Obama Addresses Nation on Debt Proposals

President Obama will address the nation on the debt ceiling and budget cut issues tonight at 9:00 pm ET. If you're not by a TV, you can watch live here.

For Bachelorette fans, nothing to worry about. Show honcho Mike Fleiss tweets:

Good news! Tonite's show will be shown in it's entirety. You won't miss a single minute.

Good thing, because who wants to miss the Fantasy Dates in Fiji with JP, Ben and Constantine, even though we know from spoilers who goes home?

Back to Obama: Here's a pre-speech thread, all related topics welcome.

< Can Boehner Pass His Debt Ceiling Proposal? | Tuesday Morning Open Thread >
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    Johnathan Cohn with a full run down (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 07:26:19 PM EST
    of what was in Obama's Grand Bargain with Boehner.

    Nobody disputes that, except for the revenue part, the administration and Boehner had agreement over virtually everything else. And it was a deal that, like Obama's previous offers, was strikingly tilted towards Republican priorities. Among the provisions Obama to which Obama had said yes, according to a senior administration official, were the following:

    Medicare: Raising the eligibility age, imposing higher premiums for upper income beneficiaries, changing the cost-sharing structure, and shifting Medigap insurance in ways that would likely reduce first-dollar coverage. This was to generate about $250 billion in ten-year savings. This was virtually identical to what Boehner offered.

    Medicaid: Significant reductions in the federal contribution along with changes in taxes on providers, resulting in lower spending that would likely curb eligibility or benefits. This was to yield about $110 billion in savings. Boehner had sought more: About $140 billion. But that's the kind of gap ongoing negotiation could close.

    Social Security: Changing the formula for calculating cost-of-living increases in order to reduce future payouts. The idea was to close the long-term solvency gap by one-third, although it likely would have taken more than just this one reform to produce enough savings for that.

    Discretionary spending: A cut in discretionary spending equal to $1.2 trillion over ten years, some of them coming in fiscal year 2012. The remaining differences here, over the timing of such cuts, were tiny. link

    ugh (5.00 / 5) (#3)
    by dandelion on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 07:36:32 PM EST
    Those are some ugly ugly cuts.

    Raising the Medicare eligibility age is especially horrendous, when the real solution to Medicare is to lower the age of eligibility to get an expanded and healthier risk pool.

    In less than 100 years the Democratic party has gone from "a chicken in every pot" to "eat your peas and like it."

    Just sent a letter to my rep, Pelosi, telling her that some of us have ALREADY sacrificed and that it is obscene for the party of FDR to ask the poor and the elderly and the ill to eat their peas when the wealthy are eating caviar in record proportion.


    The changes to Medicare and Medicaid (5.00 / 6) (#6)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:05:42 PM EST
    are horrendous.

    Medicare changing the cost-sharing structure means that Medicare will go from paying 80% of your medical expenses to paying only 60 0r 70% with you picking up the additional 30 - 40%. They then will force you to buy medigap coverage that will have a high deductible that must be satisfied prior to the insurance paying anything. The number that has been tossed around was over three thousand dollars. Oh, btw the government will raise their premiums and moving younger people out of medicare, the insurance companies will raise their premiums also. The average SS benefit is $1,177 or $14,124 annually. Between insurance premiums, deductibles and copays, a senior will be lucky to have $7 or $8 thousand left.

    Medicaid will be equally bad. Cash strapped states will reduce continue reducing their Medicaid rolls and more and more doctors will refuse to take Medicaid patients.



    What about the reduced SS payouts? (none / 0) (#9)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:11:46 PM EST
    The chained CPI is bad (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:38:22 PM EST
    It will result in lower benefits each and every year. Seniors will receive less money the older they become at the same time their medical expenses become the highest. It will also result in a regressive tax increase by moving lower wage people into higher tax brackets. I think that Rep. DeFazio said it would result in a 14% tax increase for people making $20,000 a year. Really bad no question.

    Yet IMO it will not have quite the same immediate effect that the changes to Medicare and Medicaid will have. Let's look again at the Medicare part. A senior has on going medical problems (not unusual with seniors) that need regular treatment. These changes could result in an automatic $6 or $7 thousand dollar deduction from their annual income for insurance premiums and deductibles each and every year. Savings can be eliminated quickly when you have to pay out like that for medical care. It will definitely be compounded by the reductions to their SS income accompanied by rising prices on the other things they need. The only other choice they have is to go without needed medical care which is the objective that Obama and Boehner are shooting for with these changes.

    Poor people, including children (IIRC Obama's insurance legislation lumped them in with regular Medicaid after a couple of years), thrown off the Medicaid roles will cause them to do without needed medical care and/or flood the ERs, the least cost effective option, for ordinary care.

    These changes are cruel and financially and politically stupid.    


    I can't phucking believe (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:58:46 PM EST
    that these a**holes are sitting around discussing this, and thinking it is a-okay.

    Saw a statement recently: mean post-retirement (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 10:15:44 PM EST
    gross income in U.S. is currently $30,000.  

    Not following this part (none / 0) (#39)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:55:31 PM EST
    "Seniors will receive less money the older they become at the same time their medical expenses become the highest. It will also result in a regressive tax increase by moving lower wage people into higher tax brackets."

    How does receiving less money in benefits result in being in a higher tax bracket?


    Poor writing on my part (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:19:45 PM EST
    Chart on chained cpi effect on SS benefits

    Yes, switching to chained CPI changes not only the cost of living adjustment for Social Security and other benefit programs that use a COLA, like federal pensions and veteran's benefits. It also changes the cost of living adjustment for.... tax brackets. A tax bracket that might go up, say, $100 year-over-year would only go up $50, under chained CPI. And that means that higher tax brackets would be available at lower yearly income. This sounds technical, but the point is it's a tax increase, designed to bring in $60 billion over ten years. What's more, it's a regressive tax increase.

    Low-wage workers would eventually see the biggest increases, while high-income taxpayers would see only small changes. That's because the wealthiest taxpayers already pay taxes at the highest marginal rate, currently 35 percent.

    For example, by 2021, taxpayers making between $10,000 and $20,000 would see a 14.5 percent increase in their income taxes with a Chained CPI, according to an analysis by the Joint Committee on Taxation. Taxpayers making more than $500,000 would get a tax increase of 0.3 percent, while those making more than $1 million would get a tax increase of 0.1 percent.

    2/3 of the tax increases under this change would be paid by people making under $100,000 a year. link

    Read the whole post for the best understanding. Also follow some of the links.


    Oh, God (none / 0) (#109)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 12:02:28 AM EST
    So applying this to SS means applying to the tax code, as well?  Shouldn't those two things be separate and governed by separate rules?

    Many things are tied to the inflation rate. (5.00 / 3) (#116)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 01:30:07 AM EST
    The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the current measure of inflation for determine things like COLA for SS, veterans benefits, tax brackets.

    The change being proposed in these deficit talks is a switch from the current CPI to a chained CPI which operates under a, to me, weird and not reality based formula. This will result in a smaller CPI, and hence smaller COLAs.

    Chained CPI is based on the idea that if prices rise consumers will modify their expenses by buying cheaper products. This may make some sense when one is buying a car ( can't afford the BMW? Buy a Toyota.) It makes no sense when applied to things like medical expenses, medications, gas, etc. And, where food is concerned there is just so low you can go. After that it's cat food.


