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Goposaur upside down
With little more than a week for lawmakers to avert huge tax increases and spending cuts, attention is turning from the gridlocked House to the Senate, where some Republicans on Sunday endorsed President Obama’s call for a partial deal to insulate most Americans from the tax increases but defer a resolution on spending.

Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and Johnny Isakson of Georgia, both Republicans, implored Senate leaders to reach an accommodation with Mr. Obama when Congress returns on Thursday, even if that meant that taxes would go up for those with high incomes and that spending cuts would be put off.

Mrs. Hutchison, appearing on the CBS program “Face the Nation,” said the tax cuts signed into law by President George W. Bush should be extended “at a reasonable salary level.”

  1. I must have missed the part of the Constitution where the Senate passes a bill and it goes to the president's desk.
  2. Speaking of the Senate passing legislation, the Senate has already passed legislation doing exactly what these guys are asking for. Back in July, the Senate approved extending all Bush tax cuts for income up to $250,000.
  3. Yes, these guys voted against the bill that they are now endorsing.
  4. But again, even if the Senate passed the bill all over again, it wouldn't matter, because there's this thing called the House of Representatives. And I don't seem to recall either of the these guys calling on the House to take action when it mattered.

But despite all that insanity, at least we're not talking about spending cuts. Sure, we might not to be talking about doing the things we really need to do to strengthen our economy—things like extending unemployment insurance, increasing infrastructure spending, and taking care of Hurricane Sandy victims—but at least we're not talking about how to inflict maximal harm.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Da duh duh duh duh duh duh duh, duh duh (14+ / 0-)

    duh duh duh duh duh; if they only had a brain...

    •  Premature gloating (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Laconic Lib, willard landreth

      Until we get something decent passed, I don't understand why so many Kossacks seem to get their jollies off telling each other how stupid the other side is.  So far, in spite of winning the presidency and seats in the House and Senate, we have not yet moved them off the dime.  In my book that means they are still kicking our asses and getting away with it, and that's all the more true given the offers that Obama has already made to other side, especially on Social Security.


      sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

      by stivo on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:40:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  it's Xmas eve, wait until the 26th (6+ / 0-)
    But despite all that insanity, at least we're not talking about spending cuts. Sure, we might not to be talking about doing the things we really need to do to strengthen our economy—things like extending unemployment insurance, increasing infrastructure spending, and taking care of Hurricane Sandy victims—but at least we're not talking about how to inflict maximal harm.

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 11:05:53 AM PST

  •  Hutchison may not have speficially referred (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DRo, Aunt Pat, Anne Elk, rbird

    to the house needing to pass it too, but I'm pretty sure she knows that, and what she's proposing has been making the rounds and obviously requires house approval, the idea being that Boehner passes it with enough Dem support to squeak it through. The question is whether anything that can pass the senate can pass the house this way. Different dynamics in each house.

    Btw, check out the comment section in Krugman's latest op-ed about the "fiscal cliff". It's hilarious, with the Paul/Rand doomsday types out in full force. OMG! Fiat currency! We're all going to die!

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

    by kovie on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 11:07:44 AM PST

    •  I think she is referring to Boehner's (6+ / 0-)

      suggestion that the Senate take up the house bill that passed, gut it and replace it with the same Senate bill they already passed.
      The first sent tax cut extension can't work, because revenue bills have to start in the House.  Boehner referred to it having a "blue slip" problem.
      The Senate should do this and send it to the House, and work it out in conference.

      "Speak out, judge fairly, and defend the rights of oppressed and needy people." Proverbs 31:9

      by zdefender on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 11:46:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  She knows it but can't say it, and is just sending (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      a coded message thru the media to the House gop to drop it already.
      That's my guess.
      I guess she thinks most observers won't be paying attention or care.
      If she messes directly in House business, then she'll get a shitstorm from the tea partiers to butt out of their business. Probably.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 02:33:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  inflict maximal harm. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sybil Liberty, 417els, maryabein, Aunt Pat

    Unfortunately the GOP thinks Boxing Day has to do with pummeling someone with your fists

    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 Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 11:08:37 AM PST

  •  This is the first time (16+ / 0-)

    that I can remember a Speaker of the House saying, in effect "The House abstains."

