WaPo: Obama To Back Simpson-Bowles

Ezra Klein:

Obama will throw his support behind the bipartisan effort in the Senate to turn the Simpson-Bowles plan into legislation.

I'm shocked!

Speaking for me only

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    If you don't get the votes, (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:29:34 AM EST
    then do it anyway. Sheesh. Obama supports every bad policy he sees. He creates crises through mediocre leadership and poor negotiating skills without offering alternatives.

    After this years SOTU, I came to the conclusion that we're looking at a person of weak character with passive-aggressive tendencies.

    S-B just offers more support to my hypothesis.

    Wall Street didn't spend all that money (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by MO Blue on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:40:26 AM EST
    to get Obama elected so that he would legislate for the masses. He is able to do what the Republicans could not do.

    Republicans say the willingness of the White House to talk about entitlement changes could reinforce the Republican claim that steps need to be taken to preserve Medicare, limiting the ability of Democrats to attack and making the debate mainly about what the steps should be. link

    They will reap the benefits of their investment 100 fold.  



    Pretty clearly Obama places a much higher priority on corporate welfare for his cronies in the wind, solar, and rail industries.  Sorry granny, running mostly empty trains around comes first.



    I didn't want to think that Jeff (none / 0) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:57:26 AM EST
    I have tried to stay honest with myself but open minded, it can't be easy being a President.  But two years in, something is horribly wrong with this President.

    ".....Horribly wrong......." (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by NYShooter on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:27:35 AM EST
    reading Klein's article Re: simpson-bowels, Obama's first requirement was met......it was bipartisan.

    So I ask you (not you specifically MT) would a good bill be rejected by Obama if it could be passed but wasn't bipartisan? And conversely, would a lousy bill (like this one) get the go ahead simply because it's bi-partisan?

    Never mind, I answered my own question.

    Horribly wrong? I think you once questioned whether Obama was mentally stable; I concur in your query. (if it wasn't you, well, doesn't matter)


    Define a good bill? (none / 0) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:55:11 AM EST
    Even when Democrats controlled the House and the Senate and Presidency we couldn't get what most of deemed "a good" bill passed :)  The problem is that is never a fight, there is never "serious" degotiations.  Obama just wants something to sign and get it over with.  He fights for nothing, he really doesn't stand for anything, and how he felt about the New Deal being outdated before he even took office probably means that any excuse to have to get rid of it is an opportunity for him.

    For some reason, I'm getting this image (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:00:37 AM EST
    stuck in my head, of Obama doing the "King of the World" scene - perched on the bow of the mighty ship, arms outstretched - from the movie "Titanic."

    And you know, there weren't enough lifeboats for those paasengers, either.


    So you're saying that it was the DiCaprio and (none / 0) (#56)
    by Farmboy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:29:13 AM EST
    Winslet characters in that movie who were the people responsible for the lack of lifeboats on the Titanic? Not the fault of the engineers who designed the ship, or the White Star Line?

    Or are you saying that it was their moment of happiness that caused the ship to strike the iceberg? Just trying to understand your analogy...


    I can't believe I have to (none / 0) (#59)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:43:13 AM EST
    spell this out for you.

    Obama is feeling all powerful and imperial, standing on the prow of a ship that is headed for an economic iceberg, and his actions to cut the social safety net mean that, when it does crash, more people will drown for lack of a "lifeboat."



    Thanks for spelling out that it was the (none / 0) (#65)
    by Farmboy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:00:05 AM EST
    DiCaprio and Winslet characters' actions that were responsible for the lack of lifeboats. I never would have come to that conclusion from watching the movie.

    Oy (none / 0) (#66)
    by sj on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:06:49 AM EST
    A different word came to my mind, (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:20:19 AM EST
    but "oy" works, too...



    "Oy? Sheesh?" It's your analogy. (none / 0) (#82)
    by Farmboy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:01:40 PM EST
    In my take on the movie the DiCaprio character has no responsibility for the lack of lifeboats, or culpability whatsoever for the shipwreck. My questions stem from the way you equate Obama to Leonardo, saying that "his actions" will cause more people to drown when the ship strikes the iceberg.

    I do realize that your intent is to insert the president into the Titanic scenario in a pejorative fashion. May I suggest that you equate Obama to the captain, too arrogant to heed warnings or slow the ship down in dangerous waters? Or if the cutting of the social safety net is your sticking point, how about having him stand in for the White Star Line representative who was onboard?

    Of course, there's always the classic Nero fiddling while Rome burns analogy, although that would mean dropping the Titanic movie setting.


    It's mostly just a visual; (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:07:20 PM EST
    you're probably the only one who didn't get it.

    You're overthinking it.


    i think your analogy (none / 0) (#135)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 02:53:21 PM EST
    is really to the film's a-hole director, James Cameron, who imitated the DiCaprio character by shouting the "king of the world" line when he won the Oscar

    Not unless... (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by huzzlewhat on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 03:22:04 PM EST
    The Oscar stage was about to crash into an iceberg. :-)

    It's the impending disaster paired with the unleashed enthusiasm that makes the analogy.


    Who'd a thunk (5.00 / 1) (#141)
    by sj on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 03:23:39 PM EST
    that the analogy would be hard to understand?

    Analogies aren't hard to understand (none / 0) (#149)
    by Farmboy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 04:37:40 PM EST
    when they are used correctly. For an analogy to work there needs to be a correspondence or similarity between the elements: one is mapped onto another.

    In this case Anne related Obama to the DiCaprio character, and the US economy to the Titanic. Had she stopped there the analogy could have held, if you are willing to assume that Obama is unaware that the US economy is about to sink. But then she blames Obama for the impending doom, which skews the mapping between elements out of correspondence - because the things being compared are not the same.

    As she later revealed, the point of her post was to say that Obama doesn't care that his actions are causing the passengers to drown. DiCaprio's character was the exact opposite of that. And it was that failure of similarity that made me curious in the first place as to what she was trying to say.


    You didn't get it (none / 0) (#150)
    by sj on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 04:56:49 PM EST
    You know what?  That's fine.  I've taken jokes seriously.  I've made light of something that another took seriously.  I've completely misunderstood the point that someone else has made.  

    And sometimes I've done what you're doing now:  tried to justify the misunderstanding and blame the person I didn't understand.  It's failed communication.  So what?  Let it go.

    Trying to follow what you're saying here is putting way too much energy into a misunderstanding.


    That's some good passive-aggressive (none / 0) (#154)
    by Farmboy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 06:01:33 PM EST
    projecting you got going there, SJ! It's so well phrased - that whole "it's okay that you're an idiot; I'm one too" bit is classic. Do you get a lot of practice, or does it come naturally? Regardless, major kudos to you!

    Okay then, you have a good day. Enjoy a beer on me.


    I prefer it (none / 0) (#165)
    by sj on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 07:55:34 PM EST
     to aggressive-aggressive.  It's also true in this case that you just keep digging a deeper hole for yourself based on a simple musing.  Also a classic situation:  mountain out of molehill.  And yes, I've done that before and will no doubt do it again.

    Whatever.  I think I'll have that beer now.  A Stella sounds mighty good right now.


    Bad analogy (none / 0) (#151)
    by chrisvee on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 04:57:38 PM EST
    cannot lessen her, nor pedantry obscure her infinite perspicacity.

    Hmm, you're not quoting (none / 0) (#179)
    by observed on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 10:17:07 AM EST
    from Peri Bathous are you?

    heh (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 07:09:09 PM EST
    well there are those who do view the Oscars, stage & all, as a Titanic-scale disaster

    but point taken :)


    In the movie (none / 0) (#79)
    by Politalkix on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:52:54 AM EST
    DiCaprio dies with a lot of people in the Titanic and is a loved character.
    Anne, you really like the President, don't you? (despite your fierce criticism of him). :-).

    I might love him under (none / 0) (#136)
    by sj on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 03:06:56 PM EST
    those circumstances.  

    I kid.  And anyway, you brought it up.


    Politalkix, if I can stay married to (none / 0) (#143)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 03:31:41 PM EST
    a Republican for almost 31 years, I imagine I could get along with Obama, too, lol...my poor husband hasn't quite known what to do with me since the 2008 election.

