Monday Morning Open Thread

President Obama is talking about the debt ceiling negotiations. I'm not watching it so I can't tell you what he is saying.

Open Thread.

< Meanwhile, Back In The Real World | Obama On 'Entitlement' Programs >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    I'm watching (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 10:32:13 AM EST
    He says that he has to cut Medicare and Soc Security to save them.

    Then I say let them be unsaved. (5.00 / 5) (#2)
    by masslib on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 10:34:35 AM EST
    He's so full of cr@p. (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 10:34:51 AM EST
    Did ya catch the line about how you can still achieve the American dream if you live responsibly?

    I did and he's 100% full of shit (none / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 10:39:48 AM EST
    Nobody works harder than my soon to be son-in-law.  He has jumped through hoops too to gain a good reputation and get what landscaping jobs that are out there.  According to the all too obvious tea leaves though, next year our economy is going to be worse.  I anticipate much worse because we are cutting government jobs which are just about the only static "middle class" job market left.  For every government job flushed I expect to lose two private sector jobs at this point in our economic evolution.  So is my son going to just pull jobs out of his butt next year?  Nobody works harder or is more dedicated, but there will not be the jobs.

    LOL... (none / 0) (#14)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 10:51:12 AM EST
    I think they got that backwards, the white picket fence and 2 cars in the drive can only be obtained on the arm for working stiffs, irresponsibly.

    Unless you're in on the grift of course, or get very lucky.  


    Social Security isn't the source of (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 10:36:26 AM EST
    our deficit problems he says, but as part of of a package it must be strengthened to be there in upcoming years.  And it needs to be done now.  So he is using the stress of the debt ceiling to cut Social Security right now.  He literally admits he is doing that.  He said that raising taxes would not fix Social Security though and he is flat out lying there.  He makes me furious because his Social Security payroll tax decrease is weakening Social Security right now and he decided to put Social Security in more danger during a horrible economic downturn and now he is insisting that Social Security be cut to save it.

    What a freaking idiot. (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by masslib on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 10:38:51 AM EST
    BTD, if there really was not a dimes worth of difference then honestly what is the point of this Democratic Party?  

    There is a difference. There always will be. (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Addison on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 10:46:16 AM EST
    There is a difference between Obama's Democratic Party and the Republican Party. That's actually the whole problem -- there will ALWAYS be a difference. Obama is under the impression that the gap between the two parties can be bridged, that he can get down to a penny's worth of difference and that this will result in good technocratic solutions for the country. But as he moves to closer they move farther away, to the right. Negotiating with the GOP is like chasing a rabbit: you get close but he darts away, then you get close again, then he darts away again...

    So there is a difference between the parties. That is abundantly clear when you look at the whole picture. But Obama himself need to internalize that fact; there's no technocratic Shangri-La to be found in the dead zone between the parties.


    Amen (none / 0) (#17)
    by lilburro on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 10:57:42 AM EST
    there's no technocratic Shangri-La to be found in the dead zone between the parties.

    because he is a (none / 0) (#8)
    by observed on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 10:40:56 AM EST
    Republican. Of course he wants  to kill SS

    What do you define as "killing" SS? (none / 0) (#15)
    by Addison on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 10:51:45 AM EST
    Whatever Obama does to "save" it. (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by observed on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:42:13 AM EST
    So just a reverse "no true Scotsman"? (none / 0) (#35)
    by Addison on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:52:49 AM EST
    The Big Deal (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Addison on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 10:40:24 AM EST
    We could have gotten $3.8 trillion ($3,800,000,000,000) worth of revenue over 10 years -- i.e. pretty substantial debt reduction if the revenue had been applied to the debt -- if the Bush tax cuts had simply been allowed to lapse. That's as big a dollar amount as the now-defunct "big deal"! All for the rather minor "inconvenience" of going back to Clinton-era tax rates.

