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Showing posts from July, 2011

Daily Kos peddles Boehner's Lies

Seriously, this is getting to be like shooting fish in a barrel. Sometimes I wonder how a blog like Daily Kos can make itself any MORE irrelevant. But they've gone and done it again. This time its about a post on the front page that purports to explain the deal just brokered on the debt ceiling. And where does the author get his material? From Speaker John Boehner's power point. Trouble is...Boehner lies. Here's a couple of points highlighted in the diary: "no tax hikes" "Requires baseline to be current law, effectively making it impossible for Joint Committee to increase taxes." Of course, massive hair-on-fire ensues because the Democrats caved on increased revenue as part of the package. Oh-No's!!!!!! But then, here's Steve Benen on that: To clarify something important, Boehner’s presentation gives the impression that new revenue is impossible under the bipartisan congressional commission. That’s false; new revenue is possible a

Looking for the "long game" (updated x 2)

I think its a good time to remind ourselves what Michelle Obama said about her husband and our President. Here's the thing about my husband: even in the toughest moments, when it seems like all is lost, Barack Obama never loses sight of the end goal. He never lets himself get distracted by the chatter and the noise, even if it comes from some of his best supporters. He just keeps moving forward. And in those moments when we're all sweating it, when we're worried that the bill won't pass or the negotiation will fall through, Barack always reminds me that we're playing a long game here . He reminds me that change is slow — it doesn't happen overnight. If we keep showing up, if we keep fighting the good fight and doing what we know is right, then eventually we will get there. We always have. (emphasis mine) As we hear rumors about what might be in the debt ceiling bill, I begin to wonder about that long game. I've had one guess in the back of my m

All that's missing is the black face

OK, I'm 100% disgusted. This morning, we find this cartoon featured on the front page of Daily Kos. No, I'll not copy it here because its racist trash. And the link goes to my photobucket page where I've copied the cartoon rather than to Daily Kos so you don't have to give racist trash a click. Do we have to explain to progressives these days WHY something like that is racist trash? It truly boggles the mind. But I guess so. I don't simply hold the cartoonist responsible though. This is the natural result of months and years of belittling and disrespecting the first African American in the White House. And no, that's not the same thing as critiquing his policies. That would be politics. This is racism. Nuff said.

Fear and ignorance are the enemies

Paddy over and The Political Carnival posted this cartoon today. It struck me as a pretty accurate description of our current political climate. The thing is - as the cartoon illustrates it - fear and ignorance are external when in reality we know that they come from within. The good news is that means they're under our control. But the cartoon also reminded me of the Dementors in the Harry Potter series. In case some of you aren't the Harry Potter fanatic that I am, this is truly one of the most ingenious inventions of JK Rowling. The Dementors prey especially on people with trauma (perhaps this explains some of the poutragers?) in their past. When they attack someone, they do so by bringing to memory all of the fear and sadness associated with those experiences. And finally, a Dementor's kiss sucks out your soul. In one of the earliest encounters Harry and Ron have with a Dementor, they are taken to the infirmary at Hogwarts and given the antidote - chocolate

Is impeachment on the table?

Andrew Sullivan joins p m carpenter in questioning whether or not the Republican end-game is setting President Obama up for impeachment. They did the last Democratic president; and they feel even more strongly that this one is illegitimate, despite his thumping majority in the last election. Here's the scenario. The House GOP pushes for completely unserious Boehner plan (including a balanced budget amendment) that they know will be vetoed; they then filibuster the Reid plan in the Senate, forcing Obama to invoke a 14th Amendment executive prerogative, which they will then turn around and impeach him for. Far-fetched? I hope so. But every time you think you have reached the end of Republican extremism, they manage to move further out of the solar system. After watching today's events, I'm starting to have the same thoughts.

When the netroots "hearts" Limbaugh

Take a look at Media Matter's compilation of Limbaugh's thoughts on raising the debt ceiling. Here's their summary: Rush Limbaugh has falsely suggested that there would be no adverse consequences for failing to raise the federal government's debt ceiling, claiming that because the government takes in enough revenue to pay interest on the debt, there is no danger of default. Basically what he's saying is that default only applies if the United States doesn't/can't service our debt. Here's Limbaugh's words: Truth is, we would only default if we don't service our debt. The cost of servicing the debt is 6 percent of the budget, and we have revenue coming in to do that. We do not need to raise the debt ceiling. There is no crisis. There is no Armageddon. No, the Armageddon happens after we've serviced our debts and don't have the revenue to take care of all the other obligations the federal government has Social Security

"To the cornfield with John Boehner!"