    Things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out.

    by winsock on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 11:09:38 AM PST

    •  It reminds us that, for all the examples (5+ / 0-)

      of someone rising to meet the challenge of their times, it is far more common to see individuals fail the test.

      Had Boehner an ounce of greatness in him, he would tell Pelosi that he wanted her to help him put together a majority in the House that would be composed of his loyalists and most Democrats. He would then go back to the President with Nancy and tell him that the House is ready to make an agreement. Thus fortified as guaranteed Speaker until 2014 or later, he would embark on a campaign to obliterate the Tea Party. The price would be high in the short-term, but would bring at least a functional fragment of the GOP back into government. Something to build on. Alas, Boehner has a spine made of Aluminum.

      For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

      by Anne Elk on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 11:40:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Republicans in Congress (11+ / 0-)

    Republicans in Congress prove that government does not work when staffed with Republicans.

  •  From the article... (8+ / 0-)
    “The truth of the matter is, if we do fall off the cliff after the president is inaugurated, he’ll come back, propose just what he proposed yesterday in leaving Washington, and we’ll end up adopting it,” Mr. Isakson continued. “But why should we put the markets in such turmoil and the people in such misunderstanding or lack of confidence? Why not go ahead and act now?”
    Makes sense to me. ;-)

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 11:14:23 AM PST

  •  I thought the Senate HAD a deal with the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    winsock, middleagedhousewife

    President. Didn't it?

    Really, these people (Rs) are not only NOT getting any smarter, they seem to be getting dumber by the day.

    **Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behavior does** h/t Clytemnestra/Victoria Jackson

    by glorificus on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 11:18:02 AM PST

  •  Bandwagon leaving... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mistral Wind
    Yes, these guys voted against the bill that they are now endorsing.
    and they're trying desperately to catch it.


    Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. - Abe Lincoln

    by RustyCannon on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 11:20:07 AM PST

  •  Dont be too critical of Hutchison and Isakson (5+ / 0-)

    I think it was implied in their comments that the Senate bill would then go to the House to be voted on.

    And frankly, it's better that the Senate act first. As the more Democratic chamber, we will probably get a better bill. Probably either Obama's original tax rate threshold(250k) or 400k, extension of unemployment benefits, and halt to the spending cuts in the sequester, plus a doc fix and patching of the AMT.

    What probably happens is something like that passes the Senate, and then goes to the House either at the deadline or after, and then it's up to Boehner to bring it up for a vote or not.

  •  They're probably waiting for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    Obama to pre-concede more tax-cuts and cuts to entitlements. The republicans will work out a deal when they’re convinced that all of the pre-concessions have been offered (so they won’t have to propose them themselves).

  •  Add number five (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib, pistolSO


    Republican leadership scrapped a plan to vote on the Senate’s tax rate proposal, which extended Bush-era tax rates for income below $250,000. Republicans are looking to keep their message tight, sources said.
  •  Obama, Pelosi, Reid need to create something (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JG in MD, basket

    that Pelosi thinks can get supported by over 95% of her conference. Then it's up to teh orange man and his little sidekick Cantorwont to wrangle about 50 R's.

    AND ... the American public (unlike many here) will see Obama as the hero who tried to make a deal (just like about 80% of America wants to see) and then fashioned something in the end to avoid the cliff.

    Oh, and BTW, it's not a freaking slope. It doesn't matter how it takes effect, it will immediately crush consumer confidence, consumer spending, and the markets. A self imposed recession is not some kind of gentle walk down a winding garden path. It's more like being knee deep in quicksand and congratulating yourself on your choice of routes.

  •  Pete Peterson (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    must be gnashing his teeth - all those bought and paid for Congresscritters and they sabotaged his grand plan to steal the last of the peoples' money.  

