House Passes Debt Reduction Bill

The House of Representatives has passed the deficit reduction bill. The vote: 269 to 161.

The Senate will vote tomorrow.

Update: Here's the roll call vote: The ayes and noes.The Democrats are in italics.

Kudos to Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette for voting against the bill. Same for Dennis Kucinich, Barney Frank, Bobby Scott, John Conyers, Charlie Rangel and Zoe Lofgran.

Nancy Pelosi voted for the bill.

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    No Senate filibuster, not even Sanders? (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by BobTinKY on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:56:23 PM EST
    Remember when everything required 60 votes to pass?

    I read somewhere that there (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by MO Blue on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 08:03:52 PM EST
    were 70 votes in favor of this POS legislation. I guess we will see if that is a good number.

    No question in my mind that my sweet Claire will vote for it. She would probably knock others down if need be to prove just how "moderate" she can be.


    That's the Senate ... (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 11:14:32 PM EST
    this is the House.  The Senate votes tomorrow.

    I was referring to the upcoming Senate vote (none / 0) (#92)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 10:02:54 AM EST
    I think this summary, with quotes, (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by shoephone on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 09:36:57 PM EST
    from Taylor Marsh's blog is right on target. And I'm glad to see that Russ Feingold weighed in.

    The making of a deal (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by jbindc on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 09:18:13 AM EST
    With the talks going nowhere Saturday morning, the White House made "our last play," according to a senior administration official, calling on Biden's long-time connection to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

    "We had tried everything -- Boehner talking to Obama, small groups, large groups -- and everything fell apart," the official told POLITICO.


    McConnell wanted to negotiate primarily with Biden, concerned that other Democrats, especially Obama, would prove to be less trustworthy bargaining partners.

    "Biden's the only guy with real negotiating authority, and [McConnell] knows that his word is good," said a senior GOP staffer close to the talks. "He was a key to the deal."

    That d@mn experience thing again - the experience and longeivty to build relationships....

    I have no doubt (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by CST on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 10:31:18 AM EST
    that Biden, being a long term senator, would have good relationships with other senators.

    Yet the fact remains that long term senators rarely get elected as president.

    Biden was running in '08, so was Chris Dodd, so were a lot of long-term senators.  I don't recall any of them receiving much support here.  There's a reason for that too.

    I doubt most governers have long term relationships built with senators either.


    Governors (none / 0) (#96)
    by jbindc on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 10:41:58 AM EST
    Would have some relationships with senators - especially with their own (who would also have relationships with OTHER senators).  All the governors have offices with staffs in DC across the street from the Capitol- they have relationships.

    Governors also have other experience, such as dealing with budgets and working with a legislature.

    The point is, Obama had none of that experience, and once again, it shows.

    We should never be hoodwinked again.


    Meh (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by lilburro on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 10:49:45 AM EST
    I get the executive experience argument at some level, but I'm not buying that if only Obama had been a governor he would've developed more relationships than he did in the Senate for 3 years or so.

    I agree (none / 0) (#98)
    by jbindc on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 11:00:34 AM EST
    But he had no executive experience AND he had not built relationships in the Senate.

    Dangerous combination.  Every other candidate had at least one of those two factors.


    But that's why he chose Biden. (none / 0) (#99)
    by lilburro on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 11:32:26 AM EST
    To have someone who could be chummy with Congress.  I don't see the article you cited as pointing to some major problem...working on situations like this is part of the reason Biden is there.

    It's a pattern (none / 0) (#101)
    by jbindc on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 11:38:37 AM EST
    Dissected numerous times.  He doesn't have the relationship with Congress that cnadidates always have, which also explains why it's hard for him to get things done.  They don't know him or trust him.  Even members of his own party don't really know him.

    The point is, once again, he is a leader who cannot lead because of his deficiencies.  This is just yet another example.


    How many Democrats (none / 0) (#2)
    by Peter G on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:31:33 PM EST
    voted No?

    Dems were split 95-95 (none / 0) (#3)
    by Addison on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:33:40 PM EST
    A few more than I would have liked (none / 0) (#5)
    by andgarden on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:50:56 PM EST
    but comfortably below the triple-digit mark. If Giffords hadn't shown up, or if Pelosi had voted in her own capacity, a majority of Dems would have voted no.

    Or if my member of Congress had showed up (none / 0) (#9)
    by Towanda on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:14:16 PM EST
    it would have been 96 ayes.

    I will be seeking an explanation for abdication of responsibility.  Mine has been in fine health. . . .


    It really looks bad (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by CoralGables on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:21:27 PM EST
    if Gabby shows up and someone else misses the vote.

    Hinchey is being treated for cancer (none / 0) (#12)
    by andgarden on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:29:48 PM EST
    Baca and Moore I don't know about.

    I knew (none / 0) (#15)
    by CoralGables on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:36:02 PM EST
    as soon as I hit "post" that at least one of the missing votes would make me look like a bleeping idiot.