    I'm sure Obama's a genial guy, loves his wife and kids, would be fun to watch sports with, looks like he'd enjoy a good party, and all that other stuff, but I'm not attracted to his policy, his governance or what appears to be a total lack of leadership.  No one has a clue where he stands on the budget or what he might concede to get the debt ceiling raised, and this kind of chaos is not helping anything.


    I've asked this question (none / 0) (#157)
    by NYShooter on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 06:55:25 PM EST
    elsewhere and gotten no response, but you're good at this stuff, so I hope you can answer me.

    Someone referred me to a column in another blog that this certain "someone' thought was quite thought provoking.

    See what you think.

    Sorry I don't recall the author, but his premise was that the debt ceiling issue is a godsend for Obama. He should say to the republican congress critters, "here's what I'm willing to sacrifice for your support in raising the debt ceiling, NOTHING! Not a Penny." If they actually do refuse to raise it, great. The money within the ceiling has already been appropriated, and Obama has great discretion as how to spend it. So, he should simply withhold any funds from the favorite Republican outstretched hands, and instead, spend it on progressive items. What are all those fatcats gonna say? It's not Obama's fault. When those phone calls start burning up the wires, you'll see how fast bipartisanship can be achieved.


    You forgot to mention the dog (none / 0) (#169)
    by MO Blue on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:08:15 PM EST
    He has a cute dog. ;-)

    Sorry for typos (none / 0) (#41)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:56:19 AM EST
    I'm just a little animated right now.  And talking to myself faster than I type.

    Not entirely true (none / 0) (#48)
    by sj on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:12:32 AM EST
    Obama just wants something to sign and get it over with.

    It must be "bi-partisan" which is O-code for catering to the Republicans.  And he fights his base quite effectively.

    I take that back.  He fights the Democratic base quite effectively.


    Right, there have been a couple of (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by observed on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:19:55 AM EST
    policy points where Obama has been immediately and unequivocally firm. This lets you know that the rest is just [what Andrew Cuomo said]

    I don't feel like he fights us (none / 0) (#50)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:16:52 AM EST
    He discounts us, he plays guilt trips and head trips on us, and many of us buy it...we eat it up :)  Pundits needing that precious access he gives them will sell out all standards too in order to keep their access.  New orders are issued via them and we march along like good soldiers should :)

    He discounts us, the citizens (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by sj on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:39:26 AM EST
    But he fights against our positions and our well-being by taking on the Dems in Congress and by stacking the deck in the DNC.

    Recall how suddenly and how meekly Kucinich came around to voting for ACA after a summons from the WH?  He can fight when he wants to.

    And he may not really like to work and be all depressed at how hard Presidentin' really is, who knows.  But empathy wasn't his ummm... strong point ... to begin with.


    You are right (none / 0) (#60)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:43:58 AM EST
    He does obviously fight against us.  I just never saw it clearly that way, and I stopped paying attention to the DNC awhile ago.  To my own detriment :)

    DNC (none / 0) (#87)
    by star on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:09:52 PM EST
    Has become so irrelevant since 08. Other than cheer leading for this incompetent WH, what has DNC done in the last 2 years? No one has hurt democratic party as Obama has IMO.

    To: MT (none / 0) (#118)
    by christinep on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:21:02 PM EST
    The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times have two different ways of reporting about what aspects of Simpson-Bowles will be appropriated/used/referred to.  Most interesting. For example: The LA Times suggests that S-B would be used to underpin an approach to return to the Clinton era tax rates (via the reinstated drive to increase taxes on those over $250K), to take some cuts in DOD (via contractor reduction etc.), and to bring in additional $$ for Social Security (via lifting the cap; and, possibly, increasing age in about three decades.)

    The obvious question: Who is closer...the WP or the LA Times. We'll see tomorrow. 'Hope it is the Times!

    Also: As the ever optimist here that I am, one word I have observed in a few mainstream places the past few days is a word not used for some time. That is, "revenue." Given the Paul Ryan (aka The Leader of the $$ Crazies) lead-in that may have caused an unpleasant awakening for some Indies, re-introducing the necessity for revenue enhancement by re-introducing increased taxes on the wealthiest now would have a broader (and probably more receptive) audience.  It appears that the newest polls definitely show a movement away from Congressional Repubs as well as a finding that most found Obama & the Dems adopting a more reasonable stance during the First Round $$$ battles in recent weeks (See CNN, PPP, and Gallup.)


    I think that some of Obama's unresolved issues (none / 0) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:05:30 AM EST
    May have led us to some of the insanity that we have.  But I think that a lot of George Bush's unresolved issues did that too....his daddy issues really affected my life :)

    Obama did seem to be unable to deal with criticism for awhile, and he appeared to me to be depressed.  There are plenty of rumors now that he is on antidepressants.  Unfortunately if he is, they can make you very numb to the feeling reality of others around you.

    Like our friend who works in the field of psychology was talking not long ago about how premedicating our soldiers with some really good antidepressants seemed to derail developing PTSD.  But it also made soldiers a little numb, and a little too unable to experience remorse and it was being questioned at to whether or not it was an ethical thing to do.

    So if antidepressant make you lose touch with instant remorse or a little unable to feel empathy as you plow along wildly, this may not be a good thing for Obama or the nation if he is in that boat.


    Passive Aggressive Is Only 1/2of IT (none / 0) (#155)
    by norris morris on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 06:41:50 PM EST
    Why are you one of few who heard this in SOTU speech?

    Obama is not just a weak leader, he has betrayed the voters who elected him and believed he was The One.


    What are we going to get in trade (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by MO Blue on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:34:02 AM EST
    for our SS and Medicare benefits?

    Chambliss: Well, the fact of the matter is that you can't solve this debt problem just with reductions in discretionary spending. You can't solve it just by attacking and reforming entitlements. You've got to look at the revenue side also.

    What we are looking at proposing is actually a reduction in corporate rates and personal individual income tax rates, which will put more money in people's pockets and we're going to do that with the reduction in tax expenditures. Every time we've done that in years past whether it was under President Reagan or president Bush we have seen revenues increase. And we've got to have an increase in revenues if we are going to retire this debt... revenues have to be on the table if we're serious about attacking that debt. link

    People are going to give up the benefits of SS, Medicare and Medicaid under the guise of deficit reduction so that Obama and Congress can lower taxes for corporations and individuals. Of course in the Simpson-Bowles plan one of the offsets to the lower tax rates is the elimination of the Earned Income Credit. Once again, the poorest of the poor will lose the most, the middle class will get screwed and the wealthiest will reap the benefits.

    This was so f@cking predictable.

    Bipartisan? (5.00 / 5) (#5)
    by mjames on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:38:29 AM EST
    No self-respecting Dem would ever back that plan. It is the antithesis of everything the Dems have stood for, at least in my rather long lifetime.

    I am seriously, seriously starting to believe we have a very psychologically impaired (stunted, really) individual as president. No, Daddy (oops, I mean the Republicans) will never love you, no matter how much you bend over. And the rest of us despise you. You have no core principles or morals of any kind. The suffering you have inflicted - and will continue to inflict - on the poorest among us is obscene.

    Worst. President. Ever.

    A Pure Narcissist (none / 0) (#156)
    by norris morris on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 06:45:49 PM EST
    A total bustout.  There is nothing about Obama that is reminiscent of any Democratic President in my time [or any time].

    He is totally insincere and was elected through pure hype. He is a weak and willing tool for the GOP.

    He is helping to ruin our country and take down the Democratic Party.


    Well...lots of adjectives (none / 0) (#171)
    by christinep on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:30:03 PM EST
    And, conclusions. And, all-around name-calling. Fascinating. Anything else?

    There's (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:49:42 AM EST
    nothing else to say about Obama that already hasn't been said. I just hope party members will stand against him.

    They have to or they will destroy themselves (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:52:30 AM EST
    and the party will be terribly damaged.  If anyone wants to pull a Republican boogie monster out of the bag....how about trying to fight the crazy Republicans with a Democratic party that blew its own self up.  They have to stand against him, they have to fight him.