    Great explanation Casey (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 07:56:21 AM EST
    It can also become a vicious circle. The inability to make good food choice due to lack of adequate funds will contribute to more medical problems, doctor visits and hospital stays for seniors. If the Congress forces seniors into Medigap policies without first-dollar coverage (i.e. high deductibles), they will have even less for food and around and around you go.

    A recent GOA report states that "food insecurity" remains stubbornly high among seniors with low incomes.

    The problem must be severe enough that my hospital group is surveying all patients for food insecurity. During a recent visit to an ER, I was given a questionnaire, one given to everyone, to identify "food insecurity" among patients.



    Thanks for the incredibly depressing news (5.00 / 0) (#151)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 06:32:46 PM EST
    I did not know that this chained CPI thing was meant to substitute across the entire government for the regular one.  I thought they were just using it as a handy excuse to cut SS.

    It is entirely insane because at the lower income level, as you say, there's no "lower cost" choice available.


    Percentage only. (none / 0) (#137)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:12:01 AM EST

    Low-wage workers would eventually see the biggest increases,

    This is true only as a percentage.  If your federal income tax increases from $2.00 to $2.28, why yes that is a 14% increase.  Keep in mind that about half of all households pay no income tax at all.

    OTOH, if $1000 of income shifts from the 28% bracket to the 35% bracket the tax bite is an additional $70.

    Smallest incomes will always see the biggest percent change and the smallest dollar change and conversely the largest incomes will see the smallest percentage change and the largest dollar change for any across the board bracket changes.



    Your numbers are ridiculous (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:56:23 AM EST
    The federal taxes on an income of $1,100 a month ($13,200 a year) is 74.00 per month. An increase of 14% would raise the monthly tax to $84.36 per month. An annual increase of $124.36 per year. A person making $13,200 would pay $1,012.32 in taxes leaving them with an after tax income excluding FICA of $12,187.68.

    I'm sure the poor person rich person in the top tax bracket having a $70 a month increase would be forced to live on much much less than $12,000 a year.

    Pfft. Disgusting.


    As long as you are ignoring the EIT (none / 0) (#141)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 01:15:03 PM EST

    As long as you are ignoring the Earned Income Tax Credit it looks like an additional $10.36 a month.  But keep in mind that every higher income pays that and more.



    Well, that was Hoover. (none / 0) (#37)
    by masslib on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:51:24 PM EST
    I think if it were only up to Boehner (none / 0) (#4)
    by ruffian on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 07:42:26 PM EST
    he would have taken that deal in a heartbeat.

    I do commend Obama for standing firm on the revenue increases, whether as a real desire or as an Independent voter pander move to show how far he was willing to go in every other way, knowing it would not be accepted. I suspect we are going to hear a lot about that in his speech tonight.

    In the end, all I can do is which we had had this level of gridlock for the Patriot Act or the AUMF. GOP is off their game if they have not found a way to link 5 trillion in cuts to fighting the War On Terra.


    WAS being the operative word (none / 0) (#44)
    by ruffian on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:01:50 PM EST
    The ' grand bargain'  was just the Onpbama attempt to look good to Independents, and I bet it worked. Whatever, it is dead.

    gee (4.75 / 4) (#46)
    by dandelion on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:04:31 PM EST
    with such a great communicator as the head of the Democratic party, wouldn't it be great if he tried to appeal to independents by selling them on the Democratic narrative?  Instead of, you know, confirming the Republican one that government spending is evil and greedy oldsters sucking up their entitlements are at the heart of American's economic malaise?

    I guess that wouldn't be "pragmatic."

    The only thing we have to fear is not fear itself: it's grandma.  Who knew?


    Ha! Yeah, maybe some day a Dem will get elected. (none / 0) (#50)
    by ruffian on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:10:28 PM EST
    Really? (none / 0) (#47)
    by masslib on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:04:47 PM EST
    Why?  Very few people support cutting their beneifts/

    Independent voters who think cuts are needed (none / 0) (#49)
    by ruffian on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:08:29 PM EST
    save SS think it's a fine idea, especially if liberals are howling about it.

     I didn't say they were smart.


    I have yet to see a poll that asked (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:49:41 PM EST
    Are you willing to cut SS, Medicare and Medicaid in order to reduce the deficit? where the majority of independents approved. In fact, on the polls that I read the majority of independents do not approve and even a high percentage of Republicans do not approve. Latest Pew poll.

    The June 15-19 survey of 1,502 adults found that support for maintaining benefits spread across party lines. Republicans favored maintaining benefits by 50 percent, independents by 53 percent, and Democrats by 72 percent.

    The survey also found that Americans oppose making Medicare recipients pay more of their health costs and allowing states to limit Medicaid eligibility. Some 61 percent say those on Medicare already pay enough and just 37 percent want to allow states to cut back on who can receive Medicaid.

    The survey also found an economic split in GOP ranks on remaking the entitlement programs. Among GOP members and GOP-leaning independents, 63 percent with family incomes of $75,000 or more say it is more important to take steps to reduce the budget deficit.

    However, 62 percent of Republicans with incomes of $30,000 or less say it is more important to maintain Social Security and Medicare benefits.

    Looks like Independents are a lot closer (none / 0) (#122)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 05:48:37 AM EST
    to the Republican side than the Dem to me, in the part of the poll that asks about leaving benefits alone. Only 3% more than Republicans.

    Not surprising that the rest of the measures show an economic split.

    Next poll that comes out we can see how Obama's approval rating among Independents is doing. That is the number he is trying to boost.


    Medicare changes are not wholly unreasonable, (none / 0) (#103)
    by hairspray on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 11:36:10 PM EST
    except raising the eligibility age. How will these people get coverage especially as their needs go up as they age?  This is a middle class benefit and they will pay more.  But Medicaid is for poor people who are usually more disabled with chronic disease.  Those cuts are terrible, they hit the most vulnerable.

    Just out of curiosity, how much (5.00 / 3) (#114)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 12:41:06 AM EST
    income do you think the average Medicare recipient has to live on? Paying thousands more for premiums and deductibles will take a large chunk out of many seniors income. Seniors do need some money to pay for prescription drugs, food, housing, utilities, transportation, insurance (Medicare, Medigap, Prescription Drug, car and home) taxes etc. just like everyone else.

    How many times have I read that people who are making $250,000 a year aren't rich and can't possibility maintain a bare minimum of a life style now and surely can't afford to pay any more in taxes? But now I'm reading that people on a much smaller limited income can afford drastic increases to Medicare premiums, Medigap coverage and high deductibles at the same time have their income cut.

    Maybe you might want to think this through again or go talk to some seniors who aren't in the top 1%.


    When I said some 'fixes" are not unreasonable (none / 0) (#150)
    by hairspray on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 06:23:58 PM EST
    I was thinking of increasing the costs for high earners and increasing deductibles for same.  I was a nurse educator for years in gerontology  so I know the story.  I am a firm believer in HMO's rather than fee for service. There are good HMO's, like Kaiser. There are a lot of high cost medicine being practiced in fee for service and in certain parts of the country. A good HMO can drive costs down in a lot of ways without throwing people into the street. The more technological advances coupled with more older people makes for a perfect storm.  I think we have to look at how to make it more effective and less costly.  And by the way, I think Medicare should have been dropped to 55 during the Health care debate.  

    O.K. but you have not defined (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:03:13 PM EST
    what you consider "high earners." Nor unless I have missed it has the government. I wouldn't be surprised to find the government's idea of a high earner would start at 126% of poverty. It is my understanding that in the proposals outlined above many of the changes would be made regardless of income. The proposal to reduce the actuarial value of the policies from 80/20 to probably 70/30 and 60/40 (values in Obama's health insurance legislation) looks like it will be across the board. The idea that people will be prohibited from buying good Medigap coverage and forced to policies with high out of pocket expenses also looks like it will effect everyone.

