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The "real issue" is our members don't want to be perceived as raising taxes. - Speaker Boehner just now. @nowwithalex
@AriMelber via web

That's the obvious conclusion to last night's debacle in the House of Represenatives, in which a rebellion prevented a vote on House Speaker John Boehner's "Plan B" to avert the fiscal cliff curb. In a bellicose press conference this morning, Boehner baldly stated that his caucus won't vote for a tax increase, and that what this country has is a spending problem. In other words, he's pretending that his massive failure yesterday, and the fact that his caucus is in total chaos, isn't happening.

Asked if he was worried about his speakership, he said simply, "No, I'm not. If you do the right things everyday for the right reasons, the right things will happen. ...  While we may not have been able to get the votes last night to avert 99.81 percent of the tax increases, I don't think—they weren't taking that out on me. They were dealing with the perception that somebody might accuse them of raising taxes."

His confidence must be entirely bluster, because he's got a real problem on his hands. Like the gloating from this guy, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), who was one of the teabagger committee chairs who was "purged" by House leadership and lost his chair. He called Boehner's failure "a victory for Republian principles." Then twisted the knife a little bit more:

"On a separate note, Republican leadership thought they could silence conservatives when they kicked us off our Committees. I’m glad that enough of my colleagues refused to back down after the threats and intimidation, thus preventing the Conference from abandoning our principles."
On the other side (there actually is another side in the Republican caucus, unbelievably), one Republican is embarrassed by the clown show. Here's Rep. Steven C. LaTourette (R-OH):
“It weakens the entire Republican Party, the Republican majority. It’s the continuing dumbing-down of the Republican Party and we are going to be seen more and more as a bunch of extremists that can’t even get a majority of our own people to support policies that we’re putting forward,” LaTourette said.
Here's the one thing Boehner said this morning that rang true. There will be some resolution to this, but "How we get there, God only knows."

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:42 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Let me speculate (0+ / 0-)

    Boehner's subconscious ready to cave ?  discuss please

    •  Isn't it time... (6+ / 0-)

      The real question is how long are the American people going to put up with Bonehead's Teabagger contingent running around waving Norquist's Tax Pledge like Chairman Mao's ideologues waving his "Little Red Book"  that killed hundreds of thousands and almost destroyed China!

      Even Bonehead's supporters are calling them "chuckleheads" and his "Plan B" was never a serious counter offer but a GOP "wish list" left over from the Romney/Ryan plan that was rejected by the American people in the election... and they couldn't even get that passed!

      The teabaggers have one agenda... destroy the American government and they don't care how many people they hurt or what their actions do to the economy.

      The only reason so many of them survived in the House was the gerrymandering of congressional districts, voter suppression laws, suspension of early voting... and they still lost the White House, control of the Senate, and seats in the House!

       Here is the definition of Treason:

      trea·son  

      The crime of betraying one's country, esp. by attempting to kill the sovereign or overthrow the government.

      The action of betraying someone or something.
      Synonyms treachery - betrayal - perfidy - disloyalty - sellout

      The GDP for the last quarter was just revised up to 3.1% growth for last quarter, which is good and show the economy is definitely recovering. The CBO is so worried about the damage that the "Fiscal Cliff" BS that they said if it isn't resolved that the GDP would drop to -3.9 and we would wind up in recession again.

      What difference does it make if you destroy towns and cities and the lives of the people who live there with bombs or an economic policy (or the lack of one) that would decimate them?

      Isn't it time to start calling the Teabagger's actions for what they are... Treason!

  •  Mayans were right for the rethugs, but without (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    The rapture.   Ha!  

    "Jesus died for somebody's sins but not mine." -- Patti Smith

    by followyourbliss on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:52:00 AM PST

  •  Shorter B: Everything, ever, is all Obama's fault (5+ / 0-)

    Waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!

    There has to be a better way.

    by lotac on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:52:28 AM PST

  •  Doubling-down by gamblers usually has dire (7+ / 0-)

    consequences.

    Mr. Boehnor is about to find that out------and us along with him.

  •  I see yesterday as a victory for those (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VClib, Susan G in MN, mjr, mightymouse

    on both sides who want us to live, long term, with the sequestration/across the board cuts, tax increases on everyone, end of the AMT patch for two-income families of $75,000 and up, end of the Doc Fix, and payroll tax return to historical levels.  

    I think this makes it more likely that there is no "deal" on the fiscal cliff, ever.  We will likely go into recession in the first half of 2013, and a lot of people will lose jobs.

    On a positive note, it looks like there will be significant deficit reduction (from those across-the-board cuts and those across-the-board tax increases) in 2013, just as Congress intended when they put the sequestration in place in 2011.  