    I don't recall there being mass riots against the IRS in the 1990s over taxes, so I don't think they were that onerous. I seem to remember things were going pretty well, and that the major financial disaster involved investors being idiots and losing their own money by giving millions to random 20-year old kids with computers and access to Microsoft Frontpage. That kind of crisis seems pretty quaint and harmless these days.

    He is being forced to repeat time and (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 10:43:48 AM EST
    again that Social Security doesn't have anything to do with our debt, but he is going to cut it to save it and he's going to use this "package" and "deal" to do it.  The reporters are making him say it over and over and over again.

    The question I would love to ask him is, (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:10:26 AM EST
    "given that the debt ceiling has never before been used as a bargaining chip to so openly and dangerously advance ideological agendas, why would you set that precedent now, and do so with policies that we know from past experience will not create jobs or grow the economy?"

    And the follow up would be - assuming I had not been tased and removed on a gurney - "given that fewer people working means less money for the Social Security Trust Fund, shouldn't any vision for the strengthening of the program begin there, and perhaps include a lifting of the ceiling on wages subject to the tax?  Why should people who make more than $106,800 effectively get a raise once they reach the current ceiling?"

    Finally, I would ask, "What is bold about cutting spending and inflicting pain on those who have already borne more than their fair share?  Isn't the bolder course, and the more humane course, to harness the power of government to improve the quality of people's lives, in keeping with long-standing Democratic principles?"

    Yeah, yeah... there's a big belly laugh in there, but I can dream...escapism is about all we have left.


    Almost a step forward. (none / 0) (#12)
    by Addison on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 10:47:35 AM EST
    At this point I'm happy he's at least making the point that Social Security is unrelated to the debt, even if that fact is being used in a bizarre manner and context.

    MT: Did he use the word "cut?" (none / 0) (#44)
    by christinep on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:33:20 PM EST
    What, specifically, did Obama say he would "cut" with regard to Social Security?

    There are two reasons that I ask: (1) My recollection is that he avoided any specifics as to Social Security--as well he should in negotiations such as these--and that he referred to "strengthening" the system? If he specifically said "cut" Social Security benefits, I would be visiting family graves to listen for rolling over in dismay. If not, maybe we are prematurely filling in the blanks?  (2) My take on the straightforward statement that the debt is not effected by Social Security itself was a positive one because he was going out of his way to be direct--as opposed to blurring the connection as so many others have previously done. The press was not making him do anything, IMO. Rather Obama took advantage of the opportunity to clarify that Social Security is not a negative drag on the debt itself. Yet, you heard something different in this regard?


    "trimming benefits" (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:38:19 PM EST
    sounds like a cut to me . . .  

    I'm sorry (none / 0) (#50)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:42:00 PM EST
    I didn't pay close enough attention to his exact wording.

    MSNBC's Luke Russert (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Addison on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:00:05 AM EST
    Luke Russert opines instantly that this is "full-on triangulation" from the President. Now, that may be true, but it sounds like a 15-year old high school newspaper sports writer talking about how his school's star pitcher shows shades of Sandy Koufax or something. Couldn't they at least have the decency to send him out to cover local politics for 12 months or something so can build actual gravitas? He always comes off like he's operating off the bullet points of some sort of PoliSci 101 powerpoint presentation.

    Nah. Boehner's doing the triangulation (none / 0) (#20)
    by Dan the Man on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:07:44 AM EST
    Obama wants to kill Social Security/Medicare/cut the deficit.  Everyone who isn't a rabid right-winger wants to keep Social Security/Medicare.  Boehner proposes doing something in between by proposing a plan which he says would cut the deficit without killing Social Security/Medicare.  Obama's just being a rabid right-winger with no support except for David Brooks and other Villagers.

    I think "kill" is hyperbole... (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Addison on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:11:32 AM EST
    ...can you please explain what you mean by it?

