The Coming Catastrophe

Will Republican control of th House (and maybe the Senate) lead to catastrophe? Paul Krugman says yes:

[The] era of partial cooperation in the 1990s came only after Republicans had tried all-out confrontation, actually shutting down the federal government in an effort to force President Bill Clinton to give in to their demands for big cuts in Medicare. [. . . T]he lesson current Republicans seem to have drawn from 1995 isn’t that they were too confrontational, it’s that they weren’t confrontational enough.

Will President Obama show the same resolve? It's an open question I think. This is crucial for, as Krugman points out, the policy challenges, especially on the economy, are much more daunting now:

[T]he crucial difference between the 1990s and now is the state of the economy. [. . .] Today’s situation is completely different. The economy, weighed down by the debt that households ran up during the Bush-era bubble, is in dire straits; deflation, not inflation, is the clear and present danger. And it’s not at all clear that the Fed has the tools to head off this danger. Right now we very much need active policies on the part of the federal government to get us out of our economic trap. But we won’t get those policies if Republicans control the House.

(Emphasis supplied.) The problem with Krugman's formulation is that the current Democratic Congress was not doing what was necessary either. It seems to me the catastrophe cake has already been baked. That said, Republican control does threaten further erosion on tax policy, a very much underrated issue among progressive pundits:

[I]f [Republicans] get their way, we’ll get the worst of both worlds: They’ll refuse to do anything to boost the economy now, claiming to be worried about the deficit, while simultaneously increasing long-run deficits with irresponsible tax cuts — cuts they have already announced won’t have to be offset with spending cuts.

Indeed, here is where a failure by President Obama to emulate President Clinton, who raised taxes on the wealthy, will be catastrophic. President Obama must stand firm on reinstituting the Clinton tax rates on the rich.

Speaking for me only

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    You (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 07:27:34 AM EST
    know Obama is not going to show the same resolve. I'll gladly eat my words if he does but I haven't been wrong about him yet.

    You are right about the Dems (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 07:56:36 AM EST
    that were in power, the catastrophe cake is already baked.  Two years of Republicans running the house though under these conditions will be even more devastating.  The catastrophe coming will now be worse.  And our President has basically told us all he won't fight it, he will negotiate....and that is how this catastrophe cake came to be already baked so I guess he's going to help frost the thing now.  Frickin great!

    The only thing left to do that I can see in the next two years is that Democrats in the Senate must fight (fat sold out chance of that), but those are the Democrats who can show leadership, argue real solutions, give the party real direction, and give the American people something and someone to vote for in two years.

    None of this will happen though.  So I'm preparing for very very hard times.

    If the Dems in Congress didn't (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Anne on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 08:06:23 AM EST
    agree with Obama's myopic economic vision, they were well within their rights, as part of an independent branch of government, to correct that vision - but they didn't do that, so what are we to conclude - that they did agree with it?

    So, we either have a Democratic caucus that won't stand up to the president, or we have one that is marching in lock-step with him; what are the chances either one of those things is going to change if the GOP takes the majority, or, in the case of the Senate, whittles the Dem majority to almost nothing?

    The next two years are not going to be a whole lot of fun.  For us, anyway - I suspect some people will be having the time of their lives.

    There are rumors out there (none / 0) (#17)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 09:01:46 AM EST
    that some members of the caucus are ready to tell Obama No.  If that will actually happen after the midterms remains to be seen, so far only rumors.

    Not that it will matter much now. (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 09:38:37 AM EST
    I've tried not to look at the numbers of potential losses in the House until today.  From what I saw the Dems in the House are going to be irrelevant now.

    These people spent the last two years falling all over themselves to be collegial and compromising instead of working towards real change.  All that got them was a huge loss in power.

    Pelosi should have told Obama no a long time ago.  But she missed her opportunity to make that no count.


    I got the impression (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 12:36:29 PM EST
    from something Obama said to Jon Stewart that he convinced the Democrats to vote for these horrible bills with the argument they needed to show the people they were working for them no matter how politically unsound their votes would be. I would absolutely love it if every American with a Democratic Rep and/or Senator would write to that/those D/s and tell him/her/them what percentage increase they got on their health insurance premium for 2011. And, another letter telling them what they experienced in credit card interest rate hikes. And, another letter telling them what their mortgage situation is. I wonder if it would make the news if semi trucks were delivering the mail for awhile.

    the real irony? (5.00 / 0) (#6)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 08:18:12 AM EST
    if this takeover should happen and Obama does shock us all and find a spine the republicans will make an issue of his "obstructionism" and they will make it stick.

    From the Krugman link (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 08:46:35 AM EST
    In the late-1990s, Republicans and Democrats were able to work together on some issues. President Obama seems to believe that the same thing can happen again today. In a recent interview with National Journal, he sounded a conciliatory note, saying that Democrats need to have an "appropriate sense of humility," and that he would "spend more time building consensus." Good luck with that.

    Not sure how much more humble the Dems can get. They have willingly humiliated themselves for years by capitulating to Republican's demands the minute they said something mean about them.


    How much more humble? (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 09:44:33 AM EST
    I'd say part of their problem was willful arrogance, but it was directed in all the wrong places - like at the base and the general electorate instead of the Republicans.

    I don't think that I'll ever get over the fact that Obama had the gaul to lecture his base about this election after he'd squandered any political capital in which I might deal in trying to GOTV amongst my friends and family around the country.  They gave me nothing but a bunch of largely unsatisfactory mediocre stuff to try and spin in their favor.  I simply can't do it.


    Silly Krugman... (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by kdog on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 03:12:05 PM EST
    Brand D and R work together on issues all the time...Wall St's issues, Bankster's issues, Insurance Co issues, Military Industrial Complex issues, Prison Industrial Complex issues.

    Its our issues they won't work together on, namely our issues with Wall St, the Insurance Co, the bank, etc.


    But, but, that was "negotiation." (none / 0) (#12)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 08:48:19 AM EST

    Just saw a Tea Party (none / 0) (#21)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 09:09:46 AM EST
    spokesperson on FNC.

    She said no deals and no prisoners of any who make them.

    We are living in interesting times.


    Tea Party going after Collins and Snow (none / 0) (#114)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 06:07:47 PM EST
    in 2012 might make for an interesting contests for those seats. Love to see a O'Donnell or a Miller type as the "R" candidates in Maine.

    I don't buy into this (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 09:08:18 AM EST
    The American people aren't stupid, and that is why they are so pi$$ed at the Democrats right now.  A Democrat administration has played them during this economic crisis, it has hidden things from them, and now it has lied to them.  The Republicans will likely be worse, but many people will take the risk because what they currently have is not tolerable.  If anyone wants to start being honest with them though and start working with them and for them and not the banks and Wall Street and the corporations, that person will own the heart of the country.  If Obama finds a spine and explains to the American people what he is doing and why, if he makes his arguments like Clinton did.....he would not have such a problem and the Republicans would be the ones with the problem.  Is this President capable of that though?