    •  who are those people? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Algernons Labyrinth, colleen
      I see yesterday as a victory for those on both sides who want us to live, long term, with the sequestration/across the board cuts, tax increases on everyone, end of the AMT patch for two-income families of $75,000 and up, end of the Doc Fix, and payroll tax return to historical levels.
      do such people actually exist?

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:30:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's a bit of a straw man (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse

        because everyone supports the AMT patch and Doc Fix.

        Other than those, yes, the Clinton tax rates, and the sequester are a better long-term deal for progressives than any other proposal on the table.

        Remember, the bulk of the Obama/Bush tax cuts are upper-middle class tax cuts, i.e. income over $70k a year. Only a small portion goes to lower/working middle class. Those tax cuts aren't actually a good deal, because the lower/working middle class will end up paying for them with things like SS cuts and further social spending cuts.

        The minus, of course, is the projected recession, although it's projected to be relatively short - 6 months - and not very deep. Still, it's a bad time for a recession. (Not that there's really a good time for one.)

        •  Actually..I'm about done with the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mightymouse

          AMT patch and doc fix.

          Or anything else that requires Congress to pro-actively re-vote for it every year.

          Pass a damn law that actually fixes the problem (tie AMT to COLA just like tax rates.  Done.  It's a tax decrease, we should be able to get votes for it).

          As for the Doc fix....patching it just enables the spiraling cost of health care.    It means somebody will make less money.  There will be some short term shortages of medical providers who don't want to pay the lower rates, but in general what tends to happen is that somebody will step up to meet the demand.    A hell of a lot of boomers are joining medicare every day, more than the rate of medicare people dying.    Existing doctors might not want to take them on the rolls, but that unmet demand will put a pressure on the whole system to either reduce costs across the board or to provide some kind of medicare patient specialist service with a lower cost structure that can meet ht need.

          So...either admit the cost containment measure that caused the "doc fix" problem was a failure and repeal it, or give it a chance to actually take effect.    This half measure is worse than nothing.

    •  Austerity doesn't produce growth. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Minnesota Deb

      If we truly don't back out of a lot of the "fiscal cliff" crap then we're looking at a lost decade or more.

      But I don't believe that'll happen.  We probably won't get the stimulus we really need, but we'll reverse a lot of the worst stuff in the first couple of months.

      “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

      by jrooth on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:31:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Higher taxes is a form of Austerity (0+ / 0-)

        so do you oppose the tax increases on the wealthy?

        Right now the US is very far from operating under austerity.

        Government deficits of over $1 Trillion a year is a strong Keynesian stimulus.  Historically low interest rates due to government action is not austerity.  Federal government financing mortgages with 3% equity is not austerity.

        The problem is the economy is not responding very much from these government actions - other things are holding the economy back.

        The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

        by nextstep on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 09:14:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  who are these people? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Diane dp
      I see yesterday as a victory for those on both sides who want us to live, long term, with the sequestration/across the board cuts, tax increases on everyone, end of the AMT patch for two-income families of $75,000 and up, end of the Doc Fix, and payroll tax return to historical levels.
      do such people actually exist?

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:31:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  sorry for double post - whoops. (0+ / 0-)

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:36:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Howard Dean is one. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse

        He has repeatedly said that he thinks that our best option is to go off the cliff,take the hit, endure a two quarter recession,and then build out of it.

        He is a true deficit Hawk. He is not pleased with the Presidents plan because it does not reduce the deficit enough. He is not worried about the SS cuts.

        •  It's one thing to say this is the best option (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ferg

          given the list of bad options driven by GOP control of the house ...

          I doubt Dean wants the AMT patch to expire, though.

          I haven't seen anyone who says the fiscal cliff is a good idea on its own. Sensible people would rather do something else.

          An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

          by mightymouse on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:52:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Th question is, what is that "something else" that (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mightymouse, ferg, WillR, VClib

            realistically can get through both the House and Senate?  

            When you put it that way, there are a lot of people here who prefer the fiscal cliff over any bill that can get through the House.  

            •  Exactly. (0+ / 0-)

              Nothing constructive can pass this House.
              So wait until January, let the chips start to fall, run around like crazed weasels trying to catch the big pieces before they hit the ground.
              Reinstalling UI, writing new tax cuts (if need be), undoing the most pressing sequestration cuts, all with a weakened GOP in the House, Norquist sidelined, Boner knifed by his caucus, replaced by Cantor, the fissures within their normally unified party becoming chasms and their agenda (such as it is) in a shambles.
              As has been said many times already, very little of the "Fiscal Cliff" will hit immediately, it truly is just a bluff. The GOP will take the majority of the hit, losing their hostages and a good deal of their operational ability. They also lose the PR battle, take the blame for not solving the problem (in fact, making the problem in the first place).
              And Obama's hand is strengthened.
              And Harry Reid's spine has stiffened. And his team has improved markedly.
              "Hold tight
              We're in for nasty weather"

              If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

              by CwV on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 09:34:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  What kind of bill do you think (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                VClib

                can get through the House AFTER January 1?  

