Monday Morning Open Thread

The 11 Show, starring me, post Petraeus Fall From Grace Election edition, today at 11 Eastern. I will discuss the election, the "fiscal cliff" nonsense, the "no mandate" nonsense and the amazing fall of the greatest American who ever lived (yes, that is snark.) How to Listen Your options to listen LIVE:
  • Click on the embedded Flash player below
  • Go to netrootsradio.com and click on the embedded player or direct link there
  • Click on this direct link if you need a non-Flash player, say, for iPad or iPhone
  • iPad and iPhone users can download the SHOUTCast Radio app for your mobile device and search for "Netroots Radio"
  • For Android: Try either the "StreamFurious" or "TuneIn" apps
  • BlackBerry users, see this guide by idbecrazyif

Listen to Daily Kos Radio right here:The Daily Kos Radio Player


Open Thread.

< Student Wears Joker Mask to Colo. Theater, Gets Arrested | Jailed Iranian Blogger Died After Torture, Iran to "Investigate" >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    We (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by lentinel on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 09:17:30 AM EST
    are approaching what the media has dubbed, "the fiscal cliff".
    It is the same spot that resulted in the last "deal" which hammered the poor and middle class.

    Huffington Post is reporting that,

    Democrats have offered, in a series of high-profile negotiations, to slash trillions in spending, much of it hitting the elderly, the poor and the middle class.

    Later, the article states,

    But more than anything, lawmakers will likely target Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and a host of other social programs that help those with the fewest advocates in Washington, including people on food stamps, veterans, retiring federal workers, home health care workers and the elderly.

    This is it.
    Just about everyone here agreed, to greater and lesser extents, that Romney was worse than Obama. People who were actually for Obama (as opposed to just being afraid of Romney) signalled that once he was reelected, he would be free to show us the fighting spirit and "heart" than they know he has.


    If Obama goes along passively and gives us another "deal", known now as a "bargain", we will know the truth about what the next four years have in store for us.

    If he comes out and fights, takes it to the people a la Kennedy vs US Steel, we might have something.

    To me, this is a moment of truth.
    Cross your fingers.

    Obama has shown his fighting (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 09:28:49 AM EST
    spirit or his tenacity all along when it comes to trying to get his "grand bargain."

    Anyone who isn't aware of his ongoing efforts to divert funds from safety net programs (Grand Bargain) to corporate tax breaks (or in political speak reforming the tax code) hasn't been paying attention.

    According to Obama "we must eat our peas." Of course, millions of people may not be able to afford to buy peas but what the heck they don't fund million dollar campaigns or pay speaker fees.


    Of (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by lentinel on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 09:42:27 AM EST
    course, I agree with you about what Obama has already revealed about himself.

    This is part two. I might entitle it, "the final nail".

    But, in deference to those who felt that Obama was actually on the side of the middle class, or minorities, or the disadvantaged, and voted for him on that basis, I will hold out the dim candle of hope that we will see a new compassionate soul emerging from what has thus far been a disappointing hack.

    I'm not expecting anything but what we are already been served.

    But we'll soon be finding out.


    I think (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Amiss on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 09:47:44 PM EST
    He has no cajones and will pretty much go along with "the Grand Bargain" that benefits defense contractors and Wall St.

    Okay, so I have some questions. (5.00 / 6) (#4)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 10:04:48 AM EST
    And apparently, so does Paul Krugman:

    The fiscal cliff poses an interesting problem for self-styled deficit hawks. They've been going on and on about how the deficit is a terrible thing; now they're confronted with the possibility of a large reduction in the deficit, and have to find a way to say that this is a bad thing.


    So they're left making a mostly incoherent case: it's too abrupt (why?), it's the wrong kind of deficit reduction (???), and then this:

    a better approach would be to focus spending cuts on low-priority spending and on changes which can help to encourage growth and generate new revenue through comprehensive tax reform which broadens the base - ideally by enough to also lower tax rates.

    Low-priority spending? I think that means spending on poor people and the middle class. And isn't it amazing how people who claim to be horrified, horrified about deficits can't stop talking about cutting tax rates?

    Krugman would like to show these people the door:

    It's not just the fact that the deficit scolds have been wrong about everything so far. Recent events have also demonstrated clearly what was already apparent to careful observers: the deficit-scold movement was never really about the deficit. Instead, it was about using deficit fears to shred the social safety net. And letting that happen wouldn't just be bad policy; it would be a betrayal of the Americans who just re-elected a health-reformer president and voted in some of the most progressive senators ever.