    It's funny because I was having this (5.00 / 4) (#32)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 09:50:40 AM EST
    conversation with a friend last night about pretty much the same thing.  He argued that American voters are largely stupid and don't know what's good for them.  I suggested that it had been so long that anyone in this country had seen any good work product out of the government - policy that really helped them and made positive contributions to their lives - that I couldn't really blame them from being ignorant to the potential and angry at the obvious void in their lives - especially in the midst of this national economic crisis.

    And don't forget that Obama and his spokesdog Claire McCaskill were both going around saying that government can't solve problems for the first 18 months of his tenure.  To which I responded every time - "Then why don't you leave government and make room for someone who does believe in its potential for good?"  And they wonder why they're losing.  They made a strong argument all along the way that they were impotent and unhelpful.


    They may not be stupid, but they are ignorant (2.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Farmboy on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 10:17:02 AM EST
    They don't know about the improving economy, they don't know about the tax cuts, they don't know about anything positive that the Dems have done in the last two years.

    They do know Obama wants to take away their Medicare and give them gov't run health care. They do know the Dems set up death panels for Grandma. They do know Obama is too compromising and too arrogant, rolling over for the GOP so he can force his fascist socialism down our throats. That is what the voters know.


    If Obama wanted to give us government run health (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by cawaltz on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 11:01:55 AM EST
    care then why didn't he? You must have seen a different health care debate then I did. Single payer was taken off the table early on and the government option got a grand total of 2 mentions, and in one of the mentions it was a negotiating point.

    The voters don't know about positives because very little of the positive has trickled down. They still have high health care costs. They still are worried about their jobs. They still know they have to worry about having programs that actually serve as a safety net being cut whether they elect the Democrat or the Republican. Overall, the democrats have done a piss poor job convincing Americans in their 2 year tenure that they are the better alternative- or much of an alternative at all for that matter.


    Obama didn't give us gov't run health care (3.00 / 1) (#45)
    by Farmboy on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 11:23:26 AM EST
    but the voters think he did. And they know that they hate the very idea of the government getting involved in health care. The irony is that they also don't want the gov't to have anything to do with Medicare.

    That's the point you missed.

    Of course, the other point that has been missed for two years in the voters' minds is the answer to the question: why doesn't Obama rule by fiat? Just overturn this law, and grant us these other things by decree? They don't know that answer to that question, but they know they're not happy, so vote the Dems out.


    Wow ... were the voters as stupid ... (5.00 / 2) (#68)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 01:44:16 PM EST
    ... as you claim when they voted for Obama, ...

    ... or did it hit them all in the last two years?


    See yesterday's thread about Ms. Berg (none / 0) (#75)
    by Farmboy on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 02:15:20 PM EST
    for more information about your inquiry, if you're serious.

    But in my opinion, there's statistically always a group of voters, around 20% or so, who base their votes on something other than reasoned thought. I'm sure some of them voted for Obama two years ago. For this election cycle they're going to have serious impact on the outcome in the other direction.

    And I'm not the commenter calling them stupid. I'm referring to them as ignorant, as in lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about something in particular. They have intelligence; they're just choosing not to exercise it.


    Of COURSE there's always a group ... (none / 0) (#83)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 02:41:55 PM EST
    ... of voters in any election cycle who don't have the time, energy, interest, etc. to become informed on the issues, or even worse, believe the winger fairytales.  Frankly, if I had to guess at the percentage, I'd put it higher than 20%.  My point is that this happens every election.  This is nothing new, and when Obama apologists start whining about how unfair this all is, despite the fact that it happens every election, it doesn't carry much weight.

    Or, they're actually better informed ... (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 03:23:25 PM EST
    They may not be stupid, but they are ignorant

    ...They don't know about the improving economy, ...

    ... and they know that the jobless numbers are not improving, rather than trying to point to an imaginary positive "trend" by looking at old data.


    Piffle (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 05:43:32 PM EST
    The reason people don't know about all the positive things that you say the Dems have done is because nobody is experiencing them.

    If life were getting better for the American people they would be running to vote for Obama and the Dems.

    As it is, the only people I hear about who are planning to vote are planning to do so only because they fear the Republicans - not because they have experienced an improvement in their daily lives.

    And - absolutely no one - Dem or Repub - is talking about the ghastly war in Afghanistan. Two billion dollars a week down the drain to support a guy who is so corrupt that Iran is supporting him as well.

    The only Dem I care about is Feingold. And the national Democrats could care less.


    Re Feingold, I have to suspect (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by Cream City on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 05:57:02 PM EST
    that some in the Senate, and in the administration, will not mind that the "maverick" goes -- and that they get "Senator Sunspots" whom they may think will be more malleable or something.

    They will see, though, who and what are behind "Sunspots," and they will regret it.


    The Dems aren't doing anything (none / 0) (#38)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 10:25:27 AM EST
    that has made their lives noticeably better, and in fact.....when we saved Wall Street we did not free up lending for little people and true small businesses.  That was never going to happen with the measures we took and it was predicted it would probably only make the ruling behemoth larger, and it has.  And the behemoth shed the jobs because that was the smart thing for it to do and it is killing us now.  The Democrats did this, and they did this to the American people.  When you have no job and no house and receive no real healthcare who gives a phuck about tax cuts.  And the Dems did not improve the economy for them.....not in any way that was really meaningful.  The only thing the Democrats did was prevent the TBTF from failing, and they call that saving us all.

    The Dems aren't doing anything (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Farmboy on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 10:58:36 AM EST
    except passing over 400 bills in the House that the GOP are actively blocking in the Senate, many of which fit your category of making people's lives better.

    But okay, voters don't know that either - what they do know is to vote Republican because the right is telling the voters that "Obama is a greater threat to the U.S. than al-Qaida." That's what passes for GOP logic this season, and it's working.


    Dems have free speech, don't they? (none / 0) (#44)
    by Cream City on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 11:17:35 AM EST

    Sure. They tout their achievements, and (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Farmboy on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 11:30:53 AM EST
    they get called liars by the opposition - who also have free speech. And the opposition sends out the message that progress means nothing if it doesn't fix everything overnight. And the opposition adds that both sides are just as bad, so it doesn't matter who you vote for. May as well give those guys on the right another shot.

    And that's what the voters are listening to, free speech and all.


    Again, you write as if (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Cream City on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 11:43:55 AM EST
    the opposition inevitably dominates.

    Dems could dominate the discourse.  

    After all, they've got the guy who gave teh greatest speech evah.  

    So Dems know how to dominated the discourse.  Just ask John McCain.  Therefore, the question becomes why they are not doing/opt not to do so now. . . .


    Obama has dominated the discourse (3.50 / 2) (#52)
    by Farmboy on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 11:55:46 AM EST
    for the last two years. There's been the discourse about his religion, the discourse about his citizenship, the discourse about his skin color, the discourse about his terrorist connections, the discourse about his fascist communist goals - the list goes on and on.

    Why, you're soaking in that discourse now, what with your "teh greatest speech evah" witticism. Congrats.