    Gwen Moore? (none / 0) (#10)
    by andgarden on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:20:26 PM EST
    Use to be very proud of my Dem Rep (none / 0) (#29)
    by MO Blue on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:59:26 PM EST
    Now he votes in lock step with Obama. So much for the CBC standing firm against this debt ceiling plan that they claim to oppose.

    Rep. Clay's district consists of a large number of poor, the working poor and lower middle class people who will be negatively impacted by both the domestic budget cuts and cuts to the safety net programs. He is definitely voting against the interests of his constituency.

    No longer proud that he is my Rep. but throughly disgusted with him.


    andgarden, I'm hoping you're the man to (none / 0) (#20)
    by oculus on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:45:56 PM EST
    answer my burning question:  was it feasible for Congress to pass 2010 FY budget, including raising the debt limit ceiling via the Gephardt Amendment, thereby avoiding all this hubbub?  Thanks.

    Sorry. I really don't know. (none / 0) (#22)
    by andgarden on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:46:53 PM EST
    Must move on. (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by oculus on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:48:54 PM EST
    Wouldn't it have been the 2011 budget, (none / 0) (#69)
    by Joan in VA on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 11:36:11 PM EST
    which was "deemed passed"(therefore not voted on so Gephardt didn't apply) last Fall which would have caused us to hit the ceiling this year? It seems to me that it would have been feasible for a budget to be passed, which would have included Gephardt, while the Dems still held the majority in both Houses, but they decided not to. Not sure who made the decision but it seemed to have something to do with not discussing the budget in front of voters before the election!

    Yes. This is my burning question. But--no one (none / 0) (#73)
    by oculus on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 11:40:52 PM EST
    will tackled it, even the exceptionally savvy re political wheelings and dealings.  What to do?  

    There are a number of people (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by andgarden on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 11:44:24 PM EST
    (presumably now unemployed) who used to be on the majority staff of the House Budget committee who would know the answer to that question. If you were feeling particularly gumptious, you could look up Dave Obey and ask him what happened.

    Now, there's a name (none / 0) (#77)
    by Towanda on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 12:11:31 AM EST
    I hadn't thought of for a while.  So I googled it and debt ceiling -- and he's still hewing to the party line.

    And it turns out that he's "of counsel" to Gephardt's firm in D.C., i.e., a lobbyist, so I doubt that Obey would give good email on this. :-)


    No (none / 0) (#84)
    by jbindc on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 07:36:18 AM EST
    Pretty meaningless (none / 0) (#38)
    by Romberry on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 10:14:45 PM EST
    Enough Dems would have voted "aye" to assure passage regardless.

    Just the right statement (none / 0) (#42)
    by christinep on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 10:29:35 PM EST
    A well constructed response: 95 to 95. Think about it.

    Yes, it shows that (none / 0) (#49)
    by Towanda on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 10:44:15 PM EST
    half of the so-called Democrats are not really Democrats -- and not just in Congress.

    Can't resist Towanda (none / 0) (#55)
    by christinep on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 11:12:37 PM EST
    but: Who is entrusted with determining who are "really Democrats?"  Maybe we should begin the Inquisition anew, heh?  

    Whether it is Big Tent as a moniker or whether it is the concept of a Big Tent (& Will Rogers' wry remark), the bigger the tent the more diversity.


    Silly, the answer is simple: (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by Towanda on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 11:17:46 PM EST
    We each decide for ourselves, based on the evidence.

    There is the evidence of the principles and platform of the Democratic Party, voted upon by the representatives elected as delegates from the grass-roots party organizations all over the country who come together to do so.

    And then, there is the evidence of the votes of the representatives in Congress who claimed to be Democrats and to uphold those principles and that platform to get on the ballots to be elected by the grass roots all over the country, etc.

    So, we each can look at the principles and platform and then look at the votes in Congress and decide for ourselves.

    Or, of course, we can just buy a label, the way that my daughter used to buy her blue jeans.

    But then, she grew up.


    Sound familiar? (5.00 / 2) (#103)
    by jbindc on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 02:48:14 PM EST
    From Glenn Greenwald:

    How can the leader of the Democratic Party wage an all-out war on the ostensible core beliefs of the Party's voters in this manner and expect not just to survive, but thrive politically?  Democratic Party functionaries are not shy about saying exactly what they're thinking in this regard:

    Mark Mellman, a Democratic pollster, said polling data showed that at this point in his term, Mr. Obama, compared with past Democratic presidents, was doing as well or better with Democratic voters. "Whatever qualms or questions they may have about this policy or that policy, at the end of the day the one thing they're absolutely certain of -- they're going to hate these Republican candidates," Mr. Mellman said. "So I'm not honestly all that worried about a solid or enthusiastic base."