Jon Bershad has one of the best analogies for the relationship between the Republican Party and the Tea Baggers that I've seen. The Tea Party has become to Conservatives like the character Anthony in the “It’s a Good Life” episode of The Twilight Zone. If you don’t recall, the episode, based on a short story by Jerome Bixby, tells of little Anthony Fremont, a six-year-old boy who has the ability to do terrible things with his mind. He can create amazing things but he can also kill at will, forcing the adults around him to constantly think and say nice things about him because, at any moment, he can destroy them, sending them off “to the cornfield.” It’s not that he’s evil per se. He just has this incredible power and doesn’t really know the implications of what he’s doing... Conservatives know how powerful the Tea Party is and they seem terrified to say anything the slightest bit bad about them. They’re treating the party just like an infinitely powerful child, walking on eg

How a truly feminist movement could lead the way

I have to say that in the last few years I've grown a bit disheartened with the feminist movement in this country. Its not that my beliefs about the need to challenge patriarchy have diminished. Its that I think the cause of feminism has been relegated to issues that, while important, don't speak to the depths of my concerns. In other words, we're spending all of our energies fighting for reproductive and economic equality and forgetting all the ways that our entire ethos and culture are based on patriarchy. Years ago a blogger named keres put it this way: And I would argue that to dismantle partriarchy you would need to dismantle society in it's totality, and start over. It's no good just letting women in as "pseudo men" to societal structures so long formed by and to men's wants and desires. Our societies are not "OK", except for the sexism, racism, heterosexism, ablism, etc. Our societies are intrinsically those things - they cannot b

How netroots narratives hurt Democrats

OK, so we're down to the wire on this debt ceiling issue. We have 3 days to get something done or see the world economy go into chaos. Boehner's plan passed the House today on a straight Republican Party line vote - not one Democrat voted for it. And it was quickly rejected by the Senate. So now its up to Reid and McConnell to see if they can get something done in the Senate. Only McConnell has promised that Republicans will filibuster Reid's bill. So Reid is trying to negotiate with Republicans to get something that can a hurry. The big news out of all of that is that McConnell is saying that Republicans will filibuster at this point - which will likely not allow time for a bill to pass by Tuesday. He's also into some kind of hissy fit about not negotiating with Reid - saying he'll only work with the President. WTF???? It's beginning to look like Republicans are aiming for a other words, that's their plan. And THAT'S the m

Calculated evil or stark raving madness?

When dealing with the Republicans (particularly of the tea bagger variety), one is often faced with the question of whether or not we're looking at calculated evil or stark raving madness. If its the former, p m carpenter has a point. This thought does occur. It may be that congressional Republicans privately have removed brinkmanship from the table; that their revised plan is to ensure that no default-avoiding bill, under any circumstances -- not even their own -- shall emerge from Congress; and that a guaranteed default will thereby force President Obama to reluctantly exercise the Constitutional option next week, thus creating the grounds for another year-long distraction: impeachment.

Ha-ha Noonan...grow up!

Peggy Noonan today. I want to talk about something that started to become apparent to me during the debt negotiations. It's something I've never seen in national politics... It is that nobody loves Obama. This is amazing because every president has people who love him, who feel deep personal affection or connection, who have a stubborn, even beautiful refusal to let what they know are just criticisms affect their feelings of regard. At the height of Bill Clinton's troubles there were always people who'd say, "Look, I love the guy." They'd often be smiling—a wry smile, a shrugging smile. Nobody smiles when they talk about Mr. Obama. There were people who loved George W. Bush when he was at his most unpopular, and they meant it and would say it. But people aren't that way about Mr. Obama. He has supporters and bundlers and contributors, he has voters, he may win. But his support is grim support. And surely this has implications. That immediately too

Would/should the Democrats ever play the hostage game?

Yesterday Steve Benen wrote an interesting column that got me thinking. Its titled Would Democrats ever pull the same stunt? His question refers to whether or not the Democrats would ever take the global economy hostage for their own political/policy ends. This is not a meaningless question. Recently I pointed out that Joan Walsh suggested just that. And we regularly hear it espoused by the hair-on-fire poutragers as the only appropriate response. Benen's thoughts on that question focus mostly on the fact that Democrats wouldn't have a lot of credibility when it comes to the "stark raving mad" quality it takes to pull something like this off. As hostage strategies go, the current crop of congressional Republicans are pulling an unprecedented stunt, which only works because most sincerely believe they really are dangerously crazy. It’s critical to making the strategy work — those holding the hostage have to convince everyone that they’re ready to follow through

Where things stand...