    Is there anyone in the media - other than Mr. Krugman - who is asking the right questions and pointing out the utter hypocrisy of the deficit hysterics?  

    No, this is following the same old script: identify the message the powers-that-be want to deliver, and then deliver it; don't ask questions, don't push back.  

    I think I'm going to call this "the evil of inevitability."

    I think we are seeing the construction (none / 0) (#5)
    by ruffian on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 10:33:19 AM EST
    of the fig leaf that will get them past the idiotic sequestration, which nobody wants. They won't just repeal it altogether, cuz that would be embarrassing, but they will tell themselves they are making enough "low-priority" changes to satisfy the requirements.

    "Is there anyone in the media (none / 0) (#29)
    by NYShooter on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 01:42:13 PM EST
    ........... who is asking the right questions...........?"

    I guess you weren't watching the Right programs yesterday, Anne. Right there, in black & white, as they say, were six multi-millionaires, gnashing & squirming, making those "tough decisions" only a clueless millionaire has the "guts" to make.

    You've been talking to the wrong people. You think these Oligarchs LIKE stepping over homeless people at the entrance of their 40 million dollar apartments? I suppose you believe destitute people are the ONLY people having a hard time of it these days.

    Get serious, tell BOTH sides of the story, will you please.


    The leaked 2011 memo on last year's (5.00 / 5) (#7)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 11:21:56 AM EST
    "deal," is nothing less than a blueprint/roadmap for what I think we can expect from Obama on how he plans to deal with the fiscal molehill:

    From Americablog:

    Here's the ultimate Beltway insider, Bob Woodward, on Meet The Press with David Gregory. It seems that someone leaked Obama's 2011 Grand Bargain memo to House Speaker John Boehner. First, Woodward's on-air comment (my emphasis):

    "This is a confidential document, last offer the president -- the White House made last year to Speaker Boehner to try to reach this $4 trillion grand bargain. And it's long and it's tedious and it's got budget jargon in it. But what it shows is a willingness to cut all kinds of things, like TRICARE, which is the sacred health insurance program for the military, for military retirees; to cut Social Security; to cut Medicare. And there are some lines in there about, "We want to get tax rates down, not only for individuals but for businesses." So Obama and the White House were willing to go quite far."

    Here's a link to the memo itself, which should - at a minimum - stop any discussion about Barack Obama as the champion of the middle class, the old, the poor or the sick.  

    And if anyone wastes one molecule of oxygen or ink on the but-Romney-and-the-Republicans-would-be-worse, then shame on you.  Really, because while you're making excuses and telling us all to wait and see what the final proposal looks like, the Grand Bargain will be proceeding apace.

    Yeah, there're all kinds of political chess moves being made here - someone in the WH leaked the memo to Woodward, who used Meet the Press to announce it.  Why the leak?  Is this all about "how close" the two sides are?

    I don't know.  All I know is that whatever message people thought they were sending to Obama, he has no plans to honor it.

    And to the inevitable, "but this isn't a memo on the current situation" that I can imagine some people here chiming in with, here's my response to that: are you f-ing kidding me?

    Obama may not have to run again, but the Dem (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by ruffian on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 11:48:36 AM EST
    Congress does. I can't believe they think a deal along these lines will benefit anyone, much less their own jobs. They are not known for their genius however, so we will see.

    Not gonna wait (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by nycstray on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 12:13:12 PM EST
    Going to let my new/old Rep know exactly what I think. He tends to be bluer than my last one, so I think I'll let him know what 'we' expect 'round these parts, lol!~

    Numerous leading Dems (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 12:14:30 PM EST
    are on record as being willing to "reform" the safety net programs. A couple since the election:

    Schumer said in return, Democrats would be willing to negotiate changes on matters close to their party, such as Medicare and Medicaid, and indicated Obama might say as much in an address from the East Room of the White House on Friday. link

    I'm hearing top Democrat Chris Van Hollen right now on Fox promise major entitlement reform, which the Republican all agreed was terrific although they disagreed on the details. Republican Bob Corker said he was relieved that Democrats are finally ready to make the necessary cuts for the long term. digby

    Let's also not forget that Durbin voted yes in favor of the Cat Food Commission and at least 15 members of the Senate aggressively pushed for formation of committee and for pursuing its objectives even after it failed to receive the required votes.


    They (5.00 / 4) (#18)
    by lentinel on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 12:30:57 PM EST
    will campaign on the republicans being even worse.
    And they will get reelected.