    We gotta get this fiscal house in order (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:01:06 AM EST
    And then we can make the investments needed to win the future?  WTF is he saying? He sounds like every clown right down to the last guy I had to speak to before they finally cut me my ending of my 401k and I'm out of this ripoff palace check.  They kept telling me that if I take my money away from the magic fairy it can't touch it with its magic wand and make it breed and get really big. I was phuckin stupid to ever buy into that magic bullshit to begin with.  It is dumb as a post to just hand your life savings over to someone while they tell you that they are going to do magic things with it that you wouldn't and couldn't understand, but I still did it because everyone else was doing it.

    This will kill consumer confidence (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Towanda on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:21:06 AM EST
    and thus consumer demand, already on their deathbeds.

    Obama has just created not more certainty, desperately needed, but more instability.  

    The car that is a wreck just will have to be helped along for thousands more miles.  The vacation plan is being canceled today, even though it already had been cut from a week down to only a long weekend.  The family members without jobs do not have any expenses that can be canceled, of course, and now Obama has made their hopes of any employment even worse.  So that's where our savings for the car and the vacation will have to go, just to keep them going at all.

    Sorry, auto industry and peripheral businesses.  Sorry, tourism industry and peripheral businesses.  You voted for this, when Obama kept talking about our old-age insurance, in which we invested for decades, as an "entitlement."  You voted for this when his followers called us "welfare queens" for counting on the premiums from not having that money to save then.  So we'll have to save and not spend all that we can do now.  

    I am finding it harder and harder (none / 0) (#30)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:39:29 AM EST
    to see how a President Romney would be significantly worse than President Obama.

    Sure, Romney is a big old flip-flopper when it comes to his positions on issues, but Obama is hardly consistent here, and he does have that phantom aide who kept writing down liberal positions on issues , positions Obama has been insisting in recent years were never his own (same-sex marriage, anyone?), on candidate questionnaires And, yes, Romney made his millions at Bain by buying up companies and then slashing jobs, but Obama is aiding and abetting the continued erosion of U.S. jobs today.

    And don't even bring up that old bug-a-boo "but, but, Roe v. Wade." We all know Obama cares about women's health only as a something he can bargain away.

    So, tell me, how is Romney worse? "Cause I don't see it.


    there are a few ways (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by CST on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:38:59 PM EST
    Obama is better than Romney.

    Supreme court is one of them, hard to complain much there, and considering the age of some justices, we may be positioned to see a flip in the next 4-12 years.  DADT.

    Believe it or not, the economy is also one of them.  There are a number of things that Obama has done that a president Romney would not do, or that Romney would do that Obama has not, such as extended unemployment benefits, bailing out Detroit, among other things.

    And one last little thing that was in the news today, but I've been reading about the past few weeks is the role of the EPA.  Believe it or not, it does make a difference having Democrats in charge.  Link.  I'm sure this isn't the only agency where that is the case.  The federal government is huge.  Having democrats in key positions on the ground makes a big difference too.


    All that you said plus last paragraph in caps! (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by christinep on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:42:56 PM EST
    As for EPA: The Repubs have been trying to absorb or possibly abolish the Agency since the days of Gorsuch under Reagan. (Oh...and Interior will be equally squashed.)

    These changes have longer term consequences than many people realize.


    It is not Roe v. Wade; it is (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by christinep on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:39:23 PM EST
    the entire spectrum of cases. Focus especially on a generation (at least) of United Citizens results being replicate during the many coming Supreme Court sessions. It is a lot more that Roe; and, it will be for a very long time.

    How Obama wants to treat (none / 0) (#78)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 07:20:24 PM EST
    big business though over the welfare of human beings disturbs me.  In that area, what sort of Justice can I trust him to choose if the choice is going to be his?

    Well...JJ Sotomayor & Kagan are good (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by christinep on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 09:03:00 PM EST
    Certainly, we can always conjure up someone(s) who might be almost perfect or to our individual liking.  But, in terms of background & performance thus far & history, these two women justices are hard to beat, MT.

