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Paul Krugman at The New York Times:
This was very much an election pitting the interests of the very rich against those of the middle class and the poor.

And the Obama campaign won largely by disregarding the warnings of squeamish “centrists” and embracing that reality, stressing the class-war aspect of the confrontation. This ensured not only that President Obama won by huge margins among lower-income voters, but that those voters turned out in large numbers, sealing his victory.

The important thing to understand now is that while the election is over, the class war isn’t. The same people who bet big on Mr. Romney, and lost, are now trying to win by stealth — in the name of fiscal responsibility — the ground they failed to gain in an open election.

Timothy Egan, also writing at The New York Times, explores why Americans are becoming more liberal but are still avoiding the "liberal" self-identification:
What’s going on here, demography and democracy seem to be saying at the same time, is the advance of progressive political ideas by a majority that spurns an obvious label. Liberals have long been a distinct minority; liberalism, in its better forms, has been triumphant at key times since the founding of the Republic. [...] For at least a generation’s time, liberals in this country have been afraid to call themselves liberal. Was it the excesses of their creed, from race-based preferential programs that went on far too long to crude speech censorship by the politically correct and humorless (one and the same) that soiled the brand? In blindly embracing, say, the teachers’ union in the face of overwhelming evidence that public education needs a jolt or in never questioning the efficacy of government programs, the left earned its years in exile. [...]

Which brings us to the fascinating self-portrait of the United States at the start of the second half of the Obama era. A tenuous center-left majority wants to restore some equality to the outsize imbalance between the very rich and the rest of us. If a tenuous president can lead that coalition, without overreaching, he might be remembered among the greats.

In its simplest form, this will involve raising taxes at the high end and reforming entitlements enough to ensure their continued success and sustainability. Much of that, an accountant could do. But it takes a gifted politician for the heavier lifting. That leader will have to make his still-fledgling health care act work and earn his premature Nobel Peace Prize on an issue like climate change. In the process, he could restore the good name to traditional liberalism.

At The Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer haz a sad:
Why are Republicans playing the Democrats’ game that the “fiscal cliff” is all about taxation? [...] Where is the other part of President Obama’s vaunted “balanced approach”? Where are the spending cuts, both discretionary and entitlement: Medicare, Medicaid and now Obamacare (the health-care trio) and Social Security?

Social Security is the easiest to solve. [...] And draining the Treasury, as 10,000 baby boomers retire every day. Yet that’s off the table. And on Wednesday, the president threw down the gauntlet by demanding tax hikes now — with spending cuts to come next year. Meaning, until after Republicans have fallen on their swords, given up the tax issue and forfeited their political leverage.

Eugene Robinson at The Washington Post brings much-needed attention to the climate change crisis:
You might not have noticed that another round of U.N. climate talks is under way, this time in Doha, Qatar. You also might not have noticed that we’re barreling toward a “world . . . of unprecedented heat waves, severe drought, and major floods in many regions.” Here in Washington, we’re too busy to pay attention to such trifles.

We’re too busy arguing about who gets credit or blame for teeny-weeny changes in the tax code. Meanwhile, evidence mounts that the legacy we pass along to future generations will be a parboiled planet.

Michael O'Hanlon at The Los Angeles Times stands up for UN Ambassador Susan Rice:
I am no blind supporter of Rice. She is my friend and former colleague at the Brookings Institution, but I advised Hillary Rodham Clinton in the 2007-08 primary campaign, while Rice co-led the Obama foreign policy team, and I supported the surge in Iraq, while Rice opposed it. Despite these battle scars, I consider Rice a person of high integrity and intelligence; she has a strong work ethic and a clear commitment to this country's security. There may be a valid debate as to whether Rice, or Sen. John F. Kerry, or someone else (Adm. Michael G. Mullen and another Clinton come to mind) should succeed Clinton as the nation's next top diplomat. But Rice is a solid candidate and would be a fine secretary of State.
Even a broken clock is right twice a day. Newt Gingrich on the fiscal cliff and legislative process:
Well, I think this whole fiscal cliff language is designed to maximize a sense of fear that's nonsense. The very same people, the Congress and the president, who invented the fiscal cliff -- this is all an invention -- could break it down into 12 foothills, or 15 foothills or 20 foothills. They could tackle one problem at the time. [...]
Well, I think there are a lot worse things than going over a man-made cliff that I think is entirely artificial. [...]

my only point is, you know, if we had a game, and every time the term fiscal cliff came up, people had to donate a dollar to something, you'd be amazed in the course of a week or two how often this has been repeated like a mantra. I compared to a great essay by Tom Wolfe called "Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers" in which people chanted and made noise in order to get their way.

I think we ought to recognize this entire fiscal cliff is an artificial invention of Washington, created by people in the Congress and the presidency. And it can be broken down by them into a series of steps that can be taken without having to be rushed into one gigantic, last- minute, little understood, with no hearings, one vote up or down -- I think it's a terrible way to govern the United States.

