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Woohoo! Democrats get unemployment benefits extended! How can anyone think the Republicans are losing? There is no Rope-A-Dope.  Lawrence O'Donnell may be dumber than Jane Hamsher. Republicans have won the framing. They're winning the battles. And the way things stand now, they may win the war. It's all about the debt and the deficit. Ratings agencies warn that if the deficit isn't reduced by the 4 Trillion Dollar magic number, the credit rating of the United States will be donwgraded.  

They're negotiating on their terms. Mitch McConnell came up with a face-saving out for the Republicans, which is all cuts and no revenues, while 'compromising' on raising the debt ceiling.

But that wasn't good enough, so Harry Reid, the helpful foot soldier, stepped in to help McConnell make it better for Republicans, essentially taking the Biden Talks proposals, and appointing a commission to look for even more cuts. But not revenues.

But that's apparently not good enough because it doesn't inflict enough pain on the poor and the middle class, so now there is another fallback plan. And how does this get sold to Democrats? By giving them something that they should already have anyway, something that should not need to be negotiated, something that should never be a bargaining chip in the first place.

Republicans refuse to consider tax increases or revenues, or loophole closing, or anything you want to call it. Boehner and Cantor both go to their caucuses and come back with the same answer - no deal. So, of course, let's find a way to get the Democrats to agree to what the Republicans say:

Now, it seemed odd that McConnell would unveil a plan Dems could support, only to have Harry Reid make it deliberately worse. As I understand it, though, Reid is principally concerned with crafting an agreement that can pass. The odds of “Clean McConnell” quickly passing the House are awful, so the Reid/McConnell discussions are about threading the partisan needle.

And how to get Democrats to vote for it? Why, give them something they would have, or should have already had anyway:

And what about Dems, who aren’t likely to approve of a Plan B that includes $1.5 trillion in cuts but nothing in the way of new revenue? Rumor has it the plan will include a few sweeteners for the left, including a possible extension of unemployment benefits, while shielding entitlements from the list of cuts.

The President is still pushing for increased revenues.

(If this diary seems disjointed it's because I hit publish before I intended to and then meant to delete and start over but there were already comments.  The edit function does not work properly in my browser).

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 10:30:02 AM PDT

  •  Some of us aren't addicted to disaster porn (12+ / 0-)

    and might be a little better than most at recognizing strategy. No biggie, really, it's kinda always been that way. Also, calling Lawrence O dumb may have just discredited your entire argument. I mean, really, the man wrote legislation for bob's sake.

    This comment may not be reproduced or excerpted on other sites without my express written permission.

    by psilocynic on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 10:32:29 AM PDT

  •  Gee, I dunno (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKSinSA, psilocynic, Deep Texan, jgnyc

    I don't usually watch TV, but sat down to watch a DVD last night and caught the beginning of the evening news.

    The "spin" on the day's events wasn't pretty ...for Republicans.  Call me crazy, but I don't think middle America really appreciates watching the economy being but in jeopardy just so that a bunch of private jet owners can keep their pork barrel tax breaks.

    •  The actual deal - (5+ / 0-)

      Republicans get spending cuts including possible ones to the safety nets.

      Democrats get no tax revenues or increases. They get - unempoyment benefits extended. Woohoo!

      "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

      by eXtina on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 10:37:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My standard isn't the evening news (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But what's being done to help working Americans.  And on that score, aside from the possibility of another extension for unemployment benefits, I see nothing in this deal or being done elsewhere in Washington that will help get Americans back to work.  

      Good press is good press, but in the grand scheme of things it doesn't amount to much.  Especially if the only way the President finally gets some good press is by embracing right-wing memes.  

      I guess this type of thinking - which just a couple years ago seemed to define what being a "progressive" was about now qualifies as "disaster porn?"