    The movement toward a business court preceded Obama. IMO, with his appointees, there is more than a chance to leverage in the other direction. With the majority now, however (and, most definitely, with a bigger majority under a Republican President of this generation) we will continue to preclude access via standing decisions & via obvious Roberts' Court preferences for protecting corporations from challenge.

    All I can say is: My passion in the area of the Court and the harm that would certainly befall our system in the event of a Republican President next term is probably equalled by your dedication & belief in the work that honorable soldiers do for our country.  Hear me, MT: I try not to exaggerate...but, when all is said & done, this is the difference that we will all feel to our great regret if the next SCt nominee(s) is made by a Republican President. The longlasting effects cannot be overstated, IMO.


    This history of where we have (none / 0) (#80)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 10:15:31 PM EST
    been so far with him on this is true.  His policy decisions are so insane though.  Can I trust his future Justice choice as much when he isn't concerned about getting re elected?  I'm really scared of this guy anymore.

    A thought that might comfort you (none / 0) (#83)
    by christinep on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 01:34:42 PM EST
    is to look at the total background and locate what scares you the most...and then compare to any Republican candidate and background words/actions. Obama's whole history--including the important matter of being raised by a courageous, single mother & equally competent, outspoken grandmother--suggests that the early potential for good will be realized once the next election is under his belt.

    Frankly, I have long thought that--no matter the twists & turns that obviously followed our resource (blood & treasure) overextension in wars, in wall street and related shenanigans, & in the banking/loan industry driven mortgage market--President Obama would be re-elected. A few reasons: (1) Demographic changes already taking effect in key electoral states...rendering the ol' Nixon southern strategy almost a nullification in itself. (2) Assuming the Repubs troll along with the candidates they have...well, in terms of issues & lack of trustworthy personalities, they seem to be tying their own hands (Subtract also: The emotional social issues of the past as in their playing the fear of gays are pretty much non-starter issues; the foreign policy & defense issues to date seem to have been resolved favorably for Obama in that he has belied the wimp factor typically ascribed to Dems, and has even wowed some as a "mensch"; the health care issue is drying up for the Repubs as each provision kicks in and more support for ACA ticks up, albeit slowly...and the Repubs have no plan; and--this could be the real interesting one--the theatre that is the debt limit discussions seems to be playing out as recalcitrant Repubs v. reasonable "adult in the room" Dems. As for the latter, note the interesting adjectival change in some of the newspapers stories which tends to paint the Repubs now as standing foursquare for protecting rich guys' tax dollars.  Hmmm.)

    Yet...to win in this divided polity, Obama needs to attract back the middlin' bunch--the ones that various analyses are showing sat out 2010, but supported him in 2008. The wavering "independents."  The responsible "eat your peas" adult appeals to those voters. Even while the push by the WH to reach them for 2012 may sound squishy, scary, etc. to us.  


    A bit more (none / 0) (#84)
    by christinep on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 01:47:00 PM EST
    No...I'm not ignoring JOBS. He must do more and be seen as doing more. The news on the job market must be seen to be improving..."headed in the right direction" being the key...and, soon.

    With that, recall: Since the lame-duck session last winter, the Repubs made clear their express intent to deal primarily (read: only) with deficits & debt. As the only appropriators, they have a strong hand in the matter...no jobs bills emanating from the appropriators. Nothing. (Mayhaps, that was what they wanted--bring down everything in order to bring down the President. I try not to be so blunt on "motivations" talk; but, there is a lot of reason to be in this case.)
    The problem is that Obama is doing better than expected--considering the commentary now by those who write the articles, etc. and influence ultimately overall perception--in the debt "balance" argument.


    as BTD pointed out here (none / 0) (#61)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 01:23:09 PM EST
    not too long ago: a presidential election presents a choice between parties

    & a choice between parties has ramifications for all kinds of federal agencies & appointments

    have you forgotten the Cheney regime? The Reagan/Bush I era?

    the Dems suck right now, but it's also true that the GOP is much much worse

    that is reality

    & a president is not a king, even if the MSM persists in approaching the president on bended knee - imo, now & in the future, we all need to remember that there are 3 branches of government that are supposed to be equal - & after we remember that, we need to start leaning on our senators & representatives to do their damn jobs & act like an equal branch & stand up to presidents when their policies are going off the rails


    Obama cannot relate to the average hard working (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by samsguy18 on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:35:22 AM EST
    American.......Any one who has followed this man's career since the eary 90's knows his actual resume and job history is nowhere near the fabricated BS put out there by the MSM.

