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Longwood Gardens. Photo by joanneleon. January, 2010

“External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm, no wintry weather chill him. No wind that blew was bitterer than he, no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose, no pelting rain less open to entreaty.”

-- Charles Dickens

Jethro Tull - First Snow on Brooklyn
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News and Opinion

Fiscal Cliff Quotes of the Day

"Let's be clear: This is something that the Republicans have asked for and as part of an effort to find common ground with Republicans, the president has agreed to put this in his proposal," replied Carney. "He has agreed to have this as part of a broad deficit reduction package that includes asking the wealthiest to pay more so that we can achieve the kind of revenue targets that are necessary to a balanced approach to deficit reduction." Lyin', back pedalin' Jay Carney
"The biggest impediment [to a budget deal] right now is the speaker's ability to get a decent number of Republican votes for an agreement.... One way to get this done ... [would be] if the speaker was willing to bring to the floor of the House a bill that did not necessarily get a majority of Republican votes."
"I'm getting increasingly concerned that one of the reasons the speaker is deciding to ... string out these discussions is that he wants to wait till Jan. 3, when the election for speaker takes place. And he's concerned that any agreement he reaches [without support of a majority of Republicans] could undermine support for him in his caucus and make it more difficult on Jan. 3."
"Republicans used the redistricting process to their favor.... I don't think that is going to overcome the fact that the positions they have staked out on issues are so far to the extreme right of where the American people are that Democrats have a big opening with independent voters."
Chris Van Hollen
The public's idea of "balanced" is a lot different than Obama's idea of it.
Public advocates compromise, seeks balanced approach

SOURCE: This Washington Post-ABC News poll was conducted by telephone Dec. 13 to 16, 2012, among a random sample of 1002 adults. The results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by Abt-SRBI of New York..

Beyond stupid.  What a legacy, (former) Madame Speaker!  We finally got a female Speaker, and for awhile she had a huge majority in the House, while we had the Senate and the White House, and look what she did with it then, and look what she is still doing with her leadership role now.   This is the woman who has been deemed such a strong leader?  A champion of the Democratic party?  Members of the House are fools to follow her lead.  If they have half a brain, there will be mutiny. Her actions over the past five years have shown that she is not worthy of any trust.  I hope they come to their senses when their phones are ringing off the hook, their voicemail, email and faxes are full, and they face furious constituents every day.  Chris Van Hollen's recent statements suggest that the Dems are trying to get enough votes to cover for Republicans who won't vote for this, and if that happens, cutting Social Security will be squarely on the heads of the Democrats.  This will be used against them in campaigns for decades to come.  Republicans will legitimately be able to campaign forevermore on the fact that Democrats cut Social Security and they won't even be lying.
Nancy Pelosi Predicts 'Democrats Will Stick With The President' On Fiscal Cliff Deal

WASHINGTON -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is convinced her fellow Democrats will get behind the White House's latest "fiscal cliff" deal that cuts Social Security benefits and increases taxes on the middle class. Others in the party, however, hedged on the likelihood of that provision passing with a majority of Democratic votes.
Despite these changes, Pelosi said she could convince her caucus to get behind such a plan, if need be.

"Do you think you could sell it to your caucus?" MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell asked Pelosi in an interview on Tuesday.

"I do," replied Pelosi, adding, "Yes, the Democrats will stick with the president -- and maybe not every single one of them."

As some progressives push back, Pelosi embraces Obama cliff offer

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

(Note, Center for American Progress is the D party think tank. Tells you all you need to know about their intended economic policies going forward.)
Larry Summers named as distinguished fellow at Center for American Progress

“As our country continues to confront challenges to establishing economic growth that is more broadly shared, there are few thinkers with Larry’s insights, keen intellect, and policy creativity,” said Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress, in a statement.

Sam Seder, The Majority Report
David Dayen: Exits Blogging & Obama’s Bad Offer

On today’s show Sam talks with the great David Dayen (@ddayen) about his exit from the liberal blogosphere and Obama’s new offer to the GOP.

Heh, I like ugly Christmas sweaters, sweatshirts and turtlenecks too.  I even have an ugly Christmas embroidered vest.  Most of them I picked up at sales after Christmas and I got them because my kids loved it when I wore them. Every couple of years I think: I should probably toss these things because it's silly to take up space with things you can only wear for one month out of the year and I've had some of them for years.  But for whatever reason, I keep them.  Now they are all the rage.
So ugly they're cool

With Gene Autry's classic version of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" playing in the background, Sarah Stockton-Brown tried on perhaps the trendiest top of the early winter season: a black wool vest embroidered with red Christmas bows and white bedazzles.

Like many people in their mid-20s, she's going to an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, and she's hoping to win some serious bragging rights.

Blog Posts and Tweets of Interest

The Evening Blues

Terror, Horror and Human Rights Redux

Jethro Tull- Pavane


Remember when progressive debate was about our values and not about a "progressive" candidate? Remember when progressive websites championed progressive values and didn't tell progressives to shut up about values so that "progressive" candidates can get elected?

Come to where the debate is not constrained by oaths of fealty to persons or parties.

Come to where the pie is served in a variety of flavors.

"The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum."  ~ Noam Chomsky

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