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The House Democratic leadership has now come out in opposition to the deal in its current form. They are demanding changes to the estate tax provisions:

“We believe the estate tax in the bill is a bridge too far,” the Speaker said. That provision shifts the balance in the agreement to Republicans and “ends any kind of symmetry between the two sides.”

Two other House Democratic leaders — Reps. George Miller (Calif.) and Chris Van Hollen (Md.) — denounced the inheritance provision.

“The estate tax is just gratuitous,” said Miller, a close Pelosi ally.

Van Hollen, the assistant to the Speaker and the House Democratic negotiator on taxes, noted the estate-tax provision would cost $68 billion over the next two years.

“I have very, very serious reservations with this deal,” he said. “I’m certainly not in a position to recommend this to my colleagues, I’ll tell you that.”

Van Hollen warned that the tax package is not final until the lower chamber endorses it.

“The House never signed off on this, so it’s certainly not a done deal,” Van Hollen told The Hill.

The chairwoman of the House Rules Committee, Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.), also excoriated the agreement with Republicans.

“I don’t agree with this. I think the president’s wrong,” Slaughter said. “I’m sorry that we couldn’t have held on there for a little while until we all got to talk about it, but obviously he couldn’t.”

Here is a video of Rep. Van Hollen explaining the House Democratic position:

Part of the rationale for House Democrats drawing this line in the sand appears to be anger at not being involved in the negotiations at all:

Democratic leaders acknowledged they were not involved in the negotiations Obama conducted with Republicans over the weekend. Asked if the House was adequately included in the talks, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) replied: “I don’t think House Democrats think so.”

I certainly understand that we in the grassroots are not involved in the negotiations, but it’s pretty shocking that House Democrats, who at least for now still hold a wide majority, were not given a seat at the table. And they are angry about it. For example, take Appropriations Chair David Obey:

“Isn’t it wonderful to be in the city of misplaced priorities and ass backwards judgments,” House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D—Wis.) told POLITICO, vowing to vote against the tax package. “The city where it’s more important to provide another tax cut for millionaires than it is to provide for child care or Head Start or investments.”

More colorful language, this time from Representative Gary Ackerman of New York:

"I disagree that we didn't get anything," Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) deadpanned to his colleagues. "We got screwed."

The anger has resulted in House Democrats taking some hostages of their own, mainly on the estate tax, but also on other provisions:

New Democrats, the pro-business wing led by New York Rep. Joe Crowley, signaled openness to the bill, but only if bonus depreciation and research and development tax credits are included in the final product.

Taking hostages seems to be the only way to get a seat at the negotiating table, so why not join in the fun?

Overall, as with the Senate, it still seems unlikely, but not impossible, that the deal will be scuttled. However, it also seems unlikely that the deal will pass without being changed to meet at least some of the new Democratic demands.

None of those demands will be met if we just stand up and applaud the plan. As I said in the Senate state of play post earlier today, even if you support the deal, just standing up and clapping won’t do a damn thing to make this sucky deal even a little bit better. The only play we have right now is agitation in support of the Democratic members of Congress opposing the deal.

Whether you oppose the deal in any form, oppose it pending changes, or just support it, we have to strengthen the hand of the Democrats leading the opposition.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:30 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Time to line up those ammendments... (18+ / 0-)
    ...starting with raising the debt ceiling immediately, asa well as the SS cap!

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:32:51 AM PST

    •  The fact that the debt ceiling is not included (7+ / 0-)

      makes this deal worthless.

      What reason do the rethugs have for reneging on every part of this deal in exchange for that debt ceiling vote? Can someone please explain this to me?

      More hostages will be taken, and those who oppose it will be called irresponsible and wanting to cause a financial collapse. What will Obama do - threaten to veto?

      If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: "President Can't Swim." - LBJ

      by bay of arizona on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:48:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The money quote definitely belongs to (6+ / 0-)

      Rep.Gary Ackerman of New York:
       

      "I disagree that we didn't get anything," Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) deadpanned to his colleagues. "We got screwed."

      "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

      by elwior on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:50:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  For the estate tax, better item to add (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ssgbryan, VirginiaBlue

      Accept the 35% rates but put a ceiling on the currently unlimited spousal exclusion to say $20 million.  This would only hit the very wealthy with combined estates worth $40 million.

      This would bring in revenue much sooner as the timing of one person meeting their demise is sooner than when the second does, as well as preventing transfers through a series of marriages.

      This also blows-up many trusts designed to avoid estate taxes.  

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 12:00:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama did this? (20+ / 0-)

    Increased taxes for individuals making less than $20 K a year, families less than $49 K?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

    Unconscionable.

    Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne. - James Russell Lowell

    by Deep Harm on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:34:14 AM PST

    •  Never let it be said ......... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hesiod, Aspe4, ssgbryan, elwior

      ....... "the smartest guy in the room" doesn't do his homework.  

      Hey, wait a minute ........

      "I wonder how many times you have to be hit on the head before you find out who's hitting you?" Harry Truman - 1948

      by ThAnswr on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:40:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Holy crap (9+ / 0-)

      In fact, the only groups likely to face a tax increase are those near the bottom of the income scale -- individuals who make less than $20,000 and families with earnings below $40,000.

      WTF is wrong with this party? You had it right with "Unconscionable".

      "Yet no one could doubt President Bush's support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security." -Obama

      by heart of a quince on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:40:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The article itself says no more than a few dollar (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zapus

        The alternative, which is not noted, is that nothing passes, and the poor get whacked with the reversion to Clinton Era Rates and the making work pay credit.

        Yeah, so unconscionable to write policy that mitigates it.

        The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

        by Stephen Daugherty on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:44:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  IOW -- The poor do better under the Clinton rates (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          catnap1972, laker
        •  What a fucking joke (5+ / 0-)

          Huge tax breaks for the rich and tax hikes for the poorest. This deal is a complete and total fucking joke.

          "Yet no one could doubt President Bush's support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security." -Obama

          by heart of a quince on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:46:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Disagree on the alternative (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ssgbryan, laker

          The alternative that "nothing passes" is based on the assumption that Obama does nothing as an alternative.

          In an alternate dimension of space and time, Obama would coordinate with democratic congressional leaders to hammer the GOP for raising taxes on the middle class.  He would force the GOP accept his terms or face the wrath of the electorate.  His insults would be directed at republicans.  