    But, but, he's Teh One! (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:28:01 PM EST
    It's his advisors! etc...

    Well, my income dropped 80 percent during this presidency, and unemployment just keeps on keeping on.

    Teachers get laid off, and Obama tells ME to tighten my belt?

    I'm not Shazam, Barry.

    If you were my employee you would have been fired a year ago.

    Stocks fall one frikkin percent and Obama and his advisors need the fainting couch.

    Ridiculous. The most inept administration ever. Seriously, the incompetence, it burns. Let's ask all the living presidents to come in and take over... yes, even W. He can at least give speeches to piss people off.

    On a lighter note... (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 01:19:05 PM EST
    since the news is a drag...again:)

    Summer concert series is heating up...The Great South Bay Music Festival this weekend with David Bromberg, Electric Hot Tuna, Umphry's McGee and many more.  

    Then a monster 7/22, one night of The Gathering of the Vibes up in CT with The Levon Helm Band, Further, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Taj Mahal, Big Sams Funky Nation, and many more.  Kickin' myself for not locking up the 3 day pass, Elvis Costello & Janes Addiction on Saturday...might have to rectify that err.

    Then the mighty Toots on 7/25 in BK...maybe on 7/19 as well, limited tix available at the door for that sold out date.

    To keep on the topic of a sh*t economy, here's a Toots classic....Time Tough.

    I go to bed but sleep won't come
    Get up in the night
    I couldn't fight my feelings
    Early in the morning
    It's just the same situation
    Here comes the landlord just a knocking upon my door
    I've got four hundred a month rent to pay
    And I can't find a job
    Let me tell you time tough

    Oh, don't tease! It is stay at home time. (none / 0) (#60)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 01:23:08 PM EST
    I got a ways to go... (none / 0) (#62)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 01:32:32 PM EST
    to catch up to you my dear...besides, gotta get the fun in before my job or fun money goes poof.

    Summer is just not conducive to self-imposed hermitude...I don't know how I'm gonna get the roll rebuilt for the special lady's visit with all this temptation, I'm stretching it as it is:)


    Has she booked her flight? (none / 0) (#64)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 01:59:39 PM EST
    Nope... (none / 0) (#67)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 02:16:30 PM EST
    we pared it doen to two timeframes...around the weekend of 8/20 for my beloved Midnight Ramble at Levon's...my preferred dates because I can get time off work no problems.  Or around Labor Day for the Moedown Festival and Manu Chao at Terminal 5, but I can't get any time off work, days are spoken for...would miss first night of Moedown and less time to spend together...but she is a huge Manu Chao fan so we'll make it work if she has her heart set on seeing Manu with her gringo loco.

    See, someone knows how to negotiate! (none / 0) (#69)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 02:34:20 PM EST
    Not me babe:).... (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by kdog on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 02:55:57 PM EST
    I'm worse than Obama, I'd give away the store, my first born, and both pinkies to please the special lady.

    Pero mi mexicana amor no es como El GOP, ella no aprovechar de mi voluntad de compromiso:)


    Actually, I was thinking your special lady (none / 0) (#74)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 04:36:57 PM EST
    has the upper hand here.

    The death of the democratic party (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by loveed on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 01:50:33 PM EST
     If obama cared anything about his country or party, he would not seek re-election.
     He knows he in over his head. His arrogance and ego will not let him. He only cares about himself,instead of the country.
     Where is the future candidates for the party? Hillary is no longer in play. Name one.
     It's painful watching this administration. We're in trouble, and he keeps giving these hooky speeches at the wrong time. I would say'' the republican has him by the balls'',but he doesn't have any.
     We will see if the republican can come up with a good candidate( I still think it will be Huntsman).
    It's there election to lose.

