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By now, we've all seen the headlines, both in the traditional media and here on the blogs.
The congressional “supercommittee” stumbled its way toward failure Sunday, with final staff-level discussions focusing mostly on how the panel should publicly admit that lawmakers could not meet their mandate of shaving $1.2 trillion from the federal debt.

Rather than making a final effort at compromise, members of the special deficit-reduction committee spent their final hours casting blame and pointing fingers [...]

Thinking human beings knew from the outset that this was doomed to "failure," if that's what this is, despite the fact that Washington's Pundit Class continued to believe that dividing the panel evenly was per se reasonable, and a formula for practically automatic seriousness and success. (This despite the previous failures of Gramm-Rudman-Hollings, the Simpson-Bowles Commission, the Reform Party, the Concord Coalition, Unity08, Americans Elect, etc., etc., etc.) But dividing things equally between economic saboteurs and, well, just about anyone else in the world, is really just a plan for dragging out the economic sabotage.

But one thing about this fiasco that has so far gone mostly unmentioned in the traditional media is that under the statute that created the Super Committee, missing the Nov. 23 deadline doesn't break up the band, nor does it absolve it of its charge. It only removes their "super" powers, that is, their ability to shield their bill from amendments and the filibuster—which, we might note, they were able to magically eliminate when they wanted to.

What's telling, to me, is that they're giving up and quitting now that the power is gone, even though the responsibility to produce a bill (if you're one of the people who thinks the sort of bill they were likely to produce would have been a responsible thing to do) still remains.

You see, being on the Super Committee simply isn't worth anything, anymore. Because the power is gone. They still technically exist as an entity until the end of January. They just won't try to do anything, because they're not magical and cool anymore.

What the Wise Men of Washington apparently thought they needed in order to "succeed" in this task was complete protection for their bill from any amendment, and from the filibuster in the Senate. In the case of the filibuster, that was something they earlier in the year declined to afford themselves, though it was clear even then that the 112th Congress would be defined by hostage situations enabled chiefly by the filibuster. (An intransigent majority in the House would be no help, but at least it was in fact a majority.)

What's most interesting to me about the outcome, though, is that once the Wise Men of Washington had given themselves the added advantage of setting the filibuster aside, they still produced nothing. There are many reasons for it, of course, but one I think should not be overlooked is that the continued existence of the filibuster at times gives legislators great comfort. Failures of all sorts, and in the face of allegedly great national import, can be blamed on the filibuster. "Well, I wanted to do the right thing, and I voted to do the right thing, but ... we just couldn't get 60 votes."

Among the many faults of the filibuster is that it distorts our ability to hold legislators accountable. If, going into a vote, everyone knows there's little or no chance of getting 60 votes in the upper chamber, the votes cast by representatives and senators alike are difficult to read, since they're all cast in a context in which no one really expects the bill to become law. It's an easy thing to vote to pacify certain constituencies at home by supporting a bill you're personally less than thrilled with if you know it isn't going anywhere. Similarly, it's easy to take a "bold" stance athwart history if you know "doing the right thing" won't get you anywhere, anyway.

So it's very interesting to me that even when the Very Serious People of Washington clear a pathway through the Conventional Wisdom for the Congress to take extraordinary measures to remove the menace of the filibuster, it still doesn't work. How strange that the Congress, stripped of the familiar shield of impenetrable process that usually deflects culpability in cases of failure and given the opportunity to take the tough votes openly and accountably, has opted not to produce any bill at all.

Originally posted to David Waldman on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 07:14 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (130+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dallasdoc, kestrel9000, Geekesque, Losty, Something the Dog Said, Gary Norton, Dr Colossus, JML9999, Kinak, Medium Head Boy, Throw The Bums Out, boadicea, fcvaguy, eXtina, bushondrugs, wytcld, maryabein, middleagedhousewife, We Won, RhodaA, Thinking Fella, JimWilson, jayden, absdoggy, blueoasis, On The Bus, Sychotic1, MKSinSA, sostos, lastlegslaststand, ratzo, yawnimawke, Robobagpiper, skillet, jnhobbs, joanneleon, Mimikatz, blue aardvark, Geenius at Wrok, DiegoUK, mikeconwell, jolux, BigOkie, karmsy, glitterscale, agnostic, Timaeus, bnasley, Amber6541, DamselleFly, prettygirlxoxoxo, The Hindsight Times, Doctor Who, bronte17, MKinTN, Pescadero Bill, Tinfoil Hat, lmnop, semiot, Chrisfs, implicate order, xanthippe2, Loudoun County Dem, TracieLynn, Actbriniel, JanetT in MD, dotsright, quill, cskendrick, GeorgeXVIII, Therapy, Cintimcmomma, radical simplicity, real world chick, shaharazade, ColoTim, filby, zedaker, divineorder, MichiganChet, malharden, Rumarhazzit, aliasalias, where4art, opinionated, bfbenn, Laughing Vergil, randallt, Mac in Maine, dksbook, 2laneIA, Arahahex, DWG, Egalitare, bythesea, tofumagoo, BarackStarObama, Sylv, mchestnutjr, Involuntary Exile, a2nite, speak2me, brooklynbadboy, Odysseus, happymisanthropy, cocinero, rlochow, allie123, pgm 01, davelf2, Mike Taylor, J M F, OnePingOnly, rasfrome, sherlyle, wdrath, Sacto Joe, OLinda, Brooke In Seattle, profh, Celtic Pugilist, petulans, Diebold Hacker, Lonely Liberal in PA, binkycat, No one gets out alive, kaliope, aitchdee, poorbuster, Zinman
  •  Hmmmm (32+ / 0-)
    Among the many faults of the filibuster is that it distorts our ability to hold legislators accountable.