          Back in our own reality, it isn't even clear that letting the tax cuts expire is such a bad thing.  Democrats could continue to fight for middle class tax cuts, and for UI extensions.  Some voters might even realize the GOP is to blame for their tax increase, at which point the GOP's balls would shrivel and Obama would get his way.

          "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

          by Subterranean on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 12:12:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But that requires us to weigh the probabilities (0+ / 0-)

            under two non tax issue scendarios, getting what one can when there are enough Dems to do it, an opportunity which runs out January 4, or trying to get the same effect through an R house, and a Senate with enough backsliders to have the risk of creating an R working majority. Timing was an issue here IMO.

            Please qualify your 'could continue to fight' notion with the quality of the Dems who you are assuming would do it, the same ones who could have done this well earlier this year if they were of such a mind, and put it off, and put it off and put it off. Next year's pool of Dems is not materially better and there are fewer of them.

    •  That should be $40 K nt (0+ / 0-)

      Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne. - James Russell Lowell

      by Deep Harm on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:41:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  the deal breaks down like this (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ssgbryan

      $ 1,371 average per person for the plebes
      $27,708 average per person for the greedheads

      $214 billion for 156 million people
      $133 billion for 4.8 million people

      That is not what I would call a good deal for the plebes.

      Tax Cut Deal Provides Money Pot to Tiny Group of People

      We should always look at censorship as an economic signal that reveals the potential power of speech in that jurisdiction.- Julian Assange

      by whitewidow on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:54:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Immoral (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nofear

      The man has no moral compass.  

      At least Bush didn't raise taxes on the poor, not directly anyways.  Now in the midst of a killer recession, Obama has his slurpee summit with the rich, then sucker-punches the poor and calls his base names.

      I've never felt so punk'd by a politician in my life.

      "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

      by Subterranean on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 12:05:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  He didn't get the Making Work Pay cut into the (0+ / 0-)

      deal although he is reported as trying, which was worth more to low income people than the tax cut, which means they pay more than they would this year, but that is not part of the tax cut as such, but part of the R trying to kill every benefit available for persons not their own constituents in the sausage-making deal. Taxes of eligibles for that benefit will go up because the benefit is lost, but it's not part of the design of the tax cut itself.   Lousy, but that's Rs who flatly refused to renew Making Work Pay.

  •  Uh Yes? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ssgbryan, JeffW, zapus

    Isn't that the whole point of legislative sausage making?

    Taking hostages seems to be the only way to get a seat at the negotiating table, so why not join in the fun?

    NeoCons' view on torture: if it's good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for anyone!

    by clone12 on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:34:59 AM PST

    •  In other words... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zapus, A Runner

      ...House "Dems" are only pissed because they weren't in on the fix...

      •  And Instead of Staying "Pissed" (0+ / 0-)

        They got organized and try to sway things their way.

        Sure, it's not as rewarding or liberating as quitting some internet email list, but it's probably more productive.

        NeoCons' view on torture: if it's good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for anyone!

        by clone12 on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:54:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  IMO part of what O and Biden did here was (0+ / 0-)

          throw a bomb under lethargic Dems who talked the talk but adjourned the walk over and over again. He knows what he wants, and is now making them make him do it. Which before they weren't willing to do beyond talking about it on talk shows. Now they are finally moving. And notice what they picked, the estate tax. Not Making Work Pay, the one that makes the poor pay more. And not DADT, DREAM, START, UI extension or . .  or. . . or. . . .

  •  Thank You!!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tuba Les, CalliopeIrjaPearl
    For a balanced post that skips the name calling (I'm looking at you, Markos), and states that we should push for a better deal.
  •  It's starting to look like Resivoir Dogs... (5+ / 0-)

    ...you know that scene where everyone is screaming and pointing at each other.

    :-/

    (-9,-9) pragmatic incrementalist :-P

    by Enterik on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:36:32 AM PST

  •  It's health care all over again. (14+ / 0-)

    Get rid of the estate tax reduction and we're fine with it?!

    No, they're going to throw us pittance and cave in again, just like they did on health care.

    This WHOLE deal sucks and it needs to be junked and we need to start from the beginning, NO TAX CUTS FOR THE WEALTHY.

  •  This says everything (24+ / 0-)

    Democratic leaders acknowledged they were not involved in the negotiations Obama conducted with Republicans over the weekend.

    How is it a Democratic president negotiated with Republicans and felt no obligation to include members of his own party? It boggles the mind. Congressional Dems should be angry.

    Be radical in your compassion.

    by DWG on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:37:05 AM PST

    •  They're both behaving badly. Obama wanted the tax (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      godwhataklutz

      debate before the elections, and after the Senate Dems dropped the ball on cloture votes last weekend, it looks like from most reports he was ready to go it alone to get a deal.

      Now after waiting two years to vote on taxes, House Dems finally move, and expect Obama to pull a rabbit out of his hat.

      Ughh.

      •  true (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        irmaly, GreenSooner, ssgbryan, zapus, laker

        but now that a few of the Dems have finally unpacked their spines and are trying them on to see if they fit, how about the president doesn't go about undermining that fortuitous development?

      •  After the elections, House Dems don't count (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenSooner

        They could have had this discussion before the elections, but were too "afraid" that it might hurt their chances at the ballot box.  Well boo-f**king-hoo.  They lost anyway and now have no leverage.  What happens if the House and Senate don't reach an agreement?  Well, let's wait a month and see what happens when Pelosi et all are the minority.

        I was watching Morning Joe a couple of days ago, and he said he couldn't have asked for a better Christmas present than an opponent who was in favor of extending tax cuts for the rich.  The Dems have played this hand in the worst way imaginable.  Last year, I was convinced that Reid was the worst Dem leader in Congress... now I'm not so sure.

        Don't be a DON'T-DO... Be a DO-DO!

        by godwhataklutz on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:56:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I Guess Obama Really is a Dictator (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      justmy2, elwior, sonambulo

      Although his fans like to say he isn't as an excuse for him not pressuring congress on certain legislation.

      My back is spineless. My back is yellow. I am the American non-voter. -The Simpsons, Episode 2, Season 3, "Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington"

      by Aspe4 on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:50:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Or at least a Decider. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Aspe4

        "I trust that you will continue to let me and other Democrats know when you believe we are screwing up." - Barack Obama

        by GreenSooner on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:57:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not a dictator. But somebody who found a way (0+ / 0-)

        to force Congress to act, with the Rs now having an interst in going forward because so much of what they want is before their eyes if it gets passed in all the right places before Jan 1. There was a post last night which suggested that the retroactive doing of this by Rs in January has technical problems and they might for legal reasons not be able to do it. Changing the game in the later parts is always harder than if Congress had timely done its job, but he's got the whole thing up and running now, as it should have been without this and six months ago with both sides having incentive to bargain and get it done. And Congress still holds the keys to its kingdom, what it cherishes most.