    Self Immolation (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by norris morris on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 06:55:29 PM EST
    Imagine! We could have had an experienced, hard working and principled Democrat in the WH.

    But the hype and wishful thinking ruled and the Democratic Party committed suicide.


    I've (none / 0) (#36)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:49:58 AM EST
    known that Obama was on a path to destroy the party since '10 but a lot of good that did.

    I'm not hopeful about a wake up call for the rest of the party.


    I'm wondering if he or michelle (none / 0) (#10)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:53:24 AM EST
    will purchase one of those 2011 stle wedding dresses I've seen advertised on three separate articles. I'm tempted, but if the prez gets one, I'll stick to a bridesmaid's dress.

    Golly...who'd have ever believed Obama (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:57:33 AM EST
    would back a plan by the two entitlement-hating, corporate-loving men he appointed to a commission created by executive order when Congress refused to do so?

    Are we still playing 11-dimensional chess?  Or can we please, finally, face the ugly truth that Obama is standing firmly and confidently in Republican territory?  Which should really have people questioning his sanity, frankly.

    If he's backing Simpson-Bowles, and he holds to the pattern of giving more concessions every time a Republican looks at him cross-eyed, this could be a bigger economic disaster than it even looked like less than a week ago.

    Once people find out what all of this will mean for them, I don't think they're going to be thanking anyone at the polls.

    No, I think the fall back (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by MO Blue on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:24:22 AM EST
    plan by many Dem voters will be denial until it is too late. I predict that many of my friends will continue to say and believe that SS and Medicare are too popular to touch.  

    FYI (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by NYShooter on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:50:26 AM EST
    caught one of those TV preachers this morning, and he was having a jolly good time with his flock by systematically mocking Climate Change. Point by point, the fool, sounding knowledgeable of course, had the mentally stunted audience rolling in the aisles. "Sheep, goats, cows, and horses release more CO2, from both ends of their torsos (ROFLMAO) than all the humans on earth." "They ADMIT its only a theory, and they want us to destroy our whole economy for a theory!" Well, the heads of the almost human congregation were bobbing up and down in unison so on cue you'd think they were trained by the River Dance choreographers. But, the look on their faces, oh the look! "Knowing" Idiotic smirks that tells you just how much of a fait accompli the Right Wing noise machine has accomplished.

    I don't know what the answer is; we live in a country that the rest of the civilized world is getting more and more perplexed, and frightened of.

    I don't want to cry chicken little, but this can't end well.


    Nader really was right. (none / 0) (#44)
    by observed on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:05:50 AM EST
    I think he was a terrible candidate, but his analysis of our system was dead on.
    The Dems are Colmes to the Republicans Hannity/Hitler. Whenever a Democrat is too feisty, like Grayson, the party elders try to hammer him down. I"m not saying I agree with Grayson about everything, just that his feistiness is actually forbidden by the party.

    Funny you should mention Colmes (5.00 / 0) (#63)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:55:27 AM EST
    Nader Was Right But....... (5.00 / 0) (#168)
    by norris morris on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:03:08 PM EST
    as you say he didn't run a powerful campaign and his personna lacked the bullshit needed to get elected. Obama has the BS and charisma factor but nothing else.

    Nader was right on everything and it's a shame he didn't win.  But it takes all of the above to move the votes and unfortunately couldn't do this.


    Yup, it was fun for awhile (none / 0) (#62)
    by NYShooter on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:45:49 AM EST
    watching one of ours and actually smiling, even chuckling sometimes.

    Felt good.


    Democrats In Denial (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by norris morris on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 07:46:45 PM EST
    Democrats continue to allow this president to betray them  without strong and loud party dissent.

    Obama's cave-ins and timid approach to every issue he swore to protect   has now been thrown under the bus, and has been more or less condoned by his party.

    Obama's inner circle of advisors are timid and unimaginative yes men. As there is no meaningful opposition from Democrats this is the beginning of the end.

    This is totally naive and edges towards  political suicide to deny that Obama has gutted Democratic principles.   But the denial continues as he helps the GOP shred Medicare and Medicare and agrees to tax breaks for the wealthiest, among all the rest of his broken promises. Guantanamo, et al.

    This is a president who openly says he believes he should not "influence" the legislature but likes to come in at the end.  This is another way of saying he wants no conflict and is happy to engage in any compromise he needs to make as he offers far more than he gets. His negotiating skills are not the problem.

    The problem?  Obama stands for nothing.


    send a message to the White House (none / 0) (#170)
    by noholib on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:30:00 PM EST
    Others finally seem to be waking up to the fact that Obama sorely lacks a backbone and a Democratic compass - a fact that many on this blog have known for a long time.  

    Some may want to sign the petition circulated today by
    >>> "Adam Green, BoldProgressives.org" <info@boldprogressives.org>                     Progressive Change Campaign Committee

    Their message:
    "Urgent! The White House announced that in a big speech tomorrow, President Obama will do what no Republican President has been able to do: Put   Medicare and Medicaid on the table for potential cuts.
    Many former Obama volunteers, donors, and voters are deeply disappointed.
    A Democratic Congressman said on MSNBC last night that Obama needs to "act like a Democrat."

    The pledge to be delivered to the Obama campaign.
       "President Obama: If you cut Medicare and Medicaid benefits for me, my parents, my grandparents, or families like mine, don't ask for a penny of my money or an hour of my time in 2012. I'm going to focus on electing bold progressive candidates -- not Democrats who help Republicans make harmful cuts."



    We must support Obama, otherwise (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by observed on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:57:51 AM EST
    Republicans will undo all of the New Deal!!!

    If we fight them AND Obama (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:59:44 AM EST
    we stand a better chance of saving some...even more...maybe even shutting this crap down.

    It amazes me that some people (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by observed on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:11:41 AM EST
    don't get that Obama is not a Democrat. Look how he positions himself as an arbiter between Dems and GOP in Congress---and only after indicating that the GOP position is where negotiations start.

    Thank goodness (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by chrisvee on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:11:30 PM EST
    our party leaders saved us from a Hillary presidency. I can't fathom how much worse things might be!

    Support Obama?????? (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by norris morris on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 07:51:42 PM EST
    He has done more harm to the New Deal than any Republican President has or could have.  Obama is heading the Democrats into a shameful political suicide that has already gutted many New Deal principles.

    Just wait until Obama lets us know tomorrow what is being taken away from Medicare and Medicaid.

    No Republican would have dared to do this.

    Support this????   Are you mad?


    Opps. I posted in your earlier thread (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Buckeye on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:58:31 AM EST
    that Simpson Bowles will become the new center after the debating is done.  Looks like Simpson Bowles is going to be Obama's starting point.  So the new center will be something to the right of Simpson Bowles.

    What a starting point huh? (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:00:30 AM EST
    That says everything right there that I need to know ever again about our current President.

    If he votes for a plan that eliminates (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Buckeye on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:04:32 AM EST
    the social safety net, on top of everything else that has been done, as a Democrat, this will be the most disastrous Democratic Presidency of my lifetime.

    Then you can relax (none / 0) (#146)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 04:05:02 PM EST
    He's not going to "eliminate the social safety net."  I've yet to hear that he's going to do anything to SS other than try to raise the cap on income subject to the tax and possibly, though I sure hope not, agree to the Simpson-Bowles idiocy of increasing the retirement age down the road.

    He's not doing a whole lot to improve the safety net, God knows, but I haven't even heard of very much "chipping away," never mind "eliminating" it.  Cutting funding for the LIHEAP program was a terrible idea, but it was based on the excuse that the cost of oil had gone down again, and of course, it's gone right back up.

    ACA's one big plus is that it hugely, massively increases the number of people who can get Medicaid.  So come to think of it, I'm wrong and he has fairly significantly expanded the safety net.

    Is it entirely too much to ask that we wait to hear what he's actually proposing before condemning it?


    With all due respect, I think you have (5.00 / 2) (#152)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 05:25:21 PM EST
    not kept up with the conversation on this, especially with respect to Medicare and Medicaid.