    I'm sure he'll be back next year pouring money into the big lie of deficit doom, but for now, from Billy Elliott:

    They've come to raid your stockings
    And to steal your Christmas pud
    But don't be too downhearted
    It's all for your own good
    The economic infrastructure
    Must be swept away
    To make way for call centres
    And lower rates of pay

    We all sing together in one breath
    Merry Christmas [Pete Peterson]
    We all celebrate today
    'Cause it's one day closer to your death

  •  Sure we are: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    But despite all that insanity, at least we're not talking about spending cuts.
    The sequestration guillotine is still ready to drop, representing massive job losses and much worse for a fragile economy. For example:
    Sequestration cuts would be a disaster for U.S. medical research

    Monday December 24, 2012 5:15 AM

    Physicians at the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals see the hope every day that medical research brings to their patients. But because of automatic and pervasive federal funding cuts — called “sequestration” — hope for treatments and cures will be on hold.

    Sequestration could mean an 8.2 percent cut to NIH funding. This would be a loss of $2.5 billion in federal funding that could be used in communities for lifesaving medical research. This cut would come at the end of a decade that has already seen the NIH budget reduced by nearly 20 percent after inflation.

    The NIH is the largest source of funding for medical research in the world. It creates hundreds of thousands of jobs at universities and research institutions in every state and around the world. More than half of the research dollars NIH awards goes to medical schools...

    Folks, they are "war rations."
    Can we please refer to food stamps by their proper name?

    by Pluto on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 11:42:56 AM PST

    •  This is a direct threat to the American people. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sequestration already hitting contractors

      Whether or not President Obama and Congress avert sequestration — or a nearly $1 trillion cut to federal spending — contractors should brace for a very different environment in 2013.

      Already, the threat of draconian budget cuts has caused federal agencies to realize new priorities, alter their procurement strategies, add scrutiny to their spending and — through collaboration with industry — seek ways to reduce waste and increase efficiency. Months of this kind of planning won’t end if sequestration dies.
      Sequestration Could Cut 10 Percent From School Budgets, Officials Estimate       

      Education officials and school administrators may be worrying instead of celebrating as they count down to the new year because of the threat of sequestration. If Congress fails to come up with a budget this year, then sequestration (the cancellation of budgetary resources) will take effect on Jan. 2.

      This means federal education funds would be cut by about 10 percent, forcing public schools to employ cost-trimming measures in federally funded programs.

      The Congressional Budget Office estimates the Department of Education will be hit with automatic, across-the-board cuts ranging from 7.8 percent in 2013 to 5.5 percent in 2021.

      Though not all of these reductions would be immediate, federal programs such as Title I, Head Start and state special education funding would feel the impact right away.
      Sequestration will hit seniors

      A sequester means cuts to senior meal programs across the state -- an important service that helps thousands of seniors to remain independent and living in their own homes.

      If the sequestration goes into effect, seniors will lose access to other essential Older Americans Act services such as rides to doctor’s appointments, assistance with public benefits, health insurance counseling, as well as the ability to participate in exercise and injury prevention programs that have proven their worth in helping seniors avoid unnecessary and costly hospital and nursing home stays.

      Family caregivers who are doing their best to help mom or dad continue to live at home would also be hurt by sequestration. Funding for the National Family Caregiver Support Program would also be cut. ... Given that family caregivers are the single largest source of long-term care, we must find every possible way to support their efforts, not undermine them.

      Folks, they are "war rations."
      Can we please refer to food stamps by their proper name?

      by Pluto on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 11:55:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Go for it. Either it pressures (0+ / 0-)

    the House to pass a partial bill or the House teabaggers again embarrass themselves by obstructing.