    Some "slight" changes to the safety net (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 11:48:42 AM EST
    programs that Obama is eager to make.

    Raise eligibility age for Medicare
    Raise premiums on Part B and D
    Across the board increase in Medicare premiums, copays and deductibles.
    Limitations to certain types of supplemental coverage.
    Apply Superiative CPI to Social Security, mandatory programs and tax code.


    The (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by lentinel on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 12:29:31 PM EST
    memo to which you linked is hair-raising.
    Of course, it is a little bit late in the day - a week too late.
    Not that it would have made a difference because, as you know, "Romney is worse".

    If that had gone through, Obama would ... (none / 0) (#8)
    by magster on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 11:41:39 AM EST
    ... have lost. Hopefully now that he's re-elected, we start from square one.

    It's far more likely (5.00 / 4) (#19)
    by sj on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 12:35:47 PM EST
    that now that he's re-elected he abandons all efforts to appear populist and he does what he wants.  What he has been talking about since 2007:  SS cuts.  Medicare cuts.  Medicaid cuts.

    "Hopefully" is a word that should be part of no-one's lexicon when it comes to those things.  Hope won't save them.  Only lots and lots of loud talk.  Which will need to get really loud because media isn't going to act as an amplifier whatsoever.  IMO


    Devil's advocate... (none / 0) (#24)
    by magster on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 12:51:48 PM EST
    because Obama's not running for re-election, the narcissistic dem Senators who envision themselves as a president someday don't have to bow to a lame duck and can pursue a progressive stance to further their own standing...????

    Narcissistic Dem Senators (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by shoephone on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 12:57:01 PM EST
    are already angling to cut SS and raise the eligibility age on Medicare. And they've said so. Mark Warner (one of the biggest phonies in the Democratic party) and Chris Van Hollen have been very open about it.

    And they are not the least bit concerned about re-election.


    Don't forget Dick Durbin, one of (5.00 / 4) (#30)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 01:47:08 PM EST
    the Gang of Eight, and like a slobbering, tail-wagging puppy in his enthusiasm for the cutting - bipartisan cutting, no less.

    Jesus Christ on a crutch, if I can be somewhat irreverent.

    That Gang of Eight is like a rogue's gallery of total wankers, as hypocritical and disingenuous and ill-informed and wrong-headed as any eight people gathered to negotiate people's quality of life could be.

    Hasn't even been a week yet, and there are no signs Obama has any intention of safeguarding programs that represent a lifeline to millions of people.

    And, as anticipated, here are the Eyes Wide Shut crowd trying to convince us to wait for the details; next up: the 11-dimensional chess group to explain Obama's mad negotiating skills.



    Actually, I've been trying to forget Durbin (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by shoephone on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:47:20 PM EST
    even exists. I gave up on that wimp seven years go when he cried and apologized for equating our torturers at Guantanamo with the same old evil exhibited by Pol Pot and the Nazis. He was right the first time. And then he crawled to the senate floor with his tail betwen his legs to make nice with the neocons.

    Haven't had an ounce of respect for him since.


    Act III will be a reinactment of the (none / 0) (#31)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 01:55:24 PM EST
    best known version of

    "Give them h&ll Harry has something up his sleeve."


    And not that I want to send you all (5.00 / 4) (#32)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:08:21 PM EST
    to a session with the porcelain god, but this, it seems to me, has "WTF" written all over it:

    As he prepares to meet with Congressional leaders at the White House on Friday, aides say, Mr. Obama will not simply hunker down there for weeks of closed-door negotiations as he did in mid-2011, when partisan brinkmanship over raising the nation's debt limit damaged the economy and his political standing. He will travel beyond the Beltway at times to rally public support for a deficit-cutting accord that mixes tax increases on the wealthy with spending cuts.

    On Wednesday, Mr. Obama will meet with corporate executives at the White House as he uses the nation's fiscal problems to start rebuilding relations with business leaders. Though many of them backed Mitt Romney, scores have formed a coalition to push for a budget compromise similar to the one the president seeks. He hopes to enlist them to persuade Republicans in Congress to accept higher taxes on the assurance that he can deliver Democrats' votes for future reductions in fast-growing entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid.


    And with the election campaign over, the campaign for the Obama legacy begins: Mr. Obama will keep his grass-roots organization in place to "have the president's back," as its members like to say, on the budget negotiations and other issues in the second term. Democrats concede that the network has not been a particularly effective legislative lobby to date. But they argue that when it was activated to pass payroll tax cuts and low-interest student loans, the pressure made a difference.