    In other words: it makes no difference to us how much we stomp on liberals' beliefs or how much they squawk, because we'll just wave around enough pictures of Michele Bachmann and scare them into unconditional submission. That's the Democratic Party's core calculation: from "hope" in 2008 to a rank fear-mongering campaign in 2012.  Will it work?  The ones who will determine if it will are the intended victims of that tactic: angry, impotent liberals whom the White House expects will snap dutifully into line no matter what else happens (even, as seems likely, massive Social Security and Medicare cuts) between now and next November.

    If I've been voting for Democrats (5.00 / 2) (#105)
    by Anne on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 03:29:45 PM EST
    because they've made me afraid of what the other guys will do if I don't, and then those Democrats go and do the things they were supposed to be protecting me from, shouldn't they have lost their hold on me?  I don't think it's enough to make most Democrats vote GOP, but I do think it's enough to make a lot of them go third-party, write-in someone, or just stay out of it altogether.

    What Democrats seem to be hell-bent on proving is not that they are 2% less evil, but that they are just as evil - they may not foam at the mouth, or invoke God's name, or mangle history, but that doesn't make them the good guys.

    The increasing lack of ideological tension is consolidating the elite's hold on the masses, and it's only going to get worse.


    Thanks...deciding for ourselves , of course. (none / 0) (#64)
    by christinep on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 11:30:15 PM EST
    After assessing the evidence, of course (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by Towanda on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 12:05:42 AM EST
    or, as you put it below, "the bottom line is how one votes.  The how and not the justification" that may delude the media and public who have not bothered to read the party principles and platform or perhaps saw the delegates as just lying to each other as well as to us.

    Raised by a Dem who represented my state at the national conventions, I grew up watching those internal discussions and debates closely -- and especially the crucial conventions when charter rules and regs were adopted that defined the Dems as we knew them; that is, as they defined and redefined themselves.  (Now, crucial clauses were transgressed in 2008 by the very rules committee charged with upholding them, so that party does not exist now, based on its own legal basis for existence, its charter.  That is, if a legally chartered organization wants to act other than per its charter, it has to change the charter -- not just violate it.)  

    But charter aside, those who declare themselves in the group that still calls itself the Democratic Party still can be assessed by the current principles and platform, upon which they voted, to which they pledged, etc.

    Btw, I actually (for a school project) have read all Dem and GOP platforms throughout the parties' histories.  An interesting lens on our history as as country well as theirs as parties, defining themselves -- and thus defining the faithful, those who follow them, if all too unknowingly.  


    How do I find the list of (none / 0) (#6)
    by caseyOR on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:54:40 PM EST
    who voted yea and nay?

    Link (none / 0) (#7)
    by andgarden on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:59:40 PM EST
    WTF? (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 11:36:36 PM EST
    This was officially "a technical amendment to the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002"?

    <eyes rolling>


    Go figure (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by andgarden on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 11:38:55 PM EST
    As it came out of the House, they could have easily drawn up a new bill. The ACA started life as the Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act.

    Thanks, andgarden. n/t (none / 0) (#8)
    by caseyOR on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:01:58 PM EST
    I thought (none / 0) (#4)
    by CoralGables on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 06:39:49 PM EST
    the same thing but it was great to see her.

    It's that great Congressional free healthcare (5.00 / 5) (#13)
    by scribe on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:30:37 PM EST
    she gets that made it all possible.

    If she had been an ordinary schlub like you or me, she'd have died waiting for the hospital to check whether her insurance would pay.


    She very well might have died even with (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by oculus on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:42:06 PM EST
    her excellent healthcare coverage.  Your comment seems to me to be disrespectful of her office and her spunk.  

    not (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by dandelion on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:47:14 PM EST
    I don't think that comment was disrespectful at all.  It's quite true.  Ordinary Americans suffer all sorts of injuries every day, including being shot.  They are equally as heroic.  But the difference is:  they're also made bankrupt.

    I cannot cheer anyone voting austerity for the vast majority of Americans when those same people casting those votes are swilling champagne -- or getting the very best medical care the country has to offer.


    I thought it was (none / 0) (#27)
    by CoralGables on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:49:31 PM EST
    biting sarcasm, which is rather sad in that even with the most amazing stories there are always a batch that feel the need to go negative.

    Shameful and cynical (4.00 / 3) (#37)
    by lambert on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 10:14:01 PM EST
    Either she was used by the leadership, which is bad, or she believed in the bill, which is worse.

    The comment to the effect that she's voting to deny care that she herself received is spot on.


    WHile I was thrilled (5.00 / 2) (#94)
    by smott on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 10:09:49 AM EST
    to see Gabby Giffords up and around -
    can you imagine the weight of a statement she might have made voting No ? -

    "My life was saved because I'm fortunate to have the very best health care available due to my position in Congress. Every American should have the same access - but they don't. For that and other reasons  I cannot support this bill."

