Skip to main content

cat food

The Very Serious People seem to be Very Seriously Committed to Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson and their catfood commission. To the point that they continue to spread Very Serious Lies about that commission.
There was no report from President Obama's deficit commission. The rules under which the commission could issue a report were very clear. It had to have the support of 14 of the 18 members in a vote that took place by December 1, 2010. There was no vote taken by that date, although 12 of the 18 members did indicate their support for a report produced by the commission co-chairs, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, on December 2.

This means that there was no commission report. Therefore, when Dan Balz tells Washington Post readers about the recommendations of the deficit commission, he either has no clue what he is talking about or he is deliberately deceiving Washington Post readers. If he wants to be honest, he is welcome to refer to it as a report of the co-chairs and to even point out that the report had support of 12 of the 18 commissioners, but it is simply not accurate to describe it as a report of the commission.

It's not just Dan Balz and his buddy punditry. It's every politician who wants to sound Very Serious about the deficit, so that they can do things like raise the eligibility age for Medicare, or the retirement age for Social Security. But that doesn't mean it's not a lie.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  "Lies" is pretty strong. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poxonyou, hideinplainsight, Onomastic

    You are absolutely right about the report that wasn't and the recommendations that weren't. But since you can't get people in DC to agree on much of anything important these days, twelve of 18 isn't so bad. But in any event, so what? Let people point to whatever for their purposes; that doesn't make it any less catfood.

    Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

    by TRPChicago on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:27:04 AM PDT

  •  Goodness Gracious (7+ / 0-)

    Great Balz of Fire

    We agree our hair is on fire, we disagree with Paul Ryan's plan to use a sledgehammer to put out the fire

    by JML9999 on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:28:19 AM PDT

  •  I just refer to it as the "Non-Report" (7+ / 0-)

    When people say "huh?", it leads to some good conversations.

    Let's recall, though, that it's the Republicans like Paul Ryan who kept it from being adopted, so there's some cold comfort.

    My avatar shows what proportion want reps who compromise (shown in blue) or who stand fast no matter what (shown in green). Left is Overall; center is Democrats; right is Republicans.

    Therein lies the problem.

    by Seneca Doane on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:31:08 AM PDT

  •  Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain. (7+ / 0-)

    Personally, I'd call it "spin" instead of lies. But either way, it's not 100% accurate... intentionally so.

    During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.
    - George Orwell

    by HairyTrueMan on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:32:43 AM PDT

  •  When they really want to spin the cat food, they (6+ / 0-)

    call it "Obama's" Deficit Commission Report.

    Join us at the Amateur Radio Group. Serving the Left Side of the Dial since 2011.

    by briefer on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:35:21 AM PDT

  •  A report was never the main goal (8+ / 0-)

    Looking back on it... Pete Peterson and his acolytes in this administration wanted to make deficit reduction the great generational project for this crop of villagers.

    Mission accomplished... and let the rest, the most of us be damned.

    Whom do you blame more? The rattlesnake, or the bipartisan guy who put it in your sleeping bag?

    by chuckvw on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:39:06 AM PDT

  •  There you go with facts again. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poxonyou, hideinplainsight

    Just because the commission failed to do what it was supposed to do, does not mean they failed at... wait.

    Free Tibet!

    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. - Poor Richard's Almanac 1755
    The government exists to protect us from the thugs who got rich ripping off our ancestors. - Mungley 2011

    by mungley on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:39:54 AM PDT

  •  Doesn't really matter does it? (5+ / 0-)

    "Report", Recommendations", "Findings"........the bell has been [w]rung.

    Now go try and unring that sucker.

  •  At Some Point... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    At some point the rebublicans went from "Democrats aren't creating jobs" to "never mind the jobs, lets just pay off the debt with the money we do have and hopefully in the future the companies we gave tax credits to for creating jobs will come through."

    I'm not exactly sure what the date was when that turning point was.

    Sometime around the election, I think.

  •  Wow, all this talk about comparing the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    panel to catfood and nobody noticed that even a cat wouldn't want to eat it. That's some pretty god awful looking catfood in the can.

