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  •  but the vote (especially on Schumer's amendment) (5+ / 0-)

    is worth taking even if it fails, because it gives us something to hang on the GOP: they are willing to sell out the whole country to protect millionaires and billionaires.  It's a simple accusation, if we have the clarity to wield it properly.

    Am I right?

    And--last question: will Biden be on board this morning for the vote?

    Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain

    by SottoVoce on Sat Dec 04, 2010 at 06:24:05 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  I suppose it's worth taking... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ManhattanMan, SottoVoce

      if the Dems' goal is to try and score political points against a political Party whooping theirs up and down the field.

      But my guess is those points will be trumped by the points Republicans score by taking to the airwaves to claim victory in saving the American taxpayer from a tax hike and forcing the President to compromise.

      Of course, this all could be avoided if the Democrats had the will to do as David has been saying they could if they wanted to... and took two votes.

      One to pass an extension of the tax cuts package.
      And one to repeal the millionaire tax cuts through reconciliation.

      Biden doesn't appear to be needed.

      More and Better Democrats

      by SJerseyIndy on Sat Dec 04, 2010 at 06:32:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry for more questions: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SJerseyIndy, sherlyle

        First off this:

        Biden doesn't appear to be needed.

        is that because there's no chance?

        Second: if they were to go the reconciliation path (which is how the original tax cuts were passed), doesn't the bill have to be scored by the CBO first?  How long would that take?  Is there enough time before the end of the lame duck session to get it accomplished?

        Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain

        by SottoVoce on Sat Dec 04, 2010 at 06:37:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Biden doesn't appear to be needed... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SottoVoce

          because there doesn't appear to be a vote in the Senate headed for a 50-50 split.

          I mean, I guess he could be there twisting the arms of Dems.

          But that would be something a Democratic VP would do for a Democratic POTUS who actually wanted the results he says he does.

          As to reconciliation...

          The cuts wouldn't actually be passed by reconciliation, because after those Bush Tax Cuts there was a rules change (I believe this is what is referred to as "The Byrd Rule") that said rec bills could not add to the deficit (as these tax cuts would).

          So, in a perfect world:
          The cuts themselves would be passed. All of them.

          Then, Dems would prepare a rec bill for passage that repeals the just-passed-cuts for the millionaires (thereby decreasing the deficit).

          Now, I would guess that bill would indeed have to be scored by the CBO. And here's where David's unmatched expertise comes into play. Because I don't know exactly the rules of that process or the time period it would take at this point. I'd assume they could get it done rather quickly.

          More and Better Democrats

          by SJerseyIndy on Sat Dec 04, 2010 at 06:45:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Biden is only involved if there is a 50-50 tie. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SJerseyIndy, SottoVoce

          NOT involved otherwise.

          •  Unless he's there twisting arms. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SottoVoce

            I remember a former VP doing that when his POTUS was serious about getting something done.

            More and Better Democrats

            by SJerseyIndy on Sat Dec 04, 2010 at 06:49:29 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  well if there was ever a moment (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SJerseyIndy

              when the Senate could use some arm twisting from a popular former colleague, this would be that moment.

              As for that other VP, the less we have to think about him, the better......

              Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain

              by SottoVoce on Sat Dec 04, 2010 at 06:58:21 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  :lol: (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sherlyle

                I hear ya. It passed through my mind after posting it.

                One thing I'd have to give Cheney, though, in addition to the only other thing I'd wanna give him... which is life in prison... is when he or his President wanted something... they got after it.

                Shame it was for such evil and criminal and corrupt and, well, no sense in reliving it all.

                Gotta "look forward, not backward"... ya know?

                More and Better Democrats

                by SJerseyIndy on Sat Dec 04, 2010 at 07:11:20 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  people on this site have been praising Bush (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  looking and listening

                  and Cheney lately for their strong-arming techniques.  I'm not sure I want the President to act like a dictator.  Yes, we want commitment, we want a line drawn in the sand, we want pressure brought to bear on recalcitrant Senators and Congresspeople, we want some consequences for failing to get in line.  But we railed against Bush for running roughshod over the constitution and for his overuse of signing statements, and would probably praise Obama if he used them now.  