    But I dream....


    baloney (none / 0) (#41)
    by christinep on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 10:26:59 PM EST
    Although I usually agree w/your comments, (none / 0) (#66)
    by oculus on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 11:32:25 PM EST
    expec. re endless wars with no "win" possible, I vehemently disagree with your assessment of Rep. Gifford's character. Of course, I don't know her.  But neither do you.  Seems like a conscientious politician.  

    Jesus, what a leap. (none / 0) (#67)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 11:32:52 PM EST
    What in the bill passed in the House today is denying care to whom?

    Obama put raising Medicare eligibility to 67 ... (none / 0) (#108)
    by lambert on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 08:28:15 PM EST
    ... on the table, and you know that's on the agenda for the Politburo.

    That's going to kill some people, statistically. I mean, that's why we have Medicare in the first place.


    I'm glad she's doing better (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:37:19 PM EST
    The notion that she came specially to Congress to vote for THIS bill when the Democrats didn't even need her votes to pass it, told me that I needed to unsubscribe from her mails.  She's a bluedog.

    But get well soon, Bluedog.


    Nobody has a clue what that district (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by andgarden on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 10:07:23 PM EST
    will look like upon the next election.

    But you are right that this is how she has always been.

    I'd really love to line up a list of people who voted for this package but not TARP. Idiots.


    I tend (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 09:09:50 AM EST
    not to keep track of every Congressperson....it's too depressing.  But I was keeping track of her while she recovered.  She's not evil, but from what I can see her political team is.  I won't keep track of her anymore.

    She had a great excuse to stay home if she wanted it...or if her political team wanted it.


    That is true. But I think her arrival for THIS (none / 0) (#102)
    by esmense on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 02:17:39 PM EST
    vote was likely a bit of stagecraft more than encouraged by the White House and the Democratic leadership.

    I haven't read anything to indicate she is taking up full time duties in the House. Given that, I doubt it was personal, outsized enthusiasm for the bill that compelled her to take a break from the important routines of her recovery. More likely she was answering an appeal to do so for her party and the President.


    I disagree with many here on this. (none / 0) (#14)
    by Gerald USN Ret on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:35:00 PM EST
    First we must always determine what is possible.  In this case, in this point in history, this was what was possible.

    No it is not what we want.
    Yes it is what we can get.  We do have some fingerprints on it at least.  We tried.

    If there had been enough NO votes to stop it, but not change it more and then pass it, then where would we be?  

    I think in a deep ditch.  I don't believe there are tow trucks or tug boats big enough to pull America out of a deep ditch or a giant whirlpool.  We must avoid those at the onset.

    I hate to tell you this, but it wasn't the (5.00 / 5) (#43)
    by Anne on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 10:31:05 PM EST
    GOP that took the debt ceiling hostage.

    David Dayen (emphasis mine):

    Tim Geithner asked for an increase in the debt limit around August of 2009. This is a vote members of Congress don't like to take, but up until that time it had been fairly routine. But the above mentioned Democrats [Evan Bayh, Kent Conrad, Dianne Feinstein, Mark Warner and Joe Lieberman] threatened to hold the debt limit hostage:

    Senators from both parties on Tuesday put new pressure on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to turn the power to trim entitlement benefits over to an independent commission.

    Seven members of the Senate Budget Committee threatened during a Tuesday hearing to withhold their support for critical legislation to raise the debt ceiling if the bill calling for the creation of a bipartisan fiscal reform commission were not attached. (...)

    (...) Congress is under pressure to raise the cap on what the federal government can borrow by mid-December. If the debt ceiling is not raised above its current $12.1 trillion mark by then, the government will exceed its borrowing limits and will be forced to default on the debt. Economists have warned that the inevitable result would be a lowering of the U.S. credit rating, triggering substantial increases in the interest rates the government is already paying.

    But before Tuesday's hearing was over, Sens. Conrad, Gregg, Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), George Voinovich (R-Ohio) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) publicly vowed to vote against raising the debt ceiling if a budget reform commission bill doesn't come along with it.

    Kent Conrad went so far as to say, "You rarely do have the leverage to make a fundamental change."

    For the first time, perhaps in history, members of Congress tied spending cuts to raising the debt limit. This was the blueprint off of which John Boehner and the Republicans worked. The panel that Conrad wanted, along with Judd Gregg, would have had a mandate to reduce the deficit through spending caps, tax reform and entitlements, and would have submitted recommendations for an up-or-down vote without amendments or the possibility of the filibuster. That's EXACTLY what's in the bill being voted on today.

    The Democrats pushing this ultimately backed down. Eventually, President Obama signed a clean $1.8 trillion debt limit increase in February 2010. But that obscures the issue. First, something did get attached to the debt limit bill - statutory paygo, requiring that all new spending be paid for with taxes or cuts. Second, because of the pressure that Conrad and the Democrats put on leadership, they got a guaranteed vote prior to the debt limit increase on their deficit commission. It would have passed if Republicans who previously supported the idea didn't bail at the last minute. At this point, President Obama, who had pivoted onto deficit reduction at the end of 2009, said he would by executive order put together the deficit commission. And so the original Catfood Commission was born. They've been talking about deficits in Washington, in the middle of a jobs crisis, ever since.