      Every generation thinks it's the end of the world. Wilco, Wilco (The Album)

      by Prismatique on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 11:03:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's the MSM frame: (7+ / 0-)

    "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 Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 10:34:25 AM PDT

  •  actually its the debt that is required to be (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, MKSinSA

    decreased by x amt for the ratings agencies ... i.e. so it would ibnclude long term interest savings on lower debt payments

    dont know where the threat of 4 trill reduction from the ratings agencies came from

  •  Please edit diary title? Please? n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    psilocynic, eXtina, MKSinSA

    "This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it." -- Keith Olbermann

    by allergywoman on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 10:40:26 AM PDT

  •  because Obama's talking about "out years" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKSinSA, eXtina

    meaning we must fix this deficit to prevent the bond vigilantes and confidence fairies from attacking us when we become Greece-ized in 2022 or whenever. Because all the players know this is purely politics, there is no EU to take us to task, Obama is arguing for changes in the out years that fix the graph - because letting the Bush/Obama tax cuts expire would also fix the graph but cough whatever - without sacrificing our ability to "win the future" - a phrase which will kill people if it's a drinking game next year.

    A commission to force a vote next year during primary season is good, maybe great, politics. Yes he's arguing on their terms, that's who he is and they control the House. But he's arguing for kicking the can down the road, my read was he wants elections between us and shared pain, while saying he doesn't want to kick the can down the road.

    But if the Republicans don't get to cause serious starvation amongst the formerly middle class before Nov 2012 then they've lost this round and have had to basically take the Ryan budget vote again next year.

    Could be wrong. No deal yet. We shall see.

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 10:55:04 AM PDT

  •  Amen! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jethrock, eXtina

    I can't comprehend O'Donnell's mindset.

    Though I will say this -- despite all his missteps, Obama and the Democrats could have won due to the overreaching and hubris of the Republicans, especially in the House.  McConnell did surrender -- he essentially gave Obama control of the debt ceiling without any conditions, no cuts, nothing.  

    And Obama walked away from it!  I don't see how any Obama supporter can any longer claim that he suckered the Republicans, or is playing 11th-dimensional chess, or any other excuse.  He could have gotten a clean debt extension, which is what he said he wants, and he walked away from it.  

    Digby's right -- Obama WANTS entitlement cuts and cuts to discretionary spending.  He thinks it will help him politically, and evidently doesn't give a damn about the policy and the people he will hurt.  How pathetic it is that a Democratic President is going to accomplish what the Republicans have been unable to do for 70 years -- dismantle the New Deal and the Great Society.  What may be even more pathetic -- and certainly ironic -- is that this not only won't help Obama politically, it will kill him and the Democrats for years to come.

    "[W]e shall see the reign of witches pass over . . . and the people, recovering their true spirit, restore their government to its true principles." Jefferson

    by RenMin on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 10:55:36 AM PDT

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

      It wasn't bad enough for Democrats so Harry Reid had to step in and 'renegotiate' the deal with McConnell to inflict more pain for the middle class.

      Though I will say this -- despite all his missteps, Obama and the Democrats could have won due to the overreaching and hubris of the Republicans, especially in the House.  McConnell did surrender -- he essentially gave Obama control of the debt ceiling without any conditions, no cuts, nothing.  

      And Obama walked away from it!

      "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

      by eXtina on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 11:03:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There is a game being played. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Both sides are playing by different rules.

    Just like any game, the play of a true Gamemaster looks pretty incomprehensible to those on the sidelines.

    Let's take football, for instance.

    You sit in the stands and spend the game listening to those around you, critiquing the strategy on the field, hoping to sound like they have as clue as to what is going on on the field.

    Any strategic position can be questioned at the time, but only in hindsight can one state whether it was genius, or foolishness or even pure dumb luck, that resulted in an undesirable or desirable outcome.

    The folks making the calls are there for a reason.

    I, for one, prefer the luxury of rating the calls in the clear unobstructed vantage point that only Monday morning can present.

    In other words, the outcome may be quite different than what you might expect from the sidelines.

    I think we should wait and see, before we assume the game is lost.

    "As God is my witness, I thought wingnuts could fly."

    by Niniane on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 10:58:52 AM PDT

    •  Could you describe a scenario (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      based on what we know at this moment?