    Ah, yes...the "campaign for the Obama legacy" will begin with something that sounds a lot like "leading the sheep to slaughter."

    But not to worry: the Obama grassroots folks will have the president's back...because that's what's really important, right?  All I can hope is that the grassroots has a message of its own for the president when it comes to cutting the safety net: "Hell, no."


    Exactly as expected!! (5.00 / 4) (#33)
    by shoephone on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:16:34 PM EST
    Isn't it nice that Obama and the DINOS are hewing so closely to the script? That they're so unremittingly predictable??

    And that's why I voted for Jill Stein.


    Me, too. (5.00 / 5) (#34)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:21:45 PM EST
    How people did not know that this is how Obama was going to play this out is beyond my ability to understand.  I mean, it's not like he doesn't have a track record, and it's not like we haven't seen these "bi-partisan" coalitions push terrible policy, either.

    And the media's right there to help make it happen...

    SSDD, I guess.


    Many on the Dem blogs have (5.00 / 4) (#36)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:28:58 PM EST
    been having a great time laughing about how delusional the Republicans were in the last election. How could they not know and acknowledge what was right before their eyes?

    maybe they need to look in the mirror.


    I'm real sure I said that before (none / 0) (#67)
    by Rojas on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 12:13:10 AM EST
    Only to be troll rated.
    Identety and ignorance divide a coalition.

    The only bright spot (none / 0) (#37)
    by lilburro on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:34:49 PM EST
    which compared to the rest is quite dim, is that Obama has apparently realized the value of the bully pulpit.

    So that's nice.

    And that's it.

    I'm still glad Obama is in the WH, not Romney (and you need people to pull the lever for O for that to happen) but this is a pretty hard come down from victory.


    Yay (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by sj on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 03:11:33 PM EST
    He's learned how to use the bully pulpit.  What is he planning to do?
    ... formed a coalition to push for a budget compromise similar to the one the president seeks. He hopes to enlist them to persuade Republicans in Congress to accept higher taxes on the assurance that he can deliver Democrats' votes for future reductions in fast-growing entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

    Emphasis mine. But this is what I expected so it isn't a comedown for me.  For me, it was a case of "please let me be eating crow".  So far no crow on my dinner menu.

    Lilburro: it sure is interesting (none / 0) (#47)
    by christinep on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 05:01:58 PM EST
    That the film about Lincoln is opening now.  Doris Kearns Goodwin has approached his Presidency in her book on same as that of a man needing to make many compromises in the service of his country...heavy compromises in pursuit of the 13th Amendment, e.g.  In any event, the Lincoln movie could be instructive in a myriad of ways.  Plus: what is not to like about watching Daniel Day-Lewis in almost any role.

    Lincoln and Obama (5.00 / 5) (#48)
    by shoephone on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 05:08:05 PM EST
    That is such a strained comparison it's hard not to laugh.

    I am reading Eric Foner's (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by lilburro on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 05:30:01 PM EST
    A Fiery Trial right now, having received an early bout of Lincoln fever, apparently (I didn't know the Lincoln movie was opening when I checked out this book and learned about it immediately after.  Mostly I was looking for something to read about politics, just not today's politics, and BTD has discussed it in the past).  It's slow reading but really fascinating.

    In this book's portrayal of Lincoln you can easily draw parallels between Obama's situation and politics in general.  Radical Republicans were enraged by stories or ambiguous statements made by Lincoln fairly often.  Unfortunately, Congress does not have a similarly principled and prone to outrage group of liberals in it today.  And few modern voices that I can think of (maybe none?) could provoke the President into a public argument about policy (which is what I take some of Lincoln's wartime, pre-Emancipation Proclamation op-eds to be, not so much defenses but arguments that tested the waters and allowed Radical Republicans to continue battering him from the left, while providing him political cover).

    Radical Republican pressure was not the only factor that led to Lincoln's evolution on abolition, Lincoln was IMO simply a strong and exceptionally intelligent leader and politician.  Enlistment of black soldiers was also a huge part.  But even that ball got rolling because the Radical Republican platform had become so widespread and approaching normative that some lower-level military officers were predisposed, absent guidance from above, to put escaped slaves to use as labor and then to arm them.

    Anyway...my point with all this...is that if anything we are nowhere NEAR loud enough on how unacceptable a Grand Bargain would be.  Now is the time to define the mandate, and Obama doesn't have to face re-election.  There's no reason to do anything but rip into him for contemplating cutting the social safety net, and it's political necessary that we do so.