     Well the democrat sold there soul to the devil to elect him,and he has destroyed them.

    His wife initially wanted him to agree to (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 02:01:34 PM EST
    only one term, if elected; and he has stated he wouldn't mind being just serving for one term--if it were successful.  Best thing he could do is announce he won't run for reelection--but change VP's first.  

    A song to go with your post: (none / 0) (#66)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 02:01:49 PM EST
    I've had the blues for long time (none / 0) (#73)
    by loveed on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:47:46 PM EST
    He is all over his new infrastructure bank (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 10:41:38 AM EST
    He is hot hot hot for it....this creating of more banks because more banks can fix us :)  Not regulating the ones we have :)  It is too comical!!!!

    This face (none / 0) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 10:50:11 AM EST
    This is the face that people give me when they are determined to sell me their own brand of delusional B.S.  The stiff neck, the added sternness of voice, the stiff shoulders and the stiffer lips, the minimizing of the damage done and the damage that will continue, I've seen all this before.  It never works with me.  I always walk away.  That is where I am in this it looks like.

    Republicans better than Obama/Democrats on SS/Medi (none / 0) (#16)
    by Dan the Man on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 10:52:34 AM EST
    care because Republicans just want to cut taxes for the rich - they don't care if Social Security lives or dies.  To the contrary, Obama/Democrats really do want to kill Social Security and Medicare in order to "save" it.

    Question from Reporter "keysdan": (none / 0) (#23)
    by KeysDan on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:13:09 AM EST
    Mr. President,  what's wrong with you?

    Why nothing Dan (none / 0) (#25)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:15:39 AM EST
    This new Abilify stuff when paired with an antidepressant makes everything you could imagine endurable :)

    I would like some Abilify (none / 0) (#28)
    by lilburro on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:29:58 AM EST
    "If you're going to take a bunch of tough votes, you might as well do it now."



    Matt Yglesias... (none / 0) (#24)
    by lilburro on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:15:32 AM EST
    at least this approach is catching on...

    Surveying the scene, perhaps everyone should take a deep breath and recall the traditional way the country has avoided default when the debt ceiling needs raising: Congress raises the debt ceiling.

    It's that simple. The same kind of "clean" debt ceiling increase that's passed repeatedly over the past 100 years will allow the country to avoid default without tax increases, without defense cuts, and without slashing entitlement spending. Education will be spared. So will transportation, health care, farm subsidies, and everything else. The interest rates investors are charging the American government to buy our debt are extremely low right now. The world economy is suffering from an excessive demand for American debt, not by reluctance to lend. All we need to do to keep our finances flowing is to raise the statutory debt ceiling. At some point, things will change, and we may face a crisis that requires bipartisan dealmaking and "tough choices." Right now, though, the only crisis we face is an entirely self-created one. House Republicans wanted to create a hostage situation to force President Obama to propose steep spending cuts. But when Obama came to the table with a proposal for steep cuts, it turned out that Republicans don't actually want to sign a bipartisan deal. Which is fine. Don't sign a deal! The absence of a deal in no way forces a crisis. Just raise the debt ceiling, fight the 2012 elections, and pick up the long-term budget issue then.

    The only "hostages" I see in this (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:41:14 AM EST
    increasingly sick drama are the people, not the politicians or their parties, and all Obama is setting up by politicizing this debt ceiling issue is to guarantee that the next time it needs to be raised - and that day will come - the people will once again be taken hostage to the ideology of whatever party is in power playing off against the other party that has its own agenda and sees it as an opportunity to get something they failed to get in the exercise of that increasingly absent element - leadership.

