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headlines for today's pundit round-up
Jonathan Chait, among others, points out that David Brooks' awful column on the sequester is merely a symptom of centrist inability to admit one side compromises and is reasonable, and Republicans are in another place altogether:
A virulent example of [crazy from the center] has emerged during the latest iteration of the fiscal debate. Advocates of what Matthew Yglesias calls “BipartisanThink” have found themselves trapped between two impulses. On the one hand, they fervently believe that the country’s most vital priority is to pass a plan to reduce the deficit through a mix of cuts to retirement programs and reduced tax deductions. On the other hand, they believe with equal fervor that the two parties are equally to blame for the country’s problems in general, and the failure to pass such a plan in particular.

Their problem is that one party agrees with them completely, and the other rejects them. This creates a paradox between the two mental tentpoles of BipartisanThink. The solution is to simply wish away the facts, thus bringing them into line with reality.

David Brooks today devotes his column to upholding the known truths of BipartisanThink. He lashes out at the obstinacy of the Republican Party and its refusal to compromise on the deficit. But he has to balance it out by asserting that President Obama, too, lacks any such plan...

Second Update: Brooks does an interview with Ezra Klein, which ends up as a total takedown. Brooks admits Obama does have a plan, but takes refuge in the claim that the Congressional Budget Office didn't score it. Klein informs him that the CBO doesn't score informal negotiating offers, but did score the elements as they appeared in Obama's budget. The best part is when Brooks asserts that a centrist Democrat like Robert Rubin would be proposing something way more moderate than what Obama is offering:

Brooks: In my ideal world, the Obama administration would do something Clintonesque: They’d govern from the center; they’d have a budget policy that looked a lot more like what Robert Rubin would describe, and if the Republicans rejected that, moderates like me would say that’s awful, the White House really did come out with a centrist plan.

Klein: But I’ve read Robert Rubin’s tax plan. He wants $1.8 trillion in new revenues.

That is a brutal bluff-calling.
Here's the key points from the Robert Rubin et. al. tax plan David Brooks didn't have time to read: http://t.co/...
@mattyglesias via Tweetbot for Mac

Ezra's interview with Brooks is here. It took place at the salad bar at Applebee's.

What did David Brooks think the upside was in doing that dialogue with @EzraKlein?
@mattyglesias via Tweetbot for Mac

David Brooks' postscript:
The above column was written in a mood of justified frustration over the fiscal idiocy that is about to envelop the nation. But in at least one respect I let my frustration get the better of me. It is true, as the director of the Congressional Budget Office has testified, that the administration has not proposed a specific anti-sequester proposal that can be scored or passed into law. It is not fair to suggest, as I did, that tax hikes for the rich is the sole content of the president’s approach. The White House has proposed various constructive changes to spending levels and entitlement programs. These changes are not nearly adequate in my view, but they do exist, and I should have acknowledged the balanced and tough-minded elements in the president’s approach.
Many of his columns aren't fair for similar reasons, but this time he got called on it. Good for the pundit community for doing so.

More below the fold.

Dana Milbank:

“It is not a white flag of surrender,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said.

This was technically true: Scott did not wave a banner of any color when he announced Wednesday that he wants Florida to expand Medicaid, a key piece of Obamacare.

But make no mistake: Scott, a tea party Republican and outspoken critic of the law, was laying down arms in defeat.

Of course he was. There is no substance to tea party opposition to Obama's policies, and faced with reality, reality wins eventually.

@HotlineJosh @PeterHambyCNN @LoganDobson Press needs to cover the GOP governance disaster more than they do... a lot more. "NO" is not enough.
@DemFromCT via TweetDeck
@DemFromCT @HotlineJosh @PeterHambyCNN I'm sure they can fit some pieces about how we're ruining everything in between the obituaries of us
@LoganDobson via Twitter for Android

Jonathan Bernstein:

As we get closer to the sequestration deadline, followed a few weeks later by the appropriations deadline that could cause a government shutdown, new polling by Pew reminds everyone why the Republican position is so hard to maintain: people really don’t like spending cuts. In fact, most Americans want to increase spending on most government programs.

That is, people like the idea of spending cuts when they’re discussed generally, in terms of the overall cost of government. But when it gets down to specific programs, suddenly things change.

Understand that the GOP is addressing their base alone, because they've lost the argument with everyone else, who thinks they are insane.

Michael Gerson:

The Republican Party needs a reality check

The Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, lost by 5 million votes to a beatable incumbent presiding over an anemic economy. The explanation is not purely technical or personality oriented. At the national level, Republicans have a winning message for a nation that no longer exists.

For starters. Of course, Obama won because of the economy, not despite it.

 Keith Naughton (Republican):

For years the NRA has outworked, outspent and, most importantly, outfoxed the gun-control lobby. The NRA plays politics better and smarter than just about anyone else in Washington. The gun-control lobby plays politics worse than just about anyone.

The crux of the problem is that the gun-control lobby has chosen to be wholly dependent on the Democratic Party, while the NRA - although primarily supporting Republicans - actively and aggressively seeks out Democrats to support. The last thing the NRA wants is to be completely reliant on one party. By supporting a key group of Democrats, the NRA not only has a voice in the Democratic caucus but also forces the Republicans to support them right down the line - after all, GOP leaders have nowhere else to go.
The NRA has shown it can and will support a Democrat over a Republican - and win. Thus, the NRA is both courted and feared. After the 2006 Democratic takeover of Congress, no less a figure than Rahm Emanuel, then chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, crowed about how key NRA support was to the Democrats' victory.

Where is the gun-control lobby in all this? Nowhere.

Article should be past tense: while the article may once have been accurate, the world has changed.

Politico:

They stormed into office two years ago willing to knock heads and make enemies. But now several Republican governors are suddenly in a fix – up for reelection next year in states that Barack Obama carried in November, and with dangerously low approval ratings.

So the GOP executives — including well-known figures like Scott Walker and John Kasich —are swearing off polarizing battles over union power and budget cuts and presenting a softer side to voters. Instead of red-meat conservative causes, they’re emphasizing the pocketbook issues that got them elected in the first place — a shift that will likely be on display this weekend at the National Governors Association’s winter meeting in Washington.

That's the republicans. Then there's a Democrat.

Colin McEnroe on CT's D Governor:

Watch Dan Malloy closely right now, and you might see that rare thing: A politician who has ditched politics in favor of moral seriousness.

That, at least, is my current working theory of Malloy. I believe what he saw and heard in the early hours at Sandy Hook changed him irreversibly. I believe his moment at the open casket of Noah Posner, where the missing lower part of the little boy's face was covered with a cloth, both wounded and electrified the governor.

To understand him right now, you might be better off reading Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky than political commentary. He has seen a terrible, undeniable reality and now searches for a moral response to it.