    •  he said he placed his faith in McConnell. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Subterranean, GreenSooner, ssgbryan

      "Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book - you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem." - Senator Obama, 9-16-2008

      by justmy2 on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:50:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Screwed by another faith-based initiative. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ssgbryan, DSPS owl

        "I trust that you will continue to let me and other Democrats know when you believe we are screwing up." - Barack Obama

        by GreenSooner on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:58:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Flattery will get you everything if you time it (0+ / 0-)

        right. That's for McConnell's ears, not ours. And Boehner's.  You and I both know that in a lot of politically patched together quilts, the winners congratulate the losers for their statesmanship or whatever, and when the result is a patchwork, everyone swears that everyone worked in good faith and with great diligence and skill, especially when they didn't. But if part of what McC is looking for is public respect, even the air kind, and you get something for that air, the pain of it will fade with knowledgeable supporters as fast as the sound does. Emily Post does not require truthfulness, only seemly words.

    •  The congresssritters are being disingenuous. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Christy1947

      They did nada, then looked bad when the pres did something. Even if the something he did was lacking.

    •  There were two discussions and the Dems were (0+ / 0-)

      right there, apparently getting nothing at all done, the whole time. Notice that you hear little about that negotiation, the 'one going on down the hall' last week. Dems got so much zip that they want to pretend they weren't even there.

  •  The taxes go up on the working poor (14+ / 0-)

    You'll Never Guess Whose Taxes Are Going To Go Up Because Of The Tax Cut 'Compromise'

    In fact, the only groups likely to face a tax increase are those near the bottom of the income scale -- individuals who make less than $20,000 and families with earnings below $40,000.

    Practice tolerance, kindness and charity.

    by LWelsch on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:37:06 AM PST

  •  Well good. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling, jimreyn, Ken in MN, JeffW

    One of those amendments should be universal unemployment insurance.

    Sure, it hasn't got a snowball's chance in hell. That's why attaching it to this bill would make it a perfect poison pill.

    Give help to ALL of us, or none to anyone at all.

    How can millionaires rightly judge which of us poor is the most destitute and thereby deserving of benefits? They would just throw coins at the mob and let someone else sort it out.

    This is not good governance.

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:38:06 AM PST

  •  If the Dems in Congress reject the deal (12+ / 0-)

    Then we'll finally have Change that Obama will understand.

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:39:17 AM PST

  •  Such a bad deal (12+ / 0-)

    listen, you have to look at the immense costs of this. not just $$, but the future of unemployment extensions.

    first of all, this doesn't help the 99ers. there's no new tier for them. they get screwed. instead, it allows some more people to get to 99.

    moreover, even $1 extra for the unemployed is a good thing. but you can't look at it absent the costs.

    there are huge costs for this,including:

    a) destroying a democratic plank for the last decade (staunch opposition to the bush tax cuts for the rich)

    b) blowing a gigantic hole in the budget with giveaways for the top-1% that will be used to push for other safety net cuts,

    c) abandoning a key campaign promise, and

    d) letting the GOP off the hook for policies that are extremely unpopular and that could be used to hammer them.

    e) lowering the estate tax to the lowest rate in history beside this year.

    f) assuring that the unemployed will be pawns used for giving money to the rich every time it needs to be extended in the future. this will keep happening. setting a precedent that we have to let the rich loot the treasury whenever we want to extend unemployment insurance is a disaster.

    g) the absence of the MWP credit  raises taxes on many of the working poor because the Making Work Credit was bigger than the 2% payroll tax cut that is replacing it for anybody making under $40k/year

    h) a big "fix" to the alternative minimum tax that is yet ANOTHER tax cut for the medium-rich.

    meanwhile, buckled on the UI extensions every time.

    5 times over the last two years, in fact.

    and that's not including the fact that they couldn't even keep the anonymous holds that only require one GOP senator.

    The public pressure was too much.

    It's literally the only thing that the Media bashes the GOP over the head for, since the optics of it are SO bad.

    they were also starting to back down on tax cuts for the rich before the Dems started saying that they would negotiate. Boehner himself said that if all he could get was the tax cut for the middle class, he would vote for it.

    we didn't have to incur these gigantic costs to get this stuff.

    •  It gets worse (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ssgbryan, jeopardydd

      "the absence of the MWP credit  raises taxes on many of the working poor because the Making Work Credit was bigger than the 2% payroll tax cut that is replacing it for anybody making under $40k/year"

      This is a temporary tax cut - we know what happens to those. And those general fund credits are just IOU's - this is how they will come after social security. And Kossacks are cheering it on.

      If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: "President Can't Swim." - LBJ

      by bay of arizona on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:57:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  and not closing the loophole for hedge funds (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      laker, jeopardydd

      that lets them pay only 15% on their income

      It seems to me that this is  a perfect opportunity for the fat cats to show their good faith on "sharing the sacrifice".

      Plus, the tea partiers are not going to vote to raise the debt limit and will just be using extortion (which is  a better analogy than ransom) to get their way again.

      We should always look at censorship as an economic signal that reveals the potential power of speech in that jurisdiction.- Julian Assange

      by whitewidow on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 12:03:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not to be reductive (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ssgbryan, jeopardydd

      but

      d) letting the GOP off the hook for policies that are extremely unpopular and that could be used to hammer them.

      Isn't this the Big-Boy Pants(tm) Democratic Party in a nutshell?  

      Will the Republicans ever be forced to stand alone on their platform, agenda around their lonesome necks?

      When the Democrats insist on enmeshing themselves within Reagan Revolution values and apologetics for the Republican agenda, how is the electorate supposed to distinguish politics from a rigged mud wrestling match?

      Why should anyone spend effort on these obfuscating clowns who seem perfectly willing not only to sellout their constituency and professed values, but don't seem very interested in electoral success either?

      Stooging for stooges: not a viable progressive politics.

      Please don't feed the security state.