    I'm (5.00 / 4) (#53)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 11:57:54 AM EST
    really tired of hearing "Obama the victim" stories. What does it say about Obama that he actually wants to work with these people?

    Tired? (none / 0) (#56)
    by squeaky on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 12:13:46 PM EST
    It must be exhausting to have to fight for top victim position.

    Almost three years now... Same tune...


    I have (none / 0) (#57)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 12:36:00 PM EST
    no idea what you are talking about.

    Neither does anyone else ... (none / 0) (#64)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 01:28:21 PM EST
    ... who's based in reality.

    Suffering Much? (none / 0) (#67)
    by squeaky on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 01:41:51 PM EST
    Maybe you do not read your own comments, but they have been screaming victimization for the last three years.

    Unless is not your suffering you have been whining about, but you have been riding the white horse for hillary...  

    Poor baby


    Obviously (none / 0) (#69)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 01:45:25 PM EST
    you haven't been reading my comments.

    All In The Archive (1.00 / 1) (#70)
    by squeaky on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 01:50:43 PM EST
    Your comments speak for themselves.

    The wrong that has been done, you will never forgive..  tragic!

    Desire for revenge and furious anger are signs of victimhood.


    What (none / 0) (#85)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 02:44:58 PM EST
    wrong have I been done? You are obviously reading something into my comments that you want to see not what is actually there. Is criticizing Obama's poor policy decisions now equaling me being a victim? LOL. Some creative thinking there or is it that if you aren't an Obama apologist then you are a victim?

    OK (none / 0) (#96)
    by squeaky on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 03:38:07 PM EST
    Good to know that Obama has done you no wrong. Never would have guessed that from your litany over the last couple of years.

    To me your comments have sounded extremely personal, as if you are furious that Obama stole the election, and was mean to Hillary.

    If you were coming from the left, you would not have been able to embrace Hillary as fervently as you did, imo. The criticisms from the left were equal towards both Democratic contenders.

    Both are and were about the same policy wise.


    ya know, you would take up (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by nycstray on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 03:50:04 PM EST
    a lot less bandwidth if you would just throw down the Hillary accusation in your first response and quit the dancing around that is so transparent.

    Huh? (none / 0) (#107)
    by squeaky on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 05:28:04 PM EST
    Worried about TL bandwidth?

    Well, stop making stupid comments, or make a donation to pay for them.

    But of course you could care less about Jeralyn's bandwidth.


    Squeaky (none / 0) (#103)
    by Politalkix on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 04:40:53 PM EST
    If you examine the posts of the Presidents most vitriolic critics in this blog more closely, you will soon find that the majority of them do not really come from the left. Most of them have very little empathy for people who got hurt during economic adjustments that occured during the 1990s (welfare reform, offshoring of manufacturing jobs, etc). They are quite right of center when it comes to issues relating to immigration, Muslims, civil rights, etc.
    Genuine liberals are those who will be willing to give up some advantage they enjoy in the status quo to help disadvantaged people out of goodness of their hearts. The majority of the President's most vehement critics in this blog do not fall in that category.

    Ah, yes. Yet another arbiter ... (5.00 / 2) (#121)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 10:13:14 PM EST
    ... of what constitutes the real "left" and "genuine liberals".  You and Squeaky should build a clubhouse and pass out Trueprog decoder rings .... wouldn't need to be very big.

    Most of them have very little empathy for people who got hurt during economic adjustments that occured during the 1990s (welfare reform, offshoring of manufacturing jobs, etc). They are quite right of center when it comes to issues relating to immigration, Muslims, civil rights, etc.

    BS, although it is easier when you're just making it up as you go along.  I know, I know ... still going off about Clinton and welfare reform and offshoring of jobs, while completely forgetting that the poor and lower/middle classes were faaaaaaar better off in the 90's than they were before (or since).

    Want a few stats to back it up, or do you just want to stick with making it up?


    To: Politalkix (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by christinep on Sat Oct 30, 2010 at 01:13:24 PM EST
    Your statement about the "vitriolic critics" hits home with me. A kind of shout down mentality among a few, a handful...a kind of Reaganesque "love it or leave it" approach...a mix of real/feigned rage if someone like you (or a few of us "others") dare disagree in what purportedly is a discussion. If you don't fall-in-sorority-line, you must be ignorant, haughty, an apologist for Obama, stupid, etc. Fascinating to experience examples of T. Adorno et el 20th century study of the authoritarian personality...the study found "clusters of attitudes" on the right and the left of a continuum exhibiting rigidity in belief and positions.  Maybe after the immediate election, we'll all be able to talk about the future, discuss, give & take with a little less emotional vehemence. Myself included. Or, maybe we're all stuck in place.

    Thanks Christinep (none / 0) (#129)
    by Politalkix on Sat Oct 30, 2010 at 09:51:48 PM EST
    Will look forward to talking about the future after the immediate election.

    Yeah (none / 0) (#106)
    by squeaky on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 05:24:46 PM EST
    My point exactly. TL took a right turn during the primaries, and many of those who stayed have been "radicalized" only when it comes to Obama. On most other issues the slant is to the right.

    Also (none / 0) (#108)
    by squeaky on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 05:40:47 PM EST
    Anyone who fanatically supported either candidate, was doing so because of personal identification, or they were pretty much in line with the conservative (mainstream) Democratic party.

    No one on the left that I know, saw any difference between Obama or Hillary.


    My observations (none / 0) (#115)
    by Politalkix on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 06:31:59 PM EST
    Obama and Hillary both took mainstream Democratic Party lines on most issues. Obama did appear to be willing to experiment a little more on foreign policy while HRC emphasized that her health care plan would cover more people than Obama's plan (though IMO she left the issue of cost quite vague).
    You are however very correct in stating that personal identification was key. HRC became a rallying symbol for many women who felt they had suffered many indignities and injustices in their lives (workplace, relationships, etc) for no fault of their own while Obama's campaign was seen by AAs as a milestone in their journey to achieve racial justice. Their natural styles also appealed to different groups of people. Older people felt more naturally comfortable with HRC while the young felt the same with Obama. HRC emphasized that she was a fighter, that made  working class (other than AAs)folks more comfortable with her. Obama's style generally appealed to the more educated middle class for whom values was also a consideration other than the economy.



    Yup (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by squeaky on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 06:45:06 PM EST
    Pretty much my take. I preferred Hillary and voted for her in the primary, but had no problem voting for Obama. Did not expect much from either of them, although I desperately wanted to get BushCo out of office.

    The great irony is that we are seeing the damage of 8 years of GOP rule today, and the D's are taking the heat for it so the voters are going for another dose of GOP.


    Fairy tales (none / 0) (#120)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 10:00:22 PM EST
    They sure are fun.

    who is this "they" you speak of? (none / 0) (#88)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 02:52:01 PM EST
    Comments (none / 0) (#97)
    by squeaky on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 03:38:19 PM EST
    Yeah (none / 0) (#65)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 01:33:40 PM EST
    Criticism of Obama's failure to lead = "soaking in" all of the loony, winger theories.