    Lincoln didn't necessarily think all that much of Radical Republican figures at times (shades of Rahmbo) but they certainly kept his attention.  As should we.


    Your reply is quite thoughtful, lilburro (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by christinep on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 07:07:09 PM EST
    thanks christinep (none / 0) (#65)
    by lilburro on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 10:00:42 PM EST
    it is a really interesting book and highly recommended.  It doesn't really cover the 13th Amendment or Reconstruction (he has other books that do) so I guess when I'm done I'll go see the movie!

    Partial story (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Politalkix on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 07:57:00 PM EST
    He is not just meeting corporate executives, he is meeting labor leaders also.

    And I hope they give him hell; (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 09:10:00 PM EST
    remember, it was labor, along with a number of other organizations, that sent a letter to Obama, that said in part:

    With these pressing concerns in mind, we urge that any budget agreement adopted must include:

    Creating jobs and growing the economy. While our economy is still struggling, we urge you to prioritize job creation and economic growth in any agreement adopted. It must include steps to spur private investment and to create targeted investments in infrastructure and education that will grow the economy and create quality jobs. There are proposals available to that end, including the American Jobs Act. It is imperative that the administration and Congress address this urgent need.

    No cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security benefits or shifting costs to beneficiaries or the states. Millions of seniors, children, people with disabilities, and others, depend on these vital programs and they must not be cut. They are a cornerstone of our nation's health care and retirement systems, and a promise made to future generations.

    No cuts to the safety net and vital services for low-income people. We should not allow the fiscal burden to be shifted to poor and working families who have already borne a disproportionate share of the nation's economic pain in recent years.

    Stopping the sequester. We share the concerns of economists, small business owners, state and local governments, and the millions of individuals we represent, that sequestration will harm our fragile recovery, will result in a substantial loss of jobs in both the public and private sectors, and will make harmful cuts in vital services needed to promote health, development, and economic security for people and communities nationwide that have already sustained $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction losses. We urge Congress to stop the sequester with a responsible solution that includes new revenue.

    Requiring the wealthiest and corporations to pay their fair share, starting with ending tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent. We urge you to allow tax cuts that benefit only the richest 2 percent to expire on schedule, which would save nearly $1 trillion in revenues and reduced interest payments. While a wide range of programs have been cut in recent years, the very wealthy and corporations have so far not been required to contribute a penny in additional revenues toward deficit reduction. Securing substantial new revenue from those with the greatest ability to contribute will allow us to meet deficit reduction goals, chart a more sustainable fiscal path forward, invest in the job creation measures our economy needs, and protect the programs and services that families depend upon.

    Let's see if they have the courage of their convictions.


    Square one looks much the same as before (5.00 / 4) (#46)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 04:17:47 PM EST
    He hopes to enlist them to persuade Republicans in Congress to accept higher taxes on the assurance that he can deliver Democrats' votes for future reductions in fast-growing entitlement programs like Medicare and Medicaid. link h/t Anne


    Obama being Obama. Said another way: Power to the Plutocracy, Austerity to the People!


    I wonder if the leak was from the left (none / 0) (#9)
    by magster on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 11:43:33 AM EST
    to get us to mobilize opposition against a grand bargain.

    I would (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by lentinel on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 12:26:47 PM EST
    hope so, but the concept of mobilizing the left is but a distant memory, I'm afraid. Very distant.

    The only power the left had was in threatening to withhold support from Obama during this past election cycle. But there were no threats, only fearful capitulation and sometimes genuflection.

    As Orwell chronicled, the party in power made the people fear the opposition. The left became synonymous with "Democrat" - without the Democrats having to do anything at all to earn the left's trust and support.

    There is the looming "grand bargain" which awaits us.
    Then there are the looming confrontations with the enemies du jour. Iran. North Korea. Bush's axis of evil redux.

    There is the imprisonment of whistle-blowers and the immunity granted to torturers.

    And then, a relatively minor bellwether to look forward to. There is the inaugural part deux.
    And for me, a personal reflection: I still cannot believe that Obama had Rick Warren speak at his first inaugural. A true horse's azs. And everybody just took it. Everybody cried with joy while Obama chose this homophobe ignoramus to foist upon us.

    It would be hard to believe that Obama could find another pinhead to equal the pinheadery of inaugural part un. Now that he is free - he has no fear of not being reelected, let's see who he comes up this time.