    All of the elements in the proposal will increase the cost of the health care and insurance premiums for everyone not just "high earners." Moving the healthier 65 and 66 year olds out of Medicare will increase the cost of health care for everyone remaining in the pool. That combined with lowering the actuarial value of what Medicare will pay will make the Medigap premiums skyrocket even after they force a higher deductible on everyone. Combine higher premiums with high deductibles and you wind up with quite a few people unable to actually afford care.

    You also wind up with a product, Medicare, that has a lot less value to seniors. Once that happens, the program can easily be eliminated.



    One percent above (none / 0) (#156)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 01:07:59 PM EST
    what's considered 'public assistance eligible' is a travesty. if they sais 10 times that it would be better, or five, three, something.

    It's terrible.


    He leads off with the debt (5.00 / 5) (#5)
    by andgarden on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:03:11 PM EST
    I'm not predisposed to listen to this.

    What a sanctimonious a**hole. (5.00 / 10) (#16)
    by caseyOR on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:19:03 PM EST
    In what world is Jamie Dimon or Warren Buffet giving up the tax break on their private jets at all comparable to a senior citizen getting slammed with an increase in Medicare out-of-pocket expenses of thousands of dollars?

    I have to face the fact that I despise this president. I didn't start out that way, but it's where I have ended up.


    "Neither party is blameless" (none / 0) (#7)
    by lilburro on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:09:18 PM EST
    for the Bush-era "credit card charges."  

    Repeating his social safety net spiel.  Didn't specifically mention raising the Medicare eligibility age I don't think.

    No plan on the table has revenue right now.  What is the point of this?

    Ronald Reagan!


    That's the point where I decided (5.00 / 0) (#12)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:15:14 PM EST
    to pour a drink

    Ronald Reagan!

    I swear, this guy more pro-RR than the Repubs. Perhaps he'll have Nancy speak at the convention. OooooH! Maybe he can have one of the debates at the RR Library!


    The Bush-era "credit card charges" (none / 0) (#59)
    by Politalkix on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:31:43 PM EST
    were passed with bipartisan support. I do not remember Democrats promising a showdown with Republicans about those Bush credit card charges.

    You mean the Bush tax cuts (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by lilburro on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:38:12 PM EST
    passed by reconciliation?  Also, I am willing to pin the wars on Bush, absolutely.

    Shouldn't you be practicing (none / 0) (#76)
    by oculus on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 10:17:25 PM EST
    deep breathing about now?  Step away from the news!

    All I can say is one word. (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:11:34 PM EST

    I haven't heard the word "veto" (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by andgarden on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:11:52 PM EST
    Floundering You Can Believe In. (none / 0) (#38)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:53:05 PM EST
    "The entire world is watching" (5.00 / 8) (#14)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:17:44 PM EST
    as the president leads the people of his nation down a path toward misery.

    I am so sick of hearing the word compromise come out of his mouth. He appears more and more spineless each time he says it.

    I wonder if the entire world is as tired (5.00 / 7) (#17)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:19:18 PM EST
    of this BS as we are . . .

    Michael Hudson (5.00 / 5) (#69)
    by Edger on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:55:23 PM EST
    via Digby July 23

    "When I was in Norway one of the Norwegian politicians sat next to me at a dinner and said, "You know, there's one good thing that President Obama has done that we never anticipated in Europe. He's shown the Europeans that we can never depend upon America again. There's no president, no matter how good he sounds, no matter what he promises, we're never again going to believe the patter talk of an American President.

    Mr. Obama has cured us. He has turned out to be our nightmare. Our problem is what to do about the American people that don't realize this nightmare that they've created, this smooth-talking American Tony Blair in the White House."

    Wishful thinking I'm afraid (none / 0) (#127)
    by Nemi on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 07:55:26 AM EST
    I wonder who this anonymous! Norwegian politician is, as the - Social Democratic - PM, the media as well as the populace in Norway seem to still be very much "into" Obama.

    Thanks for the links............. (none / 0) (#143)
    by Edger on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 01:42:12 PM EST

    Likewise: Thanks for nothing (none / 0) (#157)
    by Nemi on Fri Jul 29, 2011 at 07:16:03 AM EST
    This might come as a surprise to you, but Norwegians actually don't make polls on Obama's popularity so I can't link to such. And I take it that "What I sense speaking with and listening to Norwegians, and following Norwegian media" doesn't have as much weight with you as Digby referring to someone, who refers to someone, who refers to ... etc.

    How do you expect me to link to "public feeling" anyway?


    unfortunately (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by ZtoA on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 10:03:00 PM EST
    he is not just compromising but is now compromised. It is a very difficult place to work from. Of course, so is insanity.

    Obama Is.So Predictable ! (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by samsguy18 on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:05:32 PM EST

    How many best evah (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by observed on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 01:19:59 AM EST
    speeches on the importance of compromise did Lincoln give before the Civil War?  Seems to me that the great one has talked more about compromise more than any twenty mere ordinary leaders.  I  have assumed that the kabuki so far is a windup to a major fcking of the non rich, but things seem out of hand. Default looks like a real possibility now.

    I don't think he'll go there (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by nycstray on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 03:17:54 AM EST
    I think if it comes to that, we'll get thrown even farther under. Default would be messy and ugly and ya know, is just the wrong kinda "historic" for his image/legacy . . .

    I could (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by lentinel on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 05:55:37 AM EST
    have written the speech for him.
    Cliché laden.

    But I would have lost my lunch before I would have inserted the revolting and transparently self-serving and sniveling genuflection toward Ronald Reagan - the president that significantly intensified our march down this road of chaos and economic inequality.

    I also am personally sickened by out and out crap like:

    The entire world is watching. So let's seize this moment to show why the United States of America is still the greatest nation on Earth.

    Is this what this "moment" is about to this windbag?

    I always think about what other countries think about this kind of smoke. On one level, does he really think that if we wangle a way to borrow even more money and stiff the poor that the "entire world" will say, shaking their collective heads in admiration,"Man, they are the greatest!" Please. It is to barf.

    Loving your country does not have to mean that you think it is the greatest. It is enough that you can feel that your country has great qualities that are unique to it. And rubbing it in the face of all of the rest of the world that you think that you are greater than they are is, at the least, undiplomatic and at worst arrogant and provocative. We don't really need that right now...

    Yes, I tuned in at the end (5.00 / 2) (#149)
    by Towanda on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 03:45:46 PM EST
    only to hear the cliched American exceptionalism again -- "this still is the greatest country in the world," unquote.

    Obama is just so 20th century.  

    He needs to buy a clue.


    Awesome (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by lentinel on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 07:44:50 PM EST
    The entire world is watching. So let's seize this moment to show why the United States of America is still the greatest nation on Earth. Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.

    (Barack Obama)

    Uh, so let's get going, there's no other choice. God willing, we will prevail, in peace and freedom from fear, and in true health, through the purity and essence of our natural... fluids.

    (General Jack D. Ripper)

    This is Obama's Clinton v Gingrich Moment (none / 0) (#1)
    by Dan the Man on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 07:17:43 PM EST
    Unfortunately, I'm not sure which role Obama's playing right now.  Is Obama playing the Clinton role or the Gingrich role?

    Obama (none / 0) (#24)
    by lentinel on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:31:48 PM EST
    doesn't know what role he is playing.