    So, yeah - it was manufactured, largely by Democrats.  Really ups the disgust quotient, doesn't it?


    You must have missed this (5.00 / 5) (#51)
    by Towanda on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 10:45:57 PM EST
    by not reading to the end:

    . . . a mandate to reduce the deficit through spending caps, tax reform and entitlements, and would have submitted recommendations for an up-or-down vote without amendments or the possibility of the filibuster. That's EXACTLY what's in the bill being voted on today.

    So, two years from now, do you expect (5.00 / 3) (#83)
    by Anne on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 07:12:47 AM EST
    to hear the media repeat, ad nauseam, that it was Democrats, led by Barack Obama, who first opened the door to cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and will that be a fair reflection of what actually happened?

    I think the answer is "yes," as to that future assessment, and I think it's fair to now look back at who opened the door to using the debt ceiling for political and ideological purposes.

    It's important to know and understand what the opposition is doing, where it wants to go and what the endgame is, and I think that's true whether you're talking about the GOP or about those within the party; I had hoped to never have to be able to say that representatives of my own party, including the Democratic president, put the safety net on the table, but there it is.  

    Undeniably, painfully there.  From now on, the Democratic argument to protect beneficiaries of these programs will be..."but it was Democrats who wanted to cut them..."

    And there's no comeback to that.  It's the kind of statement that makes mouths slap shut because there's no argument against it.  

    You can call my attempt to educate about where your anger is best directed a "circular firing squad" if you like, but it doesn't change anything, does it?  Well, I guess it makes you feel better to aim at me than at those who got us here, so there's that.  Good for you.



    Both past and present (5.00 / 4) (#86)
    by MO Blue on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 08:06:18 AM EST
    The Republicans, Speaker Boehner or Majority Leader Cantor DID NOT call for Social Security cuts in the budget deal.  THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES CALLED FOR THAT,"  declared US Representative John Conyers in a press conference held by members of the House "Out of Poverty' Caucus on 07/27/11." link

    The President of the United States, Barack Obama, has been calling for cuts to Social Security programs since 2007. He and his allies in D.C. have been establishing the groundwork for cuts to the safety net programs since he became president and they continue to do so. They would prefer to accomplish these changes through a manufactured crisis or by committee so that they can falsely claim that they were forced to make these changes. To ignore all the steps that Obama and other Democratic politicians have taken to accomplish their agenda is the equivalent of burying your head in the sand.


    very instructive (none / 0) (#80)
    by klassicheart on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 03:42:57 AM EST
    thanks for the quotes....This has been obscured completely by the media, of course.

    Excuses. (4.67 / 6) (#32)
    by lentinel on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 08:29:44 PM EST
    You have made a determination about what was possible.

    I think it would have been eminently possible to raise revenues.

    Obama didn't want to.
    So that made it impossible.

    But a leader dedicated to the welfare of the people could have made it possible.

    If the current incumbent finds it impossible to craft legislation that would be equitable, he should be thrown out of office at the earliest opportunity.


    But, that is what we do in life from day to day (none / 0) (#44)
    by christinep on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 10:31:11 PM EST
    Make determinations about what is possible.  

    You (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by lentinel on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 10:45:35 PM EST
    can make determinations from day to day about what is possible for you.

    In the case of our government, I have made a determination that it would have been possible, eminently possible, to raise revenues as a major means solving the debt crisis.

    I think that they did not do so because none of the members of our government who were in a position of power wanted to disturb their very very rich patrons.

    Someone else can accept the notion that Obama and the rest did what they could, but had to yield to the republicans. I don't buy it.

    I think it is eminently possible to do much better for our citizens -especially the weakest among us. I will agree that the guy at the helm cannot or will not do it. But that doesn't mean it is impossible.

    Let's elect someone for whom it IS possible.
    This charlatan encouraged his flock and flockettes to intone "yes we can" when in fact he couldn't and wouldn't.


    I'm sorry, but (none / 0) (#72)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 11:39:16 PM EST
    imagining that this GOP House would pass anything that included revenue increases is just, no kidding, delusional.

    There are a lot of sucky things in this bill I think didn't have to be agreed to, but "no taxes" ain't one of them.


    Yes, (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by lentinel on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 08:02:38 AM EST
    but why is it unimaginable to think that Democratic Senate would refuse to pass anything that did not include increased revenues?
    Or at least a date certain for the final extinction of the Bush tax cuts?

    Why is it the right-wing that always draws the line, and Obama and the rest wither?

    I begin to feel that the Democrats are on the same page with the Republicans - and it doesn't even have to do with caving in to their demands.