  •  Tweak the estate tax and get on with it. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    I propose a toast, knowing that our ties subsist because they are not of iron or steel or even of gold, but of the silken cords of the human spirit. 11/9/10

    by BarackStarObama on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:39:55 AM PST

  •  good for them. glad we can count on them. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Militarytracy

    i expect Obama to deal if it's some or nothing: however, i am so fucking glad that we have some democrats who want to fight for more than just 'some' for at least as long as there is a fight to be had.  good for them.

    A man abstemious, rigidly upright, inflexibly honest, ferociously chaste. A man with every virtue, except humility and human kindness. - Ellis Peters

    by bluefaction on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:40:24 AM PST

  •  The White House will wait Congress out (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink

    and deal with the Republicans instead.  Either that or "weak Obama" will pull all levers to make it happen, and it will.

    "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us" -- Gandalf, in Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings"...

    by Cassiodorus on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:40:44 AM PST

  •  So the estate tax is the red herring ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whitewidow, elwior, Frisbeetarian

    that can be thrown away to gin up Democratic support and make it look like they accomplished something? Yeah, something fishy.

    Modern Democrats excel at bringing nerf guns to a Hellfire missle fight.

    by edg on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:41:01 AM PST

  •  Kind of confused (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DSPS owl

    even if you support the deal, just standing up and clapping won’t do a damn thing to make this sucky deal even a little bit better.

    If you support the deal, why would you need to clap?

    All for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind. - Adam Smith

    by anonevent on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:41:03 AM PST

  •  The estate tax change (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimreyn, Tuba Les

    filters down to states that have estate taxes (like California) and will cost states revenue also.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:42:22 AM PST

  •  Let's go (0+ / 0-)

    I'm all about it

  •  Good for them on speaking up against (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimreyn, jeopardydd

    the giveaway to the wealthy.

    I work with B2B PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

    by slinkerwink on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:43:04 AM PST

  •  Obama's weakness is now getting exploited (6+ / 0-)

    ...by the Democrats. Who have no come to realize that they too can roll the President with enough pressure.

    This is the problem with Obama's negotiating strategery. He is by far the worst negotiator I have ever seen. He breaks. every single basic rule of smart negotiations.

    Rule Number 1: Don't tell the other side that you prefer your position prevails but that you will probably agree to theirs. The other side oinly hears that you will probably agree to tehir position when push comes to shove. So, they ignore yours.

  •  At least go for the debt ceiling now! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whitewidow

    We can find out how much these guys want their tax cuts for the rich.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:44:40 AM PST

  •  The silent majority will pass this (0+ / 0-)

    Although the Leadership is coming out against it, I guarantee you there is a majority of Republicans who will pair with a large minority of Dems to pass this.  The only backstop here is Senate Dems.  If they stand firm, the whole thing crumbles.

    •  DeMint and the Teabaggers are (0+ / 0-)

      going to try to filibuster too.

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

      by zenbassoon on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:46:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  probably just posturing for their base (0+ / 0-)

        but they'd be morons not to vote for...oh wait, maybe they will actually filibuster.

        Another thing that teabaggers hate, hate, hate are the ethanol subsidies.

        They were threatening primary even before this deal on Thune and Repubs in corn states who support them.

        They are also going ballistic over the whole deal because it's not paid for.

        We should always look at censorship as an economic signal that reveals the potential power of speech in that jurisdiction.- Julian Assange

        by whitewidow on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 12:11:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Will they really take hostages? (4+ / 0-)

    "I disagree that we didn't get anything," Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) deadpanned to his colleagues. "We got screwed."

    Great line.

    But really, they played along during HIR, and they lost their majority.  Are they gullible and stubborn enough to play along again.

    I think some sanctimony was in order.

    "Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book - you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem." - Senator Obama, 9-16-2008

    by justmy2 on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:47:08 AM PST

  •  It looks bad for this deal (0+ / 0-)

    With the Tea Party Republicans and House Democrats lining up against it, how much "middle" is there left for Obama to work with?

    •  Obama Needs to Do the Right Thing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DRo

      By trying to make a deal with Republicans he made a major mistake. He treated the House Democrats like the "Stonecutter's daughter". All the guys take her for Granite.

      Well, the Democrats are tired of being taken for granted!

      The daily floggings will continue until morale improves.

      by Tuba Les on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 12:00:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  but why is the estate tax the line in sand? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimreyn

    I don't like it, but there seems to be some larger issues worth standing up for?

    "Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book - you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem." - Senator Obama, 9-16-2008

    by justmy2 on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:48:42 AM PST

    •  because they can tweak it easy enough (0+ / 0-)

      to say, a whopping 50% (it was 90% under FDR, I believe) and then declare it fixed and vote for it and still pretend they were "fighting".

      Everybody Wins!!

      We should always look at censorship as an economic signal that reveals the potential power of speech in that jurisdiction.- Julian Assange

      by whitewidow on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 12:13:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Our current iteration of government is amazing (0+ / 0-)
    The Congress fumbles around for two years, doing nothing with the GWB tax cuts and now they grow a spine, after criticizing Mr Obama, and want to kill the estate tax change?

    Good. Kill the estate tax. Does the whole deal now come apart?

    Somehow, some way, Dems will be blamed for no UI extensions. Werd.

  •  Really? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimreyn, schnecke21, jeopardydd

    WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama on Wednesday denied suggestions of a rift between the White House and the Democratic party over a tax deal he struck with Republicans, saying it was wrong to characterize his party as feeling betrayed.

    http://online.wsj.com/...

  •  Hold the line on the inheritance tax. (6+ / 0-)

    A maximum rate of just 35% is ridiculous. The previous rate (not long ago) was 55% and the Democrats were asking for 45%. Do we really want a hereditary aristocracy in our country? Everyone in every generation should be given the opportunity to succeed financially. But that should not be guaranteed at birth for anybody. I think the maximum inheritance tax rate should be 100%.

  •  Oppose it and then what (0+ / 0-)

    let all tax cuts and unemployment laspe?  because i don't see renogiation happening.

    •  The GOP will cave. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      laker, jeopardydd

      Those who believe otherwise are suffering from battered wives syndrome or Obama 11th dimensional chess madness.

      •  That's truly naive. (0+ / 0-)

        If it were ten years ago, I would buy that, but since then, I have all too often been disillusioned when I expected the Republicans to do the rational thing, to feel the shame and cut things short.

        So really, I don't expect the GOP to cave, short of absolute political disaster.

        I push my style of politics because I know the Republicans all too well.  Simply insisting more strongly will not budge them.