                I'll tell you -- about the same thing you could get through now.  Significant entitlement cuts in exchange for those things.  There are some Republicans who would be willing to do the tax increases, the UI, undoing some of the sequestration -- but I am unaware of a single House Republican willing to do any of that without significant entitlement cuts -- in the neighborhood of 1:1 with tax revenue.  

                Absent the significant entitlement cuts, it doesn't get through the House, not now and not on January 3.  

                •  Pure tax cut measures can pass (0+ / 0-)

                  Because they can't be construed as "tax increases" in primaries.

                  Anything that actually reduces the tax rate.
                  Something like a permanent AMT fix
                  Maybe something capping deductions
                  Maybe even a buffet-rule type bill if tied to the lower overall tax rates for most people.

                  Sadly I think the plan is that they'll try to sneak in some Dem policy stuff along with a mostly-tax measure....so instead of a clean 250K bush tax rate bill you instead get that plus unemployment insurance extension or doc fix or something and see if the Rs will vote down a tax rate decrease just to kill the riders off.

                  The Rs, of course, will probably try to do the same.  Which means a clean bill is the thing most likely to really pass.

            •  what bill can realistically get through Congress? (0+ / 0-)

              seems like nothing can get through the House.

              to fully evaluate how destructive going over the cliff is, you need to know what comes next.

              if going over the cliff is followed by a widespread rejection of nihilistic GOP governance and a concomitant return to sensible policy, then it's not so bad.

              if going over the cliff leads to a recession blamed on the Democrats, then it's worse.

              An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

              by mightymouse on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 09:36:36 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  So Boehner is saying (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, mdmslle, mightymouse, tardis10, CwV

    that it is impossible for any deal to be made with the GOP caucus, this was all for nothing and if there is to be a deal it can only be done with the help of Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats.

    Good to know.

    •  Actually, I think it's different (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Algernons Labyrinth, VClib

      It means that the only way a deal ever happens is if it can get a MAJORITY of House Republicans, and enough Democrats to make up the difference to 218.  

      And right now, any House Republican willing to vote for some tax increase is not going to do it without, in their words, "significant entitlement reforms."  It doesn't appear that chained CPI is enough.  I'm hearing that there are no Republican votes in the House unless it's pretty much a 1:1 Ratio -- $1 trillion in spending cuts for $1 trillion in tax increases. They'd rather stay over the cliff than accept a deal that's mostly tax increases without significant entitlement cuts.  

      So, unless you can find enough House Democrats to accept "significant entitlement reforms" I'm not optimistic about a deal.

      •  Spending cuts are there (0+ / 0-)

        We already saw over a trillion dollars in spending cuts when the Republicans held the debt ceiling hostage. No tax increases, just spending cuts. Boehner gloated. Now it's time for him to pay the piper. Since he was sure he wouldn't have to pony up, he didn't save a dime of political capital to pay his debt.

    •  And the mainstream GOP (0+ / 0-)

      is rolling out to help cover those votes,as clearly shown in the article below. May be too little too late.

      http://www.thestreet.com/...

      "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

      by tardis10 on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:37:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So we can only lower taxes and never raise them, (19+ / 0-)

    ever, no matter how imbalanced and unworkable the situation, nope, can't do it.  Because some Republicans are afraid.  

    That is an indictment on the GOP, and on the GOP only.  They are out of step with most of the nation.

    •  Exactly so (3+ / 0-)

      And the scary thing is that the "reasonable Republican" quoted in this diary is one who is retiring, as I recall.

      Are there any Republicans in the House who are willing to accept a tax increase who will still be there in January?  It's important because it is clear that the only way we get any sort of acceptable deal is to craft something that House Democrats will broadly support, with a small minority of Republicans supporting it to gain the majority.

      Alternatively, could we get there by just having the Republican vote "present" en masse, allowing the Democratic minority to pass legislation?

      Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

      by TexasTom on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:26:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So Mayans were talking about Boehner's speakership (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jancw, tardis10, chrississippi, CwV, a2nite

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:01:22 AM PST

  •  Boehner: Congress has to do something!........what (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, chrississippi

    a maroon.

  •  How will we work with them? (5+ / 0-)

    The failure of the efforts to avert the "fiscal cliff" begs the question:  How are we EVER to work with the Republicans in the House?  The extremists there (most of them) do not want to govern, they only want to destroy.  How CAN we work around them?