    And, you know, I have begun to see two lines of thought that were emerging as this deadline approached. One is that default wouldn't really be all that bad. The other is that raising the debt ceiling would not disguise the sad and sorry state of our economy. In other words, the markets will be jittery anyway.

    Personally, I was convinced that a default would cause me aggravation - big time. But maybe the whole thing is similar to the doomsday scenarios around YK2.

    So everybody in D.C. got what they wanted.
    No taxes on the wealthy, and the rest of us pay for their ongoing follies. And we are supposed to feel, well, they did the best they could....

    I feel that we have been had. Once again.
    And I feel as much contempt, perhaps even more contempt, for the dems as I do for the brain-dead republicans.


    I think it (none / 0) (#89)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 09:36:36 AM EST
    would have been possible if the Dems, from the Prez down had adopted talking points and broadcast them over and over again shaming the Repubs for shielding the uber wealthy, for not believing in true shared sacrifice, etc.  This is especially true since Grover Norquist publicly stated that letting the Bush tax cuts expire would not violate the no new tax pledge many Repubs have signed.

    From my 37 yr.-old niece's FB today: (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by oculus on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 10:52:11 PM EST
    If it is to be, then it's up to me.

    A different POV (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by MO Blue on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 11:21:23 PM EST
    ....But on how he actually governs, which is actually a pretty big part of the job, there is no debate. He has pursued a governing strategy that is both radical in its lawlessness and authoritarian in its structure around civil liberties, war, and deference to big finance while destroying faith in government through nearly unprecedented incompetence in the millions of people touched by the HAMP program.  And what, pray tell, explains the ongoing Libya fiasco?

    So why, if his Presidency has been such an unmitigated disaster, is he continuing to pursue this reckless course. My theory is that the key to the Obama administration's political strategy is not compromise or incrementalism. It is, quite simply, fooling liberals. When you look at Obama's governing role, he is clearly a servant of American oligarchs. But obviously he can't explicitly tell liberals this (unlike Republicans, who are explicit in saying they favor "job creators"), because liberals like to think of themselves as favoring economic justice.
    All of this is to say that how one sees government is critical to how one judges Obama. And if the only consideration is the boundaries of television, then of course, Obama is going to look like a mediocre narrator-in-chief constrained by wild forces he cannot control. Of course, Congress will make him seem like a somewhat inept but well-meaning legislative leader or party leader. It is only in turning off the boundaries set by a narrow TV-dominated discourse that one truly sees Obama's real handiwork - the wars, the bailouts, and most tragically, what could have been but never was. link

    Source of your (none / 0) (#90)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 09:37:40 AM EST

    It's there - right at the end - in blue. (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Anne on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 10:03:29 AM EST
    It's Matt Stoller, writing at naked capitalism.

    Yikes! (none / 0) (#39)
    by lambert on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 10:16:42 PM EST
    We agree on the manufactured nature of the crisis. Remarkable.

    Hey. (none / 0) (#16)
    by Addison on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:37:07 PM EST
    If people want to be constructive about this situation, contact Pelosi and Reid and ensure that the commission is staffed with the Congressmen you want, and not Liebermans. Obama will be a pretty marginal figure in the debt debate over the next 3.5 months if there are strong voices on the commission. Now's the time for Democrats to leverage their frustration with leadership to get good commission picks.

    triggers (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by dandelion on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:49:22 PM EST
    But if the commission can't come up with the appropriate cuts, the automatic cuts will occur.
    Tails we win, heads we lose.  

    And the fact remains that ANY cuts now, when we're in a "Lesser Depression" are damaging.


    thank you (none / 0) (#40)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 10:17:58 PM EST
    Like Obama, Pelosi & Reid really don't care (5.00 / 3) (#30)
    by BobTinKY on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:59:33 PM EST
    about you, me or anyone who isn't a gazillionaire or Fortune 500 corporate CEO.

    Isn't that obvious by now?


    Then who cares? (none / 0) (#45)
    by christinep on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 10:35:02 PM EST
    According to you, BobTinKy, the three Democratic principal leaders don't care. So, which leaders do "care?" Or, are we to bemoan only that noone cares?

    No (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by itscookin on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 10:50:10 PM EST
    We have to send people to Washington who do care. We need to take a lesson from the Tea Party and primary every Democrat who has shown that he or she does not represent us. And then we have to hold the new people accountable if they don't. As long as they know that there are people who will vote for them no matter what they do as long as they have a (D), after their name, we'll keep getting screwed. It's the only way to "keep their feet to the fire" that actually has any chance of working. "Sternly written letters", petitions, tweets, and phone calls have no teeth. The ballot box does.

    so true (none / 0) (#82)
    by klassicheart on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 03:47:37 AM EST
    But there is really no organization for this.  The liberal groups can't be trusted...that's been apparent for some time.