CNN is bringing in NBC's Jeff Zuker to try and turn around things at the cable news channel. Alex Pareene at Salon explains why the hire is another bad decision by CNN:
Who better for the job of turning around CNN than the man who took NBC from first to last? Jeff Zucker, the brain behind TV’s “Joey,” is going to be the new president of CNN Worldwide. The decision basically confirms that CNN, and Time Warner, have no clue what’s “wrong” with their struggling channel, nor the first idea as to how to fix it. [...] Zucker is theoretically capable of reversing the ratings trend, though I wouldn’t hold my breath. But he’s definitely never shown any ability or interest in producing less embarrassing programming. The man to rescue CNN from a loathsome charlatan like Piers Morgan is not the man who made Donald Trump a nationally recognized prime-time television clown. [...]

If the problem at CNN (the channel) is that no one thinks of turning it on when there isn’t a plane crash or foreign revolution happening, Zucker might be able to come up with enough idiotic stunt programming to get people interested. But CNN’s understanding of its “brand” problem — no one wants to watch us because we’re too fair and nonpartisan and unbiased boo hoo — has always been self-serving and wholly incorrect. People who want the sort of serious news it pretends it’s offering (NPR listeners, maybe) all know that CNN is full of fluff, shouting talking heads and blithering idiot Wolf Blitzer all day long. And at night it’s not hard news either, it’s shows built around big personalities — Piers and Anderson! — who aren’t even as colorful as the personalities on the other news channels.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Zucker is gonna fix it??!!....haha.. (12+ / 0-)

    hahahahaha...oh carp, not very cogent or productive...but hahahahaha.

    well, for sure there will be more disaster porn in the future so that might work for them.,,,heh...

    This machine kills Fascists.

    by KenBee on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 04:35:57 AM PST

  •  Krugman must (18+ / 0-)

    feel like Cassandra.  I am (stupidly) astonished that suddenly Congress discovers it is dedicated to fiscal responsibility when such phrases never reared their heads while funding wars and tax cuts that were both catastrophic to the economy.

    Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

    by KibbutzAmiad on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 04:37:06 AM PST

  •  Erickson: GOP may as well do the Thelma and (5+ / 0-)

    Louise thing cause Obama doesn't play nice.

  •  "Liberal" is a squishy word. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KibbutzAmiad, xxdr zombiexx, ybruti

    "Progressive" at least has a hard sound in it.

    Just my personal opinion.

    Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

    by Bush Bites on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 04:38:55 AM PST

    •  My opinion is... (13+ / 0-)

      as long as people vote Democrat, and as long as Democrats push for liberal policies that work for all Americans, I don't mind how voters self-identify.

      The problem is that unfortunately campaigns that are hooked on pollsters can't differentiate between indys and moderates. They look at the liberal self-identification numbers and run from liberal policies when, truth be told, in many swing districts and of course in solid D ones, the more liberal you are (truly liberal, that is), the greater the likelihood that you'll be seen as fighting for the middle class and standing up for what's right.

    •  I guess I was somewhat burned by the ... (0+ / 0-)

      use of "progress" as a discriptor for pillaging the natural world.  Liberal used to be respectable and I usually think of such things as "liberal education." That is the problem with any labels - they are redefined by the opposition and thus become almost useless.

    •  I USED to feel that way. (5+ / 0-)

      "Let's use" progessive instead of liberal to prevent the bullies from bullying."

      I disagree now.

      I am a liberal, a PROUD liberal and you can kiss my hairy white liberal ass if you don't like it.

      That is the essential attitude currently".

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:10:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, it's not (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      James Kresnik, winsock

      We've only been convinced that it is. Lincoln, TR, FDR and LBJ were liberals and there was nothing squishy about them. And the word liberal has come to mean more than one thing. There's the 19th century classical liberal, which is more like libertarian. Ron Paul is that kind of liberal. There's progressive liberal, which the above presidents were and most of us here are. And then there's the stereotypical squishy, effete, elitist, humorless, doctrinaire liberal that the right has tried to convince the country is the true liberal, way out of touch with everyday Americans and unfit to lead the country as being too weak and far left.

      There are, no doubt, liberals like this. But it's mostly an inaccurate caricature that we have to reject and not let ourselves be intiminated or embarrassed by, because that is precisely one of the right's goals in pushing it.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:24:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  it seems to me that (0+ / 0-)

      there is an important distinction between liberals and progressives, at least in the traditional/historical sense.

      there is a lot of overlap, but progressives were much more technocratic and statist, whereas liberals were much more concerned about personal freedoms and generally had a more romanticist view of the world.

      i think until the last several decades, liberal had a connotation of licentiousness.  since then, liberal has become probably more political than cultural, and i think the word progressive has come into use mostly as a way of avoiding the word liberal.

      but i think those who identify as progressives are probably quite a bit closer to the historical (american) liberal than to the historical progressive.

