Voting For Bad Policy

Sen. Al Franken on The Deal:

A lot of people are unhappy that the president punted on first down, and I'm one of them. Extending the excessive Bush tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires will explode our deficit over the next two years without doing anything to help our economy. I think it's simply bad policy. [. . .] If this is the prelude of a permanent extension of the Bush tax breaks for the super-wealthy, we're in big trouble. We'll lose our ability to make the investments we need to grow our way out of long-term budget deficits: education, infrastructure, and research and development.

(Emphasis supplied.) Al Franken voted for The Deal.

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    This is like a domestic AUMF... (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by masslib on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 08:31:37 AM EST
    These people have learned nothing.

    Oh, and I've got a great word (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 08:39:38 AM EST
    to add there.  Remember how BTD labeled Iraq a debacle?  When I was comparing Clinton's Generaling on this tax cut crap to Clark's Generaling when he told me I needed to support my husband on a second Iraq tour.....when everyone was leaving the military in droves because it was destroying their lives and their families.....BTD's word for Iraq crept into my mind too and I realized that this administration is another Debacle.

    Well if that's so, (none / 0) (#31)
    by brodie on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 09:12:19 AM EST
    at least Franken is being consistent.  He was also a (reluctant) backer of the AUMF.

    Unfortunate vote by Al but not surprising -- he has always been a center-left, moderately liberal fellow.  And he's never claimed to be MN's answer to Bernie Sanders.


    But shouldn't they have learned from (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by masslib on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 09:14:37 AM EST
    that vote?  This policy is not center left anyway.  You don't need to be a socialist to vote against this bill.

    Not sure if I buy (none / 0) (#43)
    by brodie on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 09:38:43 AM EST
    the analogy to aumf, which involved heavy doses of deception by Shrub.  This one didn't, only a pathetically weak bit of negotiating by Obama which resulted in a GOP-friendly bill.

    I suspect Franken was ultimately motivated by some of the recent polls which showed good overall public support for the bill, at least that was how the polls were reported, as well as getting political cover from some of his mod-lib Aye-voting senate colleagues.


    The minute the (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 09:47:03 AM EST
    double dip becomes obvious, the minute that the Republicans demand budget cuts (and many Dems agree too that budget cuts must be done or Wall Street will collapse), all that polling is worthless.  The minute that states start laying off, everyone who isn't rich is going to be FURIOUS about this.  The trials that are coming up are not spoken of, we are weeks away from Christmas and people have mapped out their fight for the moment and people aren't thinking about what is right up ahead of us on this road.  Who on the streets knows that the extra federal funding to states is bone dry and many states are going to face a new brokeness like nothing any of them have experienced in their lifetime? And who knows or understands what is going to happen to municipal bonds?

    Franken, while still on Air America, (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by KeysDan on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 09:53:08 AM EST
    said that he was persuaded on AUMF by Colin Powell.  That was enough for me to be weary of his judgment.

    That sounds right, (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by brodie on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 10:25:50 AM EST
    and maybe Al was influenced by Bill Clinton over this tax deal.  On aumf though, to his credit, Al by 2005 or so had come to realize he'd been duped by Powell who'd been duped by the phony info coming from CIA via Cheney et al, and began saying the war was wrong.  

    Better I suppose a pol who acknowledges his mistake than one who stubbornly clings to a false, immoral policy.  And perhaps Al will have to apologize again on the tax deal, but if so it wouldn't be the first time a senator had chosen wrong and backed a bad bill.

    Iow, I remain a Franken supporter even with this unfortunate vote.  One or two more of these, however ...


    I was persuaded by Colin Powell (none / 0) (#50)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 10:09:53 AM EST
    I sent my true love and the father of my children willfully to Iraq after Colin Powell was done with me.  Up to his U.N. speech though, I was angry and resistant bordering on going to jail rebellion.  I can't dog Franken on that judgement that he made.  Don't think I couldn't have prevented my husband from going too.  Both of our mothers are dead, I have no sibs and he has one who in no way could handle his children.  I could have abandoned him and the kids and the military would have had no choice but to leave him at home.  He would have been furious with me but if I had had any idea that Colin Powell was full of it too I would have done it.  My husband probably would have done a better job fighting with Tricare for our son's surgery too than I did.  They always try to push women around.