    Good one.


    They may be winger theories to you (2.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Farmboy on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 02:01:43 PM EST
    but that list is only a small sample of what is considered valid topics for discourse concerning Obama. We can the right's projections of "the Messiah," "the One," and "11 dimensional chess player" to the list as well.

    These topics are what is shaping the outcome of this election cycle, not reason or logic.


    Not true outside (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 02:58:28 PM EST
    of your fairytale.  And people are speaking their truth....the 11th dimensional chess theme is a leftwing one and as is also "the one".  Just because people are leftwing doesn't mean they can't make internal assessments too.  It is disturbing to discourage or shame people for doing so as well because without assessment of ourselves and who we elected and where we are and what went wrong we can't make the changes as a party that we need to make.  It is like you are demanding that anyone claiming to be a Democrat now instantly become a rube and strive for ignorance.

    Forgot that point, too (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 03:12:21 PM EST
    Comingling valid criticisms of Obama (i.e. "11th dimensional chess", "The One", "greatest speech evah", etc.) with loony winger conspiracies (i.e. birthers, secret Muslim, facist/communist goals, terrorist connections, etc.) to try to invalidate all criticism of Obama and his policies is just silly ...

    ... and transparent.


    The "One" was (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 03:45:24 PM EST
    not a right wing frame. It was Oprah who used the expression in support of Obama on the campaign trail.

    Yes, Oprah started it, just as Farrakhan (none / 0) (#118)
    by Farmboy on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 07:01:11 PM EST
    dubbed Obama the Messiah, and 11-D chess came from left blogostan.

    The right has picked up those thrown grenades, pulled the pins, and lobbed them back at the left. That's what they do. As someone once said, they can't be bargained with. They can't be reasoned with. They doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And they absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead. Or they are back in power. Something like that. :-)


    Hahahaha, pulll the pins and throw them back (none / 0) (#124)
    by BTAL on Sat Oct 30, 2010 at 08:32:48 AM EST
    That tells a lot in that statement.  Maybe a refresher course on political weaponry 101 is in order for the Ds.  

    Sure, they're "valid" (none / 0) (#81)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 02:33:54 PM EST
    but that list is only a small sample of what is considered valid topics for discourse concerning Obama. We can the right's projections of "the Messiah," "the One," and "11 dimensional chess player" to the list as well.

    These topics are what is shaping the outcome of this election cycle, not reason or logic.

    ... if you're only listening to Fox News and talk radio.  Of course, the wingers would come up with crazy attacks on any Dem in the White House to try to demonize them and , by extension, Democrats as a whole.  What's your point?  If Obama is as helpless against the ignorant masses as you claim, why'd he bother to run in the first place, and how is it that the public became so stupid this election cycle, as opposed to just two years ago when they voted him into office?


    Not (none / 0) (#112)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 05:47:44 PM EST
    a very civil response, Farmboy.

    Sorry if I've been uncivil. Not my intent. (none / 0) (#117)
    by Farmboy on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 06:52:45 PM EST
    But the topic of this thread is the coming catastrophe for the country if the GOP candidates do as well as expected next week. My thesis has been, repeatedly, that part of what's leading to this outcome is that many voters aren't aware of any positive achievements by the Dems in the last two years. Polls back this up.

    I've offered up that for the last two years the public discourse has accepted as valid points for discussion topics that should be, as someone up-thread put it, wingnut theories. Unfortunately, those topics aren't marginalized. And because they are being repeated ad nauseum, they have become the "truths" that enough voters believe in to swing the election.

    I'm not criticizing anyone for disliking Obama or thinking he's a failure, nor am I apologizing for his failures. But I don't think the folks on this blog are the voters to which I've been referring.


    But, but... (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by lentinel on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 07:17:53 PM EST
    you haven't mentioned what their positive achievements are...

    You just say that we haven't heard about them.

    Do you think that if we were experiencing any of the positive achievements we would be reluctant to vote for our benefactors?

    I think you are an advocate.


    Maybe they're skeptical ... (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 10:19:44 PM EST
    ... when they hear about "positive achievements" from people selectively citing dated unemployment numbers to suggest that unemployment is improving.

    Ring a bell?


    The average person is not feeling (5.00 / 3) (#73)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 02:04:22 PM EST
    like things are improving and that has little to do with what the Republicans or members of the Tea Party are saying.

    3.7 million more people have become unemployed since Obama took office. Even more people are drastically underemployed. Wages are stagnated or have been reduced through reducing hours etc. Job insecurity is rampant and those who have maintained their own jobs have family members or friends who are unemployed with little prospect of obtaining a decent paying job anytime soon.

    Health care: Right about now the majority of people are receiving information about how much more their health insurance premiums are going to cost next year and how much more they personally will have to pay out of pocket. Many older people on Medicare are being told that the lower cost Medicare Part D prescription are being eliminated due to provisions in the new legislation and they must move to a plan with a higher premium.

    They don't see the WH or the Democratic Congress fighting hard for the things they need. They like Velma Hart are not feeling it yet.

    "I voted for a man who said he was going to change things in a meaningful way for the middle class. I am one of those people. And I'm waiting, Sir. ... I don't feel it yet," said Hart. "Is this my new reality?"

    Now you can blame the voters or the Republicans or the people in the Tea Party but that won't do much good when people are looking at their current "reality" and don't like what they see.    


    Unemployed Obama's Fault? (none / 0) (#74)
    by squeaky on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 02:14:29 PM EST
    Well that is the GOP spin, just like the spin that the deficit is all due to Obama's policies..

    How quickly we forget.


    To quote a few people who have (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 02:43:55 PM EST
    addressed this issue:


    The real story of this election, then, is that of an economic policy that failed to deliver. Why? Because it was greatly inadequate to the task.

    David Corn

    The "original sin of the Obama administration," says former labor secretary Robert Reich, "was to make the stimulus too small while giving out too much of it as tax breaks to businesses." [. . .] White House aides--and my colleague Kevin Drum--will say that Obama obtained the biggest stimulus he could, given GOP opposition. But the president need not have accommodated his foes so readily. "He could've demanded more, and settled for less," says a senior Senate Democratic strategist. That would have at least established a useful story line: For more recovery, we need to do more. Instead, Obama was left hailing a stimulus that didn't do enough.


    The inadequacy of the stimulus falls upon the Obama Administration. The political debacle coming in November does as well. That's what went wrong.

    Think that sums it up pretty well.


    now (none / 0) (#46)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 11:25:17 AM EST
    if we could just free their spines from republican captivity

    He won't. He'd rather go on (none / 0) (#23)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 09:12:32 AM EST
    TV and try to be cool.

    It still amazes me that (none / 0) (#7)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 08:34:41 AM EST
    PPUS is still the action plan in the White House. I would hope this election is a cold dash of water to the face, but I fear it will lead to more acquiesence (sp?) to the republicans.