What can you say about the fiasco that is the Republican Party today? Speaker Boehner didn't have the votes for a bill that has NO chance of passing the Senate and one that leads him to brag to his caucus that "Barack Obama hates it, Harry Reid hates it, Nancy Pelosi hates it.” Trouble is...too many of the looney's in the House hate it too. So what is Boehner's response? Does he scrap it and try to get a deal done with 4 days to go before default? Of course not! They're going to try to figure out a way to make the bill even more noxious to anyone but the lunatics. Let's name this one folks. What we're witnessing is a "Save the Speaker's Job" strategy for Mr. Boehner and to hell with the global economy. I really hope that American voters are watching. This is what happens when you give these motherf*ckers the keys to the car.

This one goes out to Speaker Boehner

Following up on what I wrote this morning, this is dedicated to the orangeman.


While we're waiting to see if the world economy is going to go into crisis, I thought I'd mention something some of you might have already noticed...I did some re-arranging on this blog last night. One of my main reasons for doing that is that I wanted to highlight the growing power of pragmatic progressive blogs. Over on the left, you will now see the list I've developed so far (and I'm sure will be adding to) with updates as new articles are posted. Already today I'm loving this because it gives me up-to-the-minute information on what's new from these wonderful intelligent writers. I hope you'll take advantage of it as well. On a specific note, if you scroll down to the very bottom of the list right now, you'll see a url for SistahSpeak by Robinswing. Some of you may know of Robinswing from her writing at Daily Kos. This week she announced that she'll no longer be writing there and is starting her own place. Its obviously still under construct

Limbaugh vs Boehner (updated)

The stage is set. Later this afternoon, the House will take a vote on Speaker Boehner's debt limit bill. Yesterday I suggested that, rather than pay attention to the whip counts (which are too close to call right now), you should listen to what Rush has to say about it. Well, now we know. If the Democrats get their way, the Republicans will pass the Boehner bill. It will go to the Senate, where it will immediately be announced dead on arrival. And then, dingy Harry will announce, "But, there's enough here. We can work with this. We didn't really realize all that was in this. There's stuff in here -- yeah, yeah. ... Maybe I can get some Democratic votes on it after all." And then miraculously -- miraculously -- the prince of compromise, Harry Reid, steals the day, by compromising with just an outrageous dead on arrival bill. He gets all kinds of credit for hard work, rolling up sleeves and that magic compromise, and sends that back to the house. Okay

It's too late for that

Today I'm reminded of something I saw in the 2008 Republican Presidential Primary. My analysis has always been that GOP primary voters split between Romney and Huckabee - thus allowing McCain to come up through the middle. As one who's family is firmly entrenched in tea partyism, I can tell you that NONE of them had much fondness for McCain (especially after his duel in 2000 with their darling George W.) So McCain had a problem with his "base." Most primaries are the time when candidates pander to their base and then move towards the center in the general election. But McCain didn't have the right wing covered so he went "all in" with them by picking Sarah Palin as his running mate...thus destroying any hopes he had of appealing to independents. In other words, his move to solidify his base was too late. We're seeing the same thing with Boehner today. He's not trusted by the tea party wing in the House. So here we are 5 days before the default

DOJ going after "reverse redlining"

According to the Huffington Post: The Department of Justice is preparing a lawsuit against Wells Fargo, the nation's largest home mortgage lender, for allegedly preying upon African American borrowers during the housing bubble and steering them into high-cost subprime loans, according to three people with direct knowledge of the probe... Last week, the Fed said that perhaps more than 10,000 borrowers were inappropriately steered into subprime mortgage loans or had their loan documents falsified by bank personnel. Wells Fargo agreed to pay $85 million to settle the civil charges. It did not admit wrongdoing. In its ongoing case against Baltimore, Wells Fargo stands accused of using those same practices, but deploying them against black borrowers in majority-black neighborhoods, an act commonly known as "reverse redlining." The city alleges that the bank targeted black borrowers, knowing they'd ultimately default on their loans, but did not fear shouldering the co

US Departments of Justice and Education target the "School to Prison Pipeline"