    Mobilizing the left is not a distant memory, (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by magster on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 12:49:43 PM EST
    it happened last Tuesday and in the early voting that preceded it. The message just has to be "you can't have Medicare, SS or Medicaid" just like the message was "you can't vote" so that people do something.

    This (4.75 / 4) (#27)
    by lentinel on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 01:11:33 PM EST
    is just my opinion, but the mobilization of which you speak is a mobilization of fear of the alternative.

    The mobilization of which I speak is a mobilization built on a positive demand from the citizenry for what is due to them. No less.
    It would amount to a confrontation - an angry confrontation - with the Democrats as well as the Republicans.

    I just don't see it happening.


    i.e $716 billion "cut" from Medicare (none / 0) (#12)
    by vicndabx on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 12:07:17 PM EST
    let's see what the actual proposals are.

    Sorry, I just don't trust Bob Woodward's and David Gregory's spin anymore. I thought you didn't either.


    That letter is pretty consistant (5.00 / 6) (#16)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 12:28:22 PM EST
    with what Jonathan Cohen reported that Obama offered Boehner in July, 2011. List is much the same as what is contained in the memo that Anne referenced. Here is the July list:

    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

    I'll (5.00 / 4) (#20)
    by lentinel on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 12:38:02 PM EST
    be curious to note your reaction when you see the "actual proposals" - which I predict will not fall far from the previous tree.

    Yeah, we should just wait (5.00 / 4) (#21)
    by sj on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 12:40:02 PM EST
    until they have proposals.  Because after the "proposals" have been agreed upon is the time for the populace to have real influence.



    Denial ain't just a river in Egypt (5.00 / 4) (#23)
    by shoephone on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 12:51:42 PM EST
    Raise taxes on the rich first... (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by unitron on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:28:03 PM EST
    ...then when we know that's in place and can't be reversed we can talk about where to cut and how much.

    Is it a given that any so-called (5.00 / 4) (#39)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 02:48:27 PM EST
    grassroots organization that begins with a mission of giving a voice to progressive/liberal issues must eventually sell out?

    From David Dayen comes this gem:

    The fiscal madness in Washington has now intersected with a recent development, the sellout of certain progressive organizations. Change.org recently announced they would rebrand themselves as less a progressive social movement site, but a one-stop shop for anyone of any ideology that wants to use petitions to leverage a particular policy.

    Change.org allows users to launch and sign petitions, and the company has had some high-profile successes. Change.org currently operates under a values-based client policy, only accepting advertisements from progressive organizations that share its values. The new policy will be closer to "a Google-like open advertising policy in which determinations about which advertisements we'll accept are based on the content of the ad, not the group doing the advertising," according to a company FAQ sent to staff [...]

    Change.org did not plan to reach out to its base of progressive users about the change. "[W]e have no plans to proactively tell users about the new design or our new mission, vision, or advertising guidelines," reads one document.

    This policy has been instituted quickly. In fact, Change.org, while still the location of petitions to keep Erskine Bowles out of the Treasury Secretary job, also welcomes corporate CEOs - whose spokesperson is the one and the same Bowles - on the site to promote cuts to social insurance programs.

    Dday's final thought:

    I wonder why any progressive organization would have anything to do with Change.org at this point, however.


    More proof that the word "progressive" (5.00 / 4) (#41)
    by shoephone on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 03:00:52 PM EST
    is a joke. Reminds me of Orwell's 1984. The people in those organizations have all succumbed to the Thought Police. They actually believe that Ignorance is Strength.

    From my perspective out here ... (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 06:13:26 PM EST
    ... in the Pacific and 5,000 miles away from Washington, D.C., I'd have to say that the biggest underreported story of the 2012 elections is the seismic shift that occurred Tuesday night in California, our country's largest state.

    From the formerly lofty perch that Republicans inhabited 18 years ago, when they held the governor's office and six of the seven other statewide elected offices, had a majority of members in California's congressional delegation, and controlled and both branches of the state legislature, it's been a precipitous and difficult fall from political grace.

    As of Tuesday night, Democrats have a firm grasp on all of California's eight statewide offices from governor to education superintendent, and they further hold 39 of 54 U.S. House seats and 75% of all legislative seats in the Assembly and State Senate. In short, the GOP has been thoroughly marginalized in the state that's home to one in eight Americans.

    And to rub salt into the wound, voters there also approved Proposition 30 by an 8-point margin, which effectively raises income taxes on income above $250,000 and increases the state sales tax by a quarter-point to shore up funding for public schools.