        The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

        by Stephen Daugherty on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:59:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  No. It's not naieve. It's pragmatic. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ssgbryan, laker

          Believe me, the GOP is looking at this and there are nervous members of Congress right now on the GOP side. They are coming off looking REALLY fucking bad. And they know it. And, they know they are likely to get blamed for screwing everyone out of a tad cut if this thing doesn't pass. And for screwing the unempoloyed.

          When push comes to shove, there are enough rational Republicans left (about half a dozen) to get a compromise bill passed that is better than the one on the table now.

          But, it requires the Democrats balking at the deal and threatening to blow the whole thing up -- and Obama growing a pair of fucking testicles for once.

          •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

            I'm saying that we should push what concessions we can out of the deal, and stop throwing bricks at the president.  But the rational Republicans?

            Grassley was supposed to be one.  Then came the Death Panels.

            The Maine Senators are supposed to be rational.  How many filibusters have they joined?

            Even if they are rational, the pressure on them to conform is great, and the party isn't exactly behaving like it's got a full set of appropriations for the Department of Mental Health.  If it suddenly gets decided that they can't budge, trust me, they won't.  We can take advantage then, but we'll see some pretty tough consequences because of that.

            We have to at least try and be the rational party, and from a Machiavellian angle, we have to play this subtly enough so the Republicans get the incoming flack if it falls apart.

            The Republicans have to be made to seem the reason that this gets blown apart.  Understand? They have to take the fall for this, and that means we have to be careful to seem quite rational about this, rather than partisan.  Our objections have to be symmetrical, if you will, looking the same to moderate Republican and independent eyes, in terms of how bad the Republicans look for balking.

            The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

            by Stephen Daugherty on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 02:00:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Say what? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ssgbryan, jeopardydd

          I push my style of politics because I know the Republicans all too well. Simply insisting more strongly will not budge them.

          So, if one is faced with an intransigent opponent, the only appropriate response is to .. concede? That's exactly what makes them intransigent: the perception that it gets the desired results.

          Slap it. Shoot it. Kaboot it.

          by adios on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 12:10:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The Republicans have (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hesiod, laker

          buckled on the extensions every time.

          5 times over the last two years, in fact.

          and that's not including the fact that they couldn't even keep the anonymous holds that only require one GOP senator.

          The public pressure was too much.

          It's literally the only thing that the Media bashes the GOP over the head for, since the optics of it are SO bad.

          they were also starting to back down on tax cuts for the rich before the Dems started saying that they would negotiate. Boehner himself said that if all he could get was the tax cut for the middle class, he would vote for it.

          •  And Obama saying he couldn't get them to budge... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            laker, jeopardydd

            ...was the biggest joke in this whole drama. Of course not! He told them ahead of time that he was going to cave into tehir demands! So, all he was looking for was a fig leaf to sell the Democrats in Congress.

            The only reason he got ANYTHING in return was because the Democrats in Congress balked, and insisted he get a lot more than just making the tax cuts temporary.

        •  Republicans won't budge because (0+ / 0-)

          they never have to.  The Democrats are always there to do their dirty work for them, tie up loose ends, normalize, and finally take the blame whenever necessary.

          Republicans can sit like grand pashas on their brittle, failed (if anyone's paying attention -- lord knows Obama isn't) policies and agenda, secure in the knowledge that the Democrats will never, ever force them to stand alone for anything in the electoral arena.

          From torture to wildly unpopular tax cuts for the wealthy, one thing is certain for Republicans:  Big-Boy Pants(tm) Democrats have their back.

          Please don't feed the security state.

          •  They won't budge because Obama said he would cave (0+ / 0-)

            ...before they even started negotiating. Why in teh world would they budget at all under those circumstances?

          •  Obama could (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            laker

            have made Republicans eat unemployment insurance, in the process redeeming the 'center' a little bit while making the fascists squirm, and rightly so.

            Instead, he let them off the hook and further ensconced the regressive ideal of screwing workers over without political consequence.

            Obama could have made the Republicans stand alone on wildly unpopular taxcuts for the wealthy.  

            Instead, he took Republicans off that hook, put himself on it and paid further Democratic homage and obeisance to (failed and stinking if anyone is paying attention) Reagan Revolution ideology.

            These are not the actions of a politician trying change things, trying to illuminate, trying to serve his constituency, or trying to win.  

            These are the actions of a stooge.

            Please don't feed the security state.

  •  Here's what I don't understand (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hesiod, DRo

    Why is it that President Obama thought it would be easier to get a deal through where the Republican minority would be responsible for providing a majority of the votes? He could have gotten a far more likely to pass and significantly better deal if he had gone with the strategy of getting all of the Democratic votes and only a handful of Republicans (Snowe, Collins, Brown, Lugar, etc). And he would have avoided pissing off his entire base.

    Barack Obama 2008: Yes, we can! Barack Obama 2010: Yes, I'll cave.

    by darthpi on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:50:38 AM PST

    •  only need 41 Repubs to filibuster (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      laker

      which leads to the question, why haven't senate dems fixed the filibuster requirement?

      We should always look at censorship as an economic signal that reveals the potential power of speech in that jurisdiction.- Julian Assange

      by whitewidow on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 12:22:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Even Ebeneezer Scrooge would be ebarrassed. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimreyn, DRo
  •  That's all? (4+ / 0-)

    The estate tax provision is the main thing they want changed?

    I hope they don't make a deal where some relatively minor things are changed to get their votes.  That would mean this push back is all Kabuki.

  •  I'd say use Democrat's pressure to improve... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zonk

    ...the deal.  I have no objection to forcing concession from the Republicans.

    What I have a problem with is this constand din of "Obama sucks".  Really?  Did he just agree to continue all the cuts permanently?  Did he not get any concessions from the GOP leadership himself?

    The problem is, everybody's measuring progress from the imagined best results, not from the outcome that accompanies the failure of negotiations.  If that's your starting point, no negotiations that give up anything succeed, and anybody who tries it is a turncoat.

    You can't get something for nothing, and negotiating the Republicans into extending jobless benefits in this political climate is not something to be scoffed at, much less negotiating them away from permanent rich tax cuts.

    I'd say, squeeze the Republicans on this, wring some extra concessions, then get the damn thing passed.

    From there, we make the point that we fought for the Middle Class, poor and unemployed, while the Republicans fought for their side.

    Attacking our own leadership for negotiation of a tough situation is political suicide, which all too many people here are willing to do in the name of purity and pride.  Real progressive policymaking requires tough decisions and tough negotiations in a Democracy.  We can't just force things by fiat.