    Here's something to think about:

    The President created the cat food commission, reviving it after it failed in the Senate. The Ryan blueprint, with its design to deliberately tweak programs liberals hold dear, was clearly going to be something that turned the Bowles-Simpson plan, which did not get a passing vote from the commission, as the bipartisan baseline. There's certainly enough to read into Chris Van Hollen's tacit approval to suggest that this will happen tomorrow. Yet this would be a pre-emptive surrender, and a needless one at that.

    The Bowles-Simpson plan has its virtues. Among other things, it would reduce agriculture subsidies and defense spending. It would impose a new gasoline tax, in order to finance the building of infrastructure. It boosts Social Security payments for the some of the very poorest retirees. All of these make it far, far preferable to Ryan's plan.

    But the Bowles-Simpson plan also has major flaws. Chief among them: It would limit federal spending to 21 percent of gross domestic product. The only way to do that is to rely more heavily on reducing spending than on raising revenue. Sure enough, spending cuts in the Bowles-Simpson plan outnumber tax increases by about two-to-one. Among the cuts would be a $100 billion reduction in discretionary spending that would affect a wide range of programs for the poor, as well as entitlement reductions (via Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid) that could take a serious toll on disabled and elderly of modest incomes

    And consider what Simpson-Bowles is calling for:

    Let's first address precisely what the Bowles-Simpson outline would do. It would increase the payroll tax cap so that it covers 90% of all income, rather than the 82-85% it captures today. That cuts 1/3 of the total deficit. It uses progressive price indexing to lower benefits for "high-end" earners (if by high-end you mean individuals who make $43,000 a year) and increasing them slightly for "low-end" earners. It changes the cost of living adjustment by tweaking the inflation standard, reducing benefits for scheduled recipients immediately. And over the long-term, it increases both the early retirement age and the retirement age for full benefits, from a range of 62-67 to 64-69, over a long time horizon (the progressive pushback actually worked here to keep the retirement age changes 40 and 65 years out; I believe they'll eventually get bargained away).

    So this arrives at a solution for Social Security's long-term funding with 1/3 revenue enhancements and 2/3 benefit cuts.

    And that massive expansion of Medicaid?  The administration has already recommended to the states that they make cuts:

    The controversial letter, sent to the nation's governors last month by Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, acknowledges the severe budget conditions tormenting states and offers "new tools and resources to achieve both short-term savings and longer-term sustainability" under Medicaid.

    The suggested strategies are wide-ranging, including efforts to rein in fraud, shift patients into managed care and encourage generic drugs in lieu of name brands. But atop the list are ways states can scale back non-mandatory benefits and shift higher costs onto Medicaid patients.

    "While some benefits, such as hospital and physician services, are required to be provided by State Medicaid programs, many services, such as prescription drugs, dental services, and speech therapy, are optional," Sebelius wrote. "In addition, States may add or increase cost sharing for services within limits."

    Never did I ever think Democrats would get behind cuts to these important programs, but clearly, they are looking to do just that.  And given that "doing nothing" doesn't seem to be one of the options under consideration, I have every expectation that "something" will be done, and it won't be in the direction of increasing benefits or coverage.


    Oh, I've kept up quite well (none / 0) (#172)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:58:36 PM EST
    thank you.  I don't totally discount the possibility, but so far, all the signs are that he's talking about "cutting" in the way ACA cut out the scandalous giveaway of Medicare Advantage-- iow, not a benefits cut, but cuts in fees and subsidies to providers.  That may or may not be a good idea, but it's not cutting benefits per se.

    We'll see.

    There's a spectacular amount of speculation being passed off as fact on this issue.


    Senator Durbin and two other Dem (none / 0) (#177)
    by MO Blue on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 08:00:11 AM EST
    Senators are out selling the recommendations of the Cat Food Commission which include actual real time cuts to Social Security benefits.

    Former White House chief of staff Erskine Bowles and former senator Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), co-chairmen of President Obama's fiscal reform commission, kicked off a campaign Tuesday to promote the panel's final report and the efforts of a group of senators working on long-term deficit reduction.
    On Tuesday afternoon, the two were slated to join with the bipartisan "Gang of Six" senators to launch the "Moment of Truth Project," a program sponsored by the New America Foundation.
    The events also come as the "Gang of Six" has been hitting the road to gin up public support for long-term deficit reduction. The six include four members of the fiscal commission - Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) - as well as Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), who approached the other four senators in January to continue the commission's work in weekly meetings. link

    I don't know what signs you're (none / 0) (#178)
    by Anne on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 08:32:37 AM EST
    looking at, but the ones I'm seeing aren't giving me any confidence that actual cuts in benefits  aren't on the way - and as far as I'm concerned, changes that result in more costs being shifted to individuals are cuts.

    And in another comment, you said this:

    But you know perfectly well that when people scream "Cutting Social Security!!!!" it means cutting the level of annual benefits, not the total amount realized over whatever one's lifetime amounts to.

    Excuse me, but aren't the "level of annual benefits" the amounts people receiving those benefits, um, live on?

    By all means, let's see what the president has to say today, but let's not delude ourselves into believing that it's written in stone, or that it represents a blueprint of any kind.  Time and again, we've heard this president say one thing and do another, so I, at least, have no reason to trust his words.


    Un-fu ... (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:10:10 AM EST
    ..@king believable.

    Swear to G0d - if you took this guy to buy a car, he would walk into the dealership, look at the sticker price on the rear window, and start negotiating up from there.

    Apart from the substance of this, it's really hard to believe what a horrible negotiator he is.


    No he wouldn't (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:25:43 AM EST
    That wouldn't be in his best interests.

    I think Obama knows what he's doing here. He's getting exactly what he wants.


    Yes Obama is getting exactly what he wants (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by MO Blue on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:40:21 AM EST
    and as observed has said in another comment, the payoff will be enormous.

    Come to think of it he was a better (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by ruffian on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:03:43 PM EST
    negotiator in Chicago real estate.

    Circumstantially, I think it's clear (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by observed on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:12:34 AM EST
    that Obama is completely corrupt, and took the job as President to undo the New Deal.
    His payoff will be enormous.

    If you go by his book and what he said (none / 0) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:30:59 AM EST
    about the New Deal, yeah....you are correct.

    Yes, we both underestimated Obama (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by MO Blue on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:03:11 AM EST
    I thought that Simpson Bowles would be the end result of the negotiations. As you have pointed out, Simpson Bowles will be the starting point of the so called negotiation and the end results will be even worse.  

    What a disaster. (none / 0) (#19)
    by Buckeye on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:05:12 AM EST
    Obama's New Advisors (none / 0) (#164)
    by norris morris on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 07:53:56 PM EST
    Simpson- Bowles????


    These are the men he has selected from the Right to guide and influence his decisions and carve policy?  They are his new mouthpieces.



    Nothing Obama ever says matters (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Dan the Man on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:12:06 AM EST
    Didn't he support Simpson-Bowles just days before he re-supported extending the Bush tax cuts?  Heck, if anything Obama supporting Simpson-Bowles is bad news for Simpson-Bowles because Obama supporting it will give reason for Republicans to oppose it.

    Additionally (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by lilburro on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:15:12 AM EST
    Ezra solidifies his position on the Fake Left with his post.

    but it is, at base, a more realistic plan both in terms of policy and politics.

    As others commented this weekend, the Left lacks the institutional strength of the Right.  But it does nobody any favors to pretend that Ezra Klein (or TNR) is on the Left.  He wasn't during the health care debates and he sure as hell isn't now.

    Klein is not Left (5.00 / 0) (#166)
    by norris morris on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 07:55:56 PM EST
    Actually he's a poseur. He stands for nothing and have no idea why anyone believes Klein is sincere or informed.  He's a mouthpiece.

    Sure (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by mjames on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:18:09 AM EST
    Obama may say he wants to raise taxes on the wealthiest, tho he will ultimately reach the "bipartisan" conclusion of no such taxes - but he will also seek to cut SS benefits and on that, his real goal, he will be successful. Then we can all praise his greatness.

    I'm no Obama fan (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 04:13:08 PM EST
    God knows, but I will bet you actual money he does not "cut Social Security benfits," nor will he try to, and neither will the Gopers or the rest of Congress.

    The paranoia here is getting seriously out of control, IMHO.


    Raising the retirement age (5.00 / 2) (#153)
    by mjames on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 05:33:48 PM EST
    is cutting benefits.