    Modern Conservatism isn't simply about them owning as much as possible; it's also about breaking anything they can't own.

    by ontheleftcoast on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:45:23 AM PDT

    •  Now you know cats don't care how bad it looks or (0+ / 0-)

      smells, if it comes out of a can mine just dive in.

      "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen auf das Vierte Reich! Sie Angelegenheit nicht mehr.

      by Bluefin on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 01:48:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I know. It always amazes me when Gwen Ifil (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worldlotus, deben

    allows Dan Balz to "hold court" on her pbs broadcast.

    She only has 30 minutes to "review" the week that was, and he manages to mislead her viewers during large chunks of that time, never being called out for his persistent inaccuracies.

    I'm really only posting  this in the off chance that someone from pbs might (maybe perhaps) be reading here.

    I do wish the name Dan BALZ appeared in the lede.

    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

    by Sybil Liberty on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:47:32 AM PDT

    •  The last time I watched Gwen Ifil's (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      psnyder, Bluefin, Simplify

      round table on PBS, Tom Delay had illegally gotten Bush's Dept of Homeland Security to chase after and try to arrest Democratic state legislators who had flown out of Texas.  The Dems there were trying to prevent a quorum to stop Repugs.

      Gwen's comment: [chuckling] "Boys will be boys."

      I wrote her a letter saying I'll remember that when they come to arrest you.

      ...the very last time I ever watched that "news" show.

      Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

      by deben on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:28:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I got the impression that Gwen Ifil and most of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the rest of PBS and NPR personnel went over to the dark side some time ago.
      I can't hardly watch or listen anymore, it's just a bad habit I gotta break.

      I'm still steaming from this mornings Diane Rehm show on "Update on Federal Debt Negotiations"; and then hearing Mara Liassons' crap on Social Security, etc., in the intro to Obama's talk today sent me over the edge.
      I've got some nice radios, I'm getting too damn close to busting one.

      "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen auf das Vierte Reich! Sie Angelegenheit nicht mehr.

      by Bluefin on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 01:59:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Our President did offer to raise the age for (0+ / 0-)

    Medicare to 67 from 65 as part of "the offering" to get a revenue increase, but the Republicans balked at that as well.  

    Research this if you don't believe me.

    What's next?  

    Hey Boehner and the Republicans: WHERE ARE THOSE JOBS YOU PROMISED????

    by LamontCranston on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:51:31 AM PDT

  •  No agreement from Catfood Commission.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hideinplainsight, shoeless, Bluefin

    and the strange requirement that 14 of 18 had to agree on the draft for it to become a "report" meant that the Commission's actual purpose was to show that...ready..

    The country is divided on Federal spending and revenues.

    And this is the President's way of "moving the ball forward?"

    Oooookaaaaayy. Got it. In fact, couldn't that money have been saved to start one innercity sports program where its needed instead of adding to Simpson and Bowles post-retirement legacy resume's? I dunno. Call me a pragmatist.

    I guess the American people really are Royalists and Monarchists who love to gaze at "Their Betters,"  at heart. Lets give MORE fame and exposure to people who already have had too much for not enough accomplishment.

    Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

    by OregonOak on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:52:05 AM PDT

  •  "Very Serious People" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    I know we don't live in a sane world, we live in a world where Paul Ryan is Very Serious because he usually manages to tie his shoes, but someone has to say it.
     - Atrios

    "Remember Bob. No fear, no envy, no meanness" Liam Clancy to Bob Dylan

    by BOHICA on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:52:12 AM PDT

  •  Technicality (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Written reports were issued by the commission cochairs. To be accurate, one could describe those reports as "unofficial", "noncompliant with the commission's charge in timing and votes". Whatever. A report exists.

    Because the commission didn't meet its deadline or required vote, the report stands equal to the several other deficit reduction recommendations floating out there. It's still a report.

    The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. -FDR

    by SoCalSal on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:59:36 AM PDT

    •  I wrote a report too. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      planmeister, Simplify, aliasalias

      To be accurate, one could describe my report as "unofficial." Whatever. It exists. It stands equal to the several other deficit reduction recommendations floating out there.  It's still a report.