    An illusion can never be destroyed directly... SK.

    by Thomas Twinnings on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:06:55 AM PST

  •  Keyword is "perceived" (7+ / 0-)

    to have raised taxes.

    They're ok with raising revenues as long as it can be couched under frameworks like "closing loopholes" implementing "user fees" etc.etc. It all still comes out of someone's pocket. But the Republicans have all been forbidden to use the actual word "tax" since little Grovie Norquist had his fifth grade epiphany and the Tea Party was created with the assistance of the right wing media bullhorn.

    As Rick Santorum phrased it so elegantly, "We will never be the party of the smart people." And they prove it every single day.

    “Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.” FDR

    by Phoebe Loosinhouse on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:07:14 AM PST

    •  Totally agree, so on the 1st everyone's taxes are (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Phoebe Loosinhouse

      raised but ... the "real issue" is our members don't want to be perceived as raising taxes. - Speaker Boehner

      Merry Cliffmas!

      "You can blow out a candle, but you can't blow out a fire. Once the flames begin to catch, the wind will blow it higher." Peter Gabriel - "Biko"

      by jerrypw on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:49:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  LaPierre is doing more for the promotion of gun (6+ / 0-)

    control than anyone else could possibly do. The man is the poster boy for the IQ-challenged NRA.

    For Christina's America

    by DWKING on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:17:25 AM PST

  •  This Is Just Layer Upon Layer Upon Layer Of Stupid (9+ / 0-)

    It's like a mirror of stupid facing another mirror of stupid. It just goes on, endlessly into a spiralling abyss of stupid.

    I mean read the following and tell me it's not pure, unadalterated gold plated stupidity:

    Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio, who is close to Boehner, said the idea that this episode has hurt Boehner's speakership is, "like saying the superintendent of an insane asylum should be discharged because he couldn't control the crazy people. I mean that's nuts."

    This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

    by Beetwasher on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:18:45 AM PST

  •  Proof that Norquist still reigns supreme (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TexasTom

    Would refer to the great cartoon posted on Daily Kos 12/20/12 about the four branches of government, with Grover the obvious 4th branch.

  •  Did anybody point out to Boner... (8+ / 0-)

    That his failure means that we will have a massive tax increase?  Because he and his cohort of crazies couldn't agree on anything - taxes are going to go up are everybody.  It's a sin of omission, dude.

    'Goodwill' between the GOP and the President is as abundant as unicorn farts - Me'

    by RichM on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:22:39 AM PST

    •  Totally agree - so taxes are raised after the 1st (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chrississippi

      but .....the "real issue" is our members don't want to be perceived as raising taxes. - Speaker Boehner just now.

      Merry Cliffmas!

      "You can blow out a candle, but you can't blow out a fire. Once the flames begin to catch, the wind will blow it higher." Peter Gabriel - "Biko"

      by jerrypw on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:45:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's never been clearer that the Teaparty is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, tardis10, LilithGardener

    an obstacle to governing this country. They need to be purged.

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

    by eXtina on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:24:32 AM PST

  •  I almost feel sorry for him. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, schnecke21

    It can't be easy dealing with these crazy Teahadists and Eric Cantor is a backstabbing POS. Why does he even want to be Speaker?

    •  Boehner is an extremist himself (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Diane dp, schnecke21

      so I can sort of understand how shocked he would be that there are actually people MORE extreme. And that they have power.

    •  Power (0+ / 0-)

      No matter how pathetic John Boehner seems now, he is not a good man, a decent politician, or an individual who puts his country first.

      Boehner wants to be Speaker because it's a powerful position and he thinks he deserves that power. He doesn't want the humiliation of losing his post, and he values his ego over our economy. When he wins, he heaps congratulations on himself. When he loses--even within his own party--he blames President Obama.

      I don't feel sorry for Speaker Boehner. He put us in this spot with his debt ceiling machinations. He voted for sequestration. He relied on his party's ability to obstruct Obama. He worked with Republicans to keep the economy flat and unemployment high. He planned to use those things to elect a Republican president.

      Boehner never even consider he might fail. He never intended to work with President Obama. He never gave a thought to his actions, never expected elections to have consequences. And he never believed anything could cost him that long-coveted gavel.

      John Boehner made his bed, and I don't give a damn how uncomfortable it is.

  •  so there is no resolution (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jerrypw, LilithGardener
    Boehner baldly stated that his caucus won't vote for a tax increase
    If Obama keeps negotiating with these people, I don't know what to say.

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:28:59 AM PST

  •  And as the sun sets in the west we bid found (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zinger99

    farewell to the GOP. It's been a good run, over a century and a half. Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Ike (of course there're that Hoovervilles and depression things...but). As they fade away, holding hands with the Whig Party we ask what center left party will emerge to combat the Democratic center right party.