    •  funny, I think "Progressive" is a squishy word (0+ / 0-)

      "Liberal" at least has a hard sound in it.

      Maybe that's because the baggers have demonized liberals for so long.  As a lifelong democrat I didn't know what progressive meant when I first heard it.  I had 2 years of college too.

      It seems like if you don't know what a word means without looking it up it's kind of "squishy".

      Progressive seems like a term you would only use with politically aware people.  

  •  Re Egan's comment about the (0+ / 0-)

    teacher's union, Joe Nocera, writing in the NYT, advocates for Randi Weingarten for Sec of Educ. His reasoning, which I agree with and largely goes unnoticed: she agrees that changes need to be made, but work with us, not against us. Amen to that.

  •  Seemed like Larry King was popular once. (0+ / 0-)

    Can't they find another inoffensive call-in guy?

    How hard can that be?

    Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

    by Bush Bites on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 04:45:39 AM PST

  •  Scarborough highly upset that the President didn't (7+ / 0-)

    propose the elimination of Medicare.....No Joe....he wants the GOP to do that.

  •  CNN (5+ / 0-)

    I don't watch CNN any more than I have to.  I watch CNN if the only alternative is Fox.

    Why do I not watch CNN?  Two reasons:

    Wolf Blitzer

    Candy Crowley

    I have never understood why CNN places such stock in Wolf Blitzer.  He is a dunce, an egotist, and has an irritating voice.  Seems like he controls daytime CNN.  Get rid of him.

    Candy Crowley.  She stopped being a serious analyst when she allowed George W Bush to take away her objectivity.  Seems like everyone in Washington knew about Candy's crush on Bush, who flirted with her and called her, "Mi Dulcita," but CNN still let her blather every GOP message as if she was still a real news person.

    Hear that, new CNN guy?  Get rid of Wolf.  Get rid of Candy.  Restore CNN to an objective news organization, instead of a Fox News Lite.

    It's Morning in America (and the GOP has a hangover).

    by stlawrence on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 04:48:35 AM PST

  •  of course krugman is right, he's been right for (9+ / 0-)

    going on a decade now. it must get old, being right all the time, and no one listening to you. he has the satisfaction, i suppose, of a nobel and an audience (small though we may be) who cares about this country, as he obviously does, and of being right. not so bad, for a career.

    they say, if you placed a thousand monkeys, in front of a thousand keyboards, they would eventually type shakespeare. i believe mr. gingrich is that monkey, for he has typed the obvious: the "fiscal cliff" is congressional artifice, and congress can easily fix it. actually, it doesn't even qualify as a cliff, more like a slope, and a fairly gentle one at that. but non-hyperbole serves no politician's interests, or the media's. and so, we'll see great effort expended, to screw over those of us who've paid, for years, into social security and medicade/medicare, that the 1% won't feel put upon.

    •  Amazing how much sense the newtster can make ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xxdr zombiexx

      ... (or is capable of making, anyway) when he isn't running for office.

      If he was, he might still have made the same correct observation, but he would have retracted it by now at the insistence of his Faux Overlords.

      "The fears of one class of men are not the measure of the rights of another." ~ George Bancroft (1800-1891)

      by JBL55 on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:08:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I understand exactly how Krugman feels (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ybruti, Minnesota Deb, LilithGardener

      being right for 30 years about what needs to be done with marijuana prohibition, saying the same things over and over and over and over because the RIGHT THINGS NEVER GET DONE.

      Every last goddamned wrong thing will be tried until the only correct solution, in plain sight for generations is FINALLY applied.

      That's the power of government.

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:12:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  One battle the rethugs (almost) always win is (14+ / 0-)

    framing. "Fiscal cliff" is brilliant for what it's intended to do. The thought of speeding along, going 70mph and heading for a cliff is downright frightening. Do something, we're gonna die! It is one scary concept.
         The framing has taken hold with many. I hear people who don't know the first thing about monetary and fiscal policy claiming that we're heading for a fiscal cliff.
          The truth is that George Bush and a compliant Congress pushed us over that cliff with 2 trillion dollars of war, a 2 trillion dollar wet kiss to big pharma and a 2 trillion dollar tax break to the filthy rich. We've gone over the fiscal cliff. Now the job is to get out of the ravine.

    The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

    by Hillbilly Dem on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 04:52:16 AM PST

    •  The ball is in Boner's capable (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare, LilithGardener
    •  The corporate media loves the term. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      88kathy, tb mare, LilithGardener

      If I see another Thelma and Louise clip, I'm going to throw a brick at my TV.

      Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

      by Bush Bites on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:01:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  blah no cliff (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Minnesota Deb

      it will slow the economy down temporarily but it won't have a lasting effect.  we had a very good economy with the clinton era tax rates.