    That's too bad (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 11:00:26 AM EST
    It's too bad that you believed Powell.  My husband believed Colin Powell too.  While he was making his speech before the UN though, I looked up articles in the Washington Post and elsewhere that debunked about every point he made.  The truth was already in the press as he was tauting the lies....I eventually convinced the husband.  I would have convinced you too.

    Don't ask me to recollect everything I found.  I have a wonderful ability to forget things I find horrible.  But if I were to re-run the speech, I could go out and find the same debunking articles, written pre-speech.


    Add to that (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by BobTinKY on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 11:50:20 AM EST
    the cartoons of boilogical mobile weapons laboratories.  Powell's case was ludicrous and I was initially embarassed for him.  Now I am just disgusted by him.

    I had read all the articles out there (none / 0) (#58)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 11:13:37 AM EST
    I was very very well versed before his speech.  His speech made me believe that what was top secret were things that the Times and WaPo didn't know about...but of course he did and there was very real danger out there.  He had know these things given his position, and WaPo and the Times were not privy to all that was known.  That was why I did a willing 180.

    Teresa (none / 0) (#59)
    by cpa1 on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 11:14:15 AM EST
    I turned to my wife after Powell was done talking and I said, they have nothing.  That conversation between the Iraqi soldiers could have been done by anyone.  Those Tonka Toy Trailers were pure BS and I forgot what the 3rd thing was.  Whatever it was in totally, they found nothing conclusive and certainly nothing for which a war should be started.

    All that Powell had was his credibility...his provenance, which never existed for me.  Any man who was a Black Republican and as vain as he was, you had to watch him trying to have perfect appearance, has to be a shallow piece of crap.  How could a responsible African American who wasn't doing it just to climb up a ladder, which is whorish enough, agree with the likes of Bush and Cheney?

    So Teresa, it was a feeling you had that this was total bullsh!t.


    Likewise here (none / 0) (#69)
    by christinep on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 12:24:11 PM EST
    I remember being surprised when the various network anchors pronounced, after Colin Powell made that infamous presentation, that the general had "made the case." My memory of certain horrible happenings behaves somewhat similar to what you describe, Teresa. Yet, that particular presentation--at the time & in my memory--was weak, non-compelling, and at odds with the facts that were readily available even then (see especially summary of UN inspectors.)

    What I think happened actually: A lot of people wanted to believe him, his persona, his bearing. He allowed himself to be used; and, people allowed themselves to be used in believing him. (And, he has been trying to redeem himself since then.)


    Not hindsight on my part. (none / 0) (#80)
    by KeysDan on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 07:54:15 PM EST
    Never bought it, ever.  Lot's of reasons, from the UN reports (Scott Ridder, who was latter demonized)  of inspectors criss-crossinng Iraq for years, M. El Bardei's assessment, a no-fly zone over half of the country, sanctions for years that were devasatting the country and more.  Of interest to me was why no one ever asked Candidate Obama why he was opposed to the "dumb war" of Iraq; what were his reasons for his judgment about not supporting Bush's war--at least at the point of his fall 2002 speech at the Federal Building in Chicago's loop.

    Yes but we were hoping that (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by DFLer on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 10:48:16 AM EST
    (And he's never claimed to be MN's answer to Bernie Sanders.)

    that he might be MN's answer to Paul Wellstone.


    Not with Al's (none / 0) (#62)
    by brodie on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 11:29:08 AM EST
    early backing of Bush's war already on the record.  He ran inspired by Wellstone but Al never claimed he'd be another Wellstone or not use his independent judgment on a given issue.

    AF has always presented himself as center-left, not left-lib.


    Again, this is NOT a center Left policy. (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by masslib on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 02:00:57 PM EST
    Further, I do think the public was duped by Obama when he told them without this policy they would face a "massive" tax increase, and a double tip recession.  Finally, support for this bill is tepid.