    He hasn't been told yet.


    He is playing the role of the destroyer (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:52:39 PM EST
    but wants to convince you that tying grandma and little Annie to the railroad tracks really makes he the hero.

    Geithner hasn't (none / 0) (#64)
    by Edger on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:46:10 PM EST
    raised an eyebrow?

    Where is the following sentence? (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:14:10 PM EST
    "Congress must send me a bill to raise the debt ceiling that I can sign without delay."

    I thought this speech (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by lilburro on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:16:03 PM EST
    would be a little more urgent.  Maybe he is planning another one in the next day or two?  

    Call your Congress(wo)man and tell them you believe in balanced deficit reduction?  That you believe in compromise?

    Isn't it a little too late for that?

    This is so weird.


    There were no action words in this speech (5.00 / 5) (#15)
    by andgarden on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:17:46 PM EST
    But then, I never think much of Obama's speeches. Ever.

    Was this kabuki? (none / 0) (#21)
    by lilburro on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:24:10 PM EST
    He basically blessed whatever comes out of two plans on the table now, both of which include no new revenue.  Just so long as the debt ceiling is raised through 2012.

    Of course, Boehner's response has no relationship to reality.  

    I liked Obama's first press conferences.  I don't get the point behind this one though.  


    Right (none / 0) (#22)
    by andgarden on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:25:50 PM EST
    He drew no line in the sand. Boehner actually articulated a position. It just seemed like there was more content to his speech, even if it was nonsense.

    Carville just called it (5.00 / 8) (#51)
    by Towanda on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:17:36 PM EST
    "The Democrats are trying to surrender but can't find anybody to take their white flag."  

    (I'm paraphrasing the last few words, when someone coughed.)


    Brilliant framing (none / 0) (#56)
    by shoephone on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:25:04 PM EST
    He's right on the money with that one. It should be the front page headline on tomorrow's NYT.

    Where did you Carville tonight? I was just wishing (none / 0) (#63)
    by mogal on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:41:47 PM EST
    I could hear how he discribed what happened tonight instead of the the bland pulp I was hearing, Thanks for the post.

    CNN (none / 0) (#65)
    by Towanda on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:49:01 PM EST
    on Anderson Cooper, I think, so it reruns later?

    Just heard Carville again (none / 0) (#74)
    by Towanda on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 10:10:56 PM EST
    on CNN's Anderson Cooper.

    Carville compares Obama to Napoleon in Moscow in 1812.  And says that "this is a Republican rout" of the Dems, trying to get the Republicans to "take Social Security, take Medicare," etc.


    Yeah, easy to give a good speech (none / 0) (#25)
    by ruffian on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:32:03 PM EST
    if reason and truth are not constraints.

    But raising it through 2012 is not in (none / 0) (#26)
    by ruffian on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:36:17 PM EST
    Boehners new plan. Obama specifically rejected the plan Boehner came out with today that calls for another debt ceiling vote in six months.

    I wish he had rejoiced the super congress too, but I guess he never saw a committee he didn't love.


    Yeah (none / 0) (#29)
    by lilburro on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:41:35 PM EST
    but all the blather about raising revenue...nothing on the table right now raises any revenue.  This is from the last part of his speech:

    The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn't vote for a dysfunctional government. So I'm asking you all to make your voice heard. If you want a balanced approach to reducing the deficit, let your Member of Congress know. If you believe we can solve this problem through compromise, send that message.

    Does anyone really believe a Grand Bargain is going to pass Congress at this point?  As I heard it, that's pretty much all he talked about.  It's like he taped this address two weeks ago.


    Oh, I think th Grand Bargain is gone (none / 0) (#41)
    by ruffian on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:57:00 PM EST
    That was what Boehner called 'moving the goal posts'. We are down to the original Biden talks spending cuts only in the 2-3 trillion range. The Reaid plan at least as a trillion of that as cuts in Iraq and Afghanistan spending, and no entitlement cuts. I think that is the best we are going to get at this point.

    You and Gergen agree (none / 0) (#67)
    by Towanda on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:51:06 PM EST
    as he also said that this was the speech needed two or a few weeks ago, and he found it unsettling and worrisome that this is where the talks still are now.

    But, but, but . . . . (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 10:09:29 PM EST
    don't they understand it's all kabuki? Or 11th dimensional chess? Or whatever . . . . but we really shouldn't worry our pretty lil' heads . . . .

    What the President actually said (5.00 / 3) (#82)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 10:30:59 PM EST
    The President made it very clear he wants cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Yes, the very Social Security that has nothing to do with the deficit. You don't have to rely on "rumors" also known as "reporting." He's said it himself....

    The president is seeking less revenue than the tax increases advocated by Sens. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Mark Warner(D-VA), and Dick Durbin(D-IL). That's an extremely conservative bunch, excepting Durbin, and Obama's proposal was to the right of that. And don't forget that bit of supply-side "dynamic scoring" stuff (emphasis mine) that is straight out of the GOP playbook. Again, don't take it from me. Don't take it from the "anti-Obama media rumor mill." Don't take it from foaming at the mouth, overreacting, racist, bigoted, irrational, pony and rainbow loving liberal bloggers. That's from the President himself. link

    Supporters of Obama played WORM (What Obama Really Meant) all through the primaries and the general to explain away Obama's statements and policies. Don't believe what you see or hear. Watch the shiny object and clear your mind and believe our alternative reality. How has that worked out? Seems we are seeing Obama doing many of the negative things he said he would do and we were told to disregard.

    I believed Obama when he said in 2007 and 2009 he was going to put the safety net programs on the table.  I believe him now when he says he wants cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. I believe he did put the safety net programs on the table and was willing to sign off on the draconian cuts that were described in Cohen article.


    That's (link) pretty sick (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 10:43:54 PM EST
    yet sadly, I don't have much faith in the man's soul.

    And yes, I believed what he said in the primaries and gen and everything since in regards to the safety nets.


    best idea yet (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 11:45:56 PM EST
    a commenter over at Digby's said that Obama should run in 2012 as an independent, since those are the only voters he cares about, rather than continue to hold the Democratic Party hostage

    suggested that Obama run on the Lieberman for Connecticut ticket


    I made a similar comment (none / 0) (#107)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 11:56:14 PM EST
    (run as a right-leaning indie) and somebody didn't like it . . . :D

    That made me laugh (none / 0) (#108)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 11:59:17 PM EST
    suggested that Obama run on the Lieberman for Connecticut ticket

    He would have to get permission from the "real" liberal who took over that party after Lieberman abandoned it.

    I like the idea of Obama running as a indie though. He should run on his real agenda of gutting the safety net programs* and using the funds to provide more tax breaks to corporations and the uber-rich and to fund his continued occupation of Iraq** and Afghanistan and his kinetic military actions in Libya, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

    *Yes the cuts described in Cohn post gut the safety net programs. In fact, I think that they qualify as slashing benefits.

    **Yes if Obama and the Pentagon has their way, the occupation of Iraq will continue after the December, 2011 deadline. On going push by administration for Iraq government to authorize another SOFA agreement allowing the U.S. to maintain troops in country.


    Forget "Independent," (5.00 / 2) (#120)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 04:09:21 AM EST
    Someone on a blog I read recently had a better idea; The Republicans should nominate Obama and have him elected unopposed. By doing that they would accomplish two things.

    1. Show the country how bipartisan they are.
    2. In their heart of hearts they know they'll get more of their right wing policies passed with Obama as President than with anyone now running as a Republican.