    The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

    by Stephen Daugherty on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:54:00 AM PST

    •  Improve it enough (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ssgbryan

      to lose your new Republican friends in the Senate.

    •  If he extends them now (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ssgbryan, schnecke21, laker, jeopardydd

      what makes you think he won't extend them during an election year? He has effectively made them permanent, unless you are assuming he changes into a completely different personality in 2 years.

      If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: "President Can't Swim." - LBJ

      by bay of arizona on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 12:04:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Heh (0+ / 0-)

      I swear I posted below before reading your post :-)

      But yeah - hey - get a better deal.  Great.  I'll be happy to eat crow and be astounded.

      Hell, I'll even offer up the kudos if you get fairly meaningless kubuki-style improvements.

      But like I said below, you break it, you bought it.

      I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

      by zonk on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 12:10:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  But we just didn't (0+ / 0-)

      "squeeze the republicans" at all.  Bigtime.

      Squeezing would have entailed making Republicans put up or shut up on their threats to UI.  Instead Obama granted them their dumbass teabag purity while letting them skate.

      Squeezing would have meant leaving the Republicans high, dry, and all alone on the foundering SS Reaganomics with their regressive, wildly unpopular tax cut for the wealthy.

      Instead, Obama is blowing up the kiddie pool and toting water for them.

      To make the deal better, how about not coddling the Republicans in the first place?

      Please don't feed the security state.

  •  13 months of UI for 2 years of fat cat tax cuts? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jimreyn, geez53, schnecke21, laker

    The durations ought to be at least equal, or better yet reversed entirely, since UI costs a mere fraction of those abhorrent tax cuts.  It seems stupid to me that Obama would willingly arrange for a tax cut fight to loom in the culminating months of the 2012 presidential campaign, especially since we know he'll just cave on it directly or else obfuscate what ought to be a clear, politically popular progressive position behind typically dreadful Democratic messaging.  

    I am completely boggled at the idea that our Democratic president, who retains Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, has written his own party out of this debate and thrown in with Republicans who A) wish to do him harm, and B) are even less interested in good governance than Democrats.  

  •  And what does the other side think? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adios, ferment, DRo

    Not that I'd post a link, but Rush Limbaugh is pissed. He says he is tired of the GOP's getting bullied and pushed around by Barack Obama. (I am not making this up.) He thinks the GOP got screwed. He can't believe the GOP didn't hold out for five weeks UI extension. He's pissed the GOP let the tax cuts for the rich get kicked down the road where the Democrats will get to attack the cuts again. The only thing that makes him happy is that we're pissed. He compares it to when the GOP was pissed with Bush I over raising taxes. He likes that.

    Well, it makes you wonder, as my eighth grade science teacher used to say about hurricanes and how many of them they had in Castro's Cuba.

    •  "The only thing that makes him happy .. (0+ / 0-)

            .. is that we're pissed."

      That, and a big bottle of Oxycontin™.

      Slap it. Shoot it. Kaboot it.

      by adios on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 12:05:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Limbaugh's entire shtick is manufactured outrage (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      archer070, laker

      He doesn't actually believe 80% of what he says.  But he needs to talk angry constantly to maintain or increase his audience.  Plus, this is not the time for him to present Obama as a weak prez who is giving the Republicans what they want, not when 2012 elections are around the corner - he needs people to turn out eager to vote out the kenyan muslim black socialist who is destroying the country.  That meme doesn't work if he's gloating about Obama giving the Republicans what they want.

      And Limbaugh's supposed anger is useful for the Republicans, to try to obscure the reality that's been otherwise exposed by Norquist's open glee at this deal.  The relative silence of the right-wing noise machine was being noted.

    •  Let him be pissed. Let him further... (0+ / 0-)

      ...fuck up the Republican Party's dysfunctional politics.  If they can't get a tax cut passed, they're going to run around screaming with their hair on fire.

      The GOP: The Party of Failure. Pass it on.

      by Stephen Daugherty on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 01:16:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  One thing is for sure, the emboldened (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    adios

    house minority is taking full advantage of their new capitulation momentum. Just scuttled the mine safety bill despite large majority support for it. So miners will continue to be murdered in the name of corporate profit and share holder value.

    "I request the yeas and nays" on '250th Anniv. of Greek Battle Marathon'?!? Yep, it's Waterloo time in the house.

  •  Available "Plays" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whitewidow, ursoklevar

    The only play we have right now is agitation in support of the Democratic members of Congress opposing the deal.

    Those of us who live in red districts have the additional possibility of urging our Republican Congresspeople to oppose this deal.

    "I trust that you will continue to let me and other Democrats know when you believe we are screwing up." - Barack Obama

    by GreenSooner on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:55:07 AM PST

  •  One can only hope (0+ / 0-)
    That the Democratic tweeks, causes enough indigestion on the part of the conservatives in the Republican caucus in the Senate to sink the fucking thing.
  •  Comment of the year: (5+ / 0-)

    "I disagree that we didn't get anything," Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) deadpanned to his colleagues. "We got screwed."

    "When I was an alien, cultures weren't opinions" ~ Kurt Cobain, Territorial Pissings

    by Subterranean on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:57:09 AM PST

  •  OT, but exciting: SpaceX succeeds in recovering (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lisastar

    Dragon after 2 orbits and Pacific splashdown.

    It's the first time a private company has launched a payload into orbit and returned it successfully to earth.

    Congrats all around!

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:57:11 AM PST

  •  Obey is my Congressman (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ssgbryan, adios, lisastar, geez53

    I can tell he's pissed that his seat is going to get filled by a Republican in January (he retired and Julie Lassa, the Democrat, lost in the red tide that hit WI this year).

    Go Obey for telling it like it is.

    "This machine kills fascists." -Woody Guthrie

    by SocialPunk on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 11:57:13 AM PST

  •  Question for the Dem Congresspersons (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    A Runner

    who are now speaking out.

    Why didn't you get something done before this?? This cluster is because you all couldn't get your collective asses together on Saturday.  Now you complain?  Now you speak up?  

  •  Didnt asshole GOPers learn anything from Dickens? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ssgbryan, whitewidow, JTinDC

    The whole point of A Christmas Carol is that Ebenezzer Scrooge is a greedy old bastard who cares more about his money than people -- and exploits his employees, treats them like garbage, and pays them a pittance.