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Comment Preferences

  •  ALL of the IRRESPONSIBLE hullaballoo abpout (49+ / 0-)

    the "Sequester" is driving americans to be more and more agitated and anxious.

    I have clients in my groups terrified that the government is going to shut off their checks. They'll be evicted. They'll be homeless. They are terrified.

    Then we have the possibility or appearance that a major league dumbass in Florida shot his family and killed himself over sequester-related propaganda bullshit.

    A depressed Florida man shot his wife and two children before killing himself after closing his hot air balloon business and facing losing his job as a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) inspector because of automatic budget cuts known as “sequestration.”
    It is just irresponsible of Republicans (and to the extent dems allow this to go on by being weak and inneffectual) are keeping this horseshit at a fever pitch, threatening Americans with a wholly-needless disaster.

    At some point it is my hope that Americans figure it out and Republicans wake up to a reality that they are not safe in public.

    Nothing else is working to stop their bullshit.

    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 Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:35:28 AM PST

    •  And none of us is getting any younger. (13+ / 0-)

      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 Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:41:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's mostly Democratic horseshit, I'm afraid. (10+ / 0-)

      It's Democratic horseshit because the sequester itself will not be a disaster.  It might even be the best thing that's happened to the country in years. Compared to TARP, it is A number 1 deliciousness.

      The real horseshit is the parade of terribles being trotted out about the aftermath of the sequester, and that seems to be coming from Democrats -- or branches of the government that are under administration control.

      The total size of the non-defense sequester is only 2/3 the size of the original Sandy Hook relief bill.  Many things -- including Social Security -- are exempted from cuts.

      We can survive the sequester.
      On the other hand, Republicans, their bluffs called and Defense cuts in place, will have to negotiate to get any of that money back in the budget. Unfortunately for them, the sequester hits defense harder than civilian programs so they'll be negotiating from behind the eight ball.

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

      by dinotrac on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:49:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Surviving" this bullshit is beside the point (17+ / 0-)

        the point is that is is artifical and needless. It is a false contrivance.

        Dems or Repubs - we're being set up for a brutal ass-rape that is completely unnecessary and built, like everything else in this goddamned stupid political reality, on bullshit. Lies and fucking bullshit yet we are having to act loike it's real and fuck up the country.

        Leaders do not fear the people and that is the root of the problem, however unpopular or unwelcome it is.

        When people do not fear harm they act differently than hen they do fear it. They should fear us but they don't and run over us with absolute impunity.

        We have no deterrence for those motherfuckers - voting is horseshit - they fuck us for 4 years in between votes.

        Lawsuits can be directed to my e-mail.

        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 Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:58:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Trying to parse what you said... (6+ / 0-)

          Don't know what brutal ass-rape you refer to, given that we've been subjected to a steady stream of it for years, but I agree that our leaders don't fear the people.

          I'm more optimistic than you are, however.

          First, it's not four years between votes.  It's two years.
          Yes, four years for the President (and most Governors), but two years for Congress and Congress holds the purse strings.

          Second, people have become more willing to vote out incumbents.  Not willing enough, but more willing.

          That will make a difference, but not instantly.

          Finally -- remember SOPA?
          I don't recall that getting passed.

          See stories in the news about Republicans governors expanding Medicaid? That comes from sticking their fingers out to see which way the wind is blowing.

          At some point, something vaguely resembling reason will prevail.  Won't last long and won't make anybody especially happy, but it will happen.

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

          by dinotrac on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:21:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Millions of women, children and (15+ / 0-)

            low-income families will suffer damage that is most certainly unnecessary and may very well be irreversible by cuts mandated in the sequester.  

            The only reason we're having this ludicrous debate in the first place is because Republicans in congress refuse to accept tax increases for the portion of the population that has garnered the most substantial proportion of the tax cuts and benefits of increased productivity for the past 30+ years.  

            The system has been arranged so that the poor have no more left to give, the middle class is staggering under the weight of the fiscal burden, and the moneyed interests, already flush, continue to rack up the fruits of any economic growth.

            "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 Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:20:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You describe a modern "Dickensonian" society (7+ / 0-)

              where the vast majority of us are serfs (homeless or jailed for stealing food or jailed for debt we can't pay back, because the Job Creators trashed the economy).

              Make no mistake about it, the US is there. Here in the US, in our name, the Job Creators emprison more people, per capita, than any other nation, at any other time in human history, in PRIVATIZED PRISONS where, in some cases, the prisoners are used for (virtuallly) slave labor.

              Our government, We the People, used to provide some pushback against that fuedalistic system where the rich and powerful are NOT TAXED, but their empoverished victims are.

              In the old days (pre-Reagan), the tax dollars of WE the PEOPLE fueled employment that didn't require everyone to be servants of the rich. No, we served each other.  But the success of that government generated corruption, envy, and greed, and now, this next step toward plutocracy.

        •  That's a mighty fine whine you have (0+ / 0-)

          there.  Why do you blog if everything's so horrible and hopeless?  I'd just drink myself to death if I really believed there was no point.

          I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

          by I love OCD on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:27:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  It's friggin 3%, for God's sake (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          codairem

          The FAA you mentioned above is going to face $480 Million in cuts (not the $600 Million LaHood talked about)

          You know what they pay consultants in one year?  $500 Billion.  In one fucking year.

          You have bought into the Democratic scare game orchestrated from the Oval Office.

          •  oops.. $500 Million (not Billion) (0+ / 0-)

            but you get the idea..

          •  Verging on HRable (0+ / 0-)

            for promoting RW talking points (the Democratic scare game orchestrated from the Oval office ...?... well at least you didn't write "democrat scare game").

            Link is to a RW-leaning news paper by a conservative writer (active in the Hillsdale College Republicans! .... sounds like ... good times ....).

            Bon Temps, if you are a conservative, why not just disclose your conservative positions openly and take your lumps? rather than cultivating TU status here?

          •  I could give (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            codairem, Bon Temps

            LaHood one free consult that would solve his budget problems:

            Turf the TSA.  Imagine the $ and aggravation we could save if we simply stopped patting down tottery old ladies, men in wheelchairs, and towheaded 3 year olds.

            And stop buying those machines that make naked xrays of poeple.

      •  This only works if each industry is allowed (0+ / 0-)

        to make the cuts to their own program thus a lance of cuts rather than a hatchet.

        President Obama, January 9, 2012: "Change is hard, but it is possible. I've Seen it. I've Lived it."

        by Drdemocrat on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:37:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There will be a lot of work to do after the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          METAL TREK, bdop4

          sequester, that's for sure.

          Pretty public work, I'll bet, given the attention that the sequester has drawn.

          I've come around to thinking it could be the best thing to happen for the American people in years.

          Probably the only way to put a dent in Defense.

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

          by dinotrac on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:50:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The sequester seems like a corollary to the (4+ / 0-)

            missed deadline to shut the government down a few months ago.