      Here's the gist of my report:  Do not touch SS. Do not touch Medicare nor Medicaid benefits. Simply eliminate BigPharma's no negotiations clause on selling drugs.  Drastically raise taxes on the wealthy and on corporations.  Tax BigOil, BigFinance, and BigInsurance to death.  Cut the defense budget at least in half.  Spend the sudden new federal surplus to directly hire people.

      Sunday mornings are more beautiful without Meet the Press.

      by deben on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:44:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I like your report. (0+ / 0-)

        I also reallly like the recommendations from the Progressive Caucus, which have had only slightly more notice than has your report despite being from a group that has more broad recognition that your DK name.

        A report is a report, but the report made by the group with the most name recognition gets the most attention regardless its merits.

        The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. -FDR

        by SoCalSal on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:57:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Or they could say it had the support of all the (0+ / 0-)

    Commission members, including six elected officials, but not those elected officials who were worried about being re-elected.  

    No one will ever get serious about the deficit as long as they can use the public coffers to buy votes and get away with it.  

    Live for friendship, live for love, For truth's and harmony's behoof; The state may follow how it can

    by SpamNunn on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:59:39 AM PDT

  •  Let's not split hairs... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...on DailyKos.  We have enough to battle as it is.  Let's face it, the commission, though stacked, was bipartisan.  And while it didn't get the 14 votes that would have mandated its report become law by an up or down vote in Congress, it did get a two-thirds majority, which is certainly enough in my book to gain some right to persuasion.

    Which is not to say that I don't object to the entire report, as I object to the President's bizarre desire to move America to the right by caving to the Republicans.

    BUT:  the report did pass, it's a fact of life, and we aren't going to win any arguments by saying it only got 12 votes instead of 14.

    •  That's a game of law. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rick, Simplify, aliasalias

      Any kind of group has rules. For example, to be elected President you need a majority of the electoral college according to some rules laid out before hand.

      Even if you manage to get a majority of the vote, you have to go by the rules -- it would, for example, be a lie for someone to declare victory if they didn't actually get the electoral college majority.

      The game applies particularly to bureaucratic creations like this -- the folks who agreed to play their part in the game agreed because of the rules. If it hadn't been 14 by Dec 1, but rather 12 by Dec 2, the commission may never even have existed.

      It's not splitting hairs in conditions like this -- in fact, the committee as a committee didn't issue a report, but 12 individuals who had been members of the committee issued a joint report.

      In fact, the committee failed to issue a report. It's not "splitting hairs" to demand a unanimous verdict by a jury -- that's the rules, and there isn't a "fact of life" that a hung jury convicted someone.

      To let folks from the Repubs to the Obamaites to pull off that kind of crap -- to change the rules as they go along, given that they made up the rules that they failed to abide by, is to simply acquiesce.

      They're lying liars. Particularly folks who are "Constitutional Scholars" should know that it's precisely on technicalities that governmental process hangs.

  •  a fly on the wall (0+ / 0-)

    President Obama to John Boenher and Eric Cantor

    Come on right wing!...OK let's pull off the band-aid!  It'll hurt but not for long....calm down ....stop crying...I haven't done anything yet!

  •  Derailed again, on a nonissue. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and this is hardly a slow news day.l

    The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. -FDR

    by SoCalSal on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:01:54 PM PDT

  •  Obama is the one who trumpets it - it's his (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dillonfence, southof, Bluefin, aliasalias

    commission.  Alan Simpson was his choice (which shows where Obama's head is at).  It's clear as day at this point that we are heading where Obama wants to go.  He might be arguing over details with the GOP - which gives him a chance to draw lines in the sand and look all manly for the Chris Matthews and Ruth Marcus types out there - but this debate is heading where Obama the Grand Bargainer wanted to take it.

    He has defended this with far more vigor and excitement than anything progressive he had to work on.  

  •  GOP Boenher/Cantor is 2 minds of Scarlet O'Hara (0+ / 0-)

    Ashley...Rhett...Ashley...Rhett...Oh my! what's a girl to do!


    Obama! Big deal Tea Party! Little deal OOOOOOH What do I doooooo!

    Where's Eric?!

  •  Oh, the report is official alright.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Just because this bootleg album didn't get "official" release doesn't mean Barackstar Obama isn't kicking off his concerts with it. It's his version of "Start Me Up." It is CLEARLY informing Obama's thinking and the fingerprints of the report are all over his recent comments.