    (To top it all off, San Diego residents also elected a Democratic mayor for the first time in nearly four decades.)

    With all due respect to my Atlantic Seaboard-centric friends and members of the Beltway media, I'm sorry, but this is news.


    Even (none / 0) (#55)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:17:02 PM EST
    stranger is the fact that the CA GOP would probably feel right at home here in GA. I mean didn't Orly Taitz run as a Republican in CA?

    I think even some of us folks living here (none / 0) (#68)
    by nycstray on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 12:26:01 AM EST
    missed it in real time ;) But as the chips started falling, boy does life in Cali feel even better. Still ticked about prop 37, but hopefully we can do something about it next round.  

    I wonder if the TP took down their big a$$ sign along 680 about giving O his pink slip? Would LOVE not to have to look at it when I go to Mom's place :)


    For kdm251 (none / 0) (#6)
    by CoralGables on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 11:09:44 AM EST
    I've given more careful thought to my flippant comment that Broadwell likely exaggerated the 6 minute mile at the end of the 5 miler with Petraeus.

    I ran a 1:34 half marathon in college and could turn in a sub-6 without problem during a 10K (not anymore). Broadwell ran a 1:36 half marathon last year. So I'll retract and say yes she probably (and likely) can turn in a single 6 minute mile in the midst of a five mile run. (whether Petraeus could keep up with her I have no idea)

    The big story in this to me...a forty year old mother of two with running as a hobby ran a "verified" 1:36:11 half marathon. In the era of political pompous overblown Paul Ryan type running, Paula Broadwell is a running studette.

    what i find funny in this (none / 0) (#66)
    by Amiss on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 11:17:00 PM EST
    Broadwell woman, it was reported she and Rielle Hunter live in the same neighborhood.

    Jane Mayer (none / 0) (#26)
    by ruffian on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 01:11:22 PM EST
    on Petraeus questions.

    One of the clearer explorations of the political motivations and questions. I think BTD said this morning that the 'un-named FBI employee' that told Cantor about the investigation was the very FBI employee that Kelley brought her concerns to at the beginning. I think it seems likely that Cantor's aim in contacting Mueller was to make sure Mueller knew that the pols knew about the investigation, and thus it was bound to become public.

    I question whether this ever had to be public at all. If not for the FBI employee leaking to Cantor ("whistleblower"? not so much in my view. Leaker), possibly for political reasons, Petraeus could have lived his life in the same way he has for his whole career.  It seems no crimes were committed, and no security was breached.

    Obviously Petraeus disagreed for months (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by ruffian on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 01:14:04 PM EST
    if not years that the fact of having an affair made him honor-bound to resign.  Would like to see how Clapper convinced him otherwise.

    ... to harrass a State Dept. employee she saw as a romantic rival, just for starters. While it might very well be that no crime was actually committed here, this tawdry episode is still not a case of "no harm, no foul."

    Gen. Petraeus clearly showed an appalling lack of personal judgment and character -- as a married man and far more importantly, as a senior federal official -- by getting personally involved with a woman who was apparently channeling Alex Forrest from Fatal Attraction.

    His actions indirectly and inadvertantly caused others to believe that a breach of national security may have occurred. And in his position of command, it's a case of one strike and you're out -- as it should be.



    Kelley is not a State Dept. employee (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Towanda on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 03:07:17 PM EST
    and reports today are that Petraeus didn't know until now that she was the one targeted by Broadwell.

    So that scenario doesn't make an argument to resign.

    And his resignation is what made this public -- unless, as the link hints, there is more to the story that did require his resignation.

    We have yet to hear, for example, how Broadwell got access to documents on her computer, according to the FBI, that she was not cleared to have. . . .

    And heck, perhaps Holly Petraeus required him to resign.  She is reported to be "furious."  And if he wouldn't resign, she and Jill Kelley are friends, and they may have decided that it was time to force the issue, and . . . who knows?  There is much more to this, more emerges by the hour, and the link raises good questions.  

    Not that we'll ever know the full story.  The CIA, the FBI, the Beltway, and women all work in mysterious ways.  I realized during Watergate that we never learn all of how history really happens.


    Thank you for that correction and ... (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 05:28:43 PM EST
    ... clarification about Jill Kelly's non-status with the State Dept.

    Pete Campbell, who reports on the U.S. Justice Dept. and the federal judiciary for NBC News, was on MSNBC's  Hardball this morning, or afternoon, in your respective time zone. It was his take that once the FBI had determined to their initial satisfaction that no crime ocurred, they apparently turned over the specifics of their investigation, i.e., evidence that David Petraeus had an extramarital affair with Paula Broadwell, to the DNI on Election Eve as a personnel matter.