    You could say the same thing about the two-party system, with even more justification.  The filibuster is just one of the tricks Democrats use to talk populist while governing oligarch.

    When Free Speech is outlawed, only outlaws will have Free Speech.

    by Dallasdoc on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 07:18:21 AM PST

  •  Simpson-Bowles Rescue party presumed lost (8+ / 0-)

    http://greatbutforgotten.blogspot.com/...

       <click>Here's the guide I got. His name was Guido. Very famous guide, in fact he was known as Guido the Guide.
        <click>Here's Guido the Guide leading me around a bed of quicksand.
        <click>Here's Guido the Guide from the waist up.
        <click>That's his hat right there.
        <click>Here's the rescue party rushing to his aid.
        <click>Here's the rescue party from the waist up.
        <click>And here we have a lot of hats and ropes and things.
        <click>Here's my next guide, Son of Guido the Guide.
        <click>
        <click>
        <click>That's his hat.

  •  Your point is excellent. The thing that (26+ / 0-)

    amazes me most, however, is that anyone thought it would succeed. The Republicans were not going to accept taxes, period. And the Democrats, having been burned twice already this year by agreeing to cuts without getting taxes, made clear it would not happen again.

    Everyone thinks the alternative, automatic cuts, would be the game change. Silly. Anyone who understands sequestration knows it is a toothless tiger. The cuts are dribbled in on a yearly basis starting in 2013, and can and will be legislatively changed.

    All of this is Congressional wheel spinning that goes nowhere.

    Further, affiant sayeth not.

    by Gary Norton on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 07:33:03 AM PST

  •  Good, this whole Pooper Committe thing was (6+ / 0-)

    a stupid idea to start with.

    There is no saving throw against stupid.

    by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 07:40:54 AM PST

  •  Yeah, you lost me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FischFry, Odysseus

    I read this twice.  I kind of understand what you are trying to say. I think.

    I'm college educated. I'm interested in politics. I even try to follow Congress.

    And you lost me.

    I saw Philidelphia last night.  A word to to the Wise:

    "Explain it to me like I'm a six year old"

    •  I took the message as ... (23+ / 0-)

      Congress generally blames doing nothing on the filibuster making it too difficult to enact strong, meaningful programs. Yet in this case, where the filibuster was set aside in advance and anything this committee produced guaranteed a straight vote, congress still produced nothing. Thus showing that "We can't get it done because of the filibuster" is merely an excuse. They can't get it done. Period.

      The Magna Carta was about the Barons sharing power with the King's government. The modern Republican party is about the industrial Barons taking full power, and leaving our central government as but a figure head. In other words, when it comes to central government power, they are anarchists; when it comes to baronial power, they are absolutists. So the central government largely being incapable of action serves their goals. They make it about Obama, but it's not, fundamentally. They want all central government to fail, and corporate Barons to be our sole authority (an authority not to be shared with science, either; although certain preachers will be kept on retainer). They were more than happy that Bush failed as president. They want all future presidents, of either party, to fail.

      In the lack of any effective action from this committee the Republicans once again achieved their anarchist, treasonous goal.

  •  they not only magically eliminated (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Robobagpiper, ColoTim, aliasalias
    It only removes their "super" powers, that is, their ability to shield their bill from amendments and the filibuster—which, we might note, they were able to magically(1) eliminate when they wanted to.

    they somehow are also going to magically eliminate the 'draconian' automatic triggers

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

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

    by eXtina on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 07:47:07 AM PST

  •  The sound of one hand clapping (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, Fury, MKSinSA, blue aardvark

    Sargent's Memo to Media:

    No, `both sides’ aren’t equally to blame for supercommittee failure -- Greg Sargent

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    Every American should be ashamed at what’s going on in this country. -- Emanuel Cleaver (GOP Voter Suppression)

    by RhodaA on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 07:54:17 AM PST

  •  I guess my memory is better than my (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joanneleon

    thinking skills...

    Thinking human beings knew from the outset that this was doomed to "failure,"

    all that apprehension for nothing.