      At this moment, democrats get no revenues. Republicans get 2 trillion in cuts. Democrats 'get' UI extension. How does this go backwards from here? The McConnell secret plan was the Hail Mary (to use your analogy) and they dropped it.

      "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

      by eXtina on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 11:02:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why have you accepted the Republican (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        spin on the proceedings?

        How the hell did we let them make this about "more revenues vs. budget cuts"?

        Do you realize how that plays into their cherished fairy tale of "Fiscally responsible Conservatives" vs. "Tax and Spend Liberals"?

        We have to lower the debt.
        Or bad things will happen.

        We have to raise the debt ceiling.
        If we don't, bad things will likely happen.

        The two are symptoms of the same disease(s), and while they appear similar, are completely independent of each other.

        Raising the ceiling has to happen regardless of whether we actually do anything to lower the present or long term debt.

        The two are not linked, in any way, shape or form, except to give warm fuzzies to a bunch of scared,  election-year voters.

        Deal with the ceiling.

        Then deal with the debt.
        Quid Pro Quo.
        No new "revenues" (let's cut the shit, and call it what it is, when you say "revenues" you mean  increased taxes on the wealthy), then no budget cuts.
        But we have to make damn sure that everyone knows that every dollar of new taxes and every dollar of  budget cuts goes to pay offset the deficit, or pay down the debt, period.
        That's fiscal responsibility.

        Or, we can all work together, and increase revenues by reclaiming lost jobs, lost industries, and lost opportunity.

        That's called prosperity.
        That works too.


        "As God is my witness, I thought wingnuts could fly."

        by Niniane on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 11:33:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I politely disagree (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Big picture; I think we are in the process of watching the very public disintegration of the republican party.

    The interests of Wall Street the 'Real Owners of the Republican Party,' and the tea-republicans are at polar opposites of one another. The two faction are turning on each other trying to capture the power and the soul of the party.

    And when the Real Owners assert their power and nominate Mitt Romney, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see one or even two third party presidential candidates popping up from the repub side.

    President Obama and the Dems, while not even close to perfect, will look adult and sane by comparison.

    I ask him if he was warm enough? "Warm," he growled, "I haven't been warm since Bastogne."

    by Unrepentant Liberal on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 11:26:41 AM PDT

    •  And yet, it looks very much like any (0+ / 0-)

      deal that will result from all these negotiations, is very likely to favor the Republicans, including the Tea Party, because they are getting spending cuts and we are getting no tax increases or revenue increases.

      "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

      by eXtina on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 11:30:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sometimes I think (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    its better to start at the middle of the comments and skip the b*ll at the top.

    If peace is to prevail we all have to become foes of violence.

    by spacejam on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 01:33:46 PM PDT

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

    and Democrats who allegedly support them...have all been pretty much reduced to...defending Social Security and Medicare, two of the most successful government-run programs not just in U.S., but in world history.

    Republicans have even "come out of the closet." Now, they don't even seem to pretend to hide from the fact that they simply want to kill off Social Security and Medicare (although, as usually, they deceptively call their plans to kill them off "reform." And, oddly enough whenever our local Mis-representative in Washington refers to her support for those plans to kill off Social Security and Medicare as "reform" the local news media go along with it and, like a bunch of sheep, refer to her Social Security "reform" support, despite that it is anything but.

    The bottom line: the Republicans seem to be winning on all fronts...from access to unlimited amounts of political slush fund money from corporations thanks to five of the most corrupt Supreme Court Injustices in American much everything else.

    When we progressives have been pretty much reduced to having to defend Social Security and Medicare....that says it all to me as far as who is winning the propaganda wars. The Republicans must be simply chortling amongst themselves about virtually having their way with us progressives on issue after issue. And my suspicion is that their full blown assault on Social Security and Medicare...has only just begun.

  •  You're smarter than Lawrence O'Donnell? (0+ / 0-)

    Why does this remind me of a Seinfeld remark:

    "You're my latex salesman? I don't think so."

    O, it is excellent to have a giant's strength; but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant." --Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

    by Wildthumb on Thu Jul 21, 2011 at 10:39:40 AM PDT

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