  395. 395
    General Stuck says:

    @Mike Lamb:

    Well, it is hard to predict what crazy people will do, but twice now, we have been teetering on the ledge of an abyss, and ended up saving the day with dem votes in a republican run chamber of congress, that is absolutely amazing in and of itself. There are those in the House that want to burn it all down on the right wing, but not all of them, and not even most of them. But who knows?

  396. 396
    xian says:

    @burnspbesq: Obama already laid it out: equal parts cuts and new revenue or no deal. cuts will be equal parts pentagon (good) and domestic (bad). obama will focus on making the bad part less bad.

  397. 397
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NR:

    I’m just curious, if you really believe that Obama is a liar and a phony who doesn’t say what he actually means, but only says what he thinks will bring him political benefit, why do you support him?

    I don’t think he’s a liar or a phony. I look at what he actually does rather than what he says, because I have been burned too many times before by politicians who say soothing things about preserving Social Security (coughGeorgeWBushcough) while trying to kill it.

    At this point, I don’t give a damn what someone says in a speech or in remarks to the press as long as I like what he actually does when it comes down to brass tacks. Though it does amuse me to see the “just words!” crowd now criticizing Obama for not saying the words they want even though he takes the actions that they want.

  398. 398
    Mnemosyne says:

    @burnspbesq:

    And he will have to give something away, because the fiscal cliff negotiations will be interpreted by the nihilists in the House as proof that hostage-taking works.

    No, going over the “fiscal cliff” would have been proof that Republicans could do anything they wanted to destroy the country and there was no one to stop them.

    Getting a majority of Republicans in the Senate and one-third of the Republicans in the House to vote in favor of raising taxes proves that they can be had. Their “principle” of never ever ever raising taxes on anyone, anywhere, for any reason turns out to be fungible.

    To paraphrase Winston Churchill, we’ve already figured out what they are, now we’re just haggling over the price.

  399. 399
    NR says:

    @Mnemosyne: But by your own admission, Obama says things that he doesn’t believe. That’s the very definition of a liar and a phony.

  400. 400
    Heliopause says:

    The winners in all of this are

    The Rich. Not any politician or party, The Rich.

    If you go back to ancient times — specifically, the years 2002, 2001, and 1997 — the rich paid significantly higher tax rates on income, capital gains, dividends, and/or estates. Those rates are now locked in lower than in those bygone years. While the liberal left has a microscopic attention span and only wants to compare tax rates to what they were two days ago the rich have been fighting a long war. They won. Not only do they have lower rates than 15 years ago they’ve got the liberal left thinking that they got a win or, at worst, a decent compromise.

    The Dems are making noise about finding more revenue in the next go-round. We’ll see how that goes. If they find it and it doesn’t all come out of Granny’s hide then my hat’s off to them.

  401. 401
    Mike Lamb says:

    @NR: Yes, everyone who engages in puffery, gamesmanship, or any other negotiating gambit is just a phony and a liar.

    The idea that you haven’t predicted that Obama will cut SS and Medicare benefits is laughable in the extreme. You’ve been wrong every time. Good work on that.

  402. 402
    Mnemosyne says:

    @NR:

    But by your own admission, Obama says things that he doesn’t believe. That’s the very definition of a liar and a phony.

    No, he says things that he’s not planning to do. Please point me to anywhere that he’s made a statement of belief that Social Security and/or Medicare need to be cut. Not that they’re on the table, or up for negotiation, but that he believes that they need to be cut.

    We’ll wait here while you go find that. It should be easy since your claim is that he believes that those things need to be cut so it’s not just rhetoric and posturing when he says they’re up for negotiation.

  403. 403
    Lojasmo says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    @burnspbesq: I hate it when you’re right.

    Gladly, he almost never is. Including now.

  404. 404
    Lojasmo says:

    @NR:

    He also said the next generation. And NOWHERE does he say he wants to destroy SS *your claim” Rather he says he wants to preserve it.

    Liar.

  405. 405
    Groucho48 says:

    What I am noticing is that a lot of liberals, here and elsewhere, are saying that “locking in the Bush tax rates” as they now put it, is a bad thing to do in the middle of a huge economic downturn?

    When did that become the liberal position? I thought the whole point of the negotiation was to keep the tax cuts in all but the top bracket the same. Why were we spending the last few months doing our best to detach the lower bracket tax rates from the top bracket if it was a bad thing to let any of them continue? Suddenly, that’s a bad thing?

    I don’t recall reading or hearing any liberals, up to the deal was announced, saying that what we really need to do is to let all the tax cuts expire.

    Yet, we have a couple or three posters here complaining about keeping the tax rates down, and on the Chris Matthews show, one of the Dems who voted against the bill made that argument, to the general nodding of heads.

    Why wasn’t I sent the memo on this months ago?

  406. 406
    Lyrebird says:

    @FlipYrWhig: This was really helpful. I know I’m far too late for this reply to be read, prob’ly, but thanks for clearing away some of the fog around “leverage”.

  407. 407
    horatius says:

    @amk: Go fuck yourself cunt. You are a waste of breath.

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