    What paranoia? The man has betrayed what Democrats used to stand for to an almost unbelievable degree.
    It's merely common sense to question what he is really up to - on any and every issue. He created the Catfood Commission for heaven's sake and appointed its members. Do I really need to say more?


    Just a suggestion (none / 0) (#173)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 12:06:13 AM EST
    Why don't we wait a few hours to see what he actually says before we entirely blow our gaskets?

    Nobody is more vehemently or passionately against raising the retirement age than I am, since I live in the country among small farmers and farm workers whose bodies are burned out by 60 or less and have zero skills to do anything else to earn money.

    I hope he will reject that idea, but I'm not at all confident of that since all sorts of people who earn their big livings sitting on their big butts but who ought to know better seem to think it's a fine idea.

    But you know perfectly well that when people scream "Cutting Social Security!!!!" it means cutting the level of annual benefits, not the total amount realized over whatever one's lifetime amounts to.

    So this defense of the phrase is really entirely disingenuous.  IMO, of course.


    Raising Retirement Age (5.00 / 0) (#167)
    by norris morris on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 07:57:41 PM EST
    This is CUTTING. It removes a year or more of benefits, and ths is just the beginning.

    What else can you call this?


    For the record, I prefer Meow Mix (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Dadler on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:07:05 AM EST
    Purina Cat Chow a close second.

    No wet food, please, it goes right to my paws.

    Will we at least be issued complimentary water bowls?

    Seriously, I have a bum leg but I bet Obama's so soft that a gimp like me could beat him one on one in basketball.  Put an a$$ into him and just back him in.      

    Or water Bowles? n/t (none / 0) (#68)
    by Dadler on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:07:36 AM EST
    He'd call a foul. (none / 0) (#111)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:09:44 PM EST
    I have not one single doubt.

    He set up a bopartisan commission (1.00 / 1) (#72)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:34:37 AM EST
    to come up with drastic steps to fix the deficit. the bipartisan commission comes up with a list of stuff that goes after the interests of both sides.

    Obama, who campaigned o bipartisanship, says he's going to use the commissions determinations as a road map (according to this report).

    We kill Obama because he didn't only take the ideas from the bipartisan commission that we liked and reject the rest, which destroys the concept of a bipartisan commission in the first place.


    Let me introduce our President to you because you must not have been hearing him for the last 4 years:


    The deficit doesn't need to be fixed. (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:46:24 AM EST
    Which means we didn't need a deficit commission.  The rest of your argument just falls apart after that.

    And it may have been unintentional, but I do think you may have coined a new word "bo"-partisan; that would be "Barack Obama" - partisan, I guess.

    Somewhat amusing.

    And that president you wanted to introduce us to?  Sorry to tell you that we already met him - it was one of the reasons so many of us did not get on board, or did so reluctantly: we weren't interested in legitimizing Republican ideas and having them pushed on us by a so-called Democrat.


    BO-partisan :) (none / 0) (#89)
    by star on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:12:16 PM EST
    Good one! sigh we are all suffering from Bo partisan depression ...

    Is your statement a fact Anne (none / 0) (#92)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:25:54 PM EST
    Or is it your opinion that we didn't need a deficit commission?

    And if you knew what he was about during the primaries, the idea that you were betrayed is incorrect.


    If there isn't a deficit "problem" or (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:47:54 PM EST
    "crisis," there's no need for a commission, is there?

    As for there not being a deficit crisis, avail yourself of some education on Modern Monetary Theory, read some Randall Wray, Warren Mosler's good, Naked Capitalism, Corrente's done some great work on this subject.  I'm not going to do your homework for you.

    I don't recall saying the Obama betrayed me; he has, on the other hand, betrayed some bedrock Democratic principles and the platform on which they have stood for many years; there's a difference, and it's not so subtle that you should have to have that explained to you.


    We didn't need (none / 0) (#96)
    by lilburro on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:39:31 PM EST
    a deficit commission.  A few months ago the whole thing was pretty much dismissed as silly.

    There was nothing necessary about it.

    Even diehard Obama supporters never took the deficit commission seriously.  (Also John Cole).

    You are totally outside of the progressive consensus, even the pro-Obama progressive consensus, on this one.


    To be fair, probably most of us (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by ruffian on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:05:41 PM EST
    complaining were against the bipartisan commission to begin with. It is not as if we changed our minds about what a great idea a bipartisan solution would be.

    Remember folks, (none / 0) (#94)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:30:44 PM EST
    he's the hopey changey postpartisain unity guy. Except he's not.

    He's a liar and a scoundrel. All politicians are liars, but the WORM redux stating he always said he'd do these things is more than a bit tiresome.

    I think I'll watch baseball instead of PPUS Obama.

    He's too much like what Truman said about Nixon. "He talks out of both sides of his mouth, and he lies out of both sides, too."


    Well (none / 0) (#76)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:48:31 AM EST
    if you are so concerned about Obama winning reelection then you should be against this.

    The only good thing I'm seeing about Obama is that he is showing absolutely that tax cuts do not produce anything.


    Disagree (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:30:05 PM EST
    Whenever Obama or the dems appear to work in a bipartisan way, they get more popular, up and down the ticket.  It's happening right now.

    As I believe I said here the first day I posted:

    It is entirely possible that pushing for liberal priorities without concession will give the GOP all the POTUS and congress. BTD and others have downplayed that by suggesting that if only the democrats do what they'd like, the country will love them for it, but I think the opposite.

    I am a liberal but I believe that if Obama decided today to push in the way being advocated here, it would be a blood bath, we'd get even less in negotiations and what little we'd get would be recersed by President Romney and his congress.

    IMHO of course.

    But that is an opinion backed by the polls (which is really the only indicator that we have).


    You're kidding? (none / 0) (#103)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:51:45 PM EST
    Right now he's with Kerry's numbers from '04. His poll numbers are not good enough for reelection.

    You're the best advocate the GOP has around here. You're even better than the posters that call themselves conservatives on advocating to vote GOP.


    Actually...the polls are showing (none / 0) (#123)
    by christinep on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:42:16 PM EST
    that Obama & the Democrats are growing in public support as a result of being viewed as "reasonable," etc.  As mentioned above, see the latest CNN/Opinion Research, Gallup, & PPP on this subject. The fickle independents are starting to switch again.  It is rather amazing how quickly this change is occurring...of course, it could always swing back & forth a number of times depending upon who is considered more "reasonable."

    Frankly, I think the speech tomorrow could be a surprising mix for all of us.  My wish: That Obama takes advantage of the much-noted Ryan & the Repubs presentation about abolishing govt-guaranteed Medicare and Medicaid while, at the same time, giving a bonus to the rich (via 10% tax reduction) AND contrasts that with a mix favoring revenue-enhancement via recouping Clinton era taxes on the wealthy and raising the Social Security cap. Further: That he uses the S-B Commission as the "bipartisan" underpinning for those two revenue techniques. Given all the hoopla of the last several weeks, I would argue that the public audience is now more attuned & ready for that then earlier when the majority were still in post-election slump and favorability toward the Repubs. My dad used to say "Give them enough rope, and they'll hang themselves." Maybe that has happened with the Repubs.  (I can dream.)


    Poll links? (none / 0) (#129)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 02:18:39 PM EST
    Obama & the Democrats are growing in public support as a result of being viewed as "reasonable," etc.  As mentioned above, see the latest CNN/Opinion Research, Gallup, & PPP on this subject.

    The Repub Congress is losing support, but Obama isn't gaining support.   Based on the RCP synopsis of polls, Obama went from +2 to tied in the latest Gallup poll, and from +4 to -2 in the latest CNN poll.  They don't have data for PPP, but given PPP's wide swing in sampling (party id), I'd be suspect of their results.  They're sample last week was Dem +1 - they're sample this week is Dem +9.