    This is such a great sin, that his dead partner comes back to hauint him as a Ghost and he is edumacated by the three spirits of Christmas -- Past, Present and Future.

    Millions of presumably God fearing conservative Republicans see this story every year on TV screens, and videos several times. Yet, they never seem to learn the lesson. Ever.

    They continue to be greedy old assholes who say fuck the poo and who love to exploit workers and bust unions.

    •  A Christmas Carol while seasonally timely is but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hesiod

      one of a plethora of stories where the antagonist is a wealthy, powerful figure who is despised by society at large and is usually defeated or won over. But those are just stories, fairy tales, written by authors and beloved by audiences who have a sense of decency.

      In the real world, Scrooges have no sense of decency therefore they cannot be won over. So they must be defeated.

      Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

      by JTinDC on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 12:15:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Scrooge and the GOP (0+ / 0-)

      The final lesson of A Christmas Carol is that Scrooge was changed into a compassionate and generous person. The modern day Scrooges see themselves as the transformed Scrooge, not as the original personification of greed. In fact, some of them claim that "Greed is Good." A Christmas Carol did not end the abuses of capitalism any more than Uncle Tom's Cabin ended slavery.

  •  So the estate tax thingy is air cover (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whitewidow

    for the Dems to kill the bill?

    Will that message be heard over the gop message that the Dems raised everyones taxes, assuming the bill fails?

    Sausage making IS ugly indeed!

  •  Death Tax - A Good Line In The Sand (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whitewidow, geez53, DRo

    The GOP can claim that the over $250,000 income tax reduction will create jobs (I don't buy it) but how do they defend the estate tax $68 billion over the next two years? According to David Leonhardt that money would buy:

    •As much deficit reduction as the elimination of earmarks, President Obama’s proposed federal pay freeze, a 10 percent cut in the federal work force and a 50 percent cut in foreign aid — combined.

    •A tripling of federal funding for medical research.

    •Universal preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds, with relatively small class sizes.

    •A much larger troop surge in Afghanistan, raising spending by 60 percent from current levels.

    •A national infrastructure program to repair and upgrade roads, bridges, mass transit, water systems and levees.

    •A 15 percent cut in corporate taxes.

    •Twice as much money for clean-energy research as suggested by a recent bipartisan plan.

    •Free college, including room and board, for about half of all full-time students, at both four- and two-year colleges.

    •A $500 tax cut for all households.

    Just how misguided are the rank and file GOP?  Please get me my tin-foil hat...

  •  I wonder if the estate tax is a distraction (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whitewidow

    I hope Democrats don't just hang their hats on that one tax and allow the rest of the abomination to pass. The WH is shrewd and it wouldn't be surprising if they put that in there as a sacrificial lamb in order to allow some Dems to claim a hollow victory to pass the rest of this bullshit. NO WAY! NO HOW! Don't fall for this bullshit! The whole thing stinks!

  •  I wonder if there's any chance of removing the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whitewidow

    payroll tax holiday from the deal. That concerns me as much as anything. It's just another step towards eventually ending SS.

    Ds see human suffering and wonder what they can do to relieve it. Rs see human suffering and wonder how they can profit from it.

    by JTinDC on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 12:02:00 PM PST

  •  calling calling calling in WA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dinazina

    McDermott is against it, Inslee looks to be too.
    Can only leave msg for Murray and Cantwell.
    Doubling calls to Pelosi. Schumer, Reid, the WH, Sanders, etc.

    Screw Larry Summers.

    Yeah, I'm pitchfork mad like that.

    by lisastar on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 12:02:19 PM PST

  •  Sorry Moondance... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo

    The President caved in the name of bipartisanship, and chose to go his own way on this, and is now blaming progressives for the noise we are making.

    You go right ahead and keep talking the OFA line.  Not buying it this time.

    Oh, and the horse you rode in on.

  •  With all that dry powder... (0+ / 0-)

    I have to wonder if the dry powder we've been told we need to keep by this administration will ever be used for anything other than beating up on progressives.

  •  Diary hijack, with some practical advice (0+ / 0-)

    that may or may not be of any possible use in this War Against Ourselves in an age where Futilitarianism has become manifest:

    Practical Idealism

    Those who say something can't be done shouldn't interfere with those actually doing it.
    Unknown

    Idealistic goals may get dismissed as noble, but not practical. Idealism can be admirable when striving toward a lofty goal, but an oversimplified agenda may be disruptive if based on a limited understanding of the problem, or the means of solving the problem. We can accept that some things exist right now, but we don't have to accept them as inevitable, necessary or desirable. Don't give up on the ideal as an ultimate end. It might not be instantly available, but think of the "practical limits" as obstacles requiring long-term effort. Before settling, consider:

       * Do unmet needs require immediate action?
       * What are the consequences of not acting now?
       * Can controversial sections be considered separately?
       * Could there unintended or irreversible consequences?
       * How easily can changes be made later?
       * Does a compromise get you closer to your ideal goal?

    Practical Idealism: A Compromising Solution

    Should you accept something undesirable as a condition of getting something else you want? Mutual back-scratching shouldn't involve anything sharp or pointy. If both sides are giving up something in exchange for something they don't want, try to separate the issues. Holding one issue hostage by linking it to an unrelated issue in the name of compromise might not serve everyone's best interests. Don't make it about winning, especially if others are affected by the decision.

    The Answer Is ...

    Finding a reasonable, appropriate solution isn't always easy (see "The Committee's Camel"). If the problem involves people with strong emotional reactions, it could be better to leave the decision to others who can be more objective, or at least allow a "cooling off" period before making a substantial commitment. Delegating the problem solely to experts may also have disadvantages (see "When Scientists Disagree"). When developing options, some questions to consider are:

       * What final result do you want?
       * How will you know when you've got the result you want?
       * Once you've got it, what will you do with it?
       * What intermediate signs will indicate likely success or failure?
       * How easily can you switch to an alternate plan?
       * Is your situation typical? If not, what are the distinguishing circumstances?
       * How have others approached similar problems, and would you be satisfied with their result?
       * Is the proposed solution appropriate for everyone in your situation?
       * What differing circumstances would make an alternate solution a better choice?
       * What could happen if everyone (including those who don't like you) adopted your solution?
       * What could go wrong along the way?
       * What will others be doing while you're implementing your solution?
       * What are the "unknowns"?
       * Could a slower, incremental solution reduce unknowns, or allow better control along the way?
       * If the final outcome depends on certain assumptions, how certain are you that those assumptions are correct?
       * What are the objections to your proposed solution?
       * Who will cooperate, or help you achieve your desired goal?
       * Who could work against you?
       * How dependent are you on help from others?
       * How vulnerable are you to hindrance from others?