    Instead of "Aux barricades," I expect "Aux soci'ete's (Don't know how to do accent grave with a keyboard, sorry).

    Hmmm, Puente polonia in Uruguay is looking better and better... a shack on the beach, no electricity, and my pension. Oh, and lots of carne and pescado in the diet.

    I thought the Bush years were grim, but after only two years of Obama, a new flavor of R has emerged, and it's a bitter flavor.


    Obama will have one major, stunning (none / 0) (#9)
    by observed on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 08:38:41 AM EST
    accomplishment---he will have a lot of voters looking back and missing Bush. In fact, they already do.

    Meanwhile, the lame duck GOP (none / 0) (#33)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 09:51:50 AM EST
    Congress in 2006 went out in a blaze of glory passing all kinds of conservative legislation.  These people are just going to start packing up their offices.

    Just what was in that blaze of glory list (none / 0) (#94)
    by BTAL on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 03:27:04 PM EST
    from 2006?

    IIRC, there were only 55 Rs in the Senate, so the Ds could stop anything they wanted.


    One particularly pernicious piece (none / 0) (#100)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 04:15:56 PM EST
    of legislation has put the Postal Service into serious jeopardy.  But there was other stuff that they did before that one which was passed at like midnight on the last day of the session.  I can't remember it all, but they certainly didn't worry about the Dems reversing anything that they did; nor did they seem to care that it was possible.  They just moved their agenda forward.

    Just did some extensive searching (none / 0) (#101)
    by BTAL on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 04:33:15 PM EST
    for the 109th lame duck session and didn't find much.  They didn't even get all the appropriations bills finished.  

    Did you see the postal act? (none / 0) (#104)
    by inclusiveheart on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 04:41:19 PM EST
    I recognize that most people don't really appreciate the organization's value, but that bill was very bad news.  The current Administration has been little help either.

    And they didn't finish the appropriations because they wanted to force the Dems to fund the Iraq War which is what they did.  It was a good political move because they knew that it would cause problems within the Dem caucus - and it did.


    Didn't find the postal act (none / 0) (#110)
    by BTAL on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 05:44:29 PM EST
    Just what exactly did it do to cripple that most efficient of govt run operations?  

    Seriously, I'd like to know what that bill was and its impact.

    They cleared 2 of the 11 and had passed a budget resolution.  A far cry from this year's "deemed" and "budget intent" BS.  The Ds this year were scared out of their wits to go anywhere near the budget, which is OK with me if Tuesday plays out as projected, the cuts will be much easier.


    Past midnight on the eve (none / 0) (#105)
    by Cream City on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 04:44:38 PM EST
    of Christmas Eve before heading home is such a better, more transparent time to pass major legislation.  (See: "health care reform.")

    CC hits the nail on the head again. (5.00 / 1) (#111)
    by BTAL on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 05:45:08 PM EST

    Mark my words: Obama is far more likely (none / 0) (#8)
    by observed on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 08:36:29 AM EST
    to do a Palin and quit than show some spine.
    Of course he won't actually leave office, but I think he will be extremely passive once he gives up on running in 2012.

    I want to give some credit... (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 08:47:23 AM EST
    the Tea Partiers have made the landscape so volatile that Obama gets blamed for breathing, sunspots, and the fact that Pluto was downgraded. Irrational visceral hatred and opposition.

    Of course, my disagreements with his agenda are longstanding. I wanted a liberal, and all I got was a tee shirt.


    Hmm, last time it was impeachment (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Cream City on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 08:52:57 AM EST
    that the Repubs plotted against Bill Clinton.

    What is being plotted for Obama?  A "birther" investigation committee?  

    Yep, he'll continue to cave rather than have to cope with the cr*p that came at Clinton.


    Yep, he's not an infighter. (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 08:58:28 AM EST
    He has minions for that, and they aren't effective infighters, either. I think he'll stand on the pomp and circumstance of the office.

    This will be the first term anywhere he's actually finished, won't it?

    George Wallace here in Alabama loved running for office. He then let others do the lifting. Obama loves the race, but the work afterwards? I'm waiting on some evidence. Someone said yesterday they were waiting for a W-like "governing is hard work" statement...


    "governing is hard work" (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 08:59:39 AM EST
    please god no.  wasnt "heckuvajob Summie" enough?

    God I know Jeff (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 09:24:13 AM EST
    He reminds me so much of Bush in that respect, and lately I almost gag when I witness it.  I've really had it too with such Presidents, I don't give a rip which party threw them up there either.  It's really hard work being the most powerful person in the free world.  It's really hard work being set for life after this gig.  Tell that to the factory worker or any other grueling, back breaking, low wage no benefit job for the rest of your life person.  The whining super priveleged make me sick anymore, I have no tolerance for them.

    I can't think of anything to add to your (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 09:35:42 AM EST
    post, Tracy. I wish I could give it a 100 rating.

    Me neither (none / 0) (#41)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 10:57:17 AM EST

    When Clinton went through his trials (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 09:12:10 AM EST
    we did not have a fighting leftwing with its own media.  We have that now.  Obama is not as vulnerable as Clinton was if we have a leftwing blogosphere fighting for him and screaming at the top of their lungs that the nation is in crisis and the Repukes can't do anything other than try to sink the whole the ship for their own evil corrupt greed and power hunger.

    Thing is, the left blogosphere (none / 0) (#31)
    by scribe on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 09:44:47 AM EST
    is more than fed up with Obama, his cowardice and his repeated, continual abuse of the left.

    If he had worked with his base in the left blogosphere instead of beating them about the head and shoulders and then blaming them for his failures, he would have them there to support him.  Instead, they are about as hostile to him as the Teabaggers, only their hostility is fact-based.  And the left blogosphere won't be there for him come impeachment or 2012, whichever arrives first.  

    Oh, I know, Orange Satan's House Party will be thumping the tub to get people out to be there for Obama, but I'd bet Kos' readership stats are trending down and have been for a while already.  Have you seen him trumpeting them lately, like he did a while back?  I thought so.  But, to be fair to Kos, he's the guy who posted his flag alongside Obama's and, if Obama goes down Kos either bails or goes down with him.

    Thus, Obama's meeting with the bloggers (one of them from Kos) the other day (followed by a session with Axelrod) is most accurately seen (IMHO) as the first step in Obama's 2012 campaign.  He (and anyone with eyes) knows 2010 is and has been a done deal.

    I mean, I'm working on a series of posts on ratification, voting, and Obama's policies.  As in "Ratification means you approve of something.  Do you ratify [X]?  If you do, then you can vote for Obama's re-election with a clear conscience.  If not, he doesn't deserve your vote."

    Do you ratify Obama's:

    - handling of Guantanamo?
    • torture policy?
    • wiretapping policy?
    • executive power policies?
    • choice of arguments in the latest suit against Ashcroft before the Supreme Court?
    • willingness to push progressive appointments?
    • handling of the banks and banksters at the heart of the real estate debacle?
    • economic policies?
    • evident attitude toward his left base (i.e., you)?
    Well?  Do you?