    And Williams further noted that this affair had ended in july, that Gen. Petraeus was apparently aware of the FBI inquiry into the e-mails by October at least, and that investigators knew of his affair with Ms. Broadwell. Despite all that, Petraeus saw fit to not share that with the DNI or the White House.

    If that's the case, no small wonder why his resignation as CIA Director was requested by James Clapper.



    I also read that (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by Towanda on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:26:22 PM EST
    Petraeus was opposing or unhappy or something with Obama's push to pull out of Afghanistan.  That said, Obama clearly wanted 24 hours to try to figure out if he could keep him -- perhaps as a non-yes man.

    I do feel vindicated in wondering here whether this timeline is a sign that Obama is being kept out of the loop.  A former CIA guy on CNN was venting on that and saying that the timeline was absolutely out of line, that the FBI was absolutely wrong in not telling the White House that it was investigating even someone close to Petraeus, his biographer, who was emailing him.  And that the investigation took them into Petraeus' emails, and Obama was not told, was called unconscionable.

    Gergen also was very good on this, raising the questions that he said have the Beltway buzzing about privacy concerns.  All that has to happen is that someone claims email harassment (not even threats, he said) for the FBI to go fishing into several peoples' emails, even people as high up as the head of the CIA.

    Well, yes, welcome to your Nu America, and didn't anyone in D.C. pay attention to the Patriot Act -- and to its expansion since under YouKnowWho?


    I'd add three words. (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 09:09:43 PM EST
    All that has to happen is that someone who's well-connected claims email harassment, for the FBI to go fishing into several peoples' emails.

    Would this investigation have even happened at such high levels, had not Jill Kelly personally known an FBI agent and asked him for assistance?


    Ms. Kelley probably now rues the day she (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by Angel on Tue Nov 13, 2012 at 07:09:09 AM EST
    called on her FBI friend to help her out. She's now starring in her own email scandal.

    And it turns out (none / 0) (#61)
    by CoralGables on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 09:49:50 PM EST
    the whistleblower that called a GOP congressman was no such thing, but just the FBI agent that was taken off the case for being either involved with or overly consumed with Kelley... and Kelley lawyers up.

    It's another Seinfeld episode. A story about nothing that just doesn't quit.


    I hope this is a podcast (none / 0) (#44)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 03:15:03 PM EST
    I've had stuff to do, missed it

    Israel and Syria (none / 0) (#45)
    by shoephone on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 03:45:27 PM EST
    now engaged in s weird little tete-a-tete along the Golan Heights. This is starting to make me very nervous. Assad would love nothing more than to embroil Israel in its grisly civil war. And Netanyahu, as always, plays such a willing, blusterbuss in response. How stupid can you be???

    When you are on a mission from God, ... (none / 0) (#51)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 05:31:34 PM EST
    ... you can apparently be as stupid as you want.

    GOP supporters have gone absolutely insane (none / 0) (#57)
    by Politalkix on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 08:56:38 PM EST
    I saw ten minutes of Fox News tonight (none / 0) (#64)
    by lilburro on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 09:58:49 PM EST
    at the gym (I was mostly watching MNF).  First of all, what a joy it is to watch that network.  My god they are totally unhinged.  Bill O'Reilly was more insane than I've ever seen him.  His guest argued that Obama bought the election because everyone is on welfare, and it's hard to get off "the candy."  Meanwhile he argued with his other guest about the War on Women, whose "crap" no one can possibly be "buying" as abortion isn't threatened anywhere, and all Obama wants is "more and more abortions."  I mean...wow.  And he is supposed to appeal to people looking for "common sense" according to that network's marketing.

    Keep it up Fox n' Friends!!  That way us "lazy" Obama voters don't have to work so hard kicking your @ss next time!


    FBI raiding Broadwell's house (none / 0) (#62)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 09:50:06 PM EST
    Jeff Smith ‏@TVsJeffSmith

    FBI confirms to @WSOC_TV they're inside the house, but won't say why. I'm seeing 6 agents with cameras and lots of boxes. link

    Update (none / 0) (#63)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 09:54:42 PM EST
    UPDATE (10:46 p.m. EST): Despite being initially described as a raid, The FBI is now saying that the search of Broadwell's home is "consensual" and part of concluding its probe into the alleged mistress, according to CNBC and NBC's Andrea Mitchell and Pete Williams.