            If the Dems want to stop the repeated blackmail by the Rs, they are going to have to stop paying ransom and see if the hostage is indeed harmed.

            Vitter is still in office, Larry Craig finished out his term, Newt Gingrich made a run for president but I really think letting the sequester go through will destroy the R claim to legitimacy.

            Probably the only way to put a dent in Defense.
            If so, it would be worth it.

            *There are two sides to every horseshit.* Kos

            by glorificus on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:13:41 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  If you think the sequester will be (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            annominous, DSPS owl, alice kleeman

            "the best thing to happen for the American people in years," I wonder just whom you consider to be the American people.  Sequestration cuts to the military-industrial complex (13% - uniformed military personnel are exempt) will be reinstated within a few years - both parties will see to that, even if it takes another war - but cuts affecting low income and poor families will never rise enough to make up for either the short-term or the long-term damage that will be done to them.

            "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 Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:47:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh please. Even with the cuts, the budgets rise (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dinotrac

              this year.  The cuts simply reduce the projected growth built in to federal budgets.

              •  The population of the poor (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bdop4, DSPS owl

                and destitute will also rise this year and in subsequent years if the sequester goes into effect.  The general population continues to grow each year, and more of them fall into poverty and dependency on government programs every year as well.

                "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 Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:10:01 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  The sun will set in the evenings if the sequester (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  codairem, Bon Temps

                  goes into effect.

                  Not only that, lots of people will die of cancer.

                  In your own words:

                  The general population continues to grow each year, and more of them fall into poverty and dependency on government programs every year as well.
                  You are absolutely right about that.
                  Have you not noticed that it's happening even though no sequester has occurred?

                  Have you not notice the steady and depressing growth in time out of work for the long-term unemployed?
                  Also happening with no sequester in place.

                  Little half-assed deals to give the appearance that things are moving along doesn't seem to be helping.

                  Time to shake our leaders up and make them earn their pay.

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

                  by dinotrac on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:42:42 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Proof? Link? (0+ / 0-)

                Media matters describes current right wingers' efforts to downplay possible ill effects of sequestration. So it's really nice the wingnuts are simultaneously crediting PBO for the sequestration, yes? Because it's going to be so great?

                Can't lose for winning? or should that be "can't lose while spinning?"

            •  If that's the case, the Democrats will be exposed (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              codairem

              as liars.

              If they are liars, it is good for that to come out for the public to see.

              Short-term pain is sometimes the only way to right the ship.

              I don't like the idea, but I see the horrible consequences of TARP and the depression it supposedly averted.

              Millions of people left hanging in the wind, mostly forgotten.

              So, yes, making our leaders scramble and lead strikes me as a very good thing.

              If they are exposed for all to see, let them eat losses.

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

              by dinotrac on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:06:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Couldn't disagree more. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pelagicray, bdop4

            The sequester is going to hit workers in the discretionary spending part of the federal budget hard.  500,000 civil servants on the discretionary budget represent a marketplace of households that have already started belt tightening, and that will propagate through the economy. Effects of that are already observable.

            On the other side of the budget, hundreds of thousands of DOD contractor households will be doing the same.  Many of those households are deep in red states, and those contractors vote goop. Go figure. But in combination the sequester cuts have the potential of contracting the national economy to the point of causing a second dip to the GOP's Great Recession.  

            Dinotrac, you are just plain wrong, but it's nice you can whistle past the graveyard.

            If the cuts could be focused on reducing funding of our machine of empire, I'd be fine with them too. But I disagree that it's the only way to "put a dent in Defense". Defense cuts were coming anyway. And I DO NOT advocate cutting services to our returning vets.

            •  Might be, but the parade of terribles that (0+ / 0-)

              politicians and pundits are spouting makes me believe that I am not.

              The "graveyard" you refer to -- does that include the millions of long-term unemployed that the administration and most Democrats (Meteor Blades being a very notable exception) pretend to not exist?

              Will avoiding the "disaster" of a sequester have the same effect as avoiding a depression by shoveling out TARP money and ladling out the lard contained in the so-called stimulus bill at the beginning of 2009?

              If so, I'd prefer the disaster.  I suspect it will be better for ordinary Americans than the nasty little deals that might be made to avoid it.

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

              by dinotrac on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 01:40:24 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  We will see. (0+ / 0-)

                Pointing out the so-called "parade of terribles" spouted by the "pundits and politicians"  is all the rage over at free republic and redstate today. I wasn't willing to let all the sequestration cheerleading go unanswered in this dKos comment thread. It won't take long for the site to lose its progressive credibility if we don't call to account posters espousing conservative talking points, isn't that right?

                Bush's TARP was probably necessary but evil, while Obama's stimulus was certainly necessary though probably too small. (Together, they saved millions of peoples' retirement accounts, at the cost of lining the nests of the onepers).  I'm sure you disagree (your attitude about those programs also seems to me to be more closely aligned to views expressed at free republic and redstate).

                I think that the move toward austerity has real potential to drive the US into a double dip of the recession that many worldwide are still immersed in.

                Whistling past the graveyard is a figure of speech, sorry that it confused you.

                The benefits for long-term unemployed workers will be reduced after the sequester kicks in. Just saying, since you are clearly very concerned about those folks. The underemployed will likely remain underemployed if not more so, as the job situation worsens under the sequester (worsening of employment conditions under the sequester is likely, according to economists).

                But if sequestration is making you and the goopbaggers happy, that's something anyway.

                •  Your figures of speech don't confuse me any more (0+ / 0-)

                  than your pitiful arguments and your silly talking points ("austerity", anyone?).

                  You seem to think very poorly of the current administration.
                  You believe that your leaders will not exercise their considerable discretion to minimize the impact of sequester cuts while Congress hashes out a more lasting solution.

                  Your lack of confidence may well be justified, but...those same leaders were prepared to spend considerably more money for Sandy Hook relief than will be cut from domestic programs by the sequester.  I would guess that the short-term hit is survivable.

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

                  by dinotrac on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:19:34 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Sandy Hook relief? (0+ / 0-)

                    I only wish we could.

                    You seem .... more and more .... confused. It's starting to worry me a bit. And frankly, your posts are getting a little ... maybe "garbled" is the right word.  How's your face, are both sides the same? One side isn't drooping, is it? Do you have anyone in the house who can check on you?

                    I hope you are OK, and in the spirit of friendly bi-partisanship, here's a link to a definition and explanation of the term "austerity". You seem to be struggling with the concept. As you can see, it's a term from the study of Economics, and actually is not a "talking point".  Still, it's a relatively simple concept and I just know you can handle it.  No, no need to thank me, it's my public service good deed for the day.

                    Good health and good luck! Let's keep in touch as this sequester moves through the system. It will be interesting to see if your casual approach to macroeconomic disasters has any basis in reality!