  •  No one could have forseen... (6+ / 0-)

    That the super committee would fail, and that it would do so spectacularly...

    which of course leads to the logical conclusion:

    Almost every Liberal is a psychic.   And so must be DESTROYED, before their evil psychic powers to enslave the human race!

    /snark

    One of these days, I'm gonna learn that I'm only really good at convincing people when I'm being a wiseass. Reviewtopia.net

    by detroitmechworks on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 08:02:38 AM PST

  •  Great analysis and I find it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kickemout, diffrntdrummr, ColoTim

    amazing how a co-equal branch has determined it can't execute its own mission without being guided and led by another branch. Next we'll hear how the committee's failure is all the fault of the Supreme Court for failing to step in and fix things for them.

    Trump / Palin 2012: "You're Fired / I Quit"

    by MKSinSA on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 08:13:06 AM PST

    •  They're looking forward to the Supreme Court (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MKSinSA, opinionated, sherlyle

      deciding whether the mandate is Constitutional next year.  The fact they passed it in the first place was a miracle, but now many Republicans are hoping/praying that it will be declared unConstitutional and they're also hoping that as a result, Obamacare will be done away with.  Now, AHIP and Big Pharma will be upset, but they've bought politicians before and they'll buy more to ensure the largest number of patients unencumbered by price controls, but I anticipate a number of upset Republicans when the Supreme Court rules next year.

      Though I will speculate that the Supreme Court rules 5-4 not on the legal aspect but on the side of whatever will help the Republican party the most.  Will killing the mandate mean more Republicans flowing to the polls to overturn the rest of it, or would killing the mandate mean more Democrats would flood to the polls to ensure a Congress that would create better laws without the mandate, like a public option for everyone?

      •  Yep, 4 votes to meddle in the election. 'Cause ya (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim

        know, that's what SCOTUS is there for, inn't it?

        Well, and making sure the ppor little trillion dollar multi-national corporations get their every boo-boo wiped and kissed, of course.

        It is a sad day when Kennedy - one of the weaker scolars and legal minds on the Court, with a history of twisting the law for his ends and selling out - is the only hope for the Republic.

  •  Thinking human beings also know (13+ / 0-)

    that Democrats have a clear history of selling out, especially during the past couple of years and during the last year it has been horrendous.

    Many Democrats have been talking about big cuts to social safety net programs for more than a year, including the top Democrat who has his Secretary of Defense out there saying that any cuts to defense budget put us at higher risk of a terrorist attack, an absurd claim.

    The ratings agencies threats are coming up again so this is not over.  It is far from being over.

    And there is a winter holiday recess coming up.

    Economists warned on Friday that failure by the "super committee" could have dire consequences for the US and lead to another downgrade of its credit rating. But in the final hours of negotiations, committee members from both sides said they were still at loggerheads on issues that have troubled the two sides since the committee was set up.

    John Kerry, a Democrat committee member, said on NBC's Meet the Press: "There is a real threat that not only will there be a downgrade but that the markets will look at Washington again … and say, 'you guys can't get the job done'. Just the political confusion and deadlock is enough to say 'America can't get its act together'."

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/...

  •  I wonder what happened to the idea (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Robobagpiper, cybrestrike

    of "reforming" and flattening the tax code to solve the deficit woes.  That one would give cover to both parties.  

  •  So many times (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    diffrntdrummr, opinionated

    defeat deftly snatched from the jaws of victory. Almost as though the dance was choreographed in advance to fail in certain ways so as to maximize plausible deniability for all. The roles do not change, merely which actors play them. Who will be the spoiler this time? Who the valiant crusader fated to be crushed by the faceless mob?

    When something unexpectedly comes up that may result in Congress doing the right thing for their constituents, great machinations are set into motion to prevent that from happening, as it might mean the end of civilization as we know it.

  •  sn-afu (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim, blue aardvark, sherlyle

    congress is WAY overrated at 9%...maybe they can name a post office after dennis miller or something

    Kick a "job creator" in the balls today!

    by memofromturner on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 08:34:11 AM PST

    •  that 9% represents in order of impotence: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      diffrntdrummr, sherlyle

      a) Lobbyists, who have spent a lot of money buying those folks

      b) their friends and family

      c) The few remaining Tea Buggerers left in America

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:05:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nothing is ever decided by 12 people (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, diffrntdrummr, sherlyle

    Decisions are reached by groups of 4 or less and then communicated outward.

    If they'd put Reid, Pelosi, Boehner, and McConnell in a room with a trigger that they would all resign their seats if they could not agree on a deficit reduction deal we'd have gotten one in 3 weeks.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 08:36:37 AM PST

  •  Great for raising money (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TimmyB

    but there was NEVER a chance that they would do anything — thank god.

    I know which side I am on: the one that does the math.

    by Grassroots Mom on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 08:46:15 AM PST

  •  Given that (0+ / 0-)

    it would have taken 58% (7 of 12) of the committee to even get a bill to the Senate - I'm not sure there's any point to the point you're trying to make.