    This is just my opinion (none / 0) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 10:03:23 AM EST
    Far from fact, but I think I witness within the leftwing blogosphere more analytical process than grudge process.  And when someone in the leftwing sphere is willing to make clear honest analysis of the situation at hand, readers flock to their writings.  The leftosphere is ticked mightily, but that would fade quickly IMO if real leadership in power showed up on the playing field with some real solutions.  The left blogosphere would grind it out hard if that happened.

    You're pretty much right on the target (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by scribe on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 12:06:22 PM EST
    with this, but I will add the following.

    The Left Blogosphere is about analysis and fact- and reality-based problem-solving with the ultimate objective a more just, more equitable and more rational society.  The problem is that Obama does not share those objectives.  He shares the objectives of The Village (see BTD's post today on the main page about Brooks intoning how, going into this election, average Americans don't care about the economy but do care about "values".  Brooks is full of sh*t.)  and those objectives are maintaining their unearned and undeserved position at the top of society and in control of the levers of power and everyone else be damned.  To that end, Obama and the Villagers are more than willing to indulge any fantasy (e.g., cutting taxes raises revenue and does not cause deficits, keeping people unemployed is a constructive policy) and embrace all flavors of immorality (e.g., adopting torture as the policy, de facto and increasingly de jure, of the United States government) so long as it lines their pockets and keeps them in charge.

    In that regard, then, it is (and has always been) clear that Obama (and HRC) as nominee and as president has always been a bad fit for the left/progressive blogosphere.  But, the left/progressive blogosphere was willing to work for and with Obama so long as Obama was willing to work in a progressive direction.  Instead, Obama undertook to ratify, continue and expand the worst policies of the Bush/Cheney junta and, simultaneously, abuse, demean and insult the left/progressive blogosphere, its members and its positions.  

    If you were to ask the generic member of the left/progressive blogosphere "What has Obama done for you lately?", an honest answer would likely be "sneer at me for wanting the public option, while talking to the $30,000 a plate players at Richie Richman's Connecticut estate".  Another honest answer would be "ratify, aid and abet the bankers who are killing this country and their greed, to my detriment."  Another honest answer would be "waffle, filibuster and dodge giving a striaght answer on whether he believes DADT is, or is not, constitutional".

    The question which members of the left/progressive blogosphere have been asking themselves over the last 6 months or year (it's right there in the comments, though maybe not as clearly stated as here) has been "does this guy deserve my support after all the times he's insulted, abused and mocked me, or not?"*  What we're seeing now is that a lot of those people have answered the question, in the negative.

    He's tried raising the scary quotient by showing us what sh*theads the Rethugs are going to put up and put in Congress and casting himself and the Establishment Dems as the lesser of two evils, to which I have long said "if you ask me to choose the lesser of two evils, you're still asking me to choose evil.  I do not choose evil."  

    All that (And likely more for other people) leads me to conclude that, unlike Clinton, the left will not be there for Obama when - not if - the Republicans start impeachment proceedings, and definitely not in 2012.  His wounds and the coming Republican wave are both self-inflicted.  He hasn't done anything for us lately, and anything he might do now will be seen as his throwing some crumbs to the peons after whipping them, in the expectation of their gratitude for both.

    He's not getting them from me.

    *  It's one thing to say "forgive seventy times seven those who deceitfully abuse you" - that's both fine, mandatory and correct - or to say "if he slaps you, turn the other cheek" - likewise fine, mandatory and correct.  You will not find anywhere, though, an injunction to keep going back to the same guy to be slapped again.  In other words, forgive his abuse, but neither ratify it nor encourage him to repeat it.  


    I'm fairly centrist too (none / 0) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 10:12:24 AM EST
    when it comes to wiretapping issues and dealing with detainees.  I can't help it, I'm too close to the people who need information to protect us and will be the first ones blamed when we get hit again for not doing their jobs well enough.  You can't rely on me to fight the liberal fight on those issues, but I will say that this President does not seem overly concerned at this time about those issues and I think that as long as we are in the boat we are in our policy must be monitored and checked constantly.  Otherwise, even if you have good policy in place, someone will violate the rules.  This President does not want to seem to take care of that business seriously.

    But that banking and Wall Street scandal.....no, I don't ratify what Obama has done.  And what he has done will devastate this country.  If he wants to turn that around I will fight for him.  I seriously doubt though that he wants anything to do with changing any of that up, and he has made it clear he doesn't give a rip if I fight for him or not because the Republicans are worse.  He thinks he owns me.


    IMO Obama and the Democrats (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 09:02:22 AM EST
    allowed first the Republicans and then the Tea Party
    to define the landscape by not doing it themselves. Also, can't think of anyone who has willingly restored the Republican's creditability more than Obama with his misguided PPUS.

    The Left started it with their (1.00 / 1) (#19)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 09:07:07 AM EST
    lies about Palin.

    A fire started is hard to put out.


    ahahaha (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by CST on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 09:15:14 AM EST
    coming from a birther - that's rich.

    "started it".  The 2004 swiftboat campaign wasn't THAT long ago.  And didn't McCain have some illegitimate child in 2000 - which did not come from the left.

    Lies in politics have been around longer than you.

    Of course you believe McCarthy was right, so I guess in this sense "lies" is a relative term.


    you know (none / 0) (#26)
    by Capt Howdy on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 09:18:16 AM EST
    I keep hearing how the 2012 republican primary will be Palin against "the boys club".  which in this case will be I suppose anyone smart enough to know Palin will never be president.

    and you know what, she is going to win.  because she has the crazies they created on her side.  and she will give Obama another term.

    thats enough for me.  I dont need to argue with him anymore.  I want him to keep boosing Palin.


    No one said that nasties (none / 0) (#40)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 10:55:50 AM EST
    were invented by anyone, just pointing out that the current round was flamed by the Left's attacks. In the meantime we have Joy B of The View using the B word twice and some staffer of Brown's throwing out the W word.

    And now we have the MoveOn demonstrator attacking Paul's car and in turn being shoved to the ground and apparently kicked, although the claim now is he was just holding her down with his foot... (sarcasm alert) And last winter we had the St Louis attacks, the Fl attacks and the New Black Panters ('08)scaring voters away in Philly..... (And not being prosecuted.) And Democrats sliced Repub tires in WI and went to jail, etc., etc.

    This cycle I've been push polled, had candidate's signs stolen from my yard and been told that the Repub will dump toxic waste that will destroy my water supply.

    For years during every election the Democrats called my aged mother and scared her by telling her that if Repub X was elected she would lose her Social Security and Medicare. I always thought scaring old ladies was a damnable and cowardly offense.

    I never supported the Swift boat attacks on Kerry and I did thank him for his Vietnam service. (In this blog.) I also pointed out he lied about being in Cambodia and that his actions after he returned were despicable and slimed hundreds of thousands of service people who had served honorably.