    Yes, agree, (none / 0) (#73)
    by brodie on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 02:59:19 PM EST
    not c-l, but perhaps a bill more where the center has migrated to in the past few years.  And again, as a c-l type, Franken is once in a while going to take a vote emphasizing the "center" part of his political profile.

    As for deception, there is always a certain amt of hyperbolic political rhetoric involved in passing major bills.  But not quite here of the quantity and quality of Junior's AUMF or LYndon's GoT Res.


    We'll have to agree to disagree. (none / 0) (#74)
    by masslib on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 03:17:20 PM EST
    Brodie (none / 0) (#75)
    by DFLer on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 04:16:39 PM EST
    I only meant to say I was HOPING re Wellstone.

    I take it you're a Minnesotan, heh? (that last word is a test)

    He sure didn't seem center-left to me when he was campaigning here. Maybe left-center at the least.

    Also, can you reference me to early Bush war backing? [I'll also do the google for myself.]


    Re Al and his initial (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by brodie on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 07:21:35 PM EST
    backing for the war see here, a snippet from a 2007 conversation with Uncle Joe Scarborough as Al was in the early stages of his senate campaign.

    And no, I'm not a Minnesotan, but let's say I had a heavy investment in Al's senate campaign, and am still relieved he's sitting in the Wellstone seat, despite today's vote.  I try not to come down too hard on a senator's one vote, unfortunate though it may be, if in the long haul he's usually doing the right thing.  Not many good Ds left these days anyway, so best not to be too quick to dismiss the few we do have, and right now he's still hitting above the Mendoza line for me.


    So predictable it's not even (5.00 / 6) (#12)
    by Anne on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 08:43:55 AM EST
    mildly amusing anymore, but it's really no different from those people who express their disappointment and dissatisfaction with the Democrats and then announce that they're going to vote for them anyway...

    I don't know whether it's general bubble-induced blindness, or inability to see farther than the ends of their noses, or what, but why are these people so easily herded into making bad policy choices?  Followed by the inevitable bragging about the "tough choices" they were "forced" to make.  Do they practice the sad and serious faces they put in front of the cameras to break the news about how they once again did "the best" they could?

    Maybe it's because what this comes down to is that if you keep voting for mediocrity-verging-on-incompetence, if you keep making a "least bad" choice, things are inevitably going to come to the point where these "least bad" representatives are only able to offer "least bad" policy choices - "best" is really not even in the picture.

    It doesn't start getting better by continuing to vote for "least bad."  Oh, I know all the arguments about the scary Republicans, and the Supreme Court and all the other sticks used to beat us into submission, but is there no point at which enough is enough?

    Any Democrat in Congress who's going to end up voting for bad policy ought to spare us the crocodile tears and take responsibility for what they're doing; when Al Franken - and all the others who've shaken their fists and railed against this deal - vote for it anyway, the big "F**k You" their votes deliver to the people whose lives will be most negatively affected in the long-term ought to stand on its own for everyone to hear loud and clear.  I'm sick of the loud protestations and the quiet votes.

    Actually, in many cases (2.00 / 1) (#36)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 09:19:42 AM EST
    the Republican who is certain to win if the disappointed voters don't stick with the Democrat they already know promises to bring such horrors to the country that the old "voting for the lesser of the two evils" continues. Just perhaps the people of Minnesota saw this side of Franken and that's why his win was so razor thin it took multiple recounts and challenges to reach its outcome.

    What does not voting, or voting for the lesser of the unknowns on other party tickets accomplish? So far, Alaska is the only state that has shown the ability to rally a successful mob protest and elect a write-in candidate.



    Not everyone agrees with withholding (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by Anne on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 10:06:25 AM EST
    one's vote, that somehow that is passively helping an even worse candidate, but I don't agree.  As long as I'm not voting for either - or any - candidate in a particular race, my non-vote cannot be considered a vote for anyone else on the ballot - it doesn't count for anyone if it isn't cast.

    It is almost a certainty that I am never going to vote for a Republican, so that leaves me with having to decide whether the Democrat - or any third-party candidate running - is worthy of my vote; if the Democratic candidate is an incumbent who has disappointed and 180'd and not been an advocate for things that matter to me, why would I want to reward that with a vote?  I mean, it's not like when my vote is counted it has an asterisk next to it that denotes "not a vote FOR anyone, but a vote AGAINST the other guy."