    "A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere ". C. S. Lewis

    by TofG on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:29:03 AM PST

    •  Not even close (0+ / 0-)

      They aren't anywhere near gone yet.  

      There will always be a conservative party in this country.  That is the nature of things:  A progressive force pushing against an obstinate group that wants to keep its power.  Too much money from too many billionaires will keep the GOP above water.  They might wane here a bit.  Who knows?  Perhaps last night were the first shots of the GOP civil war and the Dems pick up seats in 2014.  

      But don't put on the rose-colored sunglasses.  The long fight, progressive against conservative, freedom against oppression, continues.

      But don't despair, either.  Because, if you look at the arc of history, we are winning.

      I'm a mushroom. Kept in the dark and fed....you know

      by The Voice from the Cave on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:36:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  they won't be gone (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Garrett, The Voice from the Cave

        but the GOP coalition has dissolved and the party is leaderless. There is a considerable power vacuum and it does not appear that Speaker Boehner is up to the job. There is no point in negotiating with him because he cannot deliver the votes from his own caucus. Neither can Eric Cantor.
        I think we're in a great deal of danger because the GOP cannot even govern itself. They're THAT dysfunctional and crazy.

  •  Fasten your seat belts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zinger99

    Boehner and Obama will keep negotiating and Obama will give away the store, all in the name of the country. Perhaps the failed vote was just an Obama manipulation.

    PBO is doing a competent job, but he needs to be more liberal.

    by jimgilliamv2 on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:34:11 AM PST

  •  I'm not sure if anyone is having this conversation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    colleen

    but the possibility of Boehner losing his speakership is reasonably real.

    If that happens, is it theoretically possible that the Democrats might form some kind of coalition to keep an establishment Republican like Boehner in control as part of some power-sharing agreement? Sort of like what's happening in the New York State Senate, but in the opposite direction.

    But then again, I think that the best thing for the future of the Democratic Party is to sit quietly and just observe as the Republicans implode and put someone totally unacceptable to most of the country as Speaker. Louie Gohmert or Michele Bachmann, anyone?

    18, FL-07 (school), MD-07 (home). UCF sophomore, politically ambitious, vocally liberal--what else could you need to know?

    by tqycolumbia on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:34:46 AM PST

  •  so the GOP defeated Boehner's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DEMonrat ankle biter

    attempt to avert 99.81 percent of the tax increases . . . so they wouldn't be perceived of raising taxes. Idiots. Once again, the GOP has totally lost contact with reality.

    •  Boehner's attempted "Plan B" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LilithGardener

      was totally lame and not going anywhere anyways.

      It was a nested Kabuki Theater inside the current Kabuki being performed in DC.

      The hilarious part of this whole thing is that this whole crisis is unnecessary and caused by the Republicans obsessiveness with getting rid of the SS, Medicare and Medicaid.

      If the Republicans want more spending cuts why doesn't the President oblige by leaving SS and MC's alone and do more cuts to the military?

  •  The GOP is in total disarray and don't know.... (3+ / 0-)

    how to pull themselves together.  The factions (and there are more than two) cannot cooperate and are acting in the their best interest and not that of Party and certainly not that of Country.

    The fear among the GOP conservatives is that Boehner will cut them completely out of the negotiation loop, move to reconcile with Pelosi and use conservative Democratic votes to obtain the votes he needs going forward.  Not just on this issue, but on future issues as well.  They know that conservatives could only muster about 40 votes to block any bill they did not like; not enough if Boehner is able to count on conservative Democratic support.

    In my opinion, that is the only reasonable course for Boehner to take, and if he wasn’t such an unbelievably bad and incompetent leader, it is one he would have taken long ago.  One thing is certain, if he continues down the present path, the GOP disintegration will only continue.

    Tax and Spend I can understand. I can even understand Borrow and Spend. But Borrow and give Billionaires tax cuts? That I have a problem with.

    by LiberalCanuck on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:36:28 AM PST

  •  They were laughing their asses off as they (2+ / 0-)

    paraded by the camera on MSNBC last night.

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:37:20 AM PST

  •  And we now all imagine (3+ / 0-)

    a bunch of naughty little boys in pinwheel hats cackling hysterically after exploding a toilet.

  •  My, sure to be wrong, prediction... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zed

    We go over the cliff. Boehner barely survives a leadership vote.
    The House votes on a plan similar to what the president just offered which gets a bare majority of Republicans and enough Dems to pass.
    Since taxes will have already gone up, no Republican has to say they voted to increase taxes on anyone. The Dems, at least enough of them, won't embarrass the president by killing his plan.