                  Don't know the answer to that problem.....

                  Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain

                  by SottoVoce on Sat Dec 04, 2010 at 07:16:05 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The answer to that problem... (0+ / 0-)

                    is to not run roughshod over the Constitution and act like a Dictator, which is in no way what I was suggesting and is not what a VP being in the body of which he is a President working with Dems is.

                    But since you brought up running roughshod over the Constitution...

                    How'd that FISA thing work out?

                    Secret black sites and detainee abuse?

                    Lists of names compiled for extra-judicial killings, to include Americans?

                    THOSE are action s taken to run roughshod over a Constitution.

                    Not a VP visiting the Senate.

                    I was wondering how long it would take for someone to mischaracterize the comment.

                    More and Better Democrats

                    by SJerseyIndy on Sat Dec 04, 2010 at 07:24:39 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  geez (0+ / 0-)

                      I think you're overreacting to my comment.

                      I agree with your idea of Cheney belonging in jail; I guess I needed to say that to protect my ability to have a discussion.  I'm just commenting on the problem we face when we've just come through the nightmare of a president who was able to impose his will on Congress, but whose policies and ideas were completely wrong, and now face a president who seems unwilling to strong arm his troops in service of better policies.  

                      Please note my previous comment to you:

                      well if there was ever a moment when the Senate could use some arm twisting from a popular former colleague, this would be that moment.

                      I think we're on the same side, sjersey.  Save it for the real enemy.

                      Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain

                      by SottoVoce on Sat Dec 04, 2010 at 07:38:39 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Dubya didnt impose his will on Congress (0+ / 0-)

                        He didn't need to--Congress was always with him. Including the Dems who capitulated on virtually everything. After all, Bush and the Dems wanted the same things.

                        The proff of that is (1) the number of Bush-era monstrosities that have been continued under the new Dem administration without opposition, and (2) the willingness of Dems in Congress to continue to support the Repug program even when the Pres is no longer a Repug.

                        It is precisely the problem I foresaw happening back when Obama was elected--the Dem Party is not behind Obama or a progressive agenda, never was, and never will be. The Dem Party never wanted Obama or his agenda in the first place--they expected they would be able to coronate Hillary and were shocked utterly when an unexpected wave of popular discontent swept Obama into office instead.

                        As a result, Obama must now fight against BOTH parties, neither one of which supports him or a progressive agenda.

        •  Reconciliation poses problems. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sherlyle, SottoVoce

          One is scoring, yes. But another is that the rules have been changed since Republicans used reconciliation for their tax cuts. Democrats knew that was an abuse of the reconciliation process and changed the rules to prevent it.

          •  that's an interesting conundrum. (0+ / 0-)

            What works when we're in the minority has a different result when we're in the majority.

            The same might be said of the filibuster rules.  We are being slammed by them at every turn, and if we change them (just as we're going to need them) it could come back and bite us.

            Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain

            by SottoVoce on Sat Dec 04, 2010 at 07:12:21 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Except... (0+ / 0-)

              Republicans will likely change the filibuster rules anyway, so they're going to bite us eventually, regardless. The only question is whether you want to win some votes between now and then, or keep losing until we're bitten.

              •  Clearly, I want to win what we can while we can. (0+ / 0-)

                Are our own guys on board with changing it?

                Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it. --Mark Twain

                by SottoVoce on Sat Dec 04, 2010 at 07:39:54 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  They're getting there. (0+ / 0-)

                  Six hearings in the Senate Rules Committee, three straight days of Democratic Caucus meetings, and half a dozen competing reform packages circulating on it. There's more discussion of reforming the rules (if not necessarily eliminating the filibuster outright) right now than there has been at any time for the last 35 years.

          •  Reconciliation (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            billlaurelMD

            Can only be used once per Legislative session.  Dems used it for HCR earlier this year.

            This rule was explained to me by my reps aide.

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