    The polls (none / 0) (#133)
    by christinep on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 02:51:20 PM EST
    CNN/Opinion Research was released yesterday, and can be found on the cnn.com site. PPP was released today, and can be found on their site (and also referenced on dailykos.com. And the Gallup sampling of peoples' attitudes can be found on the Gallup.com site. In addition, the narrative does seem to be shifting because of the contrast to Ryan Paul (The AP carried a story at the beginning of the weekend about how even his own district constituents--substantially, Republican--are concerned about his Medicare proposal, etc.) Finally: Phrasing in stories today--NYTimes, esp--refers to the WH decision to let the Repubs go out there first and then, Obama would put forth his plan (tomorrow) to show the stark difference. A classic negotiation maneuver. (That negotiation approach plays defense first, lets the other guy jump in with something most raise eyebrows abouot, and then sums up & presents a "reasonable" alternative. It can be frustrating to those who do not like the synthesizing presenter; but, it can be quite effective. We'll see, won't we?)

    "Classic negotiation maneuver" (none / 0) (#137)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 03:13:36 PM EST
    ... and "Obama".

    Bonus points for using them in the same sentence.


    Triple word score for (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by observed on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 03:24:41 PM EST
    using "bipartisan".

    Heh! (none / 0) (#138)
    by christinep on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 03:14:58 PM EST
    We heard him just fine (none / 0) (#77)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:49:06 AM EST
    Of course, ...

    ... it just depends on the day he's speaking ... or, of course, ...

    ... if he's trying to get your vote.


    It's that 'blank (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by Madeline on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 03:38:54 PM EST
    screen' thingy:

    "I serve as a blank screen," he wrote in "The Audacity of Hope," "on which people of vastly different political stripes project their own views." "



    Well (none / 0) (#78)
    by lilburro on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:49:16 AM EST
    if people think that doing "bipartisany" things for the sake of being "bipartisany" is a problem, then you should understand why they would not support Obama in 2012.

    Also Obama did say during the campaign that he did not find raising the retirement age appropriate.


    Ummmmm (none / 0) (#2)
    by lilburro on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:31:30 AM EST
    well that doesn't sound like a trial balloon to me.  Obama should know that he's edging towards unforgivable here.

    That's it! (none / 0) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:36:05 AM EST
    I'm done with him.  He is the enemy!

    And good luck with independents (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:39:20 AM EST
    you think this will get you Obama.  They want solutions.  This isn't solutions.  Going to the middle does not get you independent voters during times of crisis.  I never would have thought I would see in my lifetime a President with so much real political capital stand there and hit himself in the head with a hammer over and over and over again until he had to be gotten rid of.

    It doesn't matter, MT (none / 0) (#51)
    by sj on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:17:09 AM EST
    To the funders of the campaigns it will be either Obama or the other Republican.  For them, it's a total win.  For us?  If they have their way, they'll bring back debtor's prison (it has really been said out loud) and privatize all the prisons.  Cheap labor.  That's what they'll have.

    It's what they hope for (none / 0) (#61)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:45:35 AM EST
    I want to see them defend THIS (none / 0) (#24)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:14:32 AM EST
    Nothing yet on Kos, Booman, etc., but I really want to try to see them defend this.  The usual defenses ("He has to do it!  What choice does he have? ...", blah, blah, blah ...

    ... just ain't gonna cut it.  Not with this.


    Here's how I see the defense going: (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by observed on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:43:50 AM EST
    We ALL acknowledge that SS, Medicare, etc. cannot be funded in the future. Obama is being mature by admitting this up front. He could push the pain down the line, but he's too much off a man for that. (Go OBAMA!!!).  Thank GOD that we have an honest man like Obama to defend look after our rights as the necessary dismantling of the entire New Deal takes place. I'm confident that whatever new system is put in place, Obama will make sure that it treats us fairly (You ROCK, OBAMA!!!).

    By the way, my 8 year old is looking for summer work in a clothes factory. He will work 60 hrs/ wk at $1.50. I'm SOOO excited that he has this opportunity to make some money for himself, and begin saving for his future. Life is GOOD with Obama as President!!!


    And here I was, enjoying the (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:54:12 AM EST
    absence of ABG, who I have no doubt would have posted that exact comment - at least the first paragraph.

    I'm sure he's studying up on all the "facts" and getting ready to tell us how it's more imortant than ever that we support Obama, lest the evil Republicans take over the world...


    People don't know history. (none / 0) (#46)
    by observed on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:08:39 AM EST
    I'm not well read at ALL on US history, but at least I can't be fooled into thinking that FDR was a horrible President. It seems that many Dems no longer favor FDR.
    Also, the Republicans have been saying explicitly, for years, that they want to return the US to the conditions of the Gilded Age.
    One semester of high school history is enough to run from anyone who says that.

    Anne (none / 0) (#98)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:47:08 PM EST
    You could just ignore my comments if it's too much for you.

    The fact that you have such a violent reaction to someone who disagrees with you says more about you than me or anything else.

    They are opinions Anne. That's all. Chill out a bit and if you disagree with something I say, just make the counter argument.

    That's what these forums are here for.


    What future can they not be funded in? (none / 0) (#49)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:13:58 AM EST
    Where we stand this minute, we are creating our futures.

    Aackk.... (none / 0) (#55)
    by sj on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:27:39 AM EST
    That first sentence is dead on ABG.

    sj (none / 0) (#100)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:49:22 PM EST
    which sentence? I am still a bit confused by how to track/follow comments.

    Go to (none / 0) (#107)
    by sj on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:58:39 PM EST
    Your Preferences
    User Preferences:  Comments

    You will be given a number of options for comment display mode.  For me, "Nested" works best to track a particular line of commentary.

    Also makes it easier to skip one.

    But you can play with the options and see what suits you best.


    Okay, I see (none / 0) (#140)
    by sj on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 03:22:22 PM EST
    you didn't really want to know how to view comments.  And here I thought that was one of your honest comments.

    As predicted... (none / 0) (#26)
    by jedimom on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:17:49 AM EST
    the flimflam man in Dem clothing to cut SS.


    who couldve suspected a man selected by the deep pockets of Blankfein and Dimon would cut SS...

    who indeed.

    but the really important thing is the MSM liked him right BTD?

    that was the only real difference between Obama and HRC right BTD?

    Yeah, that and a token will get you on a subway.

    This guy is as different as can be from HRC. He has no fight in him and if he did, he would fight for the Wall St crowd.

    I will vote GOP so people can SEE why Dems were better, back when we had real Dems.

    Allowing a GOPer in Dem clothing to govern merely makes people throw up their hands, say 'there is no difference' and give up.

    And I think that is a feature, not a bug.

    Since we are all on our own in this Brave New Obama world, we may as well vote like it, and that is where I am now.

    We may as well all buy Doomsteads and stock up on canned food.

    The only way (none / 0) (#30)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:28:11 AM EST
    that we'll have any chance of having a "real" Dem in office in 2016, is if we don't elect Obama in 2012.  He has to go.

    There's another way (none / 0) (#45)
    by NYShooter on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:07:36 AM EST
    Start a Web organization, a coalition comprised of the millions of P.O'd democrats like many of us here. Taking into account the "field of crap" making up the Republican Presidential Contenders, we take our coalition and negotiate with the Best (currently unknown) Republican we can find and offer him/her our support in exchange for some iron clad guarantees. There just must be some dissatisfied "sleepers" in their midst.

    Crazy? Yes. Far-fetched? Yes. Could it work? it sure would be a hoot to try.

    Why not? could be the beginning of that illusive third party many of us long for.


    Not far-fetched. Do it on Facebook. (none / 0) (#47)
    by observed on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:09:26 AM EST
    Cairo supports the Facebook model of change.

    On it's (none / 0) (#54)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:23:57 AM EST
    face that might be worthwhile BUT can you trust the GOP to keep promises on SS or Medicare either?

    You certainly can't trust Obama but then who in the GOP could you trust? The only one that I could see who wouldn't ding SS is Huckabee because of his record but darn his view on social issues is so out there.


    Well, obviously (none / 0) (#160)
    by NYShooter on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 07:24:07 PM EST
    the comment was meant simply as an opening concept gambit. Who to trust, can we trust,..... just details, but that's why I said "iron clad."

    And, as to who in the republican fold, I think I also said something like, "not now visible." You're right, of course; there's no one acceptable if we're limited to the obvious ones out there now. But, all we need is one. It's a great big beautiful world out there, and I simply won't accept that there isn't one decent, patriotic (in the best sense of the word) person to fill that slot. And, certainly, he/she doesn't have to come from the political arena.