  •  To Boehner's "credit" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Algernons Labyrinth

    he did say that cutting spending alone isn't enough (to bring down the deficit), and that we need a stronger economy for that to happen. Of course, he then went on to say that the way to do that is to further cut taxes (or at least not raise them). So he's at least acknowledging, in however back-asswards a way, that it's not enough to cut spending, that the economy needs to grow (despite having completely different ideas from us on how to make that happen).

    I could care less if Boehner keeps the speakership. But I don't see a way to replace the sequester with a more reasonable budget, either pre or post-cliff, without breaking the Hastert rule. I.e. without a majority of Repubs (meaning, realistically, a majority of Dems and a handful of Repubs).

    Whether this goes through Boehner or his successor, or through a discharge petition, I don't know or care. But it has to violate the Hastert rule. There is no other political path to a bill that the senate would pass and Obama would sign. And whether out in the open or in private, all serious attempts at negotiation have to be mindful of that. I've no doubt that Obama, Pelosi & Reid know it.

    As does Boehner and non-insane Repubs. The only question is how much the GOP is able to extract from Obama, and how much he's willing to give up. The politics of the situation greatly favor him, since he only needs a handful of Repubs and a few relatively minor face-saving sweeteners to get a deal this way. The question, then, is whether he'll negotiate in full awareness of this, or give away more than he needs to, and should.

    And it's not just about getting a good deal in the instance, but about setting a tone for the next 2-4 years, in terms of who's in charge. Which requires that Obama get the best deal possible and forget about seeming "reasonable". It's not just about policy. It's about politics.

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

    by kovie on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:39:30 AM PST

    •  I listened to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kovie

      former NH Senator Judd Gregg on MSNBC this morning say that he still thinks a deal can be made,that could get thru the House(he did not say it,but the presumption in with 18 GOPers plus Dems) if the President can come up with another 300 billion in real cuts to add to the 800 billion they consider real cuts in the recent offer,plus the 1.1 trillion in cuts baked in the cake already.

      Gregg says that the key is for the cuts to add up to enough(roughly 2.3 trillion) to add to the 1.3 trillion in tax increases giving them a 2 for 1 cut in spending/tax increase ratio.

      This additional 3-400 billion in cuts is to replace the ''interest savings'' that the President had in his plan,which they consider faux spending cuts.

      Now, listening to Howard Dean last nite, he prefers getting real significant deficit savings by going over the cliff and enduring the subsequent recession.  He says that the SS cuts in the Presidents plan do not bother him that much but he feels they need real cuts in Medicare,to providers, that can be achieved thru a fundamental change in how the program is structured.
      That is, pay by patient not by fee for service.

      There is zero chance that there is not going to be some pain in whatever happens...for progressives and conservatives.  Recession is one option and that means the poor will get poorer while the wealthy will acquire more underpriced assets. I think the President really does not like that option,but the Howard Deans of the world think it is the best option.....who knows?

      •  I keep trying to work out the machinations (0+ / 0-)

        in my head and through comments, since there are so many parts here, many of them moving. Since it's pretty obvious that there is no way to pass any bill that avoids the sequester (or repeals it, post-cliff) without violating the Hastert rule (i.e. with nearly all Dems and a handful of Repubs in the house), and that everything else is just theatrics intended to set up the best possible deal for each side while protecting personal and party political interests (e.g. Boehner's speakership, Obama's future negotiating clout), I think that everything we've been seeing and are likely to see is just theatrics intended to achieve the best possible deal via the breaking of the Hastert rule.

        Which means that Obama & Co. have to craft a bill palatable enough for most Dems to support it (so no major cuts to benefits or inadequate tax increases on the rich), but also acceptable enough to enough Repubs to get a majority (meaning it has to have some benefit cuts and some compromising on raising top tax rates). Which may well explain why Obama offered up CCPI. That may have been one of these 20 or so non-crazy Repubs' lines in the sand for any Hastert rule-breaking deal. If so, then there have been parallel negotiations going on, out of the public eye, with these breakaway Repubs, and we probably won't know about it till after Repubs elect their speaker on the 3rd.

        Well, that's my latest take, at least.

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

        by kovie on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 09:32:58 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Let Them Destroy Themselves (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Churchill

    They deserve every dollar of it.

    This head movie makes my eyes rain.

    by The Lone Apple on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:41:24 AM PST

  •  Puzzling strategy: (3+ / 0-)

    The move was for the House to pass Plan B and then recess, forcing the Dems to either pass it in the Senate and sign it, or get blamed for the fiscal cliff. But they dind't pass it, and they recessed anyway.

      Boehner made some allusions to the House bill from last August that extended all the tax cuts, stopped the sequester of DOD money but paid for that with much larger cuts in social programs. Another nonstarter.

      And, by going off on their own, the T-Pubs allowed Obama to recover from his own boneheaded move on chained CPI.