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

      by noofsh on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:03:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We had a great economy w/ Clinton tax rates. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tb mare, Minnesota Deb

           And an incredible economy with Eisenhower's 91% top end tax rate. And under Ike, the middle class joined in the party. Then again, the Military-Industrial Complex that he warned us about had not yet grown to be the leviathan that it has now become. And sacrosanct, too. Borrow from Iceland, not Greece.

        The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it."

        by Hillbilly Dem on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:55:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  AND DEMS LET THEM. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Minnesota Deb
      One battle the rethugs (almost) always win is
      Every goddamned time.

      "Abortion" is not really about "abortion" but that's the framing of the republican agenda to strip women of their power of choice.

      But we always talk about 'abortion' as if republicans give a rat-fuck about children.

      They don't.

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:15:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Always ask people invoking these frames (4+ / 0-)

      to explain why they're accurate. Most often they can't, giving circular reasons that make no sense. What do you mean why are we going over the cliff? We're going over the cliff because we're going over the cliff! The TV man said so!

      You might piss them off, but you might also get them to catch themselves being gullible, and down the line, they might start asking questions too.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:32:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cooper is often ok; Morgan = jumped the shark (5+ / 0-)

    Anderson Cooper isn't really the problem at CNN; he's produced lots of old-school solid journalism from dangerous spots throughout the world, although he can too-often slide into the "both sides do it" school of journalism of the domestic side.

    RATHER, the hiring of Piers Morgan and Eric Erickson are what speaks volumes about what's gone wrong at CNN.  Wolf Blitzer has the journalistic soul of a game-show-host misplaced in a purportedly serious news network.  Watching him is like nails on chalkboard.

  •  When people ask me if I'm a liberal I say no; (9+ / 0-)

    I'm a radical, way left of liberal. That's almost the end of that conversation.

    In ten or twenty years, I expect that we'll see Congress panic on climate change, with a lot of finger pointing and selective amnesia by the same individuals who deride the idea today.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 04:59:44 AM PST

  •  Hey Krauthammer - FU too! (6+ / 0-)

    We aren't playing your stupid game because it doesn't need to be played.  We are going over the cliff.  Yeah!  And all tax rates will go up.  Now if you right wing nuts want to do the "right thing" (hard to believe) then pass a tax cut for the 98% (which really still provides an improvement to 100% because it's marginal rates we are talking about).

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

    by noofsh on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:00:30 AM PST

    •  Krauthammer hit the nail on the head (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Minnesota Deb

      "And on Wednesday, the president threw down the gauntlet by demanding tax hikes now — with spending cuts to come next year. Meaning, until after Republicans have fallen on their swords, given up the tax issue and forfeited their political leverage."

      Charles' Sherlock Holmes moment deduced correctly: that is about the size of it.   Krauthammer and the rest of his GOP-shilling colleagues can just accept that utterly sensible reality.

    •  Krauthammer is smart enough to know (4+ / 0-)

      that SS contributes zero to the deficit because it's effectively off-budget, having its own funding source that's solvent for at least another 20 years. He just hates it because it's "socialism" and is willfully lying about it because he wants to kill it. He's just another mean-spirited and selfish old white asshole misanthrope.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:35:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Krauthammer is following the ConPun memo... (0+ / 0-)

      They're all starting to yammer about how the "Fiscal Cliff" is a fraud created by Democrats to stampede Republicans into raising taxes.

      My local paper reported Newt the Grinch's recent speech and book-signing gig at the Reagan Library... he said the very same thing.

      It's a mirror image of what I'm reading here on Dkos and hearing from other Dems. ("... a fraud created by Republicans to cut spending") But there's one big difference.

      The ConPuns are NOT saying, "Go ahead punk, make my day".

      They denounce the "cliff", but they're not daring the Congressional Pubs to step off it on January 1. Instead, they're trying to stiffen the 'Pubs resolve against taxes.

      This suggests that the Dems have the stronger hand.

      Have you noticed?
      Politicians who promise LESS government
      only deliver BAD government.

      by jjohnjj on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 08:04:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I GOTTA ask again.... the fiscal cliff is an (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    diffrntdrummr, tb mare, Minnesota Deb

    artifical contrivance right?

    Repubs made it up, made up the term and it is ENTIRELY about killing services for the 99% and cutting taxes further on the sickeningly rich, right? Nothing more, right?

    This is a primo example of repubs setting the framing for a non-issue and Dems TOTALLY going along with it, using the repub language and NOT challenging any part of this actual MYTH.

    It is disheartening to hear Democrats playing along with republicans on this. It is part and parcel of the problems I have with Democrats in that they seem to INSIST on doing things the least effective way. Coddling a minority party that only wishes you were dead is NOT an intelligent way to proceed.

    Dems should want the feel of their enemies skulls beneath their feet, and should want to hear the wailing of their women.

    Not inviting serial killers, car jackers, and child molesters into your house for a nice sit-down dinner.