    Talk about a "Two-fer!"

    Imo, he only has some troops (none / 0) (#110)
    by nycstray on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 12:05:53 AM EST
    coming home in Dec for a nice warm and fuzzy campaign message. But then, I'm jaded that way . . .

    Sometimes, lilburro (none / 0) (#30)
    by christinep on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:43:57 PM EST
    it depends upon whether we are predisposed to want to "get" something.

    I asked my husband, the one-time poli-sci/American poli-sci prof, what he heard. Without hesitation--in short, clipped phrasing: Here's how we got here; now--for a # of reasons including the time, etc. involved we cannot have a short term "kicking the can down the road" deal (rejection of Boehner's position); sees promise in the Senate position offered today--acceptable; his own pref is for the broadest deal so we can really begin to resolve our country's deficit/econ situation; but--in any event--we need to move forward...and that must involve compromise (short testimony about our country's roots & Jefferson, etc.) My husband liked it; I asked "really" & he said "yes."

    As for me, while I agree with husband's analysis, I found the opening third a bit rushed background statement, etc. But, in an inductive sense, the last two-thirds worked quite well.

    Oh...and the message: Call your Congressperson & say that we need to keep moving, to not get stuck in uncompromising ways, etc. (A key message: per husband & myself.)


    Sure call your congressmen and tell them (5.00 / 3) (#45)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:03:33 PM EST
    you are fine and dandy having draconian cuts to the safety net programs that people need to survive. Also, tell them you are fine and dandy that they, like every other federal employee whether active or retired, will keep all of their tax payer health care and pensions without any cuts.

    Because that is what you will be asking them to do when you ask them to support Obama's so called compromise otherwise known as the Grand Bargain. Think about this. Do you really support cutting the safety net programs as described above in exchange for a few dollars in taxes on private planes? Do you really want to deprive ordinary people of what they need so that this WH and this congress will lower taxes even further and spend more and more money on more and more military actions.  


    We are really talking about Reid's plan (none / 0) (#55)
    by christinep on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:20:10 PM EST
    (aka the Senate plan) which Obama finds acceptable. With several days left, I don't know of anyone outside the far right that is calling for substantive entitlement cuts of any kind.

    The speech: Obama rejects the short-term position of Boehner & speaks supportively of the Senate/Reid plan. Then, says a version of "we need to move" "we need to compromise." That is for the benefit of the listeners. What we have--and what he knows we have is: Boehner's plan gets introduced in the House & Reid's plan gets introduced in the Senate...they might both pass their respective chambers. Someone blinks; and, there simply ain't no time for the cuts you fear...pragmatically or otherwise.


    Reid's plan (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by dandelion on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:25:16 PM EST
    Includes a debt commission of 12 congresspersons to come up with cuts to be voted on in an up/down vote.

    That's where the SS and Medicare cuts come in.

    It's a reprise of Simpson-Bowles, with the voting procedure used for cutting domestic military bases.

    It doesn't take a weatherman.....


    finishing post (none / 0) (#58)
    by dandelion on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:26:08 PM EST
    It doesn't take a weatherman...

    to see in which direction the trial balloons are floating.


    thans - I did not see that in the synopsis (none / 0) (#123)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 05:51:47 AM EST
    I read. Ridiculous.

    I could almost agree with you (5.00 / 3) (#62)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 09:38:24 PM EST
    if Reid's plan did not contain a new and improved Cat Food Commission whose recommendations will be fast tracked through Congress.

    Establishes Joint Congressional Committee to Find Future Savings: In addition to $2.7 trillion in concrete savings, the Senate package will establish a joint, bipartisan committee, made up of 12 members, to present options for future deficit reduction. The committee's recommendations will be guaranteed an up-or-down Senate vote, without amendments, by the end of 2011.

    Warner, Durbin and Conrad on the Senate side and Clyburn and two Blue Dogs on the House side would insure that the cat food commissions recommendations containing cuts to the entitlement programs would be included in the recommendations for an up or down vote. By my count there are 13 Dems and one a$$hole (I) in the Senate who would vote "yea" for the Grand Bargains draconian cuts. In fact, the one a$$hole (I) floated the changes to Medicare and is even as we discuss this saying that Reid's cuts are not real and he wants real cuts. Cuts so that they hurt the most people. And yes, I do think he is evil.



    We do not know the details of (none / 0) (#133)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 08:50:46 AM EST
    the  proposed Cat Food II but they are likely to have learned something from  Cat Food I--if you want to get to the pre-determined goals, reduce the numbers for manageability  (try 12) and make it a majority vote.  Cat Food I, despite its stacking with Bowles and Simpson adjourned without a formal vote.  Cat Food I structure reflected the overconfidence with its 18 members with 14 votes needed for endorsement.   Cat Food I registered only eleven informal votes of the 18.  Can't let that happen again.

    Senate side consisting of (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:02:19 AM EST
    Democrats Dick Durbin of Illinois, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, and Mark Warner of Virginia and Republicans Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, and Mike Crapo of Idaho would make it a slam dunk as they have used Cat Food Commission recommendations as a blue print and have already agreed to cuts to the safety net programs.

    Clyburn and two blue dogs would make it a go for committee members from the House.


    What? (5.00 / 3) (#101)
    by mjames on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 11:26:26 PM EST
    They all appear to be in agreement to set up Catfood Commission II - and whatever the recommendations are get only an up-or-down vote.

    This is what you want?  


    details, details . . . . (5.00 / 4) (#102)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 11:34:12 PM EST
    not something she's too concerned with . . .

    Nope (none / 0) (#155)
    by sj on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 09:56:42 AM EST
    details, details . . . . not something she's too concerned with . . .

    We supposed to just wait and see.  As if there were enough meds or alcohol for me to be that complacent.


    Did you happen to ask your husband (5.00 / 11) (#83)
    by Anne on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 10:32:45 PM EST
    what he thought of the speech in light of the fact that this entire "crisis" has been manufactured out of whole cloth?

    Because that's the part that makes me want to put my shoe through the TV every time they start up with this "getting our fiscal house in order" baloney.  No one's asking - no one's asked - why we "have to" do this; it's been accepted as a given - that we "have to" cut spending, that we "have to" fix entitlements - and no one's been put on the hot seat and asked to explain why.  Why now - why at all.  Why, given the last 80-something times the debt ceiling has been raised as a housekeeping matter, we all of a sudden have to make it a political act and load it up with things that are only going to hurt people who can't afford it.

    It's unconscionable how the powers that be have built a framework for disaster, and have the unmitigated gall to ask people to call their representatives to enable their own destruction.

    Forget the delivery, and focus on the fact that we don't have to be here, driven to the brink by irresponsible "leaders" who want what they want and don't give a care what we want.

    I'm not interested in an inside-baseball critique of what Obama said, about whether he helped his cause or hurt it, whether he goes up or down in the damn polls.

    I'm sick of the Grand Bamboozle, and sicker still that the media just stand on the sidelines and provide whatever these hollow men want - want us to scare the people?  No problem!  Roll the film of some homeless old people.  Want us to make you sound better than the other guy - hey, we can do that - where's that Sarah Palin clip!  Want us to misrepresent the issue, get "experts" who will say what you need them to say?  Gotcha covered - unless Ezra's busy.

    We've been through this before, when we were marched into a war we didn't need to fight; the politicians have honed that one to a fare-thee-well - too bad the people don't recognize the signs that it's happening all over again, only this time on the economy.

    Fool me once, shame on me...