    So don't act surprised when people start screaming, "I'm mad as hell and I won't take it anymore." When you sew so you shall also reap.


    actually (none / 0) (#59)
    by CST on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 12:41:51 PM EST
    I'm pretty sure that's what "the left started it" implies, but whatever.

    If you wanna talk individuals or campaigns, this could go on for weeks.  There are plenty of nasty individuals and dirty campaign tactics on both sides of the isle, but don't act like you don't have yours.

    What I'm talking about is 20-25% of the population.  That's more of a cultural/systemic issue.  


    I pointed out the evileeeee Repubs (none / 0) (#60)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 12:55:46 PM EST
    My point was that this time the real torch was lit and thrown by the Left at/over Palin.

    That it has ignited a fire on the other side should be no surprise. The Tea Party is a direct result of all the Palin attacks.

    People are tired of all the BS and PC nonsense. What started out as a good thing has grown and morphed into a monster. NPR proved that when they fired Juan Williams.


    this started (none / 0) (#66)
    by CST on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 01:40:53 PM EST
    before Palin was ever even on the scene.

    But that's beside the point.

    20-25%.  Even if that were a reaction to some left-wing hating on Palin (which I don't believe for a second), that's a bit of an over reaction for 20-25% of the population to go down that path.


    After being on the national scene for (none / 0) (#130)
    by Harry Saxon on Tue Nov 02, 2010 at 08:33:15 AM EST
    2 years now, Palin is still disliked by many and has a 50+% disapproval rating by the general public in every poll taken since then to now.

    But PPJ never lets facts get in the way of his fantasies, that's part of the charm of his posts here.


    Lies about Palin (none / 0) (#24)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 09:13:53 AM EST
    How did that get into this conversation and what lies pray tell?

    You were complaining about all the ill will (none / 0) (#39)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 10:31:10 AM EST
    And I just wanted to remind you that it has not happened in a vacuum.

    I'm not much of a Palin basher (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 02:48:17 PM EST
    For some reason she does not irk me.  Anne Coulter used to just drive me out of my mind though, I can't stand her.  I'm so glad she isn't on the stage much anymore.  I think she is despicable.  I could really care less about Palin though, and the only thing that would get a rise out of me is if you go on the record thinking she'd be a great President or a good candidate for any high level elected official.  Then I could spend my time making fun of you :)

    you mean like she never dressed a moose? (none / 0) (#55)
    by Dadler on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 12:08:05 PM EST
    that her wilderness girl past is just manufactured b.s.?  

    Great, ... (none / 0) (#48)
    by Yman on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 11:34:03 AM EST
    ... now I have to clean all this coffee off my monitor.

    I know (none / 0) (#87)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 02:49:25 PM EST
    like there ever was a fireless election cycle on any side :)

    Good news for him (none / 0) (#13)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 08:50:00 AM EST
    He will be able to enjoy the tax breaks that are granted to the rich during his administration. The new batch of lobbyists, formerly known as Democratic congresscritters, will benefit from them too.

    And Krugman (none / 0) (#2)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 07:32:05 AM EST
    is right about the GOP. They are going to offer the same policy prescriptions that have failed time and again.

    Big cuts to the Medicare budget (none / 0) (#4)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 08:03:13 AM EST
    have already been accomplished by the current Democratic Congress. Even if the health insurance legislation does not get funded, I fully expect those cuts to remain.  Plenty of Dems not up for election until 2012 are more than willing to vote to maintain existing tax cuts for the rich and to vote for any additional cuts that the Republicans propose. That is if the Dems don't beat them by proposing them themselves.

    This time will the demands be to for big cuts to Social Security? Obama has already willingly and without any visible outside pressure put the mechanism in place to accomplish the task. Many existing members of the Democratic Senate and Obama cohorts in the House are on record on how the "bleeding heart liberals" and "people" need to be willing to suck it up and sacrifice on the "entitlement" programs to help the reduce the deficit.

    Fully expect the corporations and the rich to get their tax cuts paid for by cuts to the "entitlement" programs. The only "push back" will be a small bit of "kabuki theater" before the legislation gets passed and signed into law.


    Medicare Part D (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 02:27:36 PM EST
    is and was since its inception a disasterous inefficent boondoggle that deserved to be slashed- there's a reason that it only passed in the first place on a party-line GOP vote in 2003 (the 2003 MMA) its the single least cost-effective part of Medicare essentially offering cost-plus bonuses to the insurance industry with little to no regulation. Seriously, I literally cannot think of a major study and/or analysts which/whom supports the continued existence of Medicare Part D.

    Boehner wants MCR money (none / 0) (#49)
    by waldenpond on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 11:35:07 AM EST
    He actually wants to bring it to a vote, he wants the money put back.  Priceless.

    The only way Boehner will (none / 0) (#51)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 11:45:39 AM EST
    restore funds to the Medicare budget will be to vote to put it back one day and remove it to pay for more tax cuts to the rich the next. That I could readily see happening.

    Any permanent shoring up of Medicare by Boehner will happen about the same time pigs start flying over the country dropping hundred dollar bills into poor and middle class neighborhoods.


    No (none / 0) (#78)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 02:29:09 PM EST
    I bet he does support it- Part D (the part cut by the Dems) is the GOP's only positive on Medicare- after all it privatizes Medicare coverage while simultaneously being more expensive.

    Isn't Medicare Part D (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by MO Blue on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 03:10:58 PM EST
    the prescription drug coverage. Some, not all, of the budget cuts impact Medicare Advantage Plans (previously referred to as Medicare Part C). IIRC those cuts might account for less than 1/3 of the total cuts.

    With the passage of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, Medicare beneficiaries were given the option to receive their Medicare benefits through private health insurance plans, instead of through the original Medicare plan (Parts A and B). These programs were known as "Medicare+Choice" or "Part C" plans. Pursuant to the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, "Medicare+Choice" plans were made more attractive to Medicare beneficiaries by the addition of prescription drug coverage and became known as "Medicare Advantage."  wikipedia

    Wouldn't put it pass him to reinstate all elements of the Advantage Plans and still leave most of the Medicare budget cuts in place.


    My guess is that Medicare Advantage Plans that (none / 0) (#125)
    by KeysDan on Sat Oct 30, 2010 at 12:19:49 PM EST
    remain will be the least vulnerable to cuts; it is the Medicare "savings without cuts" that are a worry--those that are to finance about half of the HCR.

    As for Medicare Part D (drug coverage), this is another of those "communication" problems of the Democrats. It seems that many seniors, including angry tea party seniors do not know that the dreaded "donut hole" is incrementally closed as part of the HCR.  At the present time, when total drug costs(only pay 25% until then) hit $2,830, seniors are responsible for the full costs of the next $3,6l0 worth of drugs. After costs hit $6,440 the government picks up 95 percent for the rest of the year. But, in 2010 if caught in the donut hole, seniors get a check for $250 to help out.  In 2011, name brand drugs are at l/2 price through the donut hole, and by 2020, the donut hole is closed.