    Sure, someone's going to win, but why do I have to participate in a dysfunctional process where any vote I cast is essentially against my own interests?  That's like, as I said yesterday, building the platform and knotting the rope for one's own hanging.  Why are people still doing that?  

    I think we'd be much better off if we all had the option to vote "None of the Above," which would say, loud and clear that X number of people did not find any candidate worth voting for.

    Of course, I think the real answer is campaign finance reform, but I probably won't live long enough to ever see that happen.


    Campaign Finance Reform (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 10:09:41 AM EST
    A must - especially as it is predicted that Obama could raise $1 billion (yes, with a "b") for his 2012 re-election.

    If that isn't an offensive waste of money, I don't know what it. (And no, it has nothing to do with him - it would be offensive no matter the candidate)


    The election will turn out to be more of (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by coast on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 10:21:59 AM EST
    a stimulus than this bill.  The $1B has to spent somewhere.

    Nah (none / 0) (#38)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 09:22:42 AM EST
    Strom Thurmond won as a write-in also

    This year? During this meltdown? (3.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 05:56:53 PM EST
    I read your statement (none / 0) (#78)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 06:11:40 PM EST
    ...Alaska is the only state that has shown the ability to rally a successful mob protest and elect a write-in candidate.

    as meaning "ever".

    My bad.


    Just heard Obama being Reagan (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by cpa1 on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 08:44:51 AM EST
    To paraphrase, he said America's economic viability doesn't come from it's government but rather from it's extraordinary people and entrepreneurs.

    Is that Reagan's, I am from the government and I am hear to help you.  I am disgusted more and ore every time I see Obama.  He turned out to be just as I said he would and just another disgrace to the Democratic Party.  

    Without the Japanese government, there would be no giant industry in Japan.  At a time when American CEOs are busy stuffing their golden parachutes and not growing the country Obama wants to leave it all up to them and Wall Street.  His ego and arrogance have exceeded even where I thought it would go.

    I would be much happier with no tax cuts for anyone and have the government use that money to target industries, technology and education.  Emergency unemployment would have been voted for once push came to shove.  

    Instead of extending the Obama Tax Cuts, he should have been advocating for higher brackets with a top bracket of 55% for the those making more money than they could ever spend.  

    Obama is happier with, I'm from Wall Street and I am here to help you.  

    John McCain said that too (none / 0) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 08:48:01 AM EST
    on the campaign trail when Bush's economy blew up.  I even predicted he would say it, and then the next day he did.  I suppose growing up in the Reagan years has cleaned my spotting lens.

    Speaking of Reagan (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by cpa1 on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 08:56:47 AM EST
    The elephant in the room is that there was a $1 trillion dollar deficit when Reagan became president.  Clinton was totally deficit neutral if you take off the interest paid on the $4 trillion Reagan added.  Which means, Reagan and Bush were responsible for $13 trillion of the National Debt.

    But you know what, Obama now owns that, the same way Reagan and Bush do and for those listening to Republicans, and there are 100s of millions who do, Obama is totally responsible for it.

    What a putz!

    So, how can we blame Republicans anymore and worse still, how can we fix it from now on.


    Well, he is still better than McCain would have (none / 0) (#19)
    by Buckeye on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 08:54:37 AM EST
    been.  And there is still plenty of time left on the clock for him to improve.  At least we have that.

    Who knows? (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 09:02:01 AM EST
    Maybe if McCain were president, the Democratic Congress (with the large majority, remember) might have actually held him in check, instead of writing him a blank check.

    They didn't hold Bush in check (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 09:06:53 AM EST
    They just pointed to how horrible he was and cried and sniffled and seemed to need a Democratic President before they could hold anyone or anything in check.

    or, maybe Democrats would be so disgusted (none / 0) (#27)
    by cpa1 on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 09:07:37 AM EST
    they would finally wake up and get rid of these Republican lying bastards.