    You go girl (5.00 / 4) (#94)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 11:10:08 PM EST
    Please accept my standing ovation on that comment.

    The changes Obama agreed to are not some wonderful game. These changes would ruin the lives of millions of people.



    i have come to believe (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 11:21:32 PM EST
    that the goal truly is privatization of the U.S. government, to finish the job that went into high gear under GWB

    Tim Geithner = Obama's Cheney

    We've been through this before, when we were marched into a war we didn't need to fight; the politicians have honed that one to a fare-thee-well - too bad the people don't recognize the signs that it's happening all over again, only this time on the economy.

    this is what Naomi Klein calls "disaster capitalism," & they won't hesitate to create as many disasters as it requires

    odd, isn't it, how the floated idea of the "Supercongress" fits right in

    as for Obama, he's not important - he is a functionary & he wants to keep the job

    that's why he has written off you & me & everyone except the mythic "independents" who supposedly don't mind having their "entitlements" <cough> cut as long as Obama looks like "the adult in the room"


    Agree in part, Addams Family (none / 0) (#144)
    by christinep on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 01:44:29 PM EST
    First: I don't buy the de rigeur statement around here to the effect that the President "only cares about Independents, he doesn't like us, he doesn't care about us." It takes a strategy to win the Presidency...and, the Independents are an important part of it. Be that as it may...Y

    Your conclusion about the attempt to privatize government. Yes, IMO, that is a large part of the de-regulation, government outsourcing, and $$ shrinking of government pushed initially in the early 80s and continued with ferocity by Repubs whenever they got the chance. The orchestration of the Tea Party may be the apex of that perverted approach.  But, again, the more we are driven to another storm, the more the Tea Party storm continues to blow.  The only language that the Tea personalities & their Congresspeople understand is loss...at the ballot box.

    Addams Family: You may have many justifiable reasons to be angry at the Democratic actions & reactions of the last decade, but you set out the consequences of Repub control yourself. If BTD's moniker means anything, maybe it suggests that there are lots of Democrats...who join on some issues, spar on others, and have all-out brawls on still others. Then, I see your moniker--with the word "family"--and, think about the "big tent" & the sprawling "family." Sometimes family fights are the worst.


    yes indeed (5.00 / 2) (#146)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 02:55:50 PM EST
    Your conclusion about the attempt to privatize government. Yes, IMO, that is a large part of the de-regulation, government outsourcing, and $$ shrinking of government pushed initially in the early 80s and continued with ferocity by Repubs whenever they got the chance.

    good reminder of where that sh!t originally came from - of course Obama himself points to that provenance every time he invokes Ronald Reagan


    I know you're not nave, (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 03:44:21 PM EST
     so what is it? You've explained the mechanics of the situation exactly right. Your explanation makes perfect sense, so the question is, why do "they" persist in doing this thing? You know the answer to that question also....Pure unadulterated Politics.

    Your poor t.v. set; its been yelled at, spat upon, kicked in, and probably had the Bird flipped at it more than a few times. I guess what I'm saying is that there are no surprises. I could understand your anger if you thought our "leadership"  wanted to do the right thing but were only being hamstrung by intractable arguing. And you certainly don't believe that.

    The point is simple; they won, and we lost. Like a beekeeper sprays that dust on a hive to put them to sleep when working around the bees. So has the Government, in collusion with all the usual suspects: The media, pundits, advisors, analysts, and all the assorted power brokers. Cenk U. & Keith O, as soon as they started pointing out the truth, they were canned. Even though their ratings were going straight up, they were canned.

    That should tell you all you need to know.


    Guess what? Anne (none / 0) (#142)
    by christinep on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 01:26:11 PM EST
    My husband (& myself) know, as you & anyone paying attention knows, that the "crisis" is manufactured. But--as he said, the perception became the reality...for a large number of people for a long while. And, we both talked about the real dilemma being the extrication process for the WH, the Democrats, and some Repubs (the Tea Party types appear more interested in making points rather than governance.) And, he stated & I agreed that the noise and the shadows-on-the-cavewalls may have--via pundit & broader hysteria--temprorarily hyped the whole thing into a reality.  That means: There will be heavy consequences, very negative for us in the world & at home, if we are seen to "default," because the matter has become bigger than the quaint statutory-based "debt ceiling."

    Also: Depending upon the next few days, the longer the situation deteriorates, the stronger the argument becomes for invoking the 14th Amendment. Yesterday, I mentioned elsewhere that there are downsides in terms of perception/reality regarding overreaching & the respective branches of government. But, should the situation truly become threatening to the US economic security, then I would guess that the President's counsel might then find that measure necessary.


    IMO (none / 0) (#71)
    by lilburro on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 10:05:00 PM EST
    Obama had the upper hand about a week and a half ago when Mitch McConnell panicked and offered a clean debt ceiling bill.  

    That was the moment I almost believed in 11th dimensional chess.  Instead of running with that, Reid jumped in with over a trillion in cuts and Obama continued to do the Grand Bargain spiel, which includes entitlement cuts, cuts he spoke about on the record last Friday night.  

    This is not the masterful rope-a-dope described by Lawrence O'Donnell.  This is not a bill with cuts and revenues, revenues being a key element for Mr. Obama.

    This is the same crap that I feared we were going to get at the start of the process.

    Maybe you'll be happy, as you seem to like compromise.  But my goalposts haven't moved, so what I and many others see is a GOP victory.


    Coount the votes (none / 0) (#78)
    by christinep on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 10:19:27 PM EST
    The McConnell offer did not have Repub House votes, for starters. We are still dealing with Boehner's inability to control his own caucus.

    Says who? (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 08:16:26 AM EST
    There probably weren't enough Republican votes by themselves due to opposition from conservatives/tea partiers, but even Jim Jordan (who strongly opposed it) said he didn't know if there were enough combined votes to pass it.  If the Dems voted for the bill, they would only need 25 Republicans to vote for it.

    Kos (none / 0) (#147)
    by lilburro on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 03:23:30 PM EST
    has some interesting responses to those dismissing McConnell's clean debt bill here.

    Basically, the dilemma hasn't changed - what will pass the House?  Nothing on the table right now can pass the House either.


    Yeah well, you (none / 0) (#31)
    by observed on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:44:30 PM EST
    probably judge by the text and not the best evah delivery.

    More calls from me to tell my (5.00 / 6) (#32)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:45:48 PM EST
    congressmen and my Senator that I will work to defeat them if they cut the safety net programs. That they better file Obama's compromise in the circular file because excuses won't work come 2012 and neither will labeling the cuts with a different name. Not a threat but a promise.

    same from me (5.00 / 5) (#35)
    by dandelion on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:50:01 PM EST
    no compromise on the safety net, not with 9% unemployment, 20% real unemployment.

    shared sacrifice:  the poor and the middle classes have been sacrificing for about 30 years now.  when do the wealthy begin to sacrifice?

    $23 trillion for bankers; peas and cat food for the rest of us:  Washington policy in a nutshell


    No way in H*ll I'm calling my D rep (5.00 / 5) (#34)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:49:31 PM EST
    and telling him I believe in Obama style compromises!

    Boehner is giving a much better speech (none / 0) (#18)
    by andgarden on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:20:01 PM EST
    But he still makes me want to put a shoe through my TV.

    Wow, this is devious (none / 0) (#19)
    by andgarden on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:21:53 PM EST
    Boehner wins this round. No question.

    Well, Boehner says Obama won't (none / 0) (#20)
    by ruffian on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:22:40 PM EST
    change the entitlement programs. Whatever you say Agent Orange.