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:07:01 AM PST

  •  for 0 dollars I'll tell you what's wrong with CNN (5+ / 0-)

    they treat news like a daytime talkshow, for one, and for two, the daytime talkshow format of their 'newstainment' is Fox-lite.  You won't regain viewers by pretending to be Fox - people tune in to Fox for that.

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:08:57 AM PST

  •  CNN sucks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Hard to believe that Ted Turner did a better job than anyone else has on this network.

  •  What happened to (4+ / 0-)

    people like Christiane Amanpour at CNN?  Is she still there?  CNN always liked war porn but in the past decade, they've become horrendous.  And why is Wolf Blitzer always on?  

    Here's a few suggestions:  Cover REAL economic news - not just Wall Street.  Hire actual journalists, the kind who present facts instead of hiring "fact checkers" only during the run up to an election.  And divorce yourself from the notion that the "C" stands for "corporate".

    Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

    by KibbutzAmiad on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:11:42 AM PST

  •  Coming in 2013 - TRUMP The News! Sponsored by (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bush Bites, 88kathy, ratcityreprobate

    "Dis iz CNN"

  •  Egan's Rightwing BS About Liberals (5+ / 0-)

    Timothy Egan / NYT:

    For at least a generation’s time, liberals in this country have been afraid to call themselves liberal. Was it the excesses of their creed, from race-based preferential programs that went on far too long to crude speech censorship by the politically correct and humorless (one and the same) that soiled the brand? In blindly embracing, say, the teachers’ union in the face of overwhelming evidence that public education needs a jolt or in never questioning the efficacy of government programs, the left earned its years in exile.

    Liberal race-based "preferential programs" certainly alienated White privileged men like Timothy Egan, whose centuries of White race-based preferential programs are defined as the norm, never tolerating even a generation of race based enforced equality. Liberal "crude speech censorship" that recognized threatening speech is an act that violates others' liberties surely galls White bullies.

    Liberals are so "politically correct" that they're the only ones in the country who've ever compromised since the rise of "Conservatism" a half century ago. So "humorless" that the funniest shows on TV all have a liberal agenda, from All in the Family through The Cosby Show to The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Real Time and points between. To say nothing of the standup comics and movies that were revolutionized by liberals, especially Black liberals, both in humor and in political relevance. Humor has been the core liberal value, along with equality, for all of modern American history. While Conservatism is the humorless movement in every way: its funniest avatars have been William "Poindexter" Buckley and Dennis "Atavist" Miller. The sum of Conservative humor is dwarfed by a single Bazooka Joe candy wrapper.

    Liberals' "blind embrace" of teachers unions is of course invented by Egan and his corporatist cohort. The "jolt" that public education needs is to make it more public, less private, so the teachers unions can organize to protect their own labor interests without having to defend students and the country's basic intellect from these corporatist "jolts".

    Somehow liberals targets of the Pentagon and of corporate welfare (and especially the meeting of the two) doesn't "question the efficacy of government programs".

    Egan is a corporatist. That comes with the baggage of anti-intellectualism, militarism, narrowminded uptightness, blaming labor victims, lying about liberals. Blaming liberals for the corporate media branding campaign that has alienated people from the label, while they increasingly embraced the values. Somehow all that terrible liberal agenda Egan vilifies is both the reason people don't call themselves liberal, and the agenda they increasingly call their own.

    Egan is a case in point, right down to the Conservative media monomania in attacking liberals for Conservatives' own worst problems.

    The Left has never been "exiled", always consisting of at least slightly below 50% of politically active Americans, and often (far) more. Only in the Conservative Corporate media (which invented and enforces the term "liberal media") has the Left been in exile.

    If even one such as Egan must finally admit that America is "center-left", that it reelected a gifted leader who can necessarily tax the rich to restore some equality, then America is clearly far more liberal than these media masters admit. If they're willing to admit that liberal leadership into equality makes "liberal" sound good, they might be admitting that even their attacks on the brand have lost the war on the brand's equity and its agenda's popularity.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:13:16 AM PST

  •  Entitlement reform is easy. (9+ / 0-)

    Raise the cap on FICA. Tax ALL income, earned and unearned for Medicare/Medicaid and SS (which is properly NOT part of this discussion) for individuals and raise the employer contribution to say, 200K. (Someone who really knows what the economy would bear on that would have better numbers).

    It's that easy, and no one seems to be talking about it.

    Too many people, especially the Villagers, seem to think the word Entitlement means an entitlement to something given to us by the government. They need to start thinking about that word in a way which reflects its definition as applied to these government programs: we are entitled to these things because we have already paid for them, at least in part.

    Sorry folks, but this is ALL about revenue. To make this a conversation about breaking the social contract with people like me who were born after Medicare/Medicaid was the law of the land is just plain wrong. Frankly, I'd like to hear the President talk about how he is unwilling to break the government's promise to the American people who have been paying their whole working lives for these benefits, and count on them.