  •  Another reason for failure: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKinTN, sherlyle

    Both sides (or at least majorities in each party) have a strong, vested interest in failure.

    Success (Had CatFood Ver. 1.0 succeeded)  would represent a potential failure on a topic far more near and dear to their hearts. Their job security.

    If they succeeded, that very act of success would have caused major problems with their own constituents, causing anger so strong and deep, that they would have been primaried next time around.

    By failing, they can instill fear in their own voters: "Imagine how bad it would have been but for my saving your ass. I'm the hero! I represent you! If you don't re-elect me, the bad guys will win! Give me money, so I can keep doing what I am doing. For you. Honest.  Trust me. I really really mean it. I really really really really mean it, cross my heart and hope to be reelected."

    One truth is obvious. Both sides suck the big one. Neither is willing to do what it takes to save this nation from its worst impulses.

    Another truth? Cutting defense is the best thing we could have ever hoped for. And by failing, the CatFud Ver. 1.0 has done us a huge favor.

    What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

    by agnostic on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:11:36 AM PST

    •  Are you suggesting that defense will now be cut? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      agnostic

      I really don't see that happening.

      •  stranger things have happened. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim

        Sarah wrote three consecutive sentences in the Wall Street Urinal today, that actually made sense. Hell, the next thing might be that there really is a Great Pumpkin.

        What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

        by agnostic on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 10:56:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's hard to believe you. Not about the Great (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          agnostic

          Pumpkin, but about Sarah.  Do you have a link to that?

          •  Here it be: (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NoMoJoe, ColoTim
            Mr. Schweizer answers the questions so many of us have asked. I addressed this in a speech in Iowa last Labor Day weekend. How do politicians who arrive in Washington, D.C. as men and women of modest means leave as millionaires? How do they miraculously accumulate wealth at a rate faster than the rest of us? How do politicians' stock portfolios outperform even the best hedge-fund managers'? I answered the question in that speech: Politicians derive power from the authority of their office and their access to our tax dollars, and they use that power to enrich and shield themselves.

            The money-making opportunities for politicians are myriad, and Mr. Schweizer details the most lucrative methods: accepting sweetheart gifts of IPO stock from companies seeking to influence legislation, practicing insider trading with nonpublic government information, earmarking projects that benefit personal real estate holdings, and even subtly extorting campaign donations through the threat of legislation unfavorable to an industry. The list goes on and on, and it's sickening.

            Byline: Sarah Palin

            I know, I know. Correct grammar, proper sentence structure. Logical ideas. Coherent paragraphs. large words. No sense of "Word Salad" (tm). Discussing issues like IPOs, "insider trading", and "nonpublic government information" in coherent ways.

            I have no doubts that if you compared Sarah after 5 years of J-SKule with a roomful of blind, one handed monkeys typing at random on word processors, that the latter group would be far more likely to come up with this particular article,  but there it is.

            What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

            by agnostic on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 03:04:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks. It seems that she's got a very (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              agnostic

              competent editor.  Using words like "myriad" just don't strike me as the type of words Sarah would use if she's writing her own thoughts.

              •  You betcha. A merry ad is just what (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ColoTim

                because therefore, of course, and really expressed what Tea partiers and others, with ronald Reagan, would do or not do depending, well and, therefore, it is clear,  because that is America, and not liberals or socialists. Because. Also.

                What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

                by agnostic on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 03:37:11 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  The better approach to formation (0+ / 0-)

      would be that the Great Committee of Twelve agree to resign if they fail to agree on a plan. That would, IMO, remove one obstacle to their failure to negotiate: they would all have a powerful incentive to agree on something.

  •  Superpowers Unmasked (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    saluda, nytcek, NoMoJoe, davelf2

    I don't disagree with you about the filibuster, but I think the reason this particular super-committee failed was because there was never really any serious commitment to the need for emergency deficit reduction either by the Democrats or, perhaps more meaningfully, by the old Republican leadership.  The super-committee was created as a bone for the tea wing of the Republican party in order to get past the debt ceiling "crisis" without taking down the country and the Republican party with it.  That's also why the automatic cuts don't trigger until after the 2012 election.  The committee was was cloaked in credibility and expected, if not designed, to fail.

  •  Makes Me Wonder (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, sherlyle

    As you know there were a number of reasons given by Senate Democrats as to why they didn't change the rules (by majority vote) at the beginning of the 112th Congress to at least limit the use of the filibuster:

    1. The Republicans now control the House, so what's the point.  If the Republicans can't stop a bill with a filibuster in the senate, they will simply stop it with a majority vote in the House.

    2. Hey, we (Democrats) might be in the Senate minority one day, and we don't want to set a president of limiting the filibuster that might be used against us in the future by the Republicans (as if the Republicans wouldn't re-write the Senate rules to limit or eliminate the filibuster when they are in the majority without such a president being set by Dems.).

