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I don't often have a chance to watch TRMS, but I caught last night's show and have to register at least a little disappointment.

She was all energized about how the Obama administration has created this nationwide electoral-victory social network in TwitterFaceSpace, and is now continuing to use its creation to "encourage" our legislators to support Obama's position on GrandBargainFiscalCliffistication.

Lots of slams on the Reds for being so hypocritically whiny as to complain that Obama is continuing to use the electoral machine that brought him victory to try to build momentum for his plays, and pressure the Red Lectroid Legislators.

BUT: --- but, not a word on the substance of what Obama is trying to sell. Which if I have it right, is the notion that there really is a OOOHSCARYDEFICIT "fiscal cliff," a Fright Wig that Paul Krugman, among others, has set on fire repeatedly, apparently without illuminating anything much for way too many of the rest of us. And that "we" should willingly, happily, and wisely because we trust the Administration that has done essentially NOTHING to fix the underlying financialization horror (Wall Street, derivatives, Big Banks, et too much cetera,) still has Bradley Manning in the cooler (latest justification: because, you know, somebody else in Leavenworth custody, like, committed suicide!,, willingly and happily and wisely support Our President in giving away big parts of our safety net by demanding that our legislators do the Grand Bargain with him.

If you are all cool with that, no need to read any further. Too bad for you, and the rest us who are not ensconced in the rich folks' blimps and private jets, flying around overhead, connected to the ground of this nation only by siphons that suck up ever more of the resource values and real wealth we all need to live. And too bad for all those progressive people-years and efforts to protect and expand the safety net, to fight the inequitizing and wealth concentration and corporatization of our country and the planet. And now, what's left, a rear-guard action to keep our Progressive President from joining in the execution of that long, slow, terrible death of a thousand cuts?

The net-net of what seems to me, a registered cynic, to be another round of  Obamascamma, seems to be that a few Top Dogs in our financialized food chain might face a 6 or 7% reduction in their annual income via a small increase in their tax burden (assuming they can't find "people" to creatively-account a way out of even that puny Revenue Enhancement), as part of a strategy to "continue the Bush Tax Cuts" (which progressives used to kind of understand were Stupidity Writ Large and ought to have long since been killed, along with the imperial wars and unconstrained enormous MIC fraud racket that we simply and largely ignore) for us "middle classers and lower." And we are supposed to call our Congresscritters and plaster their walls and Twits with threats and demands in support of Obama on this?

Rachel is all excited about this public initiative, as supposedly bringing the smelly shit that is going on inside the inside part of the Beltway a little further into the light of day, and giving the rest of us our little say in the sausage-making process. A "say," by the way, that seems limited to saying "whatever Obama says." The Obama administration, by the way, is still very much committed to "getting a deal done" by 12/31/12, and working away in the "smoke-filled rooms," generating a nice December Surprise. Which apparently involves "entitlement cuts" of various sorts, including upping the Medicare eligibility age, and "doing something" about the Big Lie that Social Security Needs Saving -- the same lie that Rachel knocks Bush for peddling in his early National Tour efforts to peddle the privatizing of SS way back when.

Bernie Sanders wants Obama to get out in the sticks and start talking WITH people. What Our President is continuing to do is to talk AT us, or TO us, to talk us into going along with the warm flow'n'glow of the recent re-election and "support" HIM. It is not at all clear, given all the little bits of the whole mosaic of Obama "policies," that he supports US. It looks all too much that the Grand Master of Eleven-Dimensional Chess, might be playing US, since his closest friends and advisers continue to be the people who helped run the train off the tracks the last time. And now "we," the resilient and driven little folks, are a long way toward doing our usual, necessary, self-preserving good deed of repairing the damage, refilling the economy's coffers, and setting the train back on the rails. All ready for the next round of greed-crazed "engineers" to send it 'round the bend into the gorge, and steal whatever's left in the cars when it wrecks again.

All I got to say is to bring in the words of Yves Smith, one of the relatively few with the intelligence, diligence and courage to keep hammering away at that seemingly invulnerable Pillsbury Doughboy/Michelin Man of a kleptocratic oligarchy:

Posted: 28 Nov 2012 03:59 PM PST

If this weren’t so terrible, it would be funny.

The Administration is worried that there won’t be a fiscal cliff deal by year end. Per Bloomberg:

    The co-chairman of President Barack Obama’s 2010 fiscal commission said it’s unlikely the president and Congress will reach a deal by the end of this year to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.

    Erskine Bowles, also a former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, estimated there is a one-third probability the sides will strike a deal by the end of this year. Speaking today at a breakfast in Washington sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, he said there’s another one-third chance that all sides will reach a deal early in 2013.