    Are you a seer? (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Yes2Truth on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 09:08:03 AM EST

    What makes you so sure that O is "still better than
    McCain would have been?


    McCain ran the worst campaign ever (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by Buckeye on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 09:14:25 AM EST
    demonstrating he has no executive skill.  

    His judgment - i.e. on all matters of national security as a Senator, his VP selection, etc.  

    His voting record over the last two years.

    Zero economic knowledge - i.e. "the fundamentals of economy are strong" quote during the worst crisis in 70+ years, the "I am reading up on the economy" while running for President, etc.

    His 180 on dubya and his slobbering kiss up to the hard right during the campaign.

    I could go on.


    Forgot two important ones that should be mentioned (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Buckeye on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 09:17:30 AM EST
    His ridiculous, inconsistent, dishonest, hypocritical 180 on DADT and immigration.

    Want more examples?


    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 09:20:30 AM EST
    He was right - the fundamentals of the economy were still strong.  It's just that everything else around them fell apart.

    And Obama's executive skills were evident....where exactly?


    Oh (5.00 / 4) (#41)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 09:30:47 AM EST
    good grief. Bush ran a great campaign and to what ends? Terrible policy decisions. Campaigns mean nothing when it comes to actual governance.

    :) and, Obama ran the best (4.33 / 3) (#40)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 09:23:55 AM EST
    (just sharing what I've read for years - I wasn't gobsmacked).

    So, what does that tell you about the relationship between running a good campaign and being a true leader?


    Being a good President IMO (none / 0) (#42)
    by Buckeye on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 09:36:06 AM EST
    involves getting the policy right as well as leadership.  I am disappointed in Obama in that he was supposed to reverse the policies of the Bush admninistration; instead, in many areas of governance, he has provided seamless continuity.  I also agree with BTD on the critical importance of getting the tax policy right.  Obama has so far failed on this.  

    However, McCain would have not only glady failed to deviate at all from Bush, but would have built on his policies.  A few examples, McCain would have already made the Bush tax cuts permanent and would have probably added more regressive taxation.  He would have intervened in the Iranian election last year and made matters worse.  He would have waddled around like a grumpy old man complaining about earmarks.  Any supreme court nominees would have looked like John Roberts.  etc.


    Hmmm... (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 10:15:37 AM EST
    However, McCain would have not only glady failed to deviate at all from Bush, but would have built on his policies.

    Like having the authority to assassinate people at will?

    A few examples, McCain would have already made the Bush tax cuts permanent and would have probably added more regressive taxation.

    Like what's going on as we speak?

    He would have waddled around like a grumpy old man complaining about earmarks.

    Unlike whining about members of your own party?

    Any supreme court nominees would have looked like John Roberts.  etc.

    And you think they would have gotten through?


    Buckeye, (none / 0) (#22)
    by cpa1 on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 08:58:01 AM EST
    Read above.  I think fixing it now is impossible because Obama gave it all away and now it's his fault.

    Japanese government? (none / 0) (#54)
    by coast on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 10:24:57 AM EST
    You mean US government, right?  There would be no giant industry in Japan without the US government.

    Both (none / 0) (#60)
    by cal1942 on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 11:19:51 AM EST
    After the war the US allowed Japan and Western Europe access to our economy.

    The Japanese government has regularly subsidized key Japanese industries.  A merchantilist attack on our economy.

    During the cold war trade agreements were made based on foreign policy and without regard to the state of US manufacturing.  Our manufacturing base has been dwindling away for decades made much worse in recent decades by free trade agreements that were for the benefit of American based multi-nationals and to the delight of Wall Street.


    Hee-hee (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 08:47:16 AM EST
    Brought to you by another "principled politician," wherein the principle is they have no principles.

    We are so screwed, but we can at least laugh about it sometimes.

    And Roubini says that there is no way (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 08:56:46 AM EST
    to avoid a double dip in the housing market now.  Too many foreclosures...the market is utterly flooded and nobody has the jobs needed to buy.  There was no stabilizing, just backdoor bailouts and now we will pay some more for insisting on propping up the banks instead of dealing with reality.