    Boner came off as a complete dick (none / 0) (#23)
    by DFLer on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:28:28 PM EST

    To us he did. (none / 0) (#33)
    by magster on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:45:54 PM EST
    Don't know about the average independent voter who might have watched waiting for America's Got Talent.

    Boehner: I will vote to extend the debt ceiling... (none / 0) (#28)
    by magster on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:38:52 PM EST
    in exchange for a Big Gulp sized martini!!

    If Boehner's lies aren't highlighted by the media, Obama loses this round IMO.

    You'll get your monarchy back... (none / 0) (#40)
    by Mr Natural on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 08:56:36 PM EST
    ... right after those subsisting on the rainy side of Maui get their water back.

    Also, to appease those (none / 0) (#77)
    by lilburro on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 10:18:00 PM EST
    who think we only bash Obama here:

    "It is clear we must enter an era of austerity; to reduce the deficit through shared sacrifice...Senator Reid has put forward a responsible plan to reduce the deficit that protects the middle class, and Medicare, Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries..."

    -  Nancy Pelosi

    As atrios says, it's the austerity party v. the austerity party.  Hooray.

    which means (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by dandelion on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 10:22:46 PM EST
    It's the Depression party.  Nothing is going to throw us out of the Lesser Depression and into a Greater Depression faster than austerity.

    And how does Pelosi plan to protect (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 10:29:01 PM EST
    the 3 when we have the fast track gang of 12?

    Simple answer she can't (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 10:37:12 PM EST
    and Obama doesn't want to protect them.

    well, she could do (5.00 / 0) (#111)
    by Amiss on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 12:18:05 AM EST
    like she did yesterday and leave in the middle of the meeting to do a "fundraiser" for a friend in Connecticut.

    The Gang of 12 (none / 0) (#85)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 10:41:04 PM EST
    Has no real power.

    I imagine that is how.


    You're delusional if you believe so. (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 10:46:25 PM EST
    imagine that.

    My bad (none / 0) (#92)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 11:06:15 PM EST
    I am basing my opinion on the way that the proposed legislation actually works.

    Perhaps I should make up the worst thing that it could possibly be and pretend that is what it is like others.

    Proposals will get a vote without amendment and that is unlikely to result in anything that would pass the senate.  An obama can veto anyway.


    It works exactly the way base closing legislation (5.00 / 3) (#98)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 11:19:31 PM EST
    works and that has worked very well in the past.

    Obama supports the Cat Food Commission recommendations. There have been numerous occasions where these cuts could have died but Obama chose to breathe life back into them. He supports cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. He has said he supports them on several occasions. He will not veto the draconian cuts that he supports and has tenaciously pursued since January 2009 once they get through Congress on an up or down vote.


    Heh - Obama CAN veto them ... (5.00 / 2) (#131)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 08:25:35 AM EST
    ... as opposed to WILL veto them.

    That's supposed to be reassuring, ...

    ... right?


    If Obama had said (1.50 / 2) (#80)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 10:28:14 PM EST
    "It is clear we must enter an era of austerity"

    Anne's head would have exploded.

    The reality is that Pelosi stated what most people want. Cuts that protect entitlements.


    Protecting entitlements (5.00 / 5) (#87)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 10:46:23 PM EST
    by making sure that people are dead before they are eligible for them is a remarkably good strategy....LOL.

    leadership (5.00 / 6) (#89)
    by dandelion on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 10:47:31 PM EST
    Is not giving people what they want, it's doing what's right and convincing people of the rightness.

    Cutting the budget at a time of Lesser Depression will be disastrous.  Pulling that much money out of the economy at a time of deflation will only deflate the economy further -- why is that so hard for you to understand?

    I don't give one good godd*mn what people say they want.  I expect leadership that's better than that.  I expect a President and a Congresswoman to have a basic understanding of how the economy functions, as well as a basic reading of American history -- and either of those two knowledge bases would inform them quite clearly that cutting government spending right now will seriously harm real people.

    You cannot pull $1-3 trillion from a $20 trillion economy and have it not go off like an economic bomb.  You especially cannot pull that kind of money from the people most likely to put it into the economy, ie. the non-wealthy.

    Why are we even talking about the deficit?  How did Obama so lose control of the narrative that we have quit talking about how necessary it is for the government to spend to create jobs?

    Where is the fierce urgency of now for the people who desperately want work?  And surely polling indicates that the American people care more about jobs than the deficit, so if Obama is in fact guided by polls, why isn't he responding to that care?

    Face it:  this austerity plan is nothing but a tool for asset-stripping.  The middle classes and the poor selling what assets they have at rock bottom prices just to get cash to survive.  Public entities privatizing in order to keep basic services alive.  And Obama -- and Pelosi too -- are colluding with that.

    It's class robbery and nothing but.  There is no excuse that justifies it.


    psssst, I think abg is wrong (5.00 / 2) (#104)
    by waldenpond on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 11:37:48 PM EST
    Look at comment #66, it has poll data listed.  People state they support reducing the deficit (because the media lies and tells them bond vigilantes will be upset) but people do not support cuts to the big 3.  People support taxing the rich and cutting defense.

    People get the class robbery thing.

    They will get that when Obama states he wants the sacrifice to be balanced he means that the banksters just stole your 401k retirement and your house now the conservatives (especially him) are going to steal your SS retirement.

    They will get that when Obama states he wants shared sacrifice he means he wants poor people to sacrifice and poor old people to sacrifice.  (Atrios?)

    I got a cynical giggle when I watched an Yves Smith clip on Real News.  I had completely forgotten Obama had dinner with Krauthammer, Brooks, Kristal etc way back in 2009 and reassured them he was cutting entitlements.   They absolutely believed him.


    waldenpond (2.00 / 1) (#134)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 08:51:20 AM EST
    Here is my quote:

    "The reality is that Pelosi stated what most people want. Cuts that protect entitlements."

    Here is what you wrote:

    " People state they support reducing the deficit (because the media lies and tells them bond vigilantes will be upset) but people do not support cuts to the big 3."

    Those two statements are consistent.

    The man who dissents from the crowd has to dissent carefully. I think pretty carefully about the responses these days because I have no room for error.


    Not always (none / 0) (#90)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 11:00:43 PM EST
    When we have public opinion behind us (tax cuts for the rich) we value that.  When we don't (spending cuts) we tend to make statements like "Is not giving people what they want, it's doing what's right and convincing people of the rightness."

    There are a lot of issues for which there is no absolute right answer and the people's opinion matters to some degree.

    You shouldn't be a slave to it but you shouldn't pretend that it isn't relevant either.


    you should meet the people where they are (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 11:05:44 PM EST
    & then LEAD them to where they need to be

    oh wait

    that requires actual leaders

    never mind


    The problem (1.00 / 2) (#93)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 11:08:52 PM EST
    Half the people believe that our executive leader is a socialist, manchurian candidate who grew up in Kenya and is really a muslim who hates america.

    Persuasion doesn't work on those folks.

    You find ways to deal with the fact that they exist.  That is where we are.


    show me (5.00 / 4) (#95)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 11:13:29 PM EST
    the evidence that HALF THE PEOPLE believe these things

    come on


    Interesting thing about this (none / 0) (#99)
    by vicndabx on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 11:21:29 PM EST
    "lead the people where they need to be"

    The president is trying to do that.  Problem is (as evidenced by this thread) that many on our side don't want to go there.