    “I’m really worried,” Bowles told reporters. “I believe the probability is we’re going over the cliff.”

    Bowles isn’t involved in the budget negotiations, though he said he met with Obama yesterday.

Yves here. Given the Bowles visit with Obama, this means (as we’ve indicated from the get go) that Obama really has his ego invested in getting a deal done by year end.

In fact, NOT getting a deal done is far better for everyone except the uber rich. As Paul Krugman has stressed, going into 2013 with no deal in place is not a dramatic event, and would substantially weaken the Republican’s bargaining position as far as preserving tax breaks for the wealthy are concerned. And if the Administration wanted to preserve middle cut tax relief, like lower payroll taxes, it can make that retroactive to the start of 2013.

Letting the negotiations go into 2013 also increases the odds of preserving Social Security and Medicare in their current form, since they will not be affected at all by the automatic budget cuts that would kick in in the absence of a deal.

But Obama, through folks like Bowles who have media access, is putting out panic signals to pressure Congresscritters to get a deal, any deal, done by December 31. And he’s also trying to rally the middle class to petition Congress to implement austerity, when the experiments in Ireland, Latvia, Portugal, Spain, and Greece all have shown that it makes debt to GDP worse and increases unemployment while shredding social safety nets. In other words, as Lambert has put it, we are all supposed to demand Congress to have one kidney removed.

From the Financial Times:

    Mr Obama sought to increase pressure on Republicans to give ground by launching a new social media campaign.

    The move by Mr Obama heightened the political theatre surrounding the US budgetary stand-off, with little more than a month left before the American economy is hit by a mix of spending cuts and tax increases that could tip it back into recession.

    “I’m asking Americans all across the country to make your voice heard,” Mr Obama said, suggesting emails, phone calls and the use of social media such as Facebook and a new Twitter hashtag called #My2k, a reference to the $2,000 tax increase per family that would occur if the US plunged over the fiscal cliff.

    “I want to make sure everybody understands this debate is not just about numbers. It’s a set of major decisions that are going to affect millions of families all across this country in very significant ways,” Mr Obama said.

No kidding, except the options that Obama is allowing to be considered range from utterly dreadful to merely awful. And the part the officialdom is failing to acknowledge is that the immediate hazard of hitting the fiscal cliff tripwire is on the impact on confidence. Obama’s scaremongering to sell the deal is damaging confidence now, while telling the truth, that any impact of the fiscal cliff would be gradual and in any event could be reversed (for instance, via making tax changes retroactive to the beginning of 2013, or catch-up payments) would alleviate the increasing nervousness among businessmen (also flagged in the FT article cited above, based on the latest Fed beige book).

So I urge all NC readers to go mess with Obama’s messaging:

    Use #My2k and Facebook to tell everyone that we need to run deficits when the economy is slack and unemployment is high, and the deficit hysteria is being promoted by Wall Street and big businesses to get their tax levels lowered at the expense of the middle class, particularly by cutting Medicare and Social Security

    Call your senators and representative and give them a piece of your mind

Obama won’t change course, but Congrescritters are a different story. If the powers that be insist on engaging in economic malpractice, they need to be reminded that the public is overwhelmingly opposed to cutting Social Security and Medicare.

Yeah, yeah, it's all just Chicken Little stuff, I know -- once again, we are to Trust Obama to Do The Right Thing By Us, and tell ourselves that whatever comes out of the Deal Suite is a Sweet Deal that we ought to be happy is "the best that could have been gotten bearing in mind the political realities." Seems to me that I've heard that line before, even from people who you would think might know better.

Yeah, "we" little folks can struggle to peer through the Washington Fog to try to figure out what the fait-accompli will look like. We can try like Moses to part, or swim our way across, the river of Beltway Bullshit that floods out every minute of every day, which is what we get in exchange for our "votes" and our freakin' WEALTH. the REAL wealth that us lower orders create, to fund all the special deals and special interest take-aways, and of course the whole insane imperial dead-end foolish global military fraud of a Global Networked Interoperable Battlespace. We can accept a National Energy Policy that is so "moderate" that it continues to push coal and oil consumption and short-change alternatives. We can continue to suffer the idiocies of Notagainistan wars all over the place, drone killings, the steady erosions of civil liberties here at home too.