    Combine a double dip housing market with states now broke and laying off, and I'm wondering if Obama really did save us from a second Great Depression.  I have serious doubts.

    Tracy, (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by cpa1 on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 09:04:53 AM EST
    It's so logical that it is nauseating that our fellow Americans and even the effing media can't see it.  All you hear is that is all Obama could do.

    What about doing nothing?  What about bringing this to the people, telling them that you voted against the tax cuts because you want to invest in infrastructure, technology and education in order to create jobs.  Otherwise, there would be no money to ignite the economy, as we see now!


    Excellent post, extremely smart analysis (none / 0) (#29)
    by Yes2Truth on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 09:09:36 AM EST

    Unfortunately, the public always prefers nonsense
    to sense.


    I think he saved the wealthy from Depression.. (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by masslib on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 09:07:08 AM EST
    They have long been out of recession.  

    same deal from Tom Harkin (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by desmoinesdem on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 09:10:55 AM EST
    Like Franken, voted for cloture on the tax deal, then gave devastating floor statement yesterday on what a bad deal it is and how he's not going to vote for it (the bill itself, that is).

    Ethanol rider. (none / 0) (#34)
    by Ben Masel on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 09:16:57 AM EST
    Harkin urged Obama to accept the tax cut (none / 0) (#39)
    by Farmboy on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 09:23:15 AM EST
    extension for the wealthy if it meant extending unemployment coverage before the bargain was struck, then joined the chorus castigating Obama for accepting the tax cut extension for the wealthy.

    The "heads I win, tails you lose" routine has gotten really old.


    Someone says They all disappoint! (none / 0) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 08:20:01 AM EST
    Al, this is a phuck up of giant proportions.  Al Franken is no Sherrod Brown....buwhahahahahahahahaha!

    Sherrod Brown plans to vote (none / 0) (#3)
    by masslib on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 08:25:47 AM EST
    for the bill when it comes back to the Senate in order to show solidarity with House liberals and after speaking to his pastor.

    So who isn't voting for it? (none / 0) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 08:35:13 AM EST

    Maybe Sanders will hang tough. (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by masslib on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 08:37:43 AM EST
    Unless his pastor tells him to vote for it.  Honestly, these people have no backbone.

    Oh, but I don't mean Sanders... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by masslib on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 08:38:24 AM EST
    Before I tick anyone off.  I doubt he'll vote for this thing.

    if he doesnt (none / 0) (#81)
    by Left of the Left on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 08:07:14 PM EST
    its only because his vote isnt needed. I'm sure otherwise he'd find a way to justify it. Same as healthcare.

    A bad joke? (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 08:22:08 AM EST
    "And, for them, the only thing worse than a bad deal would be no deal at all. That's why I voted yes yesterday -- and why I will continue my fight for economic policies that create jobs, address our deficit problem, and build new opportunities for Minnesota."


    But they never did educate the American (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 08:45:46 AM EST
    people on this.  Bernie Sanders tried, he tried to educate the whole country on all the hows and whys and they shut him up.

    The Republicans are upset that the President said that they were holding the middle class hostage, imagine how upset and ashamed they would become if the American people understood all of it....the whole enchilada?  And because the Left does not build that consensus they look suspect, as if they take money from the biggest crooks and then look for simple ways to keep the masses uneducated and to paint the competition bad enough to win back their seats and then some.  Because they don't want anyone to really understand what is going on and figure out how to really change things......because then the gravy train is over for them and they become simple humble public servants again?


    good gawd, is he listening to himself? (none / 0) (#4)
    by ruffian on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 08:27:38 AM EST
    Huge disappointment here. I had such high hopes for Al.

    Beyond glib A quick study (none / 0) (#6)
    by oculus on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 08:32:52 AM EST

    Franken is exactly right in his assessment (none / 0) (#11)
    by Buckeye on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 08:43:28 AM EST
    of what happened.  The question is, could he and his colleagues have intervened and improved the situation?  We will never know, but it is hard to do if the White House is not fighting for the right policy.

    But, WTF are they doing? (none / 0) (#17)
    by cpa1 on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 08:50:52 AM EST
    Are they keeping Obama viable as a candidate for their party?  Seems to me there is no other reason to side with him.  