Anyone who has been reading this blog for very long knows that I've been doing my best to track the exemplary work of US Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice - especially those things that don't make it into the headlines. This week there was more good news that affects something near and dear to my heart - the "school to prison pipeline." If you're not familiar with this issue, there is much to read about it on the internet. I wrote about it here a little over a year ago. According to Education Week, here's what was announced this week: A new undertaking from the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education targets school discipline policies that end up pushing children into the juvenile-justice system for crimes and rule-breaking on campus—and keeping them from pursuing their education. Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan unveiled the Supportive School Discipline Initiative at a meeting of a Justice D

The GOP's real leadership

In trying to drum up support for Boehner's debt ceiling bill stall, this is what amounts to the GOP PR campaign. The Republican leadership has privately reached out to conservative TV personalities like Sean Hannity and Brit Hume, and Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Paul Gigot, National Review’s Kate O’Beirne, Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard, David Brooks of The New York Times, George Will, Laura Ingraham, Mark Levin, and groups such as The Heritage Foundation, among others, have all heard from Republican leadership, including Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam of Illinois. And even former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas), the chairman of FreedomWorks and a tea party favorite, got a call from GOP leaders. I can't help but think of the fact that a couple of years ago David Frum identified who is really running the show for the Republicans. I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes it mobilizes su

Call it what it is!

Yesterday, I tried to make the case that no matter what President Obama had done in these negotiations about the debt ceiling, we would have ended up at the same place we are today. My other point was that therefore, the White House strategy has been to ensure that the President is able to demonstrate to the American people that he is willing to compromise and govern while the Republicans are not. This morning I see that both Ezra Klein and p m carpenter are saying pretty much the same thing. Here's Klein: Whenever I try to run out the logic of Obama simply refusing to allow Republicans to take the debt ceiling hostage, I end up with us approximately where we are now, but Obama’s numbers are lower, the GOP’s numbers are higher, a number of congressional Democrats have broken ranks, and Washington elites are firmly arrayed against the White House. It’s not a line of reasoning that leads to a better outcome for Democrats. This issue is playing out essentially as you would ex

Why are you unhappy?

Why are you unhappy? Because 99.9 per cent Of everything you think, And of everything you do, Is for yourself — And there isn't one. - Wei Wu Wei I've been thinking about this one for years but I'm still not sure what it means. I first heard it in a talk given by poet David Whyte. He follows up recitation of the poem by saying that there is no self in isolation - similar to the question: "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"

"The opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself"

We all know that the narrative gripping the poutragers is that President Obama is a bad negotiator. They think he constantly "gives away the store" and therefore assume that the Republicans take advantage of that. As a matter of fact, some prominent bloggers (warning: poutrage link) have gone so far as to postulate that this is why the Republicans can't say "yes" to anything. If there's one thing Republicans have learned the last several years it's that Democrats don't know how to negotiate, so why bother compromising? The problem with this analysis is that its based solely on a progressive viewpoint. In other words, its analyzing the Republican's actions from the perspective of liberals. That very seldom works. If, instead, you look at things from the Republican's perspective, you see exactly the opposite in terms of their motivation. To do that, go back just a few months to the negotiations over the 2011 budget. Remember that the po

Poutrage contradictions

As I listen to the poutragers wail about President Obama's "only adult in the room" approach, I can't help but see a contradiction. First of all, they claim that he's "negotiating with terrorists," which you are never supposed to do (we'll put aside the argument about how, in divided government, he's supposed to avoid that constitutionally). Their point, which I'd have to agree with, is that the Republicans don't want to negotiate or compromise. But their conclusion is that it is therefore pointless to try. So then, you have to ask what the alternative is. Here's Michael Tomasky explaining it as well as anybody has. Here, for example, is something that actual adults in the room do. They say at the outset: This is not a negotiation; this is a hostage situation. The House and Senate have voted 11 times since 1997 to raise the limit. Every time, they’ve groused, especially members from the party out of power; some people vote agai

Speaker Boehner Lies (updated)

From Speaker Boehner's remarks: President Obama came to Congress in January and requested business as usual -- yet another routine increase in the national debt limit -- we in the House said 'not so fast.' Here was the president, asking for the largest debt increase in American history, on the heels of the largest spending binge in American history. (emphasis mine) The truth in graph form from the New York Times: UPDATE: For those of you who might need the ammunition, Steve Benen covers the lies in Boehner's truth allergy.