    "To recognize error, to cut losses, to alter course, is the most repugnant option in government." Historian Barbara Tuchman

    by Publius2008 on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 11:43:44 AM PST

  •  Hmmmm, too little, too late. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But it does indicate that starting in January, the Rs will have little leverage and a precarious perch.
    The bill that these nitwits are proposing is already in the House and IIRC, it's what Nancy has been trying to get the discharge on.
    January ought to be interesting.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 11:45:18 AM PST

  •  If the GOP wet dream, Plan-B.S. couldn't.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    navigate the wickets of the GOP, there IS NO WAY a fair balance of revenue and spending cuts will pass...No way.
    Look, I enjoy the rants and ravings of the baggers as much as anyone...but sometimes they're just dangerous. What is it going to take for people to see that? Or are the obtuse and emotionally fragile just too awash in fear/hate mongering propaganda to embrace reality? Sad.

  •  If only those darn Democrats would do something! (0+ / 0-)

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 11:57:47 AM PST

  •  I wonder what would happen. (0+ / 0-)

    I mean, the Senate isn't known for its rollicking sense of humor, but I wonder what would happen if the Senate Democrats put forth a bill that would...

     - Raise the lowest tax bracket to 35%
     - Abolish all taxes on income over $1 million
     - Create debtors' prisons for 1099 workers
     - Limit all cabinet-level departments to 100 employees
     - Except the Pentagon, but I can't think of a way to make that part of the budget any crazier, really

    I'll betcha all hell would break loose.  Half the GOP would be saying, "Merry Christmas Ho ho ho!" while the other half dug in their heels because it's a "democrat party" trick.

    If it passed by accident, Obama could just say, "Just kidding!" and veto it.

    Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

    by Boundegar on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 12:00:44 PM PST

  •  Hmmmm (0+ / 0-)

    It would be fascinating if it came down to a struggle between the oligarchs and financial elites (I know there is some overlap).  By this I mean long term vs.  short term greed.

    Will they trash the market for a few months over income tax rates?

    Of course, there must be tremendous pressure being applied to Blue Dogs and the Democrats do not have a reputation for party discipline.

  •  This is just a backdoor way to try & get Obama to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    negotiate with himself. Since he refuses to do so they hop he'll use the Senate to do it. Sorry Republicans no cigar!

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 12:32:28 PM PST

  •  lol (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mistral Wind


    CALVARY...  Lost as Hell...

  •  Can anyone explain why the House - that GOP-... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Laconic Lib

    ... -controlled House - is going to go along with what the Senate does?

    I didn't get Boehner's "It's up to the Senate" statement except as an expression of resigned frustration that he had done his best and it wasn't good enough for his colleagues that he leads as Speaker.

    But what makes the House more reasonable if the Senate sends an Obama-acceptable bill over to the House?

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

    by TRPChicago on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:08:53 PM PST

  •  It's inside baseball (0+ / 0-)

    Re your point 1, I heard Boehner last week say something like the the Senate Bill is "blue-tagged", which was explained to mean that since revenue and spending bills are supposed to originate in the House, the House is not obligated to take up the Senate's Bill.  Boehner could introduce the Senate Bill in the House but he's being a dick about it.

    Boehner is hinting he could pass the President's new smaller bill, but the Senate would have to take that up again, where it might be filibustered.  This would make no sense since they'd already passed a stronger bill, but what about any of this makes sense?

    sTiVo's rule: Just because YOU "wouldn't put it past 'em" doesn't prove that THEY did it.

    by stivo on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 01:46:24 PM PST

  •  White House Petition To End Corporate Welfare (0+ / 0-)

    White House petition to end corporate welfare here:

  •  GOP acts like Obama has nothing on the table. (0+ / 0-)

    They could just pass what has been passed in the senate.

  •  People seem to forget that the House and Senate (0+ / 0-)

    are not separate branches but the SAME branch.  It's like a bad extremely slow moving soap opera.

  •  Remember, it will be the Republican Tax Increase (0+ / 0-)

    when we go over the cliff, and forevermore, the Obama Tax Cut in January.  Do the Republicans really want that albatross hanging about their necks in 2014 and 2016?  I hope they do.

    Republicans are like alligators. All mouth and no ears.

    by Ohiodem1 on Mon Dec 24, 2012 at 07:29:53 PM PST

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