      The T-Pubs manuevers make no sense.

  •  I guess it just goes to show (0+ / 0-)

    that turds of a feather don't always stick together.

  •  It comes down to this…………………. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DEMonrat ankle biter, Churchill

    Boner can’t get anything out of the House that the Senate and POTUS will approve without losing his speakership in January.  Even if BHO, seeking the “Grand Bargain” he seems to want for his legacy, gives more; the Tehadists will not buy anything that raises taxes on the rich or does not persecute the poor and middle class.  

    We are going over the “monetary molehill,” into another recession and continued hostage taking by the Rethugs UNTIL we get 18 or so sane Rehtugs in the next congress to vote with the Dems on fixing things.

    The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation--HDT

    by cazcee on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:42:09 AM PST

  •  Boehner (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LilithGardener

    is done.  Killed by his own caucus.  And now there is nobody left to negotiate before the Fiscal cliff looms.  So Obama and Reid will craft something and send it to the house for a vote.  It will be a take it or leave it bill.  The Republicans can either break ranks or scuttle it.  

  •  How we get there is easy (0+ / 0-)

    He signs on to work with the President and with Democrats and the saner Republicans pushes it through the House.

    Did you know that an orange hue of the skin is a sign that a person is totally lacking in leadership skills?   A real Speaker of the House understands that you don't just pass bills with votes from your party.   It requires working with the President and Senate leaders to get compromise bills that you can get enough votes from both sides to pass.

    The saddest part of this whole affair to me though is our President Charlie Brown again running to the kick the ball that Speaker of the House Lucy is holding.

  •  Republicans think they have the upper hand because (0+ / 0-)

    even Obama can't beat a sore Boehner.

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:45:49 AM PST

  •  The GOP ensured a tax hike when they passed (0+ / 0-)

    temporary tax cuts in the first place.  Taxes will increase AS PLANNED BY THEM.  This should be repeated loudly and often.

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

    by bigtimecynic on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:46:00 AM PST

    •  They couldn't pass them without a sunset (0+ / 0-)

      The Dems are the reason they weren't made permanent.  Something about them having to have a sunset to allow it to be passed via reconciliation.

      There was also an idea that if the expected growth happened, nobody would dream of not extending them permanently in future, but just in the off chance that the supply siders were wrong, the sunset would make it possible to end the experiment.

      Guess what?  It is happening now.   The only thing that scares me is that chasing a grand bargain they'll survive mostly intact.

      The most important restoration is the capital gains and dividend rates though.   That's where the money is.  The best part of the Bush tax cuts to keep is the 10% tax bracket and related tax credits.  (gets relatively little revenue for the amount of economic stimulus it provides)

  •  Relapsing into post-election schadenfreude glee!!! (0+ / 0-)

    I remember devouring delicious Republican tears after the election...mmmm...this really whets my appetite for more. Thank you, Mayas, for delivering the Republican apocalypse right in time for the holidays.

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:47:40 AM PST

  •  how we get there, john? (0+ / 0-)

    with the only plan with a hope of working: the one that requires congress to NOT act.

    If only Michael Phelps hadn't smoked that pot...imagine what he could have accomplished with motivation and good lung capacity.

    by papa monzano on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:53:13 AM PST

  •  The president and Senate will have to work (0+ / 0-)

    on a deal. Probably should be too difficult. They will send it to the House to be voted. That will be the key moment. Boehner or whoever is speaker needs to allow the bill to be voted on, even if they dont support it. If they do, the focus will be on if the bill will get enough GOP support to pass.

    My guess is this happens after we go over the cliff(maybe Jan 4 or 5), for reasons others have mentioned, namely that then the GOP is voting for a tax cut, instead of a tax hike.

    I think there is the issue that bills that raise revenue have to originate in the House, but I think there is way around that. The Senate, I believe, can use the shell of legislation already passed.

    •  It's a pretty simple proposition, I think (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      VClib

      If you have big entitlement cuts to match the tax increases -- say $1 trillion in cuts for $1 trillion in tax revenue -- I think you can get Boehner to bring it to the floor and you'll get a number of Republican votes.

      As long as the tax revenue outweighs the spending cuts, and the Republicans don't perceive the spending cuts as "real" (i.e., the bill says something like Congress will get together with a "goal" of reducing spending by a certain amount) I think you get exactly zero Republican votes in the House.  I think there are a number of Republicans who would vote for for more taxes in order to get the cuts.  I think there are none who would want to be seen as giving the thumb's up to $1 trillion in tax increases without a like amount in spending cuts.  

      •  Except we already have over a trillion (0+ / 0-)

        in sequester cuts.

        Cuts that are 50% military and exclude SS, medicare and medicaid benefits.