    I'm not saying that the above are not valid reasons for failing to limit the filibuster when they had the chance at the opening of the 112th.  But your article made me think of a 3rd reason I never considered before (nieve me):

    3. The filibuster provides Senate Democrats with a convenient cover.  They can vote for bills favoring the 99% and look populist, without having to worry that such bills which give heartburn to the 1% oligarchs will actually pass.  Plus, they get to blame each bill's demise squarely on the Republicans.

    Now I'm not saying all Senate Dems. were thinking about Reason 3 above when they boched the filibuster rule change opportunity last January, but I'd bet there were a few that considered it.

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:56:44 AM PST

  •  What no one seems to get (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferment, Odysseus, NoMoJoe, chuckvw, reset

    Republicans will live or die by the senior vote in 2012.

    No matter how much they say it they would never, ever vote for Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security cuts.

    So Dems offering massive entitlement cuts (and their being insufficient to Pubs) is not the story.

    The story - and David is nailing it here - is that no one in the room is being serious at all about offering solutions.

    This impasse will last until the Bush tax cuts go away...

    ...and then there will be another impasse on something else.

    The two parties, at least their public face, are no longer the 'bread' of governance.

    They are too busy being the circus.

  •  The way I see it: Default Cuts = the Deal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Terrapin, chuckvw

    The Catfood II default package of cuts IS the deal Congress really wanted. Letting it happen after both sides put out hollow "attempts" to cut some other deal as kabuki theater for the benefit of their constituents, is exactly what was desired all along.

    It's a pretty little package of political cover, with shiny paper and a big bow. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Certainly, current filibuster rules are insane - there's no need to actually mean it when you say you want to filibuster, nor to prove you mean it. If required the Herculean effort of a "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" stand-up-and-keep-speaking filibuster, we'd not see the kind of deadlock that the "modern" fake filibuster has created. I don't think the filibuster itself has to end, I think it needs to be MUCH more costly to those who would do it, so it will be treated with as the last resort it's supposed to be.

  •  Here would be my point (0+ / 0-)

       

    Thinking human beings knew from the outset that this was doomed to "failure," if that's what this is,

       I maintain that this 'Super-de Dooper Committee', as i have referred to it in conversation with my friends and family, was so rancid a crock of baloney that it was deliberately set up to fail and look dumb by the said ineffectual politicians of our time. No one is that dumb to look at the structure of the thing and not see 'Epic fail' written all over it.

    This was a matter in which fail was written into the strategic calculations of both parties from the get-go, no matter what they say publicly. And president obama knew this from the beginning, which is why he declined to get involved with this farce in the first place

    An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

    by MichiganChet on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 10:49:28 AM PST

  •  Super Committee FAIL. Diary FAIL, too (0+ / 0-)

    This is a very juvenile piece. Sorry to sya it, but it's true.

    If the SuperCommittee doesn't continue it's "work", it isn't because it's no longer "cool". If the SuperCOmmittee doesn't have the power to bring forth an unamendable, unfilibusterable package, there is no point in continuing meetings. Not because it's not cool, but because it's a pointless exercise. THere is no chance that the SuperCommitteee could bring forth a package in weeks to come and gain passage in both Houses. It would be amended and filibustered to death. AN utter waste of time. Like this diary.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

    by FischFry on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 11:12:57 AM PST

    •  Are you implying that Senators and Congressmen (0+ / 0-)

      are motivated by something other than money and glory?  Like the desire to create a functioning governing body?  I'm sad to say that I disagree.  

      But you were right about it being juvenille.  After all, what better way to write about a group of adults who act like fucking children?

      Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

      by bigtimecynic on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 03:04:46 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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

    I don't take this bunch seriously at least since they decided not to change the Senate rules.  These clowns are illegitimate and do not represent the will of the America people.

    No nation can be great if it allows its elites to loot with impunity and prosecutes its whistleblowers. Geithner is destroying the things that made America great. -- Bill Black, white-collar criminologist & a former senior financial regulator

    by jboxman on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 11:17:01 AM PST

  •  So much wrong with our system (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw

    and yet the media focuses on minutia pawned off on them by staffers and lobbyists as if it were the undeniable truth...I have yet here a single journalist on TV provide a realistic view of what is happening...they only repeat what others in their fraternity say like lemmings...

    btw-If anyone saw Adrian Fenty on MSNBC today, you see why DC citizens wanted to dump the guy, regardless of whether his opponent was any good.  Basically a blue dog talking nonsense...

    The way to pull the country from the brink is to get money out of politics and elect some real Dems with heart, instead of right wingers (in the pre 1980 sense) pretending to be Dems.  There is no balance from the left outside of blogs and a chosen few in Congress (Sanders, Ellison, Edwards, Grijalva, Brown).  Unfortunately, I expect it to get worse before it gets better.

    "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

    by justmy2 on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 11:30:18 AM PST

    •  Fenty is Harold Ford, but without the blonde. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CrissieP

      Did you notice Obama stayed far away from this. Literally left the country! lol

      Somebody in that office is learning about 3 years too late!