Maybe there is NOTHING TO BE DONE. Maybe even Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren won't be able (or willing, once securely inside the Key Bridge Gates) to try to plug up the holes and bandage all the wounds. I don't know. but I do know that it looks like yet another massive con game, leading to that point that old Man-Tan Boner tells us we little folks need to accept, where our "expectations" of what Washington can do for us WITH OUR OWN MONEY, just HAVE to be "scaled down. And I, for one little voice, sure find a huge irony and contemptuous smirk all over the face of that #MY2K invitation to "support Obama in the budget negotiations."

Because, after all,



I believe that President Obama will get a New Good Deal for the rest of us in this Grand Bargain, and I will call/tweet/facewall/faceplant as he tells us to.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

    by jm214 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 12:10:11 PM PST

  •  the truth is the party (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OIL GUY, Thousandwatts, MJB

    isn't that far to the left.

    so from your perspective...

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 12:23:54 PM PST

    •  oh and i voted you don't know what's going on (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OIL GUY, Thousandwatts

      politics is kabuki theater.  

      if you don't understand that letting all those tax cuts go away will cause economic damage, then you don't know what's going on.

      2K is a lot for a struggling middle-class family.  the truth is the republicans are holding the country hostage.  there is a crisis because republicans are causing it, not that it doesn't exist.

      increasing the deficit wasn't a fight like this until Obama got into office.

      so you're just wrong here.  oh and stop attacking Dems.  

      you're not helping.

      -You want to change the system, run for office.

      by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 12:29:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PsychoSavannah, Illinibeatle, jm214

        The so-called 2k hit can be averted by retroactively legislating them out of existence with a Middle Class Tax Cut in 2013.

        Letting 12/31/2012 pass without a "Grand Bargain" (aka The Austerity Bomb) is the best option and the best way to prevent the CEO parasite class from screwing us out of the Social Safety Net.

        Any Democrat who subscribes to shredding the Social Safety Net deserves to be attacked with a fury unlike any other. Because they're messing with a plank of the platform that's kept the 99% above water (and in some cases, barely treading water) for 70 years.

        If the conservative scourges in the Democratic Party want to enable the theft of the helpless, the infirm, the elderly, the impoverished women, and children? They deserve every bit of criticism headed their way.

        Not all Democrats in DC are our allies.

        The Grand Bargain must be stopped at all costs to protect the 99%.

        by cybrestrike on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 02:08:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  define "helping" (0+ / 0-)

        who are the dems "helping" by pretending they didn't get elected and being the only party to "bipartisan"?

  •  and Yves Smith (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Thousandwatts, MJB

    continually knocks down Democrats

    has referred to us as dancing with the devil.

    she can't take opposing views seriously and demonizes anyone who disagrees with her.  she is no friend to the dems.

    her writing sucks, as does her political prowess.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 12:52:02 PM PST

    •  she has one of the few financial sites (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      which tells the truth about the banana republican state of our financial affairs.

      When I say truth, I mean her site isn't typical 1%er pro republican anti Obama.

      However since they do discuss the truth, it tends not to put the Obama administration in the best of light.

      Sorry that hurts your feelings.

      You should know though they usually truthfully portray repugnantcon policies as the joke that they are because, truth you know.

      You usually don't find partisan bickering on her site because they have a good no troll policy.

      Now if Democrats weren't "dancing with the devil" you wouldn't see her discussing it.

      I've read but never commented over there and I know how she disagrees.  She will not allow posters to put out lies or opinions as fact.  Also, she will not allow somebody to use something which is true but on a different subject to "prove her wrong" on the subject she writes on.  In other words if you disagree with her, you have to A) know what you are talking about, B) refute her argument with a relevant fact.  She won't let you change the subject to refute her.

      I don't know about her writing skills, I never have trouble understanding if I know enough about the subject, which I usually don't if it's highly technical.

      Her political prowess?

      I'm not aware that she's running for anything.  She just writes about the policies and proposals without needing to shill for the financial industry, 1%ers or the current government.

      •  Exactly. But she unfortunately is just Cassandra, (0+ / 0-)

        saying to her fellow Trojans, "Don't bring that big wooden horse inside the walls, people, espcially without at least poking it really thoroughly with long, sharp spears FIRST."

        Mo' bettah than a lot of other sites, of course. Seems she just wants to see a little real economic justice done. And maybe a little retribution against some of the bad MFers whose Funny Munny wagers we are paying off on (without even benefit of the thrill of the game play.)

        I guess most folks here are just fat, dumb and happy about whatever comes their way from the (mythical, of course) oligarchy...

        "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

        by jm214 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 06:24:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah I don't get someone on this site (0+ / 0-)

          getting upset with someone who's on our side.  