    "All" Obama had to do, with the assistance of Congress, was not extend the Bush tax rates - just let them expire.  And then see how politically popular it would be to not separately extend unemployment benefits.  Jesus, Obama can't even bring himself to have the few tax increases in this deal kick in now - his "bold" deal won't have them kick in in until 2013.  And the now-Obama tax rates...allusions to letting them expire.  I guess weasels use weasel words, Dads-in-Chief tell us we have to eat our peas, and leaders?  Huh...I don't see any of those, but if I did, I like to think what's been pouring out of Obama's mouth and the WH wouldn't even come close.

    No, he's made his choices, and so we have one, too: the sharp stick in the eye or the 2 x 4 to the back of the head.



    Good thought, but... (none / 0) (#27)
    by Addison on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:22:13 AM EST
    All the major negotiating parties want a "dirty" bill of some kind or another. GOP wants huge cuts to show their base in 2012. Obama wants some sort of "visionary" structural reform to point to (for some dubious reason) in 2012. Both have sunk themselves deep into that quicksand and can't extract themselves at this late date. Only out-of-power elements, this includes Pelosi and Yglesias, want a "clean bill" at this point. Also, Yglesias' stamp of approval of an idea is often (in my opinion) a cause for concern for adherents of that idea. If Matt believes something, maybe something's wrong.

    Leadership (none / 0) (#33)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:48:05 AM EST
    "I'm prepared to take on significant heat form my party to get something done."

    People like an adult in the room according to Gallop.


    I do too. Even better, he is making all of the GOP look like hypocrites, which they are.  

    I'm pretty sure I'm not the only (5.00 / 5) (#37)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:00:29 PM EST
    adult in the room that finds it phucking insulting to be told by Obama that I too can have the "American Dream" if I'm a good girl.

    And if he's making anyone look like a hypocrite, it's himself. There's that lil' issue of calling himself a Democrat. Oh wait, he doesn't . . . never mind.


    How is it being an adult (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by mjames on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:06:27 PM EST
    to bring Social Security into deficit-reducing plans when Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit?

    More like he wants to be seen as the ONE, capable of fixing all problems in one fell swoop. With, of course, no empathy whatsoever for those of us suffering through no fault of our own - you know, the old, the sick, the children, the unemployed, the minority communities, those whose retirement savings have gone up in smoke, those who don't have the money for peas.

    Let's face it. Buying into the deficit-reduction hysteria is foolish beyond belief. Cutting money to the people won't work. Without money, we won't be able to buy stuff. Thus, there will be more jobs cut. I mean, this is getting ridiculous.  

    I don't care about Republicans. What was once my side no longer exists. This is not about one-upping the Republicans. This is not a game. My god. It's about lives. Is that so hard to grasp?


    Isn't this a bit like W's (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by observed on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:17:34 PM EST
    "bring it on"??

    Stay the Course! Right into burning hell! (none / 0) (#34)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:52:15 AM EST
    Adult Leadership we can believe in (or at least I'm told I must believe in or my friends will unfriend me) in every party I guess.  Just unfriend me okay

    "[T]o get something done." (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:56:47 PM EST
    So uninspiring and so stupid.

    This is what leadership looks like (none / 0) (#36)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 11:55:22 AM EST
    A kid could give his friends everything they want to make them happy.

    Then maybe he should stop bending (5.00 / 5) (#38)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:01:45 PM EST
    over backwards for his "Republican Friends".

    Kids I know bargain better than this (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Towanda on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:05:16 PM EST
    because they are not nearly as desperate as is Obama to be liked by the bad kids.

    His childhood insecurities really are not supposed to be my problem.  But they are.  It would have been a lot cheaper for all of us to fund a trip to a therapist, not to the White House.


    This is the same leadership style (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:05:25 PM EST
    that broke the U.S. military. caused soldiers to die for nothing, caused us to almost be over run in Baghdad and then Afghanistan right when Obama took office, caused stop-loss and destroyed soldier morale and destroyed Bush's legacy, which makes him sniffle and whine about how much he is hated.