    Yes, its a radical idea, but, I don't think it's an insanely radical idea. Just think of the sense of dread we feel now, trapped in this seemingly intractable prison of corruption, cronyism, and depraved capitalism.

    Trust your gut; the first sense I felt when I heard of this was, "Yeah, wow, that feels good. You quickly look around, quickly try to find the immediate fatal flaw, and find, as a smile involuntarily forms on your mouth, "yeah, why not; it may be a long shot, but at least there's hope.

    And, I'll take hope over dread any day.


    You're right (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 07:48:35 PM EST
    about the hope and the dread. Every time Obama goes into a negotiation with the GOP there's a huge sense of dread.

    That's pretty much how I feel (none / 0) (#81)
    by Demi Moaned on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:57:19 AM EST
    I've posted several comments ... elsewhere within the last twenty-four hours saying I no longer support the President's re-election.

    Who's cutting Social Security? (none / 0) (#147)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 04:08:29 PM EST
    How do we know Ezra is right? (none / 0) (#33)
    by Demi Moaned on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:41:32 AM EST
    This, from today's LA Times tells a different story:
    Reporting from Washington--
    President Obama will call for shrinking the nation's long-term deficits by raising taxes on wealthier Americans and requiring them to pay more into Social Security, drawing a barbed contrast with a Republican plan to save money by deeply slashing Medicare, Medicaid and other domestic spending.

    Obama will offer some spending cuts, including trims to the Pentagon's budget, but his speech Wednesday is likely to provide Americans with a vivid choice between higher taxes or fewer benefits, issues that will color the national debate straight through the 2012 election.

    Want to bet? I'd like to believe the (none / 0) (#35)
    by observed on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:44:49 AM EST
    LA Times is right, but color me pink if Obama calls for higher taxes on the wealthy.

    So what? (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 09:52:00 AM EST
    Obama has said that before and reneged on it. He says a lot of things but then doesn't back up what he says with actions.

    Honestly, I thought no one could be worse than Bush. Obama is coming close.


    I have little doubt that Obama will (none / 0) (#97)
    by MO Blue on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:41:58 PM EST
    call for higher taxes on the wealthy before he negotiates a "compromises" and signs into law legislation that lowers taxes on corporation and the the rich.  

    Tricky Barry. (none / 0) (#101)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:49:53 PM EST
    "I have a secret plan to end the war in vietnam, I mean Iraq and Afghanistan."

    I guess the secret plan was to lower taxes even more during expensive wars, cut out safety nets, and lower entrance standards so that people who need food and shelter will flock to the recruiting stations.

    I have a plan, let's pull the troops and equipment out, and what equipment we can't redeploy, let's use thermite grenades to make sure they are unusable.

    Congress (D & R, Wall Street)won't go for it, though... too much profit in war.


    According to MT, the military is having (none / 0) (#113)
    by MO Blue on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:11:14 PM EST
    no trouble filling their quotas now.

    But with new war coming (none / 0) (#116)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:15:23 PM EST
    against eastasia, we'll need more troops. Or is it eurasia? I can never remember...

    If he does (none / 0) (#102)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:50:13 PM EST
    will you give him credit.

    "Credit" for what?!? (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:57:02 PM EST
    Giving a speech where he says he wants to do something good?

    Are you trying to be funny?


    Well (none / 0) (#110)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:09:10 PM EST
    it starts somewhere.  You say you want him to raise taxes on the rich. If he says we should do it and makes a good case, I assumed that would be a start.

    I am trying to think about it from the perspective of someone who wants the left to seem reasonable.


    Obama's (none / 0) (#114)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:11:54 PM EST
    word is no good. I will give him props when it actually happens but I'm not hopeful on that account.

    He'll probably drop raising taxes on the wealthy before negotiations even take place.


    Of two things that may well be on the table.... (none / 0) (#126)
    by christinep on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:59:23 PM EST
    increasing taxes for the wealthy AND raising the cap on Social Security...what if the Dems get one and not the other at this stage (because, at the 2012 budget stage next fall, the "other" will be there yet again)? Does he get partial credit?

    Obama (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 02:04:13 PM EST
    has shown himself time and again to be willing to give away the store. I would be surprised if he got either because, you know, the GOP is going to balk to signing onto either of those.

    Sure (none / 0) (#134)
    by sj on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 02:52:01 PM EST
    He would from me.  As long as the cost wasn't too great.  Like raising the retirement age or something like that.

    No, it doesn't necessarily ... (none / 0) (#130)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 02:26:38 PM EST
    ... "start somewhere", particularly if it's in an Obama speech.  Too many times, that's where it dies.

    If he increases the marginal rates/caps SS for the wealthy and actually fights for it, he deserves kudos.  If he gives a pretty speech about it and then reverses himself or caves, he doesn't.  Pretty simple.

    Of course, this assumes that he's not receiving with one hand and giving away with the other, as he is so often wont to do.


    It's funny. Obama already said taxes (none / 0) (#117)
    by observed on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:20:30 PM EST
    for the rich ought to be higher---right when he signed the extension of the Bush tax cuts into law.

    Still holding on to some hope? (none / 0) (#57)
    by sj on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:29:44 AM EST
    Who knows?  You might be right.  And I might win the Mega-millions.  

    We'll know soon enough ... (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by Demi Moaned on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:54:59 AM EST
    and there'll be plenty of time for our excoriations, if warranted, once we know for sure.

    No, I don't expect much good policy to come from this President after so many missed opportunities. But neither do I feel the need to condemn him for what he has not yet done.


    With most pols (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by sj on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:31:43 PM EST
    "once we know for sure" is too late to affect the outcome.  Lines should be drawn in advance.

    With this one, it doesn't matter.  He isn't interested in our concerns either before or after.  

    I don't condemn him.  He is what he is.  I say what I say to expose him.  


    IIRC first came news that Obama was (none / 0) (#73)
    by MO Blue on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:41:03 AM EST
    willing to "compromise" on extending the tax cuts for the rich (Act 1). Axelrod, or another Obama spokesperson, walked that statement back saying that Obama was against extending the the tax cuts for the rich (Act 2). Then Obama negotiated a "compromise" that gave even more generous tax cuts to the rich than Bush's tax cuts and raised taxes on people making more than $20,000 a year (Final Act).

    Throw enough version of your position out there to confuse the population. I wouldn't doubt that there are people who think that Obama kept his promise and fought off extending the tax cut to the rich.


    The speech is less than 24 hours away (none / 0) (#124)
    by christinep on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:51:40 PM EST
    Yep...it doesn't hurt to await the real evidence  of the WH direction on the deficit. (Note also: The AP story today that the "cuts" agree to last week by the WH, in large part, reflected unused monies from last year and spared those programs--such as HeadStart, Pell Grants, etc.--that many of us did not want to see as unjust targets.  I'm curious about the reaction to AP's story....just sayin'.)

    Some specifics about the Continuing (none / 0) (#64)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 10:56:36 AM EST
    Resolution to fund the 2011 budget, from David Dayen.

    Some "sleight-of-hand," as he calls it, accounts for some of the cuts.

    Here are the troubling parts:

    Starting with the NYT:

    The spending bill would maintain the maximum Pell grant award for low-income students at $5,550. But it would end a new Pell grant program for summer school students, saving hundreds of millions of dollars.

    President Obama successfully resisted Republican efforts to take all federal money from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. But the spending bill cuts money for the program that finances many family-planning services provided by Planned Parenthood and other organizations, Title X of the Public Health Service Act. The appropriation would be reduced to $300 million, from $317 million, Congressional aides said.

    The Environmental Protection Agency, which has been in the cross hairs of the newly empowered House Republicans, took one of the largest hits, according the House appropriations documents.

    The agency's budget under the agreement is reduced by $1.6 billion, or 16 percent from last year's level. Specifically, funding levels for Land and Water Conservation Fund programs were reduced 33 percent.