A rainbow celebration in NY

America, this is what gay and lesbian people look like - YOU!

President Obama to address the nation tonight (updated)

Tweet from Jay Carney: POTUS to address nation, 9 pm tonight, re stalemate over avoiding default and the best approach to cutting deficits. Watch @ UPDATE: Once again, BooMan nails it. I'd like every liberal who has carped about the president's approach to the debt ceiling negotiations to pause now and consider the fact that the Republicans have now revealed their bottom line. They made an offer. Their offer is nothing. We get nothing. Not one thing that we want. Nada. And that has always been their position... Now, this thing is still not over, and the president is going to speak to the nation at 9pm tonight. I expect he will be extremely pissed off. I also expect the Republicans not to give a shit...But my point for the purposes of this thread is the following. Since there was never any way to win any concessions, wasn't the game here to make sure people see you as having been reasonable? And the other side as the economic terrorists that they are?...

Can the GOP say "yes" to anything? I guess not.

This morning Ezra Klein has a good chronology of the debt ceiling negotiations. Originally, the Democratic position was that we should simply raise the debt ceiling. Republicans said "no." There would have to be a deal that reduced the deficit by at least $2.4 trillion -- which is the size of the debt ceiling increase needed to get us into 2013. Then the Democratic position was that we should raise the debt ceiling through a deal that reduced the deficit by about $2.4 trillion, with $2 trillion of that coming from spending cuts and $400 billion coming from taxes. Republicans said "no." There would have to be a deal that disavowed taxes. Then the Democratic position was that we should raise the debt ceiling through a deal brokered by Barack Obama that reduced the deficit by $4 trillion, with about $3 trillion of that coming from spending cuts and about $1 trillion coming from tax increases. Republicans said "no." There would have to be a deal that di

What does the GOP fear more - Obama or taxes?

Steve Benen has an interesting post this morning wherein he quotes George Will saying something we've heard regularly from Senator McConnell. The Tea Party can succeed in 16 months by helping elect a president who will not veto necessary reforms. To achieve that, however, Tea Partyers must not help the incumbent achieve his objectives in the debt-ceiling dispute. One of those is to strike a splashy bargain involving big — but hypothetical and nonbinding — numbers. This would enable President Obama to run away from his record and run as a debt-reducing centrist. Benen summarizes: Got that? The important thing isn’t to strike a compromise and prevent a disaster; the important thing is prevent Obama from claiming a political victory. This is important to remember when we get all caught up in Republican intransigence over including tax cuts in the debt ceiling bill. Is Grover Norquist's pledge partly just an excuse to deny President Obama a victory? Its why he asked on Fri

The Democratic Party and White Voters

Pew Research published an article this week that is getting a fair amount of attention in political circles. Its titled GOP Makes Big Gains Among White Voters. As the country enters into the 2012 presidential election cycle, the electorate’s partisan affiliations have shifted significantly since Barack Obama won office nearly three years ago. In particular, the Democrats hold a much narrower edge than they did in 2008, particularly when the partisan leanings of independents are taken into account. Notably, the GOP gains have occurred only among white voters; a 2-point Republican edge among whites in 2008 (46% to 44%) has widened to a 13-point lead today (52% to 39%). In sharp contrast, the partisan attachments of black and Hispanic voters have remained consistently Democratic. While Republican gains in leaned party identification span nearly all subgroups of whites, they are particularly pronounced among the young and poor. A seven-point Democratic advantage among whites under ag

Science, Art, and Food

I have always loved photography. There is something about catching what's real in a moment of time that tells us something. I have also always loved art that brings together different disciplines. That's what Caren Alpert does with her photography. And that tells us something too. What’s in our food? What’s the difference between a bird’s-eye view of a remote vegetable crop and a microscopic swath from a pineapple leaf? How distinct is a pile of table salt from miles and miles of icebergs? As a food lover and a photographer I answer these questions visually. Using scientific laboratory photo equipment, I journey over the surfaces of both organic and processed foods: my own favorites and America’s over-indulgences. The closer the lens got, the more I saw food and consumers of food (all of us!) as part of a larger eco-system than mere sustenance. Pineapple Leaf Table Salt Brussel Sprout Sun Dried Tomato Shrimp Tail Cake Sprinkles If you'd like to s