      •  I keep thinking about how poorly served (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        agnostic, brooklynbadboy

        the President has been by his advisers.  But he picked them, and they quite likely reflected his personal governing biases at the start of the beginning of the term.  Someone finally figured out that folks like us Cheetos eating bloggers, the  DFHs and outsiders that left the team like Steve Hildebrand were not just being jerks (in their eyes) for the sake of it.  We actually wanted them to do the wise political thing.  They decided that maybe, just maybe, detaching themselves from the deficit talk nonsense would be a good idea.

        Think about the pretzel they twisted themselves into.  They signed up for the payroll tax cut.  They created the deficit commission.  They decided to play a game of chicken with a bunch of nutcases.  And when that ended, they decided to sign up for one last hurrah.  Fortunately, some got to the President and asked him what the heck is going on in late August and he pivoted.  Followed by dumping Bill Daley like a cheap suit.  

        The question is was it too late.

        "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

        by justmy2 on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 02:50:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We will find out at some point. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chuckvw

          The thing is, the president has been mostly consistent with his campaign on policy. None of us should be shocked by his centrism and institutionalism. He isn't a radical or a reformer.

          But the execution...the political execution. I mean up until September it has been abysmal...from Congressional relations to public advocacy. Up and down the line...a total disaster. You are quite correct...the president has gotten a mountain of bad advice which none of his advisers have the balls to take account for. That should tell him something.

          I hope its not too late. The hapless GOP might just save him. He will get re-elected, but he surely does not deserve it.

      •  Really hoping that it is not too late.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chuckvw

        but LOL on the Fenty / Ford comment.  I had no idea that Fenty was such a loser 'til I started seeing him on Morning Joe (yes - I watch MoJo religiously because I need to know what everybody is saying and I CAN'T watch Fox).

      •  He just vowed to veto (0+ / 0-)

        any attempt to over ride the deep cuts that are supposed to ensue. If he has learned anything, he has learned the wrong stuff.

        The feeling I have now is that he was fully schooled before he even took office.

        If only donkeys could have elephant balls... Occupy!

        by chuckvw on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 03:48:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Is it too late for anything to help the economy b4 (0+ / 0-)

    the election?

    No?  Then of course it 'failed'.

    It is, and always was, about Thugs trying to defeat Obama and sacrificing everything on that altar.

  •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 02:24:30 PM PST

  •  What a bunch of fuck-ups. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rasfrome, sherlyle

    Is there any other way to describe them?  

    Dedicated to the GOP debates: When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. Hunter Thompson

    by NyteByrd1954 on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 02:24:44 PM PST

    •  There are several other ways to describe them, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sherlyle

      but all of them employ the use of the word "fuck" or some variation thereon.

      Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

      by bigtimecynic on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 03:00:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  shiesters. wealthy entitled people don't like har (0+ / 0-)

      d work, or speaking out.  why the important changes usually happen with the hippies or poor taking the body blows.  congress is a joke, and the majority of them just basic shiesters.  my big disagreement with taibbi, is naming them grifters.  i don't think they merit that name.

      i need a rails developer to help me with a cool map project

      by rasfrome on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 03:24:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  One more explanation comes from David Frum (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    agnostic, sherlyle

    Gasoline made from the tar sands gives a Toyota Prius the same impact on climate as a Hummer using gasoline made from oil. ~ Al Gore

    by Lefty Coaster on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 02:32:58 PM PST

  •  frankly the failure was the best thing this (0+ / 0-)

    Congress has done.

  •  Makes Me Wonder (Again) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bigtimecynic, chuckvw

    As you know there were a number of reasons given by Senate Democrats as to why they didn't change the rules (by majority vote) at the beginning of the 112th Congress to at least limit the use of the filibuster:

    1. The Republicans now control the House, so what's the point.  If the Republicans can't stop a bill with a filibuster in the senate, they will simply stop it with a majority vote in the House.

    2. Hey, we (Democrats) might be in the Senate minority one day, and we don't want to set a president of limiting the filibuster that might be used against us in the future by the Republicans (as if the Republicans wouldn't re-write the Senate rules to limit or eliminate the filibuster when they are in the majority without such a president being set by Dems.).

    I'm not saying that the above are not valid reasons for failing to limit the filibuster when they had the chance at the opening of the 112th.  But your article made me think of a 3rd reason I never considered before (nieve me):

    3. The filibuster provides Senate Democrats with a convenient cover.  They can vote for bills favoring the 99% and look populist, without having to worry that such bills which give heartburn to the 1% oligarchs will actually pass.  Plus, they get to blame each bill's demise squarely on the Republicans.

    Now I'm not saying all Senate Dems. were thinking about Reason 3 above when they boched the filibuster rule change opportunity last January, but I'd bet there were a few that considered it.

    "Some men see things as they are and ask, 'Why?' I dream of things that never were and ask, 'Why not?"

    by Doctor Who on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 02:43:06 PM PST

  •  Obama statement over (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew

    I didnt see the beginning. Nothing new, I dont think.