    Obama (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 08:54:25 AM EST
    controls the purse strings for their next elections.

    jb, does he? (none / 0) (#61)
    by cpa1 on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 11:20:08 AM EST
    I think, he (Obama) is a dead duck if they give up on him, which is what I think needs to happen.  What the hell do we need Obama for?  To help us watch the country shrivel up and die economically.  He is giving us total stupidity.

    Even if we lose the election to President Sarah, maybe a wake up and a regrouping of the sensible would be better than this slow and painful erosion of everything that is good about America.


    He controls the DNC (none / 0) (#63)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 11:43:40 AM EST
    He is the head of the party.  Of course he controls the purse strings.

    Exactly (none / 0) (#71)
    by smott on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 01:35:34 PM EST
    I think when we get to the point that we can envision President Palin or Pres Huckabee, and be OK with it - and only then - that is when we will be able to start reform either within the Dem party or (better) starting from within as a primary challenge and then (losing the primary of course) breaking off to an Independent and taking those votes away from Obama.

    Safe to call... (none / 0) (#46)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 10:02:11 AM EST
    Al Franken another in a long line of senate disappointments, yes?

    Just tell us what the first paycheck in January is gonna look like already ya sh*theads, and for those on unemployment bubble, if they're getting a check at all.  The suspense is putting a serious damper on the holiday season...stop leaving us guessin' on our ends, jeez.

    Assume a smaller paycheck and (none / 0) (#65)
    by ruffian on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 12:01:20 PM EST
    buy New Year's gifts instead if it does not turn out that way!

    Well, Al got the first part right and for that (none / 0) (#47)
    by KeysDan on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 10:03:27 AM EST
    we thank him: "extending the excessive Bush tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires will explode our deficit over the next two years without doing anything to help our economy."  As for the remainder of his statement, well, just a lame rationalization to mask his falling in as a party hack.  Of course, after the bill passes the senate and is signed into law by the president, the next crucial step will be approval by the Bank of China.

    Soon after the "millionaires and (none / 0) (#53)
    by KeysDan on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 10:24:10 AM EST
    billionaires" have assurances for their continued tax breaks, the Obama/McConnell "Deal" will become Obama's irresponsible tax plan that looked to short term benefits that were put in place just to help his re-election and not to the longer-term deficits that it produced.  Of course, the Republicans have no shame and will let Obama hold the bag, no matter if the bag is filled with candy or coal.  And, it will work for them, thanks to Franken et. al, who stated they knew it was bad policy, but voted for it anyway because Democrats wanted free money for all  those deadbeats  who do not want a job.

    Frantically Adding Pork & Special Projects (none / 0) (#66)
    by PlayInPeoria on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 12:04:37 PM EST
    to the bill since this might be the last chance to get it through.

    The biggest period of layoffs was 1st quarter 2009. Most have recently run out of all teirs or will in Jan. The pig in the python is about to pass through. I'm not sure once they go off of unemployment if they stop counting them in the unemployment figures?

    Obama is going pressure the CEOs to start expnading and hiring. He says they are sitting on $2 Trillion ... record amount in reserve for business.

    He can't pressure them to do ANYthing (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Dadler on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 12:08:44 PM EST
    As long as unemployment rises, as long as wages stay flat, which they have for decades, as long as their is no demand...nothing will happen. Obams is either stupid and/or complicit, and I choose "and."

    This is also why... (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by Dadler on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 12:10:56 PM EST
    ...or immorally low corporate tax rates (effectively zero for many) will continue to bleed us dry. That is what the right wants, to destroy the ability of government to do anything but make war and transfer money to the ruling class. And Obama is going "right" along with it.  He is a phucking disaster.

    I agree (none / 0) (#70)
    by PlayInPeoria on Wed Dec 15, 2010 at 12:24:16 PM EST
    He can't make corp American so something they are not willing to do. And why should they...they are sitting pretty. Right now, if not directly then indirectly,Corp American hold us all hostage.

    And the unemployment tracking is so screwed up that no one really knows how many people are unemployed.