      •  You're right (6+ / 0-)

        I listen to a channel on sirius/XM that is nothing but politics, left leaning, right leaning, centrist, but mostly very good discussions and news.
        It seems that Republicans are giving up (and going home) and embracing the sequester, let the chips fall where they may, it's out of their hands.
        Obama is scaring people, talking about airports shutting down and people losing their jobs. He should be pushing his plan harder, emphasizing tax revenues. I have not heard his entire speech this week as he's going out to the public, but Biden is doing the same thing, and it's just wrong.
        Even House Democrats have come up with a very reasonable plan, as has CAP (tweet link in the diary from Matt Yglesias). Everyone is ignoring all of that in favor of political posturing.
        I'm aggravated with everyone right now.

        “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

        by skohayes on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:54:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  So President Obama is using the (5+ / 0-)

        bully pulpit to hammer Republicans and point out the fact that they don't give a shit if your food is toxic or your plane never gets off the ground or your schools are funded and that's a bad thing?  The media that never mentions that Republicans are toxic to the common welfare is actually cracking a bit and that's bad for Democrats?  

        I get that you think we need to kill our current system but I've never heard a single useful suggestion about what replaces it.  

        Maybe you're just a garden variety spoiler.

        I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

        by I love OCD on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:24:37 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It is my hope (19+ / 0-)

      that people will wake up after all this bullshit and STOP FUCKING VOTING FOR REPUBLICANS!!!

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:23:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Media and Obama are hyping it (9+ / 0-)

      It looks to me like the Administration has a strategy to hype up how catastrophic the sequester would be -- both by targeting the cuts where they will be most visible (like air traffic controllers and TSA screeners), and by a steady stream of press releases on how bad it's gonna be. That's designed, I assume, to pressure the House GOP to do something reasonable. (Fat chance.) In the process, however, it is scaring the bejeesus out of the rest of us.

      IMO, this is getting so old. We've already fallen off a gazillion invented cliffs that turned out to be a 2-inch curb, and I expect this to be another such. That's the trouble with governing-by-crisis -- it gets less and less effective as people realize that it's all posturing and gamesmanship, and in a few days they'll resolve this one and move on to the next one (Mar. 27, when the entire government will shut down, for those keeping score at home).

      •  It's cumulative and with some foresight (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        newinfluence, codairem

        Grab the narrative now and keep hold of it. The bully pulpit is the cheapest and most effective way for the Democratic Party to put out its message. If you keep your eyes on the President, you are not keeping them on John Boehner. All Boehner has right now is bad snark. Every time he says he didn't like the sequester, the video of him saying "I got 98% of what I wanted." rolls out. (It doesn't on Fox News, but that's beside the point.)

        I think Ray LaHood's news conference on what could happen was great. First of all, I am sad to see him go. He pushed for bike lanes and hybrids and public transportation while in office, and all of this while still being a Republican. His warnings about what will happen on March 1 were telling. The effect might be seen that day with a lot of frustration at airports all over this country. If what he says will happen happens, people will be pissed. What's worse? It comes just a few weeks before Spring Break. Future voters might get caught up in this if the sequester persists and if the Republicans shut down the government (again) on March 27th, Democrats will be able to say "I told you so." 2014 will not come fast enough for a lot of people.

        That's really what this is all about.

    •  It's the truth. (0+ / 0-)

      And it's not unique to them.

      Any business facing a revenue shortfall would have employees feeling the same way.

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:37:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The federal government is not a business. (0+ / 0-)

        Obama can request a press conference.  He can say: we've tried it their way (and play the by now famous "I've got 98% of what I wanted" footage).  And now we are going to try it the Democrats' way. If we reach the point where government workers have to be furloughed and your safety, jobs and travel are about to take a nose dive, I will order departments to continue working at previous levels  and will do whatever is necessary to see that they get paid.  The President does have that authority.

        No soldier (or government contractor) has ever failed to be paid in previous crises.  It's time to extend this immunity to other branches of government, and stop playing the Republicans' game.

  •  I think it's past time for David Brooks (26+ / 0-)

    to share some sacrifice and give up his unearned income from the New York Times.  He cannot be as stupid as the things he says.  The only other option is evil.

    If the Republicans ever find out that Barack Obama favors respiration, we'll be a one-party system inside two minutes. - Alan Lewis

    by MadRuth on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:36:29 AM PST

  •  Gerson's bit is, of course, humorous. (10+ / 0-)
    The Republican Party needs a reality check
    Better late than never, I suppose.

    So funny to see people arriving at the party when one has been there for years.

    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 Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:39:29 AM PST

    •  Nah......They're right and everybody else is just (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, glorificus

      plain stoopid.

    •  5000+ comments (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sfsteach

      on an article titled "The Republicans Need a Reality Check"

      There's still plenty of die hards out here in flyover country, unfortunately.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:02:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  As a resident of "flyover country" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        codairem

        I must note that while we have our share of die hards, so does the east, the west and the south. Hell, trendy liberal California got proposition 8 passed and still hasn't managed to undo it.

        Conversely my state, Minnesota, just threw out its republican congress for a Democratic one to go along with our Democratic governor. Also, both our state senators are Democratic. And we voted down the marriage amendment.  Of course we do have Michelle Bachmann to keep us humble and remind us the fight is never over.

        "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

        by StellaRay on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:01:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Gooper Wingnut (is that redundant?) on the radio (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator, commonmass, a2nite, glorificus

    last night....'The GOP has to get this immigration thing behind them as quickly as possible.'.....Ever heard of the filibuster Clyde?

  •  Gerson's pointed the right (8+ / 0-)

    direction, sort of, with the call for a GOP reality check.  

    But the Republicans don't have personnel to reverse the troglodyte trend.  

    It's awful dark in that cave.  It would all but blind them to step out into the sunlight.  

  •  Revise the CBO process... (10+ / 0-)

    The CBO does a nice job of going over the numbers in a budget proposal. But I would like them or someone else to go to the "next level".

    Beyond all the budget numbers and legislative doublespeak there are real people that will be directly affected by any budget proposal. We need to have a broad simulation done against these proposals to demonstrate how the public will be affected by these changes?

    How many people will likely end up on unemployment?
    How many people will need food stamps?
    How will this affect those that rely on these entitlements?
    How many deaths could be attributed to people going homeless?
    It goes on and on...

    There are ways to simulate the real life affects that could occur based on these very direct changes to the American People. But are the simple CBO numbers really capturing what it means for those living paycheck to paycheck?

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:49:02 AM PST

  •  The David Brooks' (24+ / 0-)

    of this world are losing the both sides do it campaign. The strongest evidence that the media personalities know it too was displayed on Monday morning with the concerted effort to demonize President Obama for being aloof and complaining about lack of access. The President is getting his message AND his plan directly to the people, ignoring the "fair and balanced" press corps - the snarky, whiny side comments from Chuck Todd were music to my ears.

    Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

    by hulibow on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:51:49 AM PST

    •  Gotta be tough shilling for whackadoodles. (6+ / 0-)
      •  Can't be too tough when, despite (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skillet

        numerous think tanks and caucuses feeding them, the whackadoodles haven't brought forth one original thought in decades.

        "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 Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:06:33 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not at all (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        codairem

        It pays well and you don't have to be exceptionally intelligent or competent to do it.
        All you have to do if parrot the talking points and the Beltway 'conventional wisdom' aka bullshit.

        You also need to value money over country and common sense.

    •  Chuck Todd. Blech. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      codairem, hazzcon, hulibow

      My fave part of the APR this AM was the piece by Chiat and his use of the words "by-partisan think." This idea that both sides must be blamed, no matter that one side is grossly more responsible for the disfunction is the most putrid thing about way too much of today's punditry.

      The "No-labels" thing translates to me as "Not going to take a stand on anything." This country was set up as a perpetual debate between two parties, and that's exactly what should happen. Compromise is a necessary and inevitable outcome, but it is a result that's only valuable when Americans have heard the full premises of the arguments.

      When we are partisan we are standing up for what we believe in, or least for the party we think gives us the best chances to achieve that.  I don't remember all this talk about partisanship when the GOP was leading this country off the cliff in so many ways. Interesting and not a coinky dinky that the whole "No labels" thing sprung up under President Obama.

      IMO, it is just another disenfranchisement of his presidency---the idea that there's no place for "Obama Democrats," the way there was for Regan Republicans and all the rah rah rah that came with that.

      This country would shrivel up and die without partisanship, and I'm sick to puke of the word being demonized and misunderstood.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:26:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  At the state level there is a wave coming... (18+ / 0-)

    I feel that many at the state level are fed up with the GOP governors and the Tea Party wrecking their statehouses. All the anti-union, vagina invading, anti-abortion, parental right  craziness has totally wrecked the state level GOP.

    The Republicans thought that they were setting up a new base through gerrymandering and legislative coups using canned ALEC legislation. But in the end I feel strongly that it is backfiring on them.

    Give it another year or at the most two and the GOP will be back on their heels again at the state level. They just never learn that you can't fool people all the time.

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:55:50 AM PST

    •  I so agree (9+ / 0-)

      The ultrasound broadcast on trin-tron show put on in my Statehouse last year to bolster probe legislation had the opposite effect - their whole plan died in an afternoon. I thank technology - the minute they put jelly on the belly it was all over the media & the people freaked.
      http://www.boiseweekly.com/...

      Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

      by hulibow on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:06:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  ..."can't fool people all the time". (6+ / 0-)

      I believe the GOP knows this, but they count on a good bit more than 47% of their base to be fools in the first place.  

      Who is the greater fool, the fool or the fool who follows him.      ~   Obi-Wan Kenobi

      As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

      by JaxDem on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:08:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not too sure about that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ratcityreprobate, codairem, Wynter

      Currently on the rec list: Kansas Town Hall goes Wrong for Senators, House Members, where our two senators and a House member were being harassed about getting Obama impeached:

      But they should have expected it.   The crowd turned quickly to the kind of questions that the senators didn't want to go on the record with and Representative Yoder had to feel a bit uncomfortable.

      Asked repeatedly:   Why can't we impeach Obama?    The dismissive response as given by the members resulted in furious facebook posts to their pages:

      I attended and was disappointed as well. Congressman Yoder keeps talking about upholding the Constitution but when pushed about impeaching Obama he is very noncommittal. If the president is refusing to uphold laws of the United States then that is malfeasance of office which is impeachable!

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:13:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed... (0+ / 0-)

        Too many people out there that seem to have forgotten all about the Bush years and all the laws his administration broke in the fight for "freedom".

        But the bottom line for these legislators is simple. Do they want to go into the land of "crazy town" and live there permanently? Or do they want to make a stand on principles and stay grounded in reality. The fringe groups are loud and boisterous, but in the end that is all they are. Common sense, while hard to come by, is essential at this time. Giving in to the crazies will just neuter any and all future chances the legislator has for putting forth any good work.

        "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

        by Wynter on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:19:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  If the sequester goes into effect, (12+ / 0-)

    here's a perfect place to start cutting the DOD budget, as reported in the New York Times.

    The Pentagon said on Friday that it had grounded all of its stealthy new F-35 fighter jets after an inspection found a crack in a turbine blade in the engine of one of the planes.

    The suspension of flights comes at an awkward time for the military, which is facing automatic budget cuts that could slow its purchases of the planes. The Pentagon grounded all three versions of the jets — for the Air Force, the Navy and the Marines — on Thursday while it investigated the problem.

    Lockheed Martin, which makes the high-tech plane, said 64 of the jets would be affected. The Pentagon estimates that it could spend as much as $396 billion to buy 2,456 of the jets by the late 2030s. But the program, the most expensive in military history, has been plagued by cost overruns and delays, and it could easily become a target for budget cutters.

    The F-15 has been at the center of controversy since the program was approved, first because of its cost and finally by the repeated failure of the planes to meet deadlines and specification requirements.

    "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 Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:01:42 AM PST

    •  F-35, not F-15 (9+ / 0-)

      The F-15 has been one of the most successful planes in AF history, still flying after nearly 40 years. Also the F-16 & F-18. The F-35 is the dud.

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

      by kovie on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:55:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe the era of the manned... (0+ / 0-)

        ..."Air Superiority Fighter" is over.

        I know that means more drones by default. But we may be at the point where the competing tactical objectives and physical/biological constraints don't accommodate placing a pilot or 2 man team in hundreds of aircraft anymore. I recall a stat that no less than half of any fighter's cost was dedicated to pilot survivability. That might be a constraint we need to abandon if the goal is overall air superiority.

        When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

        by Egalitare on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:29:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It was an honest typo. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Greg Dworkin, kovie

        The quote refers to the correct plane.

        "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 Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:01:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Hey, DemFromCT, did you see Englehart yesterday? (8+ / 0-)

    Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

    Considering perhaps as many as 5000 people are employed directly or indirectly by the gun industry in a small state of Connecticut this is a fairly strong cartoon. ("Colt" are based in Connecticut and not that far from Newtown.)

    Here's Colin McEnroe on Governor Dan Malloy:

    Watch Dan Malloy closely right now, and you might see that rare thing: A politician who has ditched politics in favor of moral seriousness.

    That, at least, is my current working theory of Malloy. I believe what he saw and heard in the early hours at Sandy Hook changed him irreversibly. I believe his moment at the open casket of Noah Posner, where the missing lower part of the little boy's face was covered with a cloth, both wounded and electrified the governor.

    To understand him right now, you might be better off reading Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky than political commentary. He has seen a terrible, undeniable reality and now searches for a moral response to it.
    ...
    The reason his budget address was such a discordant mess is that he isn't going to be any good at anything until his moral rock slide reaches an angle of repose. And the reason that, last week, he blew up the process he had helped to start — the work of two Newtown task forces — is that he couldn't stand it anymore. He's currently a politician who can't do politics. My guess is, he isn't sleeping well. My guess is, he has a sickness of the soul that won't go away until he believes he has done the right thing. And maybe not even then.

    http://www.courant.com/...