    Balz has made the correct link. If Obama doesn't disregard the unofficial results, why should anyone else?

  •  Eating catfood wouldn't save under Chained CPI. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Per Investopedia.

    The chain weighted CPI incorporates changes in both the quantities and prices of products. For example, let's examine clothing purchases between two years. Last year you bought a sweater for $40 and two t-shirts at $35 each. This year, two sweaters were purchased at $35 each and one t-shirt for $45.

    Standard CPI calculations would produce an inflation level of 13.64%
    ((1 x 35 + 2 x 45)/ (1 x 40 + 2 x 35)) =1.1364

    The chain weighted approach estimates inflation to be 4.55%
    ((2 x 35 + 1 x 45)/ (1 x 40 + 2 x 35)) =1.0455.

    Using the chain weighted approach reveals the impact of a customer purchasing more sweaters than t-shirts.

    So if old women tried to save by getting their protein from catfood, at the next COLA SS checks wold be adjusted downward to compensate for this savings.  

    Obama thinks of everything.

    •  Charming (0+ / 0-)

      Yes nothing like a vicious cycle.  The less you spend, the less you get, repeat again and again, I guess until you starve.  Bloody brilliant of them rich elites.

      "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

      by noofsh on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:37:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Catfood would be the new normal, and when that got (0+ / 0-)

      too expensive, while there's always "fasting" (good for the soul).

      They don't call it "chained" CPI for nothin.

  •  Catfood commission? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Whoever calls Bowles/Simpson the "catfood commission" hasn't seen the price of catfood lately.

    "If pro is the opposite of con, what is the opposite of Congress?" — Will Rogers

    by shoeless on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:18:26 PM PDT

    •  it's peas now, catfood is the occasional entree (0+ / 0-)

      with crusts of bread and plenty of fresh water middle class and poor americans should live til their economically productive years are over

      after that, who gives a shit anyway?

      blue dogs eat shit

      by wbgonne on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:43:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  F**K the catfood commission (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and any politician that acts as if they made recommendations.
    Enough of this crap.  Just pass a clean debt ceiling bill.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:36:23 PM PDT

  •  Once more with feeling = Buffy clip (link) (0+ / 0-)

    had to post this, u and or the dancing demon forced me


  •  "Bowles-Simpson Template", "Approach" (0+ / 0-)

    That's what it is being called on Charlie Rose Show interview with Senators Mark Warner of Mike Crapo.

    It might not be a report, but their ideas are being used by Senators and Congressmen.

    This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

    by Agathena on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 01:32:43 PM PDT

  •  Technically, you are right .... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    .... but practically, it doesn't really matter.

    Once that document "got out there" it has taken on a life of its own.  Every Wednesday I participate in an industry phone call that recently has covered the debt ceiling/budget debates.  In these calls it's absolutely clear that Bowles/Simpson, whatever its technical/legal status, placed some budget markers that are part of the current discussions -- and the guy running the phone call is a lobbyist fighting cuts to our area in the budget -- Medicare and Medicaid.

    So let's get our head out of the sand and realize that no matter its status, Bowles/Simpson is having a significant impact on the Federal debt ceiling/budget talks.

    "Equal rights for gays." Yeah, it's just that simple.

    by planmeister on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:24:15 PM PDT

  •  Thank you! (0+ / 0-)

    I start frothing at the mouth every time a clueless commentator talks about this non existent report.

  •  Robert Reich said it again on NPR today, (0+ / 0-)

    something about the commission's report being a good place to start. I'd prefer to start with reality myself, but that's just me.

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:25:22 PM PDT

  •  Obama lying isn't news (0+ / 0-)

    If he ever tells the truth, now that would be headline news.

    Also, Obama went out of his way to pick the most right wing, SS/Medicare/Medicaid hating people who have wanted to steal these programs blind for decades to head his cat food commission.

    Obama wanted someone saying he had to destroy and murder he poor, sick, disabled, elderly and he got just that. Now he's repeating the lies about his failed cat food commission.

    If you want to hear a real patriot and someone who cares about all Americans, not just 2% listen to Bernie Sanders. He spoke tonight on Ratigan.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site