    Howard Dean had it right on MSNBC last night: Medicare is the most efficiently run health care provider out there. More efficient than private plans (which is why Obamacare exists in the first place, to force the private sector to spend more dollars on care and less on administration). Why we won't simply acknowledge that ideology aside, Medicare WORKS BETTER THAN ANY ALTERNATIVE is beyond me. Dr. Dean gets it. Now it's time for the rest of us to get it.

  •  Mr. President (& Dems.), Don't Turn That Wheel! (4+ / 0-)

    Yes, the Republicans want to play another game of chicken, with the Dem. and Rep. cars barreling down on one another.  But in a political game of chicken, the first one to turn the wheel loses.

    We need to keep our car going straight towards no tax cut extension for the upper 2%, no meddling with Social Security, no changes to medicare benefits or eligibility age, and perhaps most importantly, yes to extension of tax cuts for the 98% and the payroll tax cut.

    There should be only two outcomes to this game of chicken.  Either the Republicans swerve to avoid the crash, in which case we win.  Or we crash on December 31.

    And if we crash, there are a few things to in mind:

    1) The crash will be a slow speed crash without any major damage.  Why do I say that?  Because despite all the BS Wall Street is putting out about dire consequences, nothing much will happen on January 1.  We will also have most of January to fix things and can make legislation retro-active so its like nothing happened.

    2) Its clear from all the polling that if the crash happens, the majority of the public will blame Republicans for not swerving.


    3) We will get new cars in January, and our car will be in better condition than the Republican's car, in the sense that the new Congress will contain more progressive Dems. and less Tea Party Republicans.  Also, it will likely have a set of filibuster rules that will make it harder on Senate Republicans to block legislation.

    Lastly, the road to avoiding a crash does not go through John Boehner.  It goes through a handful of emerging moderate Republicans in the House (Cole, Gibson, and probably others) who are willing to grab the wheel away from their leadership and vote with Dems. to avoid the Crash.  The White House needs to develop a list of moderates and start picking them off one-by-one by targeting them in their districts.  

    "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 Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:31:46 AM PST

    •  Peter King isn't a moderate, but he's worth (0+ / 0-)

      picking at.

      Redistricting made his formerly safe red district a bit more blue, and he only won by 15 pts this election (instead of 45 pts he won in 2010).

      He's already talking sanely against Grover Norquist.

      We need a strong Dem candidate there in 2014.

      The White House needs to develop a list of moderates and start picking them off one-by-one by targeting them in their districts.  
  •  Krauthammer's right. Soc. Sec. is the easiest fix. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Desert Rose, diffrntdrummr, tb mare

    All we have to do is apply the payroll tax to all income (not just the first $107,000) and voila, problem fixed.

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

    by bigtimecynic on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:33:22 AM PST

    •  All income and lower the percentage (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LilithGardener, bigtimecynic

      or 175K of income and keep the 13% rate.

      The tax code is where all the changes need to be made.  We must push for we the people to get our money back that the vampires on WallStreet sucked up.


      25% tax rate on UNearned income over $500K.  That protects small investors and anyone stuck in a 401(k) or IRA.  It has the added benefit of beginning to train the vultures that money is not to be had by fucking labor.

      On my it'll-never-happen-list:  any corporation not paying a living wage has to pay the difference in taxes.  And any corporation paying a living wage gets to deduct the SS tax from their corporate taxes.

      No cuts need to happen outside of the military, and those can not come at the expense of the personnel.  

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

      by PsychoSavannah on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:48:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Right wing lie, picked up by "liberals" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Minnesota Deb
    In blindly embracing, say, the teachers’ union in the face of overwhelming evidence that public education needs a jolt..
    That jolt was more like electrocution. NCLB.

    Remember, you can't have crazy without az.

    by Desert Rose on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:38:11 AM PST

  •  Maybe the old "liberal/conservative" labels should (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, Ohkwai, LilithGardener

    be retired.  I'd replace it with "progressive/regressive."  

    Some progressives may not like making that diluting the brand by applying it too broadly, but it better communicates what "liberal" has meant than "liberal" under contemporary political culture means.  And, more importantly, has a more positive face - moving forward rather than everything goes.  

    As for "regressive," it not only better describes what conservatism used to imply, namely, "constraint," but also denotes more more clearly - and more negatively - what it has become: a throwback culture of the anti-intellectual, anti-scientific and anti-education crowd.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:38:16 AM PST

  •  In some ways Krugman didn't go far enough (0+ / 0-)

    He forgot to mention the G.O.P.'s greatest enablers: Blue Dog Democrats and the "liberals" and "progressives" who allow them to hold a disproportionate amount of leadership positions with the party and caucuses.

    We need to pressure the "Blue Dogs" every step of the way to prevent a "Grand Betrayal."