    Something is going to get done in Connecticut and you can be damn sure the gun lobby and the NRA will howl.

  •  Had to use teh googlez re: salad bar - (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, commonmass, glorificus

    Harharhar!

  •  GOP needs some repackaging........check out the (6+ / 0-)
  •  What world is Gerson from? (11+ / 0-)

    Move beyond Reagan-era nostalgia?

    I can't detect any Reagan-era nostalgia in the current GOP.

    They invoke his name, that's for sure, but nostalgia requires some memory, and these folks seem to have no clue as to what Reagan was actually like in his Presidency.

    For one thing, the most conservative President ever was actually able to work with Tip O'Neill and the Democratic Congress.  

    The most conservative President ever was able to recognize an opportunity and go against stereotype to initiate negotiations on START 1.  

    The man who was once Governor of California and would soon be the most conservative President ever not only opposed the Briggs initiative to fire homosexual teachers, but wrote an editorial to that effect in a major California newspaper.

    The most conservative President ever agreed to a significant tax increase when it appeared that his earlier tax cuts had gone too far.

    And -- about those earlier tax cuts -- they were real and substantial, but they also included elimination of a number of deductions.

    In short, the most conservative President ever would not be where Republicans are today.  The most conservative President ever would have made a deal and worked to get the country back on track.

    To badly paraphrase Lloyd Bentson's famous line:

    GOP, I remember Ronald Reagan, and you are no Ronald Reagan.

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

    by dinotrac on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:13:43 AM PST

    •  Right now the right has nostalgia for tailgunner (10+ / 0-)

      Joe McC.

      I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

      by JML9999 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:42:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nah . . . (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, dinotrac, belle1

      It's really just that they want both to be back in power and popular.

      •  They'll have to figure it out, then (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes, glorificus

        They sure seem clueless now.

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

        by dinotrac on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:52:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  here's the thing (9+ / 0-)

          and a decent case can be made (which, of course, I have for a few years now ;-P)...

          the GOP is only interested in power, not governance. Assume they don't see the two as being related (i.e doing a good job with governance gets you elected) the way Democrats do.

          Accept that as a thought experiment, and everything they do (and, as importantly, don't do) becomes clear.

          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

          by Greg Dworkin on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:00:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you don't think government works (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tb mare, wintergreen8694, revsue, dinotrac

            then why would you work it make it better?
            Tea Partiers are using this to push the ideology down everyone else's throats, screw the opposition.
            Brownback is out here pushing the far right's tax agenda (slash spending, eliminate business income taxes, make poor and middle class people pay more through removal of mortgage and property tax deductions), and even elected Republicans (well, one at least) are becoming alarmed:

            Brian Jones has been an admirer of Republican Sam Brownback’s fiscal conservatism going back to Brownback’s days as an anti-tax congressman in the 1990s. But now the real estate company owner from southeast Kansas finds himself in the odd position of fighting hard against the governor’s plan for phasing out the state income tax.

            Brownback has been lionized by the GOP right for trying to end the personal income tax, something not accomplished by any state in more than 30 years. In his two years in office, he has aimed to make Kansas a national testing ground for conservative theories about economic prosperity.

            But the push, which he began with a 24 percent cut in the top rate, now depends on wiping out deductions claimed by more than 300,000 homeowners. He suddenly confronts the conundrum that just because taxpayers want to get rid of taxes doesn’t mean they’re ready to give up favorite tax breaks.

            http://cjonline.com/...

            “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

            by skohayes on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:26:35 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I can't argue with your depiction of Republicans. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Greg Dworkin

            I simply see no evidence that Democrats are any better.

            I believe that they have figured out a better way got votes, but that only lasts until they veer away or somebody else gets a clue.

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

            by dinotrac on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:11:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  right (0+ / 0-)

              and that's where we generally argue, not about republicans.

              read the Chait piece. You might not like Obama's governance plan, but he has a plan and he tries to pass it. So, your point about D's = R's simply ain't so.

              You're more like brooks than you want to admit.

              "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

              by Greg Dworkin on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:20:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  There is this thing called time. (0+ / 0-)

                At present, the GOP seems planless, clueless and beyond repair.

                At present, the Democrats are doing better.

                The roles have been reversed in the past and they will be reversed again.

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

                by dinotrac on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:38:52 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  when they are, we'll say so (0+ / 0-)

                  but faulting D's for what they used to do and will someday do again seems kinda pointless, eh?

                  "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                  by Greg Dworkin on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:56:19 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Merely faulting them for being politicians. (0+ / 0-)

                    Believing in white hats v black hats is a great way to be deceived and disappointed.

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

                    by dinotrac on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 10:43:25 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  not black and white (0+ / 0-)

                      in terms of heroes and villains but binary in terms of this candidate vs that one.

                      Still, while what you said is undeniable, don't use it as an excuse to avoid the choices we have to make.

                      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 11:41:09 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Don't believe that I am avoiding choices. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Greg Dworkin

                        Agonizing over them?
                        Sure.

                        But -- I'm a great believer in letting the sequester happen.

                        All the scare-mongering has served to convince me that is the best thing that We the People could hope for.

                        Those who prefer to hand out TARP funds and shower their rich friends with gifts need to have their hands forced, and...

                        the sequester will create a unique situation -- and lots of scrutiny -- that makes doing a little bit of good possible.

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

                        by dinotrac on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 12:07:28 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  perhaps (0+ / 0-)

                          If we had a rational parter to negotiate with, I'd be more blase about it.

                          Then again, if we had a rational parter to negotiate with, there wouldn't be a sequester.

                          "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                          by Greg Dworkin on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 12:45:37 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  You do have a rational opponent, and that's why (0+ / 0-)

                            the sequester offers a little ray of hope.

                            The sequester changes the game: it cuts Defense, that area of rich and powerful friends.  Not only does it cut Defense, it cuts Defense more than domestic programs.

                            Their own friends will be pressuring them.

                            Think about what happened to these gooney birds at the end of last year:

                            They entered into an agreement to permanently extend middle class tax cuts, but to increase taxes on those making more than  $450,000 a year.

                            It was the pressure of everybody seeing a tax increase when the Democrats already had a bill on the table to spare most Americans.

                            Push the suckers against the wall, inflict pain on the people behind them, and they will move.

                            If not, read up on the 1932 Senate elections.

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

                            by dinotrac on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 01:07:22 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  hope you're right (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            dinotrac

                            the Ted Cruz and Michele Bachmann contingent is far from rations, but it remains to be seen how many they are vs everyone else.

                            I agree there's a glimmer of hope.