          Our side being the wage earner's side.  I didn't discover her until a year or so ago and all I'd seen up until then was a lot of CNBC pro bankster stuff.  Seems there's a few financial experts and bloggers out there who are on our side.

          I don't know what anyone with a blog can do more than just point out the erroneous ways until the political class gets the message or maybe we elect one of the bloggers instead of lawyers.

  •  We've dodged a bullet (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PsychoSavannah, jm214

    three times. (Simpson-Bowles, Debt Crisis, Super Committee). Four times if you count Bush trying to privatize SS in 2005. Obama has offered to raise the Medicare age to 67 and change the COLA formula for Social Security (an effective 3% reduction in benefits). The political atmosphere has to be perfect to pull something like this off.
    The people calling up the President are letting him know the political atmosphere isn't right. They are probably the ones saving the "entitlements" right now.

    Whitehouse switchboard:


    Congressional switchboard:


    "...on the (catch a) human network. Cisco."

    by hoplite9 on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 01:59:28 PM PST

  •  I wrote an old-fashioned letter (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, Thousandwatts

    to my "representation" (such that it is) here in SC.  No "grand bargains", but an admonishment to stop being petulant babies and enact a few common sense changes to the tax code.  

    David Koch is Longshanks, and Occupy is the real Braveheart.

    by PsychoSavannah on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 02:08:44 PM PST

  •  I've been somewhat disappointed with trms. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    She's one of the best they have but she seems to have become very uncritical of our pro war activities.

    In the past when she has criticized them, she seemed to be hinting and alluding to it rather than coming out and saying it full force.

    I saw MHP arguing with someone over the drone crap.  She is for them.  I about lost my cookies.  I guess just because someone wants equal rights for all that doesn't necessarily include foreigners and the right to not be killed by USA for no reason.

    I've also noticed that not a lot of kossacks are very peaceloving.  It seems every diary opposing wars and drones is controversial.  

    I don't understand it myself.  If we're (Dems, Kossacks) for this stuff, how are we different from the right wing nut jobs?

    That is a retorical question btw, no need to try to answer it.

    •  I'm just going to say (0+ / 0-)

      that Rachel, in her wonkily-presented manner, is INCREDIBLY anti-war!

      •  I know she is but it seems you don't always (0+ / 0-)

        get that from her.

        I saw her show one night and she pointed out how Bush ran without any interest in "nationbuilding" but all that changed due to events out of his control.  If you didn't know her you'd think she was ok with what he did as a response to 9/11.

        At some point I saw a clip of Butcher in a debate with Gore which I'd never seen before, I think Lehrer was moderating and W pulled a Romney, pretending he wasn't all that interested in foreign adventures.  It was a pure shapeshifting flip flopping a la Moderate Romney as anything I'd ever seen.  Here's the thing though, Lehrer had asked about "that evil Saddam Hussein" and what was he going to do about him.  It was like one of W's warmongering talking points handed to him on a silver platter which he would use later while justifying his new found obsession with invading Iraq.  

        I was shocked after seeing this clip (this year in 2012) that anyone could say they were surprised that Butcher would try to pull this stunt to get us into war.

        After all I knew even before he announced that we were in big trouble.  I'd read that his bank accounts were filling up with millions, the press was hounding him for an announcement (disgusting by the way), he wouldn't say, but I knew he was going to be the next president, and I knew we were in for a world of hurt, I was scared shitless.  Which I forgot all about until years later and I remembered my panic, I wished I'd started a web site predicting the coming armageddon under his rule.

        The point being sometimes when I watch Rachel she doesn't seem very critical of the policies even though I am sure she is not ok with them.

  •  jm214 - This is one of the best polls ever. (0+ / 0-)

    Regardless of what we think of the body of your post you did present one of the best polls ever.

  •  I tipped you and did the poll and have noticed tha (0+ / 0-)

    though I don't watch trms as much anymore- I say it without cliche- she got corporatized- Keith went to neverland, half her guests got their own shows - an establishment was built on the path she and Keith pioneered.
    And now there is something entrenched and dry; no surprises without notice, so to speak.
    That's just how it feels.
    The establishment version of the 'alternative" predictable is reassuring, but in small doses.

    I was going to say the diary went in the weeds, got a little too slam bang forget all the accomplishments, just a rec and the poll.
    Then I re-read and rec'd based on enough clarity amid the coherent scarcity, deserved a rec from me; left of the main and wandering with growing determination towards the ramparts.

    Occupy- Your Mind. - No better friend, no worse enemy. -8.75, -6.21<> Bring the Troops Home Yesterday

    by Thousandwatts on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 10:26:37 PM PST

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