    He says that deficit will be cut 2.2 trillion over next ten years one way or the other.

    He will veto any measure to stop the automatic cuts, any measure that isnt equal, balanced replacement for the sequester.

    Talked his jobs plan.  

  •  Obama to Congress Republicans; no more Mr. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CrissieP

    Nice Guy. Beat me of eat me in 2012.

  •  We need a "Super DUPER Committee"!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    singe

    That'll do the trick...

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 02:58:10 PM PST

  •  wolf bliztbag brings norbert noquist on after pres (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TofG

    because he is a random gas bag that should get air time equal to that of the elected leader of the american people...i guess the next guest will be oxyrush who will explain why calling the african american first lady "uppity" isn't racist.

  •  This Congress has an interesting track record... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    singe

    it's looking like it will be as successful as the 43rd Presidency.  I never use his name, when I can avoid it, because profanity takes away from the message.  

    Show me a politician that doesn't want to gain, and/or hold onto power, and I'll show you one who can't get elected.

    by HarryParatestis on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 03:00:52 PM PST

  •  Sequestration was the desired outcome ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... and this strange little Super Committee was just political cover/fundraising opportunity.  Everybody knew that defense cuts had to be a part of some kind of package but nobody was going to commit career suicide by spearheading that effort.  A doomed Super Committee was an elegant solution to that problem.  Plus, whoever sat on that committee would be able to extort thousands of dollars from their constituents by appearing to represent them in the non-existent talks.

    After all, everybody knows that Washington Is Broken, right?  Politicians can talk convincingly about it and the media can sell plenty of papers with it.  It is a well accepted narrative.  The People will eat it up.  Why not use it to make some cuts that nobody wants to champion?

    In retrospect, the clues were extremely obvious - would John Kerry be a prominent part of something that was meant to accomplish anything other than a great deal of talking?

    Please do not be alarmed. We are about to engage... the nozzle.

    by Terrapin on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 03:04:24 PM PST

  •  Simple answer. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CrissieP, rasfrome

    They figured out they would've had to raise taxes on the rich, or stop their war-profiteering gravy train to cut the deficit by 1.2 trillion, because taking 1.2 trillion from the poor/working class would have been political suicide (especially with the trillions Wall-Street has scored), political suicide for even magical super congress/committee members.

  •  blatant "kick the can" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rasfrome, chuckvw

    down the road. The so-called "Super-committee," which was anything but super, was one of the most blatant examples of governmental irresponsibility in American history...Congress couldn't have been more blatant in saying they planned to "kick the can down the road" other than actually telling the American public that they were simply "going to kick the can down the road."

  •  I like the filibuster (0+ / 0-)

    It protects us from the Right to Life,Prayer, Work, and Childrens' Right To Fair Share of Labor Market Act.

  •  is the failure of the Super Committee a good thing (0+ / 0-)

    for progressives? It's my understanding that failure by the so-called "Super" Committee (it's anything but) means that 10% across-the-board cuts take effect in 13 months. Isn't that a good thing, especially considering that that will mean a massive amount of cuts in defense spending (10% of massive quantities of money...is still lots of dollars). In addition, by not taking action, it will mean that Republican'ts tax cuts for the filthy rich will expire. Doesn't this also mean that  efforts to cut money on the back of Social Security have failed as well?

    Call me the eternal optimist, but this progressive would much prefer 10% across-the-board cuts in military and domestic spending to what the Republicans and many Republican-lite Democrats had in mind (i.e. making Bush's tax cuts for the filthy rich permanent, cutting Social Security, etc., etc.)

  •  We're all screwed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw

    Put your money in your mattress and stock up on cat food. There will be no Social Security as it's now known.  If you're under 50 you're going to be on your own.

  •  David, you make my point about the filibuster (0+ / 0-)

    It is used by the feckless "pragmatists" to claim that they can't get any really good legislation through, and they instead present us a steaming turd with some sugar sprinkled on top telling us it was the best they could do...then they add it to their list of accomplishments.

    I'll drink a toast tonight to the failure of the committee.

    "Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells." J. Paul Getty

    by Celtic Pugilist on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:23:16 PM PST

  •  The fact is still that the GOP will geek (0+ / 0-)

    because the alternative is no repartriation of offshore income and no extension of the Bush tax cuts.  Indeed, Reid will even stop them from coming to the floor for discussion.

  •  The whole Meme that the fillibuster had to end (0+ / 0-)

    could have easily been a nightmare without 4 Tea Party candidates doing epic fails in last year's Senate races.  Imagine facing Mitch McConnell with no way to hold up debate.  Obama's veto pen would have been humming and he would have likely had to go along with measures that he otherwise would not have wanted, just to get something done.

  •  Just visualize all those bills sent to the Senate (0+ / 0-)

    to die from the House getting passed and sent to the White House.