    Oooh, let me answer that (none / 0) (#54)
    by mjames on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 10:54:02 PM EST
    The three Democratic principals do not care. None of the "leaders" in Washington cares. Not a one.

    Bemoan? Oh no, rage is more what I'm feeling. It's "democracy" without representation.

    I will do everything in my power to see that every Dem is thrown out ASAP. Every last one of them.

    Anything you don't understand? Because I'm fed up with apologists and truth deniers.


    And, I feel the same about fantasists (none / 0) (#60)
    by christinep on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 11:19:53 PM EST
    Let's assume that everyone that you find offensive "is thrown out ASAP?" The way our government is structured, someone will replace them...plus there is the thing of having voters...so, with whom (specifically) would you replace the offenders?

    "Truth deniers"...wasn't that term used in regimes such as SSRs?  A touchy area that.  
    (Look, I understand venting & frustration...but lashing out about "truth deniers" suggests a real problem.)


    Opinions are people, too. (none / 0) (#78)
    by Addison on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 12:29:55 AM EST
    So, mjames presents his/her opinion of how much three politicians "care", then frames that opinion as one derived from being fed up with "truth-deniers". Opinions are good enough to stand on their on here on a blog. It's okay to express your opinion and not have to metamorphize your opinion into the one holy "truth" just to give it added "oomph". Your opinion is plenty good enough to justify your course of action (every Dem thrown out ASAP -- to be replaced by whom, TBD I guess). But acting like it's not an opinion is silly enough to make that course of action seem ridiculous.

    Very good question (none / 0) (#111)
    by BobTinKY on Fri Aug 12, 2011 at 10:35:17 PM EST
    as far as elected Dems in leadership positions, you have me stumped.

    clearly lieberman is not the problem (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by klassicheart on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 03:45:00 AM EST
    Obama is.  Why can't some people understand that?  It's not about who's on this commission...because the result is pre-ordained.  That's the point.

    Duncan Hunter, Rep., CA voted no. Kind of (none / 0) (#19)
    by oculus on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:43:19 PM EST
    surprising, as he is preTea Party.

    His no vote was clearly for the wrong reasons (none / 0) (#21)
    by andgarden on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:46:24 PM EST
    Of course (none / 0) (#46)
    by christinep on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 10:38:33 PM EST
    When x says "no," it is for the wrong reason; but, when y says "no," it must be for the proper reason.  While I understand the inner philosophical point, I want to push you here, because the results are the same. When a vote is for x for one reason and when a vote is for y for another reason, the results are exactly the same...no matter the reason. You know facts. And, thems the cold hard facts.

    I am confident (5.00 / 7) (#47)
    by andgarden on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 10:41:56 PM EST
    that no Democrat voted no because the bill wasn't sufficiently conservative and no Republican voted no because the bill made draconian cuts.

    As for the ultimate result, I'm with Krugman and Jeralyn. This bill was worth defeating.


    There were maybe ... (none / 0) (#56)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 11:13:22 PM EST
    a handful of House members who voted based on ideological framework.  The overwhelming majority based their vote on a balance between the value of party loyalty and how it would effect their chances in '12.

    Assuming that's so (as it usually is), (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by andgarden on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 11:16:00 PM EST
    there were an astonishing number of miscalculations tonight.

    NYT and LAT are resoundingly (none / 0) (#62)
    by oculus on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 11:21:47 PM EST
    negative this evening to Pres. and Congress re this resolution of debt ceiling.  

    Not sure (none / 0) (#91)
    by BackFromOhio on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 09:42:03 AM EST
    that Dems won't be able to get away with claiming that they saved Social Security and Medicare, etc.

    We really won't know that ... (none / 0) (#100)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 11:37:36 AM EST
    until 2012.  But I'd say less than you think.

    A bitty comment, andgarden (none / 0) (#63)
    by christinep on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 11:23:08 PM EST
    Saying something like "besides I agree with Mr this & Ms that" doesn't make the argument stronger.  And, my original point was that in matters of voting and recording positions, the bottom line is how one votes.  The how and not the justification.

    If you have nothing else to go on, sure (5.00 / 3) (#65)
    by andgarden on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 11:31:44 PM EST
    But these votes are ultimately quite relative. Take, for instance, the House vote on the Reid proposal. On its on merits, that was an atrociously right wing piece of legislation, but it got ZERO Republican votes. Why? Because the Republicans knew they could hold out for a better deal. The Democrats knew that the President was doing his best to sell them out (though as we saw tonight, the bulk of the Democrats are happy to sell themselves out).

    What? (none / 0) (#75)
    by nycstray on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 11:50:00 PM EST
    So you're saying that my Rep George Miller and some Tea Partier who also voted no are not different? Just that the how (both no) is all that matters?

    I am saying that politicians position themselves (none / 0) (#104)
    by christinep on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 03:02:10 PM EST
    While there is no reason to doubt the Rep George Miller--from his vote nor from his history--it is important to remember that the vote is the statement for the record.  Heck, I've seen up close situations where a Congressperson (in Indiana in this case voted the "wrong" way but covered it with the "right" reason more than once.)  