    Dayen adds:

    I'll just add a bit to that. Food safety is cut 1% below the previous year's level. The Labor Department program for green jobs has been cut. The Justice Department's asset forfeiture fund, which helps fund its criminal investigations, got a $500 million hit. The Special Supplemental Feeding Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) has been cut $500 million from 2010 levels. The total reduction in the Financial Services area, barely a year out from passing Dodd-Frank, approaches 10%. There's a $942 million cut to the Community Development Fund program, which is nearly 1/4 of the total. And two programs in the health care law, Kent Conrad's co-ops and Ron Wyden's Free Choice voucher, have been eliminated. The latter is particularly distressing

    Why?  From DK:

    Had Free Choice Vouchers survived, they would have given this group a third option: to take the tax free money that their employer would otherwise contribute to the cost of their health insurance and use it to buy a more affordable health insurance plan at the exchange. This provision would have meant that fewer Americans would have to go without health insurance and by leveraging private dollars versus relying solely on taxpayer funded subsidies, it would have ultimately saved money.

    I suspect this is only going to get worse in the coming weeks and months.

    Gee Anne, it is regrettable that many (none / 0) (#75)
    by MO Blue on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:46:30 AM EST
    people will be hurt by this legislation but it is necessary for Obama's reelection. A small price for other people to pay. Or is that we all must make sacrifices. I get confused. (In case anyone wonders, this comment is very, very sarcastic and the exact opposite of what I believe).

    Of course, we don't like any of this, (none / 0) (#83)
    by Anne on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:01:57 PM EST
    and it will be painful for a lot of people, but it could be worse - it could be Republicans doing it.  We should be grateful, or afraid or - wait! - I have it: "realistic."  It is all for the greater good - no, that's not it...oh, yeah, the greater glory of this wise and brilliant president. I mean, everyone knows we had to DO SOMETHING about the deficit - why else would Obama have created a commission about it?  Golly, he's so smart, isn't he?

    If children go hungry, well, that will teach their mothers to have children they can't afford, right?  And if she doesn't have money, no woman should be thinking about a family, much less planning for one, so no great loss there.  Food safety?  I mean, who can afford things like meat and fresh veggies anyway - as long as the mac `n' cheese is still good (hey, pantry moth larvae is like free protein!), and the rice and beans still cheap, no worries.  Eat enough beans and people might not even miss that heating assistance; genius, I tell you, genius.

    Well, I've probably exceeded my snark limit today...


    We (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by chrisvee on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:19:39 PM EST
    have to sacrifice our inalienable rights in order to re-elect a Prez who will nominate SC justices who will protect our inalienable rights....oy.

    I think (none / 0) (#112)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:10:21 PM EST
    perspective on what the dems have conceded and what would be happening if they ran the show has been lost.

    Again, no way to provide a window into that alternate universe to prove the point unfortunately.


    We've (none / 0) (#144)
    by chrisvee on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 03:33:58 PM EST
    moved from transformational opportunity for the Dems to transformational opportunity for the Repubs on Obama's watch. That's my perspective.

    We'd probably (5.00 / 1) (#120)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:23:54 PM EST
    be BETTER off if Republicans were doing it....Republicans seem to get far more blame for doing these kinds of things than Democrats do.  When Democrats do it?  Well, it just had to be done.  When Republicans do the very same things, they are EEEEEVIL.

    And to answer your sub-commenters below, I think it's a distortion to believe that Republicans would be FAR WORSE. Obama is doing the dirty work that Bush FAILED to do and he's doing it with blessing or reluctant acceptance of so-called liberals.


    Trial balloon? (none / 0) (#69)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:11:35 AM EST
    Klein cites reports from WP business reporters Lori Montgomery and Zachary A. Goldfarb, but their report doesn't give any specifics about their source of information, other than "people briefed by the Whitehouse".

    Do you suppose this could be a trial balloon floated by the WH to gauge reaction prior to his speech?

    Not that I would bet a nickel against endorsing the CFC...

    It seems (so far) (none / 0) (#104)
    by lilburro on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:53:57 PM EST
    that this WaPo report was yet another infuriating trial balloon.  Hopefully the rage it has inspired has been heard loud and clear by the Obama Administration.

    Naw (5.00 / 2) (#109)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:07:17 PM EST
    the rage does nothing to change his mind. Remember "you have nowhere else to go" and the "GOP is crazy"

    Some of Obama's boosters (none / 0) (#119)
    by lilburro on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:23:45 PM EST
    may say that, but I don't recall Obama ever saying that.  I think they send out trial balloons for a reason.  And it's not so we can admire them as they float over our heads.

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:27:09 PM EST
    do you think Axelrod is a booster or a part of the "inner circle"?

    I don't recall Axelrod (none / 0) (#122)
    by lilburro on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:34:55 PM EST
    ever being as blatant as that.  And I don't think that is necessarily the Obama policy on every issue.  He's responded to outside pressure on GLBT issues, for example.  One thing I've learned over the past few years is that the Obama team loves trial balloons.  They don't always say what they mean.

    Axelrod (none / 0) (#125)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:53:08 PM EST
    said something to the extent that Hillary voters had no where else to go in '08 which was massively condescending along with his trashing of white working class voters. That is why I'm bringing up his name.

    Amen to they don't always say what they mean but the problem is which one do they mean? Do they mean the LA times article or the WaPo?

    And even if Obama comes out and says he agrees with the LA Times article what's to say that he'll actually follow through with it? His word is no good. Jeff said he sounds like Nixon and I have to say I agree.


    I wouldn't be surprised ... (none / 0) (#108)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:04:13 PM EST
    ... if he did both i.e. call for higher taxes on the wealthy while endorsing the CFC in general terms.  It's the safest/"above-the fray" route that he repeatedly chooses.

    Uh-oh - just hit the fan at TPM (none / 0) (#71)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 11:28:34 AM EST
    TPM just posted an article about this.

    Even over there, no one's trying to justify it ... some very unhappy commenters.

    Tick tock (none / 0) (#105)
    by waldenpond on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:55:07 PM EST
    Just wait..... it will get a little closer to campaign season and they'll get behind him 110%... Dems loyalists are identical to Repubs in their delusion of voting against their own interests.  

    I'll wait until tomorrow... (none / 0) (#90)
    by huzzlewhat on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 12:13:29 PM EST
    The LA Times is reporting that Obama's going to counter Ryan's plan by proposing hiking taxes on the upper income brackets and trimming defense spending.

    My reaction hinges on what he actually comes out with on the day. (Never mind that it's distressing that two such directly opposing proposals seem equally likely to me.)  If he comes out with what the LATimes is saying, he'll actually gain back ground that he's lost with me. If he promotes the Simpson-Bowles plan, as the Washington Post claims, well, I'm finally through.

    The view from the other side of the line (none / 0) (#115)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 01:13:32 PM EST
    The Corner blog today:

    "So the budget deal is supposed to deliver $38 billion in spending cuts, including $20 billion in cuts to domestic discretionary spending. (House Republicans originally passed $61 billion of cuts in that category of spending.) Based on news accounts, quite a lot of that $20 billion could be phony: $6.2 billion in unspent money for the Census; $2.5 billion of highway funds that couldn't be spent; $3.5 billion of unused spending authority in a children's health-care program. Is it possible that Republicans have gone from $61 billion in domestic discretionary savings all the way down to $8 billion?"

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by Yman on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 02:33:45 PM EST
    11th dimensional accounting.

    Cuts (5.00 / 1) (#132)
    by lilburro on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 02:47:40 PM EST
    - Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC): $504 million

    • State and local law enforcement: $415 million

    • Community oriented policing services (COPS): $296 million

    • Green jobs innovation fund: $40 million

    • Community health centers: $600 million

    • Dislocated worker assistance: $125 million

    • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA): $45 million

    • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): $49 million

    • IDEA (special education): $16 million

    • Infectious disease prevention: $277 million

    • National Institutes of Health: $260 million


    ...nothing in this deal with help lower the country's unemployment rate or do anything to boost economic growth. It will simply result in fewer services for people still grappling with the effects of the Great Recession.



    Quite possible. (none / 0) (#128)
    by christinep on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 02:04:35 PM EST
    Site Violator! (none / 0) (#181)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Apr 13, 2011 at 10:55:47 AM EST