    "The working class mind is strange and unpredictable" -- Ty Lookwell

    by Illinibeatle on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:38:59 AM PST

  •  Egan: 99% crap, 1 spot-on line. (0+ / 0-)

    To hear Egan define liberals, there can barely be anything else.  If you like goodness, you're a liberal.  If you're not a liberal, you're evil.  Little things about the role and size of government play no role in the equation.  Nice as it sounds, Egan's definition would make George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan liberals, though you might have to squint a bit to see it.

    This line, however, is spot-on:

    If you believe in climate change, finding a path to citizenship for millions of hard-working Hispanics and the right to marry the person you love, there is no place in the Republican Party of 2012 for you.
    OK, squishy propaganda-born phrasing to make his point, but the point is valid.

    There is nothing liberal or conservative about a belief in climate change.  It's good to be skeptical. There's reason to be skeptical. Democrats have twisted and torn this issue so much, and taken so many liberties that it's hard to know exactly where the truth lay.  The costs of fixing the problem are horrendous, and, truth be told, it's too late to fix it by any reasonable means. But: hidebound denial is not a conservative view, especially when it comes in service to multi-national oil companies that seek damage our land for the benefit of China and other nations.  Plundering our resources and ruining our land effective turns what should be a great nation into a colony for the oil companies.  That can't be a American conservative view --- our founders fought a revolution to break the bonds of colonialism.  

    The millions of people (not just latinos) who have illegally entered the country and taken up lives is a different issue.  We have a moral right and obligation to protect our borders.  Mexico does it, and is far harsher than we are.  We should protect our borders and we should come down very hard on those who employee illegal immigrants, but we are faced with the reality that we haven't done that.  We have looked the other way for years as employers reaped the benefit of cheap labor that couldn't afford to complain to the authorities.  We have allowed our immigration laws to become like those old laws we read about from time to time, the ones that say you can't bring your horse into a saloon or tie up a cow at the watering trough.  Come down as hard as you want on new trespassers and, especially, the people who employ them, but admit we are all complicit in the current status of those who have established lives here.

    As to gay marriage --
    I've already typed too long to feel like goint into that, but the very conservative notion of the government staying the hell out of people's private lives ought to form a good starting point.

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

    by dinotrac on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:44:52 AM PST

  •  Who is this idiot Egan? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare
    Was it the excesses of their creed, from race-based preferential programs that went on far too long to crude speech censorship by the politically correct and humorless (one and the same) that soiled the brand?
    I suppose it's more "humorous" to use the N-word than "African-American" or "black," more humorous to say "dago" than "Hispanic," more humorous to call someone a girl when she's the mother of three and the grandmother of three?

    My 18-year-old granddaughter is a young woman, a sophomore in college.  My three-year-old granddaughter is a little girl.

    I don't consider the liberal brand to be "soiled," but my mind feels "soiled" by reading Asswipe Egan's comment.  What a stupid boy.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:46:30 AM PST

  •  Time to let your representatives know (0+ / 0-)

    what you think about the STEM act, which is set to be voted on in the House today.  This act  would provide up to 55,000 green cards a year to those earning masters and doctoral degrees from U.S. schools in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  House Republicans and some Democrats are in favor of it; most Democrats and the president oppose it.

    The description of the act sounds reasonable, but it would makes these visas available by moving them from another visa program, not by increasing the number of visas granted each year.

    Here is a pretty good explanation of what the Act would do and how the act would be implemented, along with the pros and cons as perceived by supporters and critics of the Act

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:53:29 AM PST

  •  Faux News (0+ / 0-)

    Krauthammer spends entirely too much of his time on Faux News and it affects his thinking processes.  As you watch these conservatives bloviate, you realize they have a hard job trying to keep in line with Roger Ailes' talking points because they seem to know better.  The arguments are pretty lame, especially for Krauthammer.  

  •   ". . . liberals in this country have been . . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, winsock

    . . . afraid to call themselves liberal.

    Speak for yourself, dude.

  •  Bring Ted Turner back (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybersaur, ratcityreprobate

    to run CNN.  It was a decent station then.

  •  Whew...thanks Krauthammer! (0+ / 0-)

    I was worried that the GOP Alternate reality bubble had burst after the's nice to see it still intact. Thanks Krauthammer for perpetuating myths like SS and the ACA add to the deficit. I especially like the part where he calls the trust fund mythical suggesting the trust fund money uses imaginary dollars (you know like imaginary numbers or imaginary time...)  

    KOS you have to burst that bubble!

  •  re: Tim Egan on "Liberals" (0+ / 0-)

    He neglects to mention that RW Talk-Radio has been demonizing "The L-Word" for three decades.

    While ridicule of "Conservatives" is common here in Blogville, it has been a whisper compared to the megaphones wielded by the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck.

    It take boatloads of self-confidence to self-identify as a Liberal these days. The FoxPuppets and religious zanies feel complete entitled to trash you in public.

    All it takes is one socially-retarded asshole regurgitating the spew he heard on the radio while driving to work, to intimidate the entire lunch room. The asshole is just "expressing his opinion", but anyone who challenges his rant is "being disruptive in the workplace".