    Overall, I look at the vote & consider the reasons--but, it is the vote that counts.  In the present situation, of course, Pelosi & colleagues choreagraphed the situation well--the 95 split makes its own statement by allowing the Progressive Caucus, Black Caucus, & Hispanic group to make a strong unified statement while at the same time allowing those who needed to support the agreement.  (And, for future reference, the number allows for the House Dems to position themselves in a favorable way to their districts & in the upcoming election.)

    Factoid: Politicalwire has a paragraph on the correlation between type of district & votes. Straight correlation: The safer the district, the more likely the representative was to vote "no." The swing districts representatives favored the compromise for the most part.  Something more than coincidence...pols will be pols, as is said here.


    As someone (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by lilburro on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 12:59:57 AM EST
    whose POV seemed to be mostly "wait and see"

    what do you think of the bill as it stands, christinep?

    I think that's a fair question.


    It kicks the can down the road (none / 0) (#106)
    by christinep on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 03:34:44 PM EST
    Primarily, the agreement cuts $2.5 trillion from the goernment over a decade. I haven't figured out the percentages per year, and--thankfully--is is more backloaded (so that if things change, it too may change...depending on Congressional makeup as they say.) The initial 1.2 trillion cut is actually like two-cents on the dollar when adjusted over ten years.  Not too bad in view of all the early threats beginning last December.

    The Super Committee aspect will reflect who is appointed by the respective House & Senate leadership. (Pelosi has promising comments about the values her 3 appointees should reflect.) In short: If the patterns of previous special committees holds, one would expect a draw/stalemate/ etc. in addressing in a matter of a few months the major contentious issues long dividing the parties. While the trigger provision might nudge some movement, the safety valve is the exemptions for Social Security, Medicare benefits (not providers), Medicaid, & other low income programs such as food stamps...after the trigger is activated.  That safety valve will be more & more significant. By the beginning of the year--if history is any indicator--expect to see that both parties have preserved their major issues for the election pathway which will soon sweep most work aside. The Dems will claim that the Repubs will destroy the Big 3 of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid while the Repubs will claim that the Dems can only talk about taxing & spending.

    It would have been nice to see revenue at this recent ceiling agreement.  But, I agree with Kevin Drum's brief take that so much of that was decided in November 2010. Elections have consequences, as we have seen with the Tea Pots. Aside from wondering if there is a way to neogtiate with the Crazies, the results did hold the line.... ToWit: The Big Three were not cut (and if the play out is as expected, the damage worried about in this process--if any--may be minimal; we avoided default & all its ramifications, esp the almost immediate rise in interest rates; we have neutralized for the time being & to the next election "debt-deficit" politics (tho not the related & more important issues above); and, given the numbers & the Crazies, we contained the damage as well as could be expected.

    Two interesting sidenotes: The battle & the war kind of thing. The Tea Pots Crazy approach worked this time in maximizing the effect of their numbers...but, those things don't usually live to their new expectations for an encore. Large numbers of the American public now have a negative view of these "childish" etc. types. Additionally, I think that we will see Cantor try a power-play for Boehner's seat...that is the reason why Boehner is trying to convince everyone how much he got. Y'see, the Republican Party will need all the king's horses & men to try to patch that rift. (Read Kathleen Parker's recent column about throwing out the toxic tea...my read of her has been that she is the David Brooks, Peggy Noonan type.)

    Truly, I'm relieved that the concoctions of the phase two (& its trigger) does seem to be a recipe for deferring issues a bit when we don't have the numbers. And, as some have started to say, this next election--because of this ongoing deadlock--may provide one of the clearest choices between two very different approaches in a long time.  

    Finally...if all the foregoing is true, the tax issue may play to our advantage for the first time in many years.  That is the tooth & nail issue; and, the public has gradually heard & been reminded of it (via the "top 2 percent" & fair share mantra for some time already.) The timing is good for a full=throated reprise of the tax equity issue that the public might now accept without the fear that it is the common man's taxes that we are after. I think it will be one of the top two issues.


    Perhaps (none / 0) (#24)
    by CoralGables on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 07:47:20 PM EST
    the godfather of tea?

    He is the son of Duncan Hunter Sr., (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by oculus on Mon Aug 01, 2011 at 11:35:11 PM EST
    who never, ever, would have voted for any reduction in spending on the U.S. military.

    SITE VIOLATOR!!! (none / 0) (#109)
    by caseyOR on Tue Aug 02, 2011 at 11:29:06 PM EST
    Huge site violator here, J. Eating up a whole lot of bandwidth.

    Holy Mother (none / 0) (#110)
    by CoralGables on Wed Aug 03, 2011 at 02:20:34 AM EST
    of wholesale spam in a can. This has to be a record.