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I am confused.

President Obama is back in DC. He brought with him on Air Force One Brian Schatz, the man Neil Abercrombie appointed to replace Daniel Inouye, in direct disregard of Inouye's final wish. There's no doubt in my mind that Abercrombie will eventually pay a price for that.

But basically, the Democrats are either back in DC or on their collective way back. They're willing to do what is necessary to fix things before next Tuesday. The Republicans? They've completely abdicated their responsibilities. I don't understand how they get away with this. That is, how do their constituencies keep voting them back in? I just don't get it. How is it that they pay no price whatsoever for their intransigence?

It's a fine line of what will happen next week. "The government" in all sorts of different areas, has ways of making the cliff a curb, the curb a cliff, and how delicately that is handled will greatly affect what happens across the whole globe.

Take the debt ceiling. Tim Geithner announced we're out of money next Monday. He'll be able to juggle the books so that we have an additional few months, but we're going to have to deal with it. How is it no one remembers the summer of 2011 and the decrease in our credit rating? Why isn't everyone with a Republican rep on the phone daily saying "raise the debt ceiling, you moron." ??? Then again, I'm in favour of Obama having the Mint mint those 2 trillion dollar platinum coins. Or invoking the 14th. He's never running for office again, let the chips fall where they may.

Take taxes. The IRS has a lot of play in terms of what they do relative to whether Federal tax withholdings go up, when, and by how much. If they say that because there's no deal, everyone's withholding rises to the pre-Bush rates, that actually delays when the debt ceiling is hit as a lot more money hits Treasury sooner. But, if they do that, it greatly affects the overall economy, which is 70% consumer-driven. I'm unclear if they can change withholding amounts only for those earning over, say, $250,000 or $400,000, and what influence the White House would have on that decision. A lot of the tax changes don't come into play until the end of 2013 when people have to evaluate their situations for the 2014 filings. However, there's no AMT patch, which means that people earning in the neighborhood of $45,000 in 2012 will be hit with the AMT when they file in 2013. Will the IRS assume a patch? Or will they take the money, and then wait for people to file amended returns?

And the markets? Who's to say? It might be a great fall, but people may hold their securities assuming that there will be a fix.

Mostly, though, I just keep coming back to the House. The election for Speaker is next Thursday, and the CV says Boehner holds. Tmess proposed that a more moderate Congressman be selected. The interesting thing is that nowhere is it written that the Speaker needs to be a member of the House. Therefore, if we're going for the non-Boehner, I'm in favour of offering the job to Mike Bloomberg. He probably wouldn't do it as he likes being Mayor of NY, but I wonder if he could accept the position for 6 months only, take a leave from NY, and come down and do for DC what he's done for NYC government. Then again, he might actually want the job: imagine a press conference from him (with his deaf interpreter) daily on what is really going on. Talk about getting people across the country listening and ready to man those phones to their Congressional offices.

He certainly knows money. He wouldn't need a salary: he's been a dollar a year man since taking office as NYC Mayor. He is a straight shooter, and he's been a Democrat, a Republican, an Independent, and has no loyalty to any party. He also has no hidden constituency to which he needs to answer. It's not as if the likes of the Koch Brothers or Sheldon Adelson can buy him off - he can buy them, or at least hold his own. And basically, can you think of a better choice?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Bah! Humbug! (6+ / 0-)

    I think Bloomberg is the most overrated politician in America. In any case, it's just a fantasy to think that a non-member will possibly be selected as speaker of the House.

    The idea seems to have been floated by Norm Ornstein. Charles Pierce had an item on that yesterday.

    I have to confess, I didn't know that you didn't have to be an elected member of the House to be its Speaker. While interesting, I think it's rather like the fact that, theoretically, any baptized Catholic male can be elected pope. (IIRC, the last layman to be elected pope was Callixtus III, who became pope in 1455. He was a Borgia, and was a lawyer by trade. Strike two. Anyway, one of the great unfounded rumors in papal history is that Callixtus excommunicated Halley's Comet. He actually did order a new trial for Joan Of Arc, at which she was posthumously acquitted, which seems a shame.) Nobody outside of the House is going to get this job any more than the Holy Spirit is likely to move the next conclave to select Andrew Sullivan or, well, me, even though I already have a name picked out. I'm going to be Lando II.