Race, Privilege and President Obama

I'm going to do something I never thought I would do...ask you to go read a diary at Daily Kos. And if you still have an account there, recommend it. The diary was written by dmitcha and is titled Rise of a New Confederacy: Race Privilege and President Obama. As just a taste of what this writer is doing, s/he lists President Obama's resume and then says this: So many say or think that people of color support President Obama simply because he is Black. You misunderstand our history. (How is that possible, to still not know what we have lived through, seen, been held accountable for, been held back by, been informed by, pushed victoriously forward through? Sincerely, how is it possible to be so ignorant yet consider oneself so much more enlightened?) Please extend your sentence from this day forward: Consider that many of us, of all races, respect him because he is Black and has done all of these things. We know how hard it is to convince your teacher you actually wro

Snippets from the smackdown...and a few reactions (updated)

Here are a few quotes from President Obama's press conference yesterday. . It is hard to understand why Speaker Boehner would walk away from this kind of deal. And, frankly, if you look at commentary out there, there are a lot of Republicans that are puzzled as to why it couldn’t get done. In fact, there are a lot of Republican voters out there who are puzzled as to why it couldn’t get done. Because the fact of the matter is the vast majority of the American people believe we should have a balanced approach... The American people expect action. I continue to believe that a package that is balanced and actually has serious debt and deficit reduction is the right way to go. And the American people I think are fed up with political posturing and an inability for politicians to take responsible action as opposed to dodge their responsibilities... Up until sometime early today when I couldn’t get a phone call returned, my expectation was that Speaker Boehner was going to be willin

Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round

Old spirituals like this have helped African Americans stay in the struggle for centuries. I share it tonight with those who - like me - might feel a bit battle weary from the events of the recent days. But more importantly, its my ode to President Obama tonight. Ain't gonna let nobody turn me 'round from continuing to see how hard you fight every day, not for your own glory, but for the people who are least able to protect themselves, who don’t have lobbyists in this town, who don’t have lawyers working on the tax code for them -- working stiffs out there, ordinary folks who are struggling every day. Rest well tonight President Obama. You done good today. We have your back and aren't going anywhere!

"It is not the critic who counts"

Wow! I was out for a couple of hours and missed President Obama's press conference. I'm just getting caught up and my head is reeling. But after watching the video, there were two things that came to mind. First of all, this wonderful quote from Teddy Roosevelt: It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neith

Just in case anyone's forgotten...

Steve Benen makes a great point. Someone asked me the other day when President Obama doesn’t just ask for a clean debt-ceiling bill, instead of engaging in these mind-numbing negotiations. The truth is, he has asked for a clean bill, repeatedly. It didn’t get much attention at the time — the White House pushed for this in March and April — but the request was certainly made. The problem is, it fell flat very quickly. And then he goes on to point out something else many seem to have forgotten. On May 31st, the House of Representatives voted on a "clean debt increase bill." It failed. That was the whole point of Boehner bringing it up - to take it off the table as an option. Just saying...

Anatomy of a poutrage

This would be funny if it weren't so sad. But here's the story that I just watched unfold: Obama has been in meetings with Boehner and Cantor to see if there is any possibility left for a "grand bargain" as part of the debt ceiling increase. News spread that the deal would include spending cuts and a commitment to tax reform. As I predicted, that caused a hair-on-fire poutrage storm (warning: left wingnut link). But that's not even the end of it. As part of the negotiation on future tax reform, Boehner and Obama discussed triggers that would kick in if tax reform was not productive. Here's how the NYT described them. The White House wants a trigger that would raise taxes on the wealthy; Mr. Boehner wants the potential penalty for inaction to include repeal of the Obama health care law’s mandate that all individuals purchase health insurance after 2014. Here's how that was written about at TPM. Multiple reports surfaced late Thursday that a t

President Obama's Op-Ed in USA Today

Tomorrow's print edition of USA Today will contain this op-ed from President Obama: Go big on debt deal. For years now, America has been spending more money than we take in. The result is that we have too much debt on our nation's credit card — debt that will ultimately weaken our economy, lead to higher interest rates for all Americans, and leave us unable to invest in things like education, or protect vital programs like Medicare. Neither party is blameless for the decisions that led to this debt, but both parties have a responsibility to come together and solve the problem. That's what the American people expect of us. Every day, families are figuring out how to stretch their paychecks a little further, sacrifice what they can't afford, and budget only for what's truly important. It's time for Washington to do the same. Why cuts are necessary In the short term, my No. 1 focus is getting our economy back to a place where businesses can grow and hire. T