    In my view,the passage of Plan D, while ripe for substantial economies, was a significant and positive improvement, not only for the needed drug coverage for seniors, but also, as a reinforcement to the underpinnings to Medicare--probably an unintended consequence (but not for all, what with the Republican arm twisting and early morning voting).


    Sorry Dan (none / 0) (#126)
    by MO Blue on Sat Oct 30, 2010 at 01:07:23 PM EST
    I for one don't think closing the Medicare donut hole 10 years from now is a great selling point.

    Here is one seniors story on drug costs.

    Right now, with full Medicare drug coverage -- before the doughnut hole -- Holland pays $195 a month for Entocort. That's her co-pay, nowhere near the full price of the medication.
    When she arrives in the doughnut hole, the retail price of Entocort (three 3 mg pills a day) could reach $1,200 a month.
    Fortunately, her position as a volunteer at a nearby Maryland hospital offers her a price break. Holland began volunteering there in 1997. Two years ago, when her drug costs spiked with Entocort, she started taking advantage of the hospital program offering medications at the same price that the hospital pays.

    When in the doughnut hole last year, Holland paid $680 for Entocort through the hospital. This year, she says, it will cost her $300 more a month in the doughnut hole. The hospital's cost has climbed to $988, she says. link

    Luckily Ms. Holland's drug will be able to be produced as a generic in 2012, but conceivably if it remained a brand name she would be paying as much for her drug at half price in 2011 while in the donut hole as she is this year. Keep in mind that her prices are already on a discounted basis. Due to the increase in price she would also reach the donut home much earlier.

    Considering the fact that Obama campaigned on negotiating drug prices and allowing reimportation of prescription drugs, this is an extremely poor alternative.

    Another example: Edger who has to suffer under the Canadian system does not have prescription drug insurance. In his diary on TL he paid full price for his antibiotics. The cost was $18. During the same period, I had expensive health insurance which covered prescription drugs. I had several prescriptions for antibiotics and my copay after insurance was never less than $40.  


    It is difficult not to agree with. (none / 0) (#128)
    by KeysDan on Sat Oct 30, 2010 at 02:20:04 PM EST
    your position  Your examples underscore the inadequacies of the drug benefit and call attention to the destructive role lobbyists and drug organizations like the PhRMA have played in shaping Obama's plan.

    However, I think the drug component of HCR is, perhaps, the least disappointing  given the high costs of drugs and the help it may offer to avoid the  foregoing of needed medications---medications that may avoid even more costly hospitalizations.   You are correct, too, that the sale of a  benefit (good or not so good) ten-years off is a hard one, but even incremental changes seem to have been neglected.  


    I don't believe (none / 0) (#35)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 10:09:40 AM EST
    I don't believe that holding politicians accountable for their stupidity, incompetence, and corruption is a catastrophe.  It is the only recourse we have.  Maybe the Dems will realize that they can't tell their own constituents to Kiss off and still keep their offices.  

    I say, vote the bums out.  Short term pain, maybe will cause long-term gain.

    Not a catastrophe.  At all.

    Your theory assumes (5.00 / 5) (#63)
    by shoephone on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 01:21:50 PM EST
    there is a balls-to-the-wall contingent of this Democratic party just waiting in the wings, ready to pounce back in 2012, after suffering two years of complete demoralization from minority status. That contingent doesn't exist.

    Obama calls for humility. In truth, the Dems will only get humiliation. And in two years, four years, six years, they'll still be blaming the voters (ignorant and stupid teabaggers, though they are) instead of looking in the mirror and taking responsibility for the ineptitude and capitulation that led to the demise of their party.


    Fair point (none / 0) (#79)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 02:30:13 PM EST
    The party will get the message that it moved too far to the left and will become more moderate. I assume that's the message you want to send right?

    Your attitude is frightening (none / 0) (#82)
    by Inspector Gadget on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 02:40:43 PM EST
    You WANT Dino Rossi voting on the well-being of the entire country just to get back at ONE democrat? Just how many people need to suffer in this country because you're going to stand your ground and make a single democrat regret a couple of her votes in the Sentate?

    Hope (none / 0) (#61)
    by Politalkix on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 01:00:06 PM EST
    TeresaInSnow2 says "vote the bums out.  Short term pain, maybe will cause long-term gain."

    Time magazine envisions what can happen if "vote the bums out" is successful in 2010.
    If TIME is correct, life with Boehner and Steny, no Pelosi, no Conyers, more vigorous bashing of the President for "mucking it up".....there is certainly a lot of long-term gain to look forward to in this blog...

    Speed up the recovery (none / 0) (#62)
    by waldenpond on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 01:19:16 PM EST
    process by allowing it to crash faster.  Obama was snide about FDR, stated he felt FDR was irresponsible.... but the Repubs will eff up, they always eff up.  

    You might not like it, but it is a strategy to let the Repubs burn everything to the ground.  I don't believe it, but some believe voters will do something about their ignorance and stop voting for Repubs.


    Where did we hear this before? (none / 0) (#76)
    by Politalkix on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 02:17:24 PM EST
    "You have to burn the country first to save it"?

    Yeah (none / 0) (#80)
    by Socraticsilence on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 02:31:22 PM EST
    that was one of Naders arguments in 2000- and it worked didn't after one-term of Bush America became a progressive utopia.

    After one term? No. (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by Romberry on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 03:37:22 PM EST
    Thanks to 9/11, it didn't work after one term. But with the change election of 2006 that shifted control of both houses of Congress to the Dems, and the change election of 2008 which repudiated the previous eight years entirely, it did in fact finally work. Too bad the the Dems in power in DC were not willing to run with the ball when it was given to them.

    Sometimes, things must get worse ... (none / 0) (#123)
    by FreakyBeaky on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 11:41:49 PM EST
    ... before they get better.

    Usually, they must get worse before they get worse still.

    What's funny is, this is more or less the Republican strategy; break everything into a million pieces, and be the only ones left with enough lawyers, guns, and money to pick them up.  The difference is it makes sense for them - they have the lawyers, guns and money!


    All part of the plan... (none / 0) (#71)
    by SeeEmDee on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 01:57:56 PM EST
    On June 6-8 2008 in Chantilly, Virginia then-Candidate Obama met with the richest people on the planet, most of whom were bankers. This, in the middle of the banking crisis which those banksters created. One of those present was Tim Geithner.

    You'd think that would make every single news channel buzzing, wouldn't you?

    Yet there was only one small blip on the local DC news channels on that Friday evening...and then crashing silence.

    Obama - and Clinton! - meet with the heaviest hitters on the planet after the worst banking crisis since 1929. Press not invited. Subterfuge engaged in (Clinton said she was just going to some low-level meeting). And no 'nooz' types dare to ask the obvious questions.

    And few bloggers, either.

    None of this is accidental. None of this...

    Exactly. Obama is the kind of patsy (none / 0) (#102)
    by observed on Fri Oct 29, 2010 at 04:36:20 PM EST
    W. was supposed to be.