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 04:03:41 AM PST

  •  Not a Fan of Bloomberg (9+ / 0-)


    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 04:39:22 AM PST

  •  we need fewer uber rich in government service, (7+ / 0-)

    not more of the same.

    so i guess my answer to your question is

    America...where we fight over who can be allowed to have a marriage license but don't give a shit about who can have an assault rifle.

    by dear occupant on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 04:48:52 AM PST

  •  we need less ego on Capitol Hill (9+ / 0-)

    not more.  he is a shit mayor who has worn out his welcome and doesn't believe the rules apply to him

    I see a very beautiful planet that seems very inviting and peaceful. Unfortunately, it is not.…We're better than this. We must do better. Cmdr Scott Kelley

    by wretchedhive on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:16:25 AM PST

  •  what exactly would that be? (5+ / 0-)
    but I wonder if he could accept the position for 6 months only, take a leave from NY, and come down and do for DC what he's done for NYC government.
    what exactly has he done for NYC gov't?

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

    by eXtina on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 05:51:18 AM PST

  •  Isn't that similar to the speaker in (0+ / 0-)

    Canada's parliament - i.e., an ostensibly neutral, non-voter person?

    Yeah, like that's going to work out real well!

  •  While I hold out hope that Bloomberg's gun (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demi Moaned, exterris

    group can help make a change, and I think it's needed, I believe that he timed it to put more pressure on Obama during the election, and as far as I know, the only success he had electorally was in defeating a pro-gun Dem., who was replaced with a gun-control Dem in the primary.

    In other words, I'm cynical when it comes to Bloomberg.

    There probably will not be a fiscal cliff deal until after Boehner is re-elected on the 3rd.
    Then, as soon as the markets tank about 300 pts in one day, (I hope no more than that.) then they will quickly pass a tax cut extension for those below $250,000. (or maybe $500,000).

    The country is screwed until the Dems get control of the House.
    Then we still won't be secure, civilization will still be at risk until we take back a majority of the state and local governments.
    Then the gop will finally start serious rebuilding.
    It's not going to be an easy fix, as I'd hoped.
    It's going to be a long, slow, painful battle.
    The gop is like Gollum. That's exactly how people should think of it.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:28:04 AM PST

    •  And it makes no difference whether Boehner (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      exterris, JeffW, David54, trumpeter

      ... is speaker or not. Just because he can't lead the caucus doesn't mean that anyone else can. The problem is the nihilism of rank and file Republicans, and that will not change no matter who is the Speaker.

      "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

      by Demi Moaned on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:45:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  as a new yorker... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ubertar, JeffW, wdrath

    no fucking way. king mike can go fuck his rich self.
    tung sol

    There is a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.--Oscar Levant

    by tung sol on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:18:49 AM PST

  •  What's he going to do different from Boehner? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Buy out the teabaggers? Pay them out of his vast fortune to vote the way he tells them?
    The problem isn't even Boehner. The problem is that blight on humanity known as the teabaggers who came to congress with one mission - defeat Barack Obama by any means necessary...even if it means destroying the country.

    Maya Angelou: "Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can't be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest."

    by JoanMar on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 07:50:50 AM PST

  •  yes...that's what we need...another megalomaniac (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ubertar, JeffW, trumpeter

    in Washington, DC to help "fix" our problems...because we don't have enough megalomaniacs screwing things up in Washington with their obsession with...themselves.

    Megalomaniacal Mike (the City of New York could simply have survived without breaking the rules, purchasing himself a change in the law to specifically allow him...and only him...a third term, in violation of the existing law...yes...the city could simply not have surivived...because his entire focus is always on everyone else but himself (NOT).

    Bloomberg would be one of the worst possible people to give more power to. In my opinion, he'd be even more disastrous than the obviously incompetent Boehner.

  •  Oh, yay. We can have "free speech zones" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wdrath, trumpeter

    around the Capitol building too, just like in NYC when the RNC was held there.

    Bloomberg is a lousy mayor who only cares about himself and his rich friends. Fuck Bloomberg.

    Mitt Romney = Draco Malfoy

    by ubertar on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:56:26 AM PST

  •  No. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wdrath, trumpeter

    Next question...

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:51:30 AM PST

  •  I'm a New York City resident (0+ / 0-)

    No thanks.  Let him go back to private life.  Also, re: Schatz.  So, it wasn't what Inouye wanted. So what? This is not the Roman Empire or pre-2000 Meixco where the president handpicked his successor.  Inouye was a great public servant but he had no right to dictate who would serve in his seat for decades after him.  From what I hear, Hanabusa isn't too keen on LGBT rights and doesn't play well with Mazie Hirono, who has been elected to succeed Akaka in the Senate.

    "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

    by TLS66 on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 11:17:00 AM PST

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