                            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                            by Greg Dworkin on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:35:18 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  There are always a couple of folks out of step -- (0+ / 0-)

                            like Rand Paul.

                            For the rest, you must never mistake "sees things differently and not likely to support the things I want" from irrational.

                            The task is to make it rational to support the things you want.
                            The sequester provides a little bit of leverage.

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

                            by dinotrac on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:46:52 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  cruz and bachmann are beyond (0+ / 0-)

                            "sees things differently". They are Joe McCarthy style nut jobs, seeing Communists (or claiming so) everywhere. They are indefensible.

                            That's not the same as a Dick Luger, or an Orrin hatch.

                            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                            by Greg Dworkin on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:34:06 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  As I said, there are always a couple. (0+ / 0-)

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

                            by dinotrac on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 11:36:07 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

    •  The most conservative president ever (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glorificus, tb mare, sfsteach, codairem

      also passed a bill as governor of California that legalized abortion.
      And don't forget his "amnesty bill":

      In 1986, Reagan signed an immigration reform bill, the first in 20 years, that legalized the status for 1.7-million people.

      Some defenders of the law dispute the term "amnesty."

      But here's how Edwin Meese, Reagan's former attorney general, characterizes what his boss did: "President Reagan called this what it was: amnesty. Indeed, look up the term 'amnesty' in Black's Law Dictionary, and you'll find it says, 'the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act provided amnesty for undocumented aliens already in the country.' "

      Reagan signed the bill after Republicans and Democrats cobbled together an amnesty program in response to concerns from farmers worried about harvesting profits. The official record of congressional debates shows that lawmakers intended the program to provide a steady supply of labor for growers of perishable crops, such as cherries, grapes, peaches, etc. At the time the bill was written, however, "perishable" was defined so loosely that more durable crops such as potted plants, tobacco and seedlings were lumped in as well.

      http://www.politifact.com/...

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:18:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skohayes

        I can't get it all!

        None of which makes Reagan any less conservative, or any less a target of liberal/progressive angst/anger/hatred.

        He wasn't a genius -- unless you compare him to some of the blithering idiots who use his name these days.

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

        by dinotrac on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:48:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, he turned me away from Republicans (0+ / 0-)

          and made me pay more attention to politics after watching two friends die of AIDS in the late 80s.
          I hope he's rotting in hell somewhere.

          “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

          by skohayes on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 02:08:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  my Saturday morning reflection is now up (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Gentle Giant

    It is about encouraging risk taking by students, which is something that should be fundamental in education, at least based on my experience and perception

    it is what I explore in this post for which I request your attention

    peace

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:23:39 AM PST

  •  Malloy is a good man n/t (5+ / 0-)

    Victory is sweet-November 6, 2012

    by al23 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:27:23 AM PST

  •  Bob Woodward is a HORRIBLE reporter (14+ / 0-)

    He is totally missing the point.  The PURPOSE of the sequester was to FORCE the Supercommittee to come up with a deal of combination of revenue and cuts to REPLACE it because it would be bad for the economy.  It has NOTHING to do with moving the goal post.

    President Obama, January 9, 2012: "Change is hard, but it is possible. I've Seen it. I've Lived it."

    by Drdemocrat on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:33:48 AM PST

  •  David Brooks is worthless (6+ / 0-)

    He is basically a loyal water carrier for the right.  All they have left to screech about "equivalence".  How weak.

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

    by noofsh on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:35:00 AM PST

  •  Brooks' "centrism" (6+ / 0-)

    Brooks' attempt at playing to centrism is ridiculous mostly because he isn't a centristr nor can he even lay claim to consistent "High Broderism". Broder was a loyal if somewhat moderate Republican who claimed to be above partisanship. Brooks obviously is a partisan and was hired to be a "reasonable conservative". Unfortunately, he quickly became a pretty hacky, knee jerk conservative. Friedman has the pox on both your houses niche at the Times and Brooks can't even come close to him in cultivating that posture.

    Truth telling gets you fired (Dan Froomkin) or banned from chat shows and on the record quotes (Norm Ornstein, who once was unavoidable). People like Greg Sargent carefully walk around this (Greg ignores his own paper's corrosive effects while critiquing similar acts elsewhere) and David Frum seems to be acquiring the niche that the Times probably wanted Brooks to fill.

  •  Thanks for the terrific roundup and graphic this (10+ / 0-)

    morning, Greg!

    Lots to mull over.  I am desolate over what the loss of income is going to do to families.  With one-fifth of their paychecks gone, how are they going to manage?  Hope they've been trying to save a bit of money or stock up on canned food or something.  

    Wish someone would sequester the Republicans in Congress.

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

    by Diana in NoVa on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:41:27 AM PST

  •  As for having a winning message for a nation (9+ / 0-)

    that no longer exists: truer words were never spoken. The Confederacy hasn't existed since 1865.

    What is truth? -- Pontius Pilate

    by commonmass on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:46:38 AM PST

    •  Lots of talk about Texas turning purple...yummers! (4+ / 0-)
    •  Make no mistake, racism completely aside, that is (4+ / 0-)

      the message. A confederation instead of a union. A plutocracy and "plantation society" even if industrialized rather than in the fields. Lots of unsubstantiated "pride" even for the poor white trash.

      You look at the agenda and that is where it leads. Right to the Ole Confederacy or modern banana republics.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:28:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yep. I like their cookin' and their (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass

        fiction writers.

        But not their politics.

        •  I have even tired of those. I find it about like (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Remediator, commonmass

          nostalgia for the great old clubbing days of Batista's Cuba. Sweet tea is good going down but makes you in to a basketball on straws in figure, diabetic in health and that is about all. Eventually it is just sickening—and I grew up down there.

          The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

          by pelagicray on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:03:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yeah, but that peach cobbler... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pelagicray, commonmass

            I'm ordinarily a fairly rational soul but put a generous slab of peach cobbler in front of me and I'm a total mess.  

            •  Oh yeah, I have memories. I also have a mental (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Remediator

              picture of my last trip to my old area of the deep south half a decade ago where I, overweight far more than good for my health but still in pretty good shape, felt like a gazelle among hippos in most public settings. Sweet tea (but "Glory me! No beer!) was served with unlimited refills in quart sized glasses. When I watched kids, grade school kids, whose massive thighs pushed their legs into an awkward straddle I began hating sweet tea in principle.

              Yeah, a problem all over, even overseas, but there I found overweight almost a point of pride, being "American" and was told as much. I've known of people moving into the D.C. metro area, where slim is a goal, being told by friends visiting from down there that they needed to fatten up and that this slim thing was "elite" and "un American" no less.

              The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

              by pelagicray on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:46:04 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •   Keith Naughton on the the gun-control lobby ... (5+ / 0-)

    There is no gun-control lobby, rather citizen advocacy groups (like the Brady Campaign) to reduce the carnage - none of them is doing it to enrich themselves as the NRA is.