    If it's so easy, why aren't you already convinced?


    seriously? (5.00 / 2) (#113)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 12:34:07 AM EST
    If it's so easy, why aren't you already convinced?

    because the president is full of cr@p

    since you asked


    Geezus (none / 0) (#135)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 08:52:04 AM EST
    If you didn't see the humor in that comment all is lost.

    There was a bigger point there you missed.


    No there wasn't (5.00 / 3) (#140)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 12:05:32 PM EST
    You were offering the premise that "half" the people believe crazy conspiracy stories about Obama as a reason for his inability to persuade and lead.  The reality is that only a small percentage of right wingers believe those things.  They would believe crazy conspiracies about any Democratic president, and they wouldn't be persuaded by any argument from any Democratic President.  If "the problem" of Obama's inability to persuade and lead is (as you claim) caused by this small group of winger conspiracists, he shouldn't have bothered running for office.

    BTW - I think you missed AF's bigger point - your frequent habit of engaging in exaggeration and hyperbole in order to make excuses for Obama.


    ABG (5.00 / 0) (#145)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 02:52:48 PM EST
    hoist by own deafening petard

    Tad bit of exaggeration there (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by nycstray on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 11:15:39 PM EST
    No point in challenging him on it (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by shoephone on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 12:24:51 AM EST
    He really likes his straw men.

    Be careful with that bong (none / 0) (#154)
    by sj on Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 09:56:09 AM EST
    You don't want to damage it when you hit him over the head with it.

    Oh?  That's not what you meant?


    There is no real support for the (5.00 / 9) (#105)
    by MO Blue on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 11:37:49 PM EST
    spending cuts that Obama has chosen to make.

    No majority support for cutting benefits on Social Security which has absolutely nothing to do with the deficit.

    No majority support for raising the eligibility age, imposing higher premiums for upper income beneficiaries, changing the cost-sharing structure, and shifting Medigap insurance in ways that would likely reduce first-dollar coverage.

    No majority support for significant reductions in the federal contribution along with changes in taxes on providers, resulting in lower spending that would likely curb eligibility or benefits on Medicaid.

    No majority support from Democrats. The majority opposes them. No majority support from Independents. The majority opposes them. Even 50% of Republicans are against these cuts. 62 percent of Republicans with incomes of $30,000 or less say it is more important to maintain Social Security and Medicare benefits than to reduce the deficit.

    So basically contrary to what you say, Obama is not doing what the majority wants on spending cuts. Nor is he doing anything that could be construed as doing the right thing for the majority of our citizens. What he wants to do - what he has even publically said he wants to do - will cause a great deal of harm to millions of people if he is successful in achieving his objectives.


    ARghtomzathmw (5.00 / 1) (#126)
    by lentinel on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 06:01:48 AM EST
    Cuts that protect entitlements.

    I can think of no better way to protect "entitlements" than cutting them...


    Let's protect the war machine.


    Obama doesn't need to say it, ABG: (5.00 / 5) (#132)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 08:42:55 AM EST
    he's the one pushing the hardest for it.

    But let's talk about "austerity," shall we?  Do you truly believe that what people want is a life of austerity?  What if we called it something else - like, say, government-imposed deprivation?  Because isn't that what we're talking about?

    "Austerity" is something one chooses - like monks, for example, or others in religious life who have taken a vow of poverty, or those in the secular world who believe that the less one surrounds one's self with, the less emphasis one places on "things," and the acquisition and accumulation of them, the better one is able to focus on one's inner life.

    And how about "sacrifice?"  Now, there's a noble and moral word for you.  Another word of choice, not imposition, which is what is happening here.  No one is choosing to sacrifice their financial well-being, their ability to manage retirement and old age, and those who lose their jobs as a result of this deal or that deal I believe are going to be hard-pressed to take any satisfaction from sacrificing their jobs to the glory of deficit reduction.

    No one's "asking" us to "sacrifice" or lead a life of "austerity," ABG; this isn't going to be a choice we get to make.  No one's going to be getting a postcard where they can check off the box that says, "Yes!  I want to wait until age 67 to be eligible for Medicare" or "No, thanks!  I don't want to wait - I'll be ready at 65."  There will be no official form in the mail that asks us to choose how we want our Social Security calculated.  No, these decisions will be made for us, so, as far as I'm concerned, this is not the choice of austerity or sacrifice, it is government-imposed deprivation - because to "deprive" means "to take away."

    No one who has been in front of a camera, speaking into a microphone, standing at a podium, sitting at an anchor desk, has been honest with the American people about what this manufactured crisis will mean to them.  And when you're not honest with people, asking their opinion about what you've been telling them is more likely than not going to get you the answer you're looking for.  When people are asked, they overwhelmingly reject increases in the age of eligibility and decreases in benefits from SS and Medicare - so how bright do you have to be to understand that whatever "compromise" people say they favor does NOT include these things?

    "Most people" do not want more uncertainty in their lives.  "Most people" do not want to look back at their hard work and be told to wait longer to get less, and too bad if that means no retirement.  "Most people" do not want to realize that all the personal sacrifice they've made for their children - because most of us who are parents have sacrificed for our kids - it comes with the territory - is likely to mean little if there are no jobs for them, or the jobs there are won't allow them be financially independent.  

    I would say that you are not in touch with reality in any significant way, but I understand that it's more or less the only way to continue to support Obama's policies and agenda; I'm sorry you are so invested in the political fortune of this one person that you have to close your eyes to what he is determined to impose on millions of people.


    Do people want (none / 0) (#138)
    by lilburro on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 09:43:30 AM EST
    extended flatlining unemployment numbers?

    The "give the people what they want" model doesn't really work because they want conflicting things.  When this Congress went into session, the number 1 priority was jobs.

    Therefore, where are the jobs?

    For years, people have favored the repeal of the Bush tax cuts for the rich.

    Where is the repeal of those cuts?

    Unsurpisingly, after being bombarded by deficit talk, more Americans now want deficit reduction, even if in practice that threatens their other priorities.

    From Greg Sargent:

    The Beltway deficit feedback loop: For the longest time, polls indicated that the deficit ranked low on the list of voter concerns, showing public opinion to be strikingly out of sync with official Washington's prioritizing of the deficit over job creation.

    But this morning brings a new poll from the Washington Post and Pew Research that finds a whopping 81 percent now think the deficit is a major problem that should be dealt with now, rather than when the economy improves. Tellingly, that number has jumped even among Democrats.

    When you have leading officials in both parties -- starting with all Republicans and a handful of moderate Dems -- acting as if reining in the deficit is so urgent that it requires more attention than creating jobs, people start to tell pollsters they agree. This helps create a climate in which Dems lose any incentive to make the case for more government spending to prime the recovery, which begins to vanish from the conversation.

    Glad I saw the speech myself (none / 0) (#97)
    by vicndabx on Mon Jul 25, 2011 at 11:18:37 PM EST
    were I to rely solely on the comments here, I would've thought Obama proposed throwing seniors and poor folks out on the street.

    IMO, the speech was spot on.  Short, to the point.  Revenue increases, compromise for the greater good, we'll take some lumps also.

    There's a lot of projection of fears w/o actually knowing what's being bandied about.  "Sources say" does not a bill make.

    Uh... (none / 0) (#125)
    by lentinel on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 05:58:20 AM EST
    ...we'll take some lumps also.

    I'll say we will.

    And why?

    And what "lumps' will the raging military-industrial-legislative complex take?


    Site violator - spam (none / 0) (#129)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 26, 2011 at 08:06:24 AM EST