    Most people just want to avoid that kind of trouble... which is why RW Talk-radio continues to demonize "The L-Word".

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 08:27:37 AM PST

  •  Accidental liberals, accidental feminists (0+ / 0-)

    Liberal ideas taking root within young "libertarians?"

    Saw an interesting letter posted by Andrew Sullivan last night on his blog The Daily Beast, to support his opinion on the biggest reason why Silicon Valley voters and donors went overwhelming for Obama.

    29 Nov 2012 08:08 PM
    A Letter From A Millennial Voter

    A reader writes:

       I was born in 1984. The first election I was able to vote in on a Presidential level was 2004, in which I voted for John Kerry, and have gone on to vote for Obama both in 2008 and 2012. To give some perspective on why the Democrats are winning voters like myself and of my generation, I can break it down.

        Many people my age are more libertarian-leaning than anything.  I think the emergence of gay marriage as an issue in 2004 is what started the trend of the youth vote decisively going for the Democrats. While it may have been a shrewd political move by Karl Rove in 2004 to use marriage equality as a wedge issue, in the long run, it will be seen as a strategic error for the party. In addition to [believing in] marriage equality, we also don't believe in stupid wars. It seems Bush really exposed my generation to an underbelly of the Republican Party that we don't identify with.

        Furthermore, we are a technological generation. We came of age during the rise of the Internet, and we have embraced it, and in turn we have revolutionized its use (Zuckerberg, et al). We see the Republican party as anti-science, anti-technology know-nothings. We want no part of that. [Bold added by me]

    So prior to 2004, there was a whole generation that had no use for the term "liberal" and very little interest in so-called "liberal values."

    They were too busy living their lives and finding innovative ways to challenge, (or render moot), regulations that barred access to things they wanted to do with their free time (make, mix, and match music, make, mix and parody videos)... These young "libertarians" made it a hobby to mess with the rules whenever the rules got in the way of something they wanted to do.

    Even though they may not identify with the word "liberal" as a group identifier, we might say this Millennial Voter's "liberal conscience" was awakened by Republican's attack on civil rights for LGBT.  

    They never intended to choose a set of liberal political ideas, but they were already socially liberal when the GOP tacked hard right.

    At least 2 generations of young women (and men) had seemed to reject the term "feminist" after the word had been sullied by those who used "militant" as a qualifier.  The ideals of feminism had nothing to offer them, (or so they thought).  They took things like access to contraception and STD screening and abortion services for granted.

    This election cycle, many of these young men and women, found their "liberal conscience" further awakened as they became "accidental feminists" - thanks to the extreme rhetoric of Limbaugh's attack on Sandra Fluke, and the GOP's steady stream of revealing statements about rape, and contraception.

  •  Gingrich is right (0+ / 0-)

    the "cliff" is easily fixed. But Obama wants the GRAND BARGAIN echo echo. So why are us dems sitting here with "stupid" written on our foreheads? Why did we not push for Obama to stay with us? Why is he (and all the dems) so not afraid of us?  Well duh!

    American Television is a vast sea of stupid. -xxdr zombiexx

    by glitterscale on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 10:34:28 AM PST

  •  The Krauthammer op ed piece is a doozy. (0+ / 0-)

    Reduce it to an outline with bullet points and you get a plain, straightforward summary of Republican goals for class warfare:

    1. Social Security is the easiest to solve.

    In 2012, Social Security adds $165 billion to the deficit. Democrats pretend that Social Security is covered through 2033 by its trust fund. Except that the trust fund is a fiction, a mere “bookkeeping” device....

    2. Ronald Reagan once fell for a “tax now, cut later” deal that he later deeply regretted. Dems got the tax; he never got the cuts.

    3. The objective (of Obama letting the Bush tax cuts expire) is to ignite exactly the kind of internecine warfare on taxes now going on among Republicans. And to bury Grover Norquist.

    4. Obama is claiming an electoral mandate to raise taxes on the top 2 percent. Perhaps, but remember those incessant campaign ads promising a return to the economic nirvana of the Clinton years?

    Going back to the Clinton rates means middle-class tax hikes that yield four times the revenue that you get from just the rich.

    5. So give Obama the full Clinton. Let him live with that. ... Otherwise, strap on your parachute, Mr. President. We’ll ride down together.

    At every point he sets up abuse of the legislative process to protect the 2%.

    The Bush tax cuts were passed as temporary measures to overcome the 9/11 recession.

    Never trust a Republican.

  •  Zucker also ousted Jane Pauley (0+ / 0-)

    from the Today Show, on his theory she was "too old", for which the public outcry was deafening.  He was then promoted from overseeing Today Show to  overseeing NBC, which he also screwed up.  
      As one TV critic said, Zucker is one of those who "fails upward."

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 12:03:05 PM PST

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