        We'll never get a trillion dollars of cuts structured anywhere near as favorably as the ones the sequester already has.

      •  I dont know (0+ / 0-)

        I think timing of the vote will matter.

        It seems impossible at this point for bill to voted on in the Senate before Jan 1st, let alone the House.

        In the New Year, GOP would be voting for tax cuts not tax hikes, and you might get enough along with Dems to pass it.

        The key will be Boehner letting the Senate legislation on the floor, thus admitting he is willing to pass with Dem votes.

  •  Boehner should RESIGN as Speaker of the House. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Churchill

    What a complete LOSER.

    "The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave." -- Patrick Henry November 6, 2012 MA-4 I am voting for my friends Barry, Liz and Joe (Obama, Warren and Kennedy)

    by BornDuringWWII on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:55:40 AM PST

  •  This is true leadership (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Churchill

    "...perception that somebody might..."

  •  So if they don't want to raise taxes only recourse (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CwV, Churchill

    if to go over cliff and then with taxes up for everybody than pass the Senate bill and that is lowering taxes for first $250,000.  

    Bush Tax Cuts and Cliff happens Dec 31st, so this lame duck congress could come back in January to pass existing Senate bill.

    The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 09:03:23 AM PST

  •  there is an easy solution-lets go over the cliff ! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Churchill

    and then they will vote to lower taxes for the middle class.

  •  Stay strong, gop! (0+ / 0-)

    You've got us right where we want you.

    How many divisions does OWS have?

    by Diebold Hacker on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 09:19:04 AM PST

  •  surpised? (0+ / 0-)

    Remember folks,  JB said he got 98% of what he wanted.

    Who would throw away 98% of something desired, for an even a larger percentage of something NOT desired?

    JB wants the terms of that deal to execute on 1/1.

  •  At least Boehner admits GOP can't compromise (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Churchill

    He said it clearly: his caucus doesn't want to move on taxes. He won't be able to accuse the President of not being reasonable.

    The refusal of the republican caucus to compromise on taxes should be the news of the day. I hope every news station shows that clip with the Boehner quote tonight.

    On second thought, President Obama will probably make a statement today and it will make news too. I expect another general comment on the need for both parts to work together, but this time he has to highlight the fact that republicans don't want to move AT ALL on taxes; he has to reinforce the "news of the day".

    To people here who have family members who are republicans but somewhat "reasonable": any chances of waking them up during the holiday season? Any chances of convincing them that their party is the source of the problem?...

  •  Boehner just gives up. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Churchill

    There were a couple of points during Boehner's press conference where he seemed to give up.  He seemed to say that he could not get the House GOP to agree to anything at all, that he faced a group that will not agree to any proposal whatsoever.

    Boehner certainly should say it because it is the obvious truth.  Today's GOP wants only to destroy the government, and has no desire at all to see it function.

    A new birth of freedom..

    by docterry on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 09:55:03 AM PST

  •  "his speakership" what speakership? there is none (0+ / 0-)

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up !

    by Churchill on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 10:33:06 AM PST

  •  No Deal is MUCH better than an Obama-Bad-Deal (tm) (0+ / 0-)

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up !

    by Churchill on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 10:34:36 AM PST

  •  Republicans Frankenstein Monster (0+ / 0-)

    The Republican leadership created this Tea Party Frankenstein Monster after the 2008 election.  And for a while there the monster they created served them well, attacking their foes in 2010 and taking back the House.  But like all monsters, the Teabagger Frankenstein Monster are difficult to control and often turn on their creator, and that's exactly what's happening now.

    "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 Dec 21, 2012 at 10:58:18 AM PST

  •  There is another way ... (0+ / 0-)

    The Rep. Steven C. LaTourette's (R-OH) of the world - the more moderate Republicans who are not in the thrall of the Tea Party and its mad pledge-makers and pundits - can simply decline to support extremist measures.

    Yes, that will target them with leadership, such as it is proving to be for now. But if there are more than just a handful, the media will make a joyful noise about it and they will get national prominence and look like statesmen next to the perpetual naysayers. They can go home and talk about Christmas and moving forward, they can show how Washington is not broken irreparably, how progress can be made without disastrous cliff-hanging.

    They need not bolt on every issue. Taxes and the debt ceiling are the key go-to-the-mat issues for the hostage-taking Tea-types. They both come now or very soon, leaving plenty of time for the moderates to show moderation on many things and lead the way to some progress in Washington.

    Unlikely as it may be, it's how legislation must get done on taxes, debt and the deficit, guns, immigration and many other issues that cannot be resolved on a strictly partisan basis. That deserve to be resolved with bipartisan hard work. Which, by definition, means two sides who will talk and be willing to fashion compromises.

    2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 12:11:52 PM PST

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