    It's not always easy to know what someone really wants, as people sometimes ask for a potential means to an end rather than the end itself. When someone says they need more money, they probably want whatever it is they intend to spend the money on, and even that could be just a means to the real goal. Money could be a means to buy a car, which would be reliable transportation to a job. A bus pass or car pool might provide adequate transportation at a much lower cost. It's important to know what you really want, and how you will measure progress toward your true goal. Objective measurement along the way could provide new information and might reveal flaws that need correcting.

    Your problem probably isn't unique. Learn from the experiences and mistakes of others. Specific circumstances vary, but a careful examination of the differences can be useful in finding a solution that's close enough.

    Imagine yourself being the one giving advice, with everyone adopting your solution and possibly using it against you. Carefully consider the qualifications you might place on your recommended solution, and specific circumstances that might require an alternate solution.

    If the problem is adversarial, you'll need a way to monitor what others are doing. The situation is likely to change as your opponents implement their solution, so constant reevaluation becomes extremely important. As you might need assistance from others, it's a good idea to evaluate the situation from the position of your associates and consider the conditions under which they might withhold support, or even change sides.

    People love to criticize and find faults. Sometimes it's just nitpicking for the sake of argument, but it could also be a source of free research. Don't be too quick to dismiss opposition, especially from someone you may need later.

    If more than one person is involved, are they all equally responsible? Is it reasonable or necessary to treat everyone involved the same way?

    Focus on the goal, not your proposed solution. People sometimes become attached to a specific solution and lose sight of the ultimate goal. Whenever something changes, or more information becomes available, it's usually worthwhile to reevaluate the solution and the goal. When implementing a specific solution, try to provide enough flexibility to transition to an alternate solution if necessary. The solution to a problem should be a process, not an end in itself. People often claim that "right" is on their side, but a more helpful question may be, "Am I on the side of 'right'?"

    Taken (with added emphasis) from one of those squishy egghead blogs:  http://www.professortangent.org/...

    Where there are some other bits of wisdom and saccharine to guide one's thoughts and actions...

    "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

    by jm214 on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 12:05:24 PM PST

  •  Did anybody hear Sherrod Brown on Maddow? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Subterranean

    I keep on hearing people say that Pres. Obama can't control congress. Well, he's the leader of the executive branch, and he's also the leader of our party.
    If he had wanted a better, different deal would he not have sent Biden to drum up a game plan for a fight instead of sending him to sell this shit sandwich to the legislature?
    So the assholes who've been calling him a Marxist and a resident alien are his "friends across the aisle" and I'm now a sanctimonious purist. I'm not looking for purity, I'm looking for a Democratic leader who thinks that a progressive tax policy and social security are worth going to the wall over.

    "The kid in the combat gear is dead because the men in the suits failed."-me

    by porchdog1961 on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 12:06:43 PM PST

  •  Screw it, I'm just getting the popcorn out (0+ / 0-)

    If it so happened that my vote was the cloture vote, I'd still take the deal - but it's become increasingly obvious that this isn't going to come down to one - it's likely to implode without there even being a vote.

    So be it.

    I sincerely hope - and I really do mean it - that the PCC, Sanders, etc can get a better deal.  I really do -
    if you can, I'll happily and readily post a "congratulations - you were right, I was wrong."  Again - in all sincerity, I'd love to be wrong.

    I just hope everyone remembers a couple of things...

    First - you're going to own the result.  Call it sleazy, call it lack of leadership -- but the Obama administration is going to come out of the dust with a "Get out of Jail" card.   Forget that DeMint and other baggers have now jumped on board the "NO DEAL!" bandwagon - Sanders and the progressives went first.  Again - it's sleazy, but DeMint and company likewise played it well... they get to crow to their base about sticking to principle, while getting the nifty "they killed it first" shield against the middle.  

    You'd better prepared with a backup PR strategy if the gambit fails - because "Chamberlain", to the masses - ain't gonna cut it.  They'll just want to know who's responsible for their taxes going up - and they'll be looking for someone to blame.

    Second - while I'm aware the House starts the process, you still need the Senate... and you're counting on Mary Landrieu?  

    I don't support this bill enough to bother calling in support of it, so I guess I'll give you that (I don't oppose it enough to join the calls in opposition, either).

    It's Pottery Barn time - you break it, you bought it... I'm just saying that in the end, if it stays broken - you're going to need something better than "Chamberlain" to tell people that have absolutely zero use for ideological warfare.  

    I guess everyone's got their own blog now.

    by zonk on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 12:07:15 PM PST

  •  Bless Ackerman! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ssgbryan

    I like the flowers in his lapel, and I LOVE this:

    "I disagree that we didn't get anything," Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) deadpanned to his colleagues. "We got screwed."

    -7.62, -7.28 "Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly." -Langston Hughes

    by luckylizard on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 12:14:22 PM PST

  •  Van Hollen is an idiot and entirely (0+ / 0-)

    full of shit

  •  FICA (0+ / 0-)

    It's disturbing to me how little is said about the FICA cut. It's being disingenuously referred to as a "payroll tax" but its FICA, good old Social Security. I imagine many Americans don't even understand that this is the foot in the door to weaken and make Social Security easier to dismantle. Social Security is not insolvent now, but this cut will help make it insolvent and thought they say it's only temporary, as we have all seen through this debate, temporary tax cuts are hard to get rid of. This lack of discussion on FICA proves to me once again that the Democrats, even the better ones, just don't get it. This is a huge long-term win for republicans who want to dismantle Social Security and the American middle class.

    Using my free speech while I still have it. http://www.ellenofthetenth.blogspot.com/

    by ebgill on Wed Dec 08, 2010 at 12:44:14 PM PST

  •  HAPPY NAFTA DAY ! (0+ / 0-)

    On a different note, Happy NAFTA day. Yup it was on this day, December 8, 1993 that the plan originated by Republicans, was placed on the books by good ol Democratic William Clinton.

    That was back in time, before we ever heard that giant sucking sound. But hey it was bi-partisan too.

  •  This whole deal will go through (0+ / 0-)

    because of the mushy middle in Congress who are, ahem, corruptionally challenged. They know which side their bread is buttered on. And it's not your side.

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