    As far as the NRA being an equal opportunity briber/terrorizer, anyone that looks into how over half of all current House members have taken money from the NRA should be horrified, not bragging.  Yet, just like with abortion, birtherism and racism, the NRA is fast becoming one with the Republican Party.

    How can this idiot be bragging about the NRA's ownership of Congress while one American gets shot every 5 minutes?

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:46:54 AM PST

  •  Less Robert Ruin and more Robert Reich, please. (9+ / 0-)

    Let's go back to E Pluribus Unum

    by hazzcon on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:48:11 AM PST

  •  Please proceed, Mr. Brooks... (6+ / 0-)

    I'm reading a book (Grand Pursuit by Sylvia Nasar) right now that discusses how in late 19th century Victorian England the same sort of debate was going on, between laissez-faire classical liberals like Herbert Spencer (he of Social Darwinism and "survival of the fittest", a 19th century precursor to Ayn Rand), who were absolutely against government spending on the poor and public works projects, believing that the "free market" would best handle these, and radical liberals like Joseph Chamberlain (father of Neville), who believed that government must do these things, for moral AND economic reasons.

    Guess who was right? Guess who won?

    Guess who's baaaaack?

    Yeah, zombies never die.

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

    by kovie on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:51:45 AM PST

    •  Largely because we fail teaching following (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kovie

      generations gut level history conveying lessons learned the hard way. That "greatest generation" that knew in their guts the lessons of the Great Depression and WW II tried to shield their offspring (I know because I was a tad older and watched) from the gut searing pain. Those children grew up and had children further shielded from pain by an ascendent nation riding on recovery from that pain. Then masses of those young turned to the siren song of "government bad, private good" and kill the New Deal of front man RR.

      C. J. Cherryh in Hammerfall, a story about a planet subjected to civilization smashing meteor rain at long intervals, put it quite well:

      One needs not erase history. One needs only fail to teach one generation of children. Fail with two, and the destruction widens.
      We, and other civilizations before, have miserably failed to pass hard learned wisdom down generation to generation. Our teaching of history, itself too often a disparaged subject, has focused on dates, events and personalities rather than the lessons historical populations learned,  why and how it applies now. Of course any attempt to do so would raise the opposition of those that prefer a docile, sheep like society.

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:40:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Excessively shielding one's children from (0+ / 0-)

        the hardships and disappointments of life, while understandable, just sets them up for, well, hardships and disappointments. Inflicting one's neuroses on one's children is a horrible thing to do. It really messes them up.

        But yeah, laissez-faire doesn't work and government is essential, and I don't care how many bow tie-wearing prep school Randians with jerks for parents say otherwise. Civilization requires government, period.

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

        by kovie on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 04:56:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  bad things happen when David Brooks attempts (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    glorificus, skohayes, revsue

    humor

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

    by eXtina on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:20:26 AM PST

  •  Great round-up, Greg! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare

    Too many tabs open to count!
    And not one NYT link. I bow to you, sir.

    “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

    by skohayes on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:34:53 AM PST

    •  well, brooks is NYT (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes

      but you don't have to read him to get the gist.

      "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

      by Greg Dworkin on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:35:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think Georgia linked to the column (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tb mare, Ohkwai, belle1

        earlier this week. I did read it.
        Jonathon Chait is definitely becoming a favorite writer, he really gets to the heart of the problem with Brooks:

        Despite all appearances, I don't want to be too hard here on Brooks. He's trying to be fair-minded and reasonable. But his admission that he misstated Obama's alleged lack of a fiscal plan out of "frustration," rather than ignorance is damning. Everybody gets things wrong but you can't just print false factual claims to make a point! Ultimately he's just displaying a kind of sloppy thinking. He conceives of politics in grand ideological archetypes, rather than building his beliefs on the basis of facts and evidence. He's inadvertently displaying how a generalized belief in moderation unmoored in deeper policy grounding leads you badly astray.

        “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

        by skohayes on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:41:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I have yet to see anyone (13+ / 0-)

    in the media make the point that the congress which voted 33 times to repeal obamacare could, if it chose to bring the matter to a vote, repeal the sequester.

  •  Politico is wrong, as usual. Especially about (5+ / 0-)

    Walker.

    It's full speed ahead with their Teabaggery.  THey know where their money comes from and they will continue to destroy the states they "govern".

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:47:55 AM PST

    •  Yeah, I haven't noticed Walker moderating. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Remediator

      Politico is probably pushing some propaganda there.

      "See. They learned their lesson. Now they're center-right again. Please stop being ashamed of them, beltway folks."

      "Michael Moore, who was filming a movie about corporate welfare called 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' sought and received incentives."

      by Bush Bites on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:41:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  .... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skohayes
    BREAKING NEWS: MIT police say a man has been spotted on campus sporting a long rifle and wearing body armor. http://t.co/...
    @BostonDotCom via TweetDeck
    Police responded to report of man w/ gun inside building on Mass Ave. Police searched building w/ negative results. Will update w/ more info
    @CambridgePolice via Twitter for iPhone

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 06:52:42 AM PST

  •  Oliver Willis on "centrists" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Greg Dworkin, Ohkwai, belle1, codairem
    Fournier has been filing reports from his magical world, berating President Obama for acting like a Muggle and getting convenient links from Matt Drudge and company. He wonders why oh why President Obama doesn’t just solve the problem of Republican stubbornness.
    Like most independent voters, I just want it fixed. I want my leaders to lead.
    Of course, here in the Muggle world, most of us understand that despite his considerable political skills, President Obama is a mortal and doesn’t have access to Dumbledore, the Ministry of Magic, or a magical spell of “obstructum removo” to dissipate Republican obstruction to his presidency.

    There’s no way Obama can cast a spell to get Republicans to accept a deal that includes numerous concessions to them. There’s no magical way Obama could get the Republican party to accept stimulus that included many of their tax cut ideas, or health care reform based on work done at one of the top conservative think tanks. Obama simply doesn’t have a spell in a book somewhere that will magically force the Republican party to stop obstructing his judicial nominees or from filibustering the nomination for his Secretary of Defense.

    Fournier (and David Brooks) exist in a world where you just type the word “compromise” into a column seven hundred times and expect it to work in the real world.
    The Warlocks of Centrism

    “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

    by skohayes on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:00:21 AM PST

  •  Etch-a-Sketch (3+ / 0-)

    All of the GOP's "new" image is merely a superficial "Etch-A-Sketch" tactic to mask their core philosophy of no to anything. Apply it to Kasich, Jindal, Christie, Rubio, et. al.
    Only the meganuts like Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Steve King, etc.. remain true to their steadfast absurdities!

  •  RE: Michael Gerson (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Remediator, Amber6541

    While the GOP may well need a reality check, what they need before that is a reality map, I don't think they can even FIND reality, but less check it.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:50:29 AM PST

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