    This will further destroy our economy, cause people to die for nothing, cause more job loss, and destroy the morale of the entire nation and the American people.  This will destroy Obama's legacy and will probably make him sniffle and whine about how much he is hated once his Presidency is over.  But hey...this is what leadership looks like in your book.


    Obama is giving his friends everything they (none / 0) (#76)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 06:02:49 PM EST
    want. Unfortunately, the lower 98% are not among that group of friends.

    Too bad he isn't willing to take heat (none / 0) (#81)
    by sj on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 12:49:54 AM EST
    from the OTHER party.

    Boehner is on the tube now (none / 0) (#45)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:35:32 PM EST
    And he's shafting Obama so hard it is hard to not flinch.  Obama has met them halfway, and now that isn't good enough.  New buzzword is job creators.....

    We are so phucked (none / 0) (#46)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:37:10 PM EST
    Boehner doesn't seem to be blinking one little bit.  There will be no tax increases period for job creators.

    I honestly (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by CST on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:42:28 PM EST
    don't know if I want Boehner to blink or not at this point.

    The fact that he's b@t$hit crazy kind of helps kill the overall deal.

    Can you imagine what the cuts would look like if some tax increases were included?  I almost don't know which would be worse at this point.


    Problem is (none / 0) (#54)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:48:58 PM EST
    I don't know if this is going to kill the deal.

    oh there are a lot of problems (none / 0) (#55)
    by CST on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:56:43 PM EST
    I'm just... hypothesizing here, and trying not to lose it considering the options.

    Honestly I'm mostly in wait and see mode, just because based on all the cr@p being flung back and forth I don't see a real way forward here.  But I imagine something will unfortunately happen.


    Something will happen (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 01:01:41 PM EST
    I'm really glad a bunch of crap is being flung.  It beats the hell out of that most often unflung crap that occurred during HCR where I was told I was hyperventilating and fighting before there was a fight to fight.  And then when there was a defined fight to fight it was too late to fight, it was done.  FLING THE $HIT PEOPLE.....meltdown over little words and possible perceptions :)  I'm here with you, I will entertain your words and your anger and any threat that they may impose upon the jerks and clowns running this show :)

    Its called: Pre-negotiation session tough talk. (none / 0) (#53)
    by christinep on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 12:46:37 PM EST
    It's called: standing up for his party's values (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by shoephone on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 01:02:57 PM EST
    Something the capitulator on our side has not done for us.

    Now Peter Bergen (none / 0) (#68)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 02:22:24 PM EST
    says that the Pakistan U.S. relationship is Too Big To Fail.

    FYI: Armando/aka BTD has an (none / 0) (#70)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 02:38:42 PM EST
    interesting diary up at DK.  Unfortunately it got rather hijacked by people arguing about "Resident President," a typo.  

    Hahaha.... (none / 0) (#72)
    by lilburro on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 03:17:52 PM EST
    oh god.  The GOP:  "Republicans Say They've Already Agreed To A Concession In Debt Fight: Raising The Debt Limit."

    Oklahoma pharmacist sentenced to life in prison (none / 0) (#75)
    by pitachips on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 05:56:04 PM EST
    sorry if this was mentioned already. this was the case of the pharmacist who walked over an incapacitated robber (shot in the head), retrieved another gun and shot the robber 5 more times.

    http://newsok.com/ersland-gets-life-judge-rejects-request-to-suspend-all-of-prison-sentence/article/ 3584664

    Late night news: Hamid Karzai's brother (none / 0) (#82)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 04:00:05 AM EST
    has been assassinated. He was shot and killed in his Kandahar home by one of his own security guards.

    The writer of the WaPo story seems to think this will be very destabilizing, and it probably will be. Although, really, just how stable is Afghanistan anyway?

    My concern is that those who want us to remain there forever will latch onto this as a reason to not begin the draw down of troops.  I can just hear the evil war-mongering trio of McCain, Lieberman and Graham demanding that we double-down yet again so nobody kills us in our beds.