  •  Money....Mission Accomplished (0+ / 0-)

    So that pile of corporate money that was funneled to the Super Congress via lobbyists did what? It was not wasted, no, not at all.

    Status quo accomplished. The system is working just fine for the 1%, let's not rock the boat. We'll deal with that tax break expiration thing in due course.

    The Democrats like the Republicans more than they like me. - Christopher Cooper

    by Wahrheit on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 06:13:20 PM PST

  •  You know what happened? (0+ / 0-)

    Everybody got so freakin' bored with the drama over increasing the national debt. The country got its credit down graded and everybody yawned at the non-event of the century.

    A case of too smart for their own britches. The whole super committee was a big evasion. Best gift from the weaselly Republicans and the scaredy cat Democrats is to do nothing.

    "Even in the valley of the shadow of death, two and two do not make six." Leo Tolstoy

    by Miss Pip on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 07:01:36 PM PST

  •  Bush Tax Cuts (0+ / 0-)

    Indeed, the tax cuts signed into law by President Bush in 2001 and 2003 have taken center stage once again now that the “super committee” charged with finding $1.2 trillion in spending cuts admitted failure.  The Washington Post wrote that the super committee’s undoing has thrust the “much-contested Bush tax cuts into the forefront of next year’s presidential campaign.” As the Post goes on to note, Democrats will “portray Obama’s opponent in the presidential election as a defender of tax cuts for the rich.”

    “The wealthiest of Americans, those who earn over a million dollars every year, have to share, too. And that line in the sand we haven’t seen any Republicans willing to cross yet,” said one of the United States Senate’s most uninformed members, Patty Murray (D.-Wash.).

    Dan Pfeiffer, official White House hack and Obama bootlicker said the expiration of the tax cuts “should be a powerful incentive to the Republicans to abandon their politically foolish and substantively absurd position on taxes on the wealthy.”

    And the beat goes on.

    Except, of course, these shopworn liberal objections to tax cuts are filled with more shinola than Michael Moore’s colon.

    Seeing that the Democrats are reviving their favorite campaign talking point, let’s review the facts about “tax cuts for the rich.”

    First off, what President Bush enacted into law cut taxes across the board on everyone, not just the upper echelon. The 15 percent rate dropped to 10 percent, 27 percent to 25 percent, 30 percent to 28 percent, 35 percent to 33 percent, and 39.6 percent to 35 percent. Now go ahead and ask a lib which income bracket received the highest cut. Oh, snap: That would be the lowest income threshold, which nosedived five percentage points.

    The whole “tax cuts for the rich” is pure bunk, a lie that liberals shamelessly popularize. Not that this should surprise us one bit. Here we have a Democrat Party in America that couldn’t agree on a puny $1.2 trillion in spending reductions over a 10-year-period. That means that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi’s minions refused to slice off what amounts to $120 billion dollars a year of a federal budget nearly topping $4 trillion. Instead they insisted that taxes be jacked up to pay for their statist programs.

    Next up, we have the line that tax cuts blew the lid off of our deficit. That’s funny, because during the last year a Republican budget controlled Congress (fiscal year 2007), the deficit stood at a minuscule $161 billion dollars. $161 billion! That’s at least five years into the tenure of those evil tax cuts. Moreover, as HUMAN EVENTS has previously reported, federal tax receipts actually went up while the tax cuts were accelerating. In other words, the United States Treasury received more money not less because of the Bush tax cuts that Democrats allege ruined America’s economy.

    See for your self:

    $1.88 trillion in 2004

    $ 2.15 trillion in 2005

    $ 2.4 trillion in 2006

    $ 2.6 trillion in 2007

    The last figure was actually the highest dollar amount brought into the Treasury Department… ever. That’s right, folks. While Democrats wail and whine about tax cuts as the main culprit for this country’s deficit woes, it turns out that we were bringing in bag fulls of money at historic proportions during that same time.

    Idiots.

    Then there are the politically-savvy, but totally fallacious, calls for "shared sacrifice." Naturally the Democrats don’t use that phrase to describe the nearly 50 percent of Americans who don’t pay any federal income taxes, but instead those who already pay the bulk of all federal, state, and local taxes. That aside, it’s the spending side of the lever that is completely out-of-whack, and has been so for a while. We’re now in our third straight year in a row with deficits exploding past $1 trillion dollars.

    So when a lib is babbling to you about “shared sacrifice,” you can remind him that his great leader Messiah Obama shattered two spending records: Giving America her first-ever $1 trillion dollar deficit, and number two, extending that history-making deficit three consecutive years.

    Heck, this guy has managed to increase the national debt by more than the first 41 presidents combined (George Washington to George Bush), and he’s done so in a mere 32 months.

    You go, Barack!

    And there you have it, the cutting evidence you need at your finger tips to eviscerate those unending lefty desires to slam us against the locker room and raid our wallets some more. Time to hit these Dems back with what they can’t get around -- a little something, something called: Facts.

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