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The Morning Plum

By Greg Sargent

UPDATE: White House denies giving in on Bush tax cuts: The White House is sharply denying the Huffington Post story I noted below claiming that David Axelrod signaled a willingness to accept a temporary extension of all the Bush tax cuts, claiming that their position remains unchanged.

Axelrod emails:

There is not one bit of news here. I simply re-stated what POTUS and Robert have been saying. Our two strong principles are that we need to extend the tax cuts for the middle class, but we can't afford a permanent extension of the tax cuts for the wealthy.

And White House comm director Dan Pfeiffer adds:

The story is overwritten. Nothing has changed from what the President said last week. We believe we need to extend the middle class tax cuts, we cannot afford to borrow 700 billion to pay for extending the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, and we are open to compromise and are looking forward to talking to the Congressional leadership next week to discuss how to move forward. Full Stop, period, end of sentence.

The question remains, though, whether the White House will hold fast to Obama's demand last week that the extension of the tax cuts for the middle class remain permanent while extending the high end ones temporarily. The main sticking point is that Republicans won't allow the two categories to be extended for different durations, because that would force them to push for just an extension of the cuts for the rich later.


ORIGINAL POST:

* White House giving in on the Bush tax cuts? The Huffington Post is reporting that David Axelrod signaled in an interview that a temporary extension of all the cuts, including those for the rich, is the only way to prevent taxes from going up on the middle class:

"We have to deal with the world as we find it," Axelrod said during an unusually candid and reflective 90-minute interview in his office, steps away from the Oval Office. "The world of what it takes to get this done."

"There are concerns," he added, that Congress will continue to kick the can down the road in the future by passing temporary extensions for the wealthy time and time again. "But I don't want to trade away security for the middle class in order to make that point."

I'm not sure this amounts to the White House giving in quite yet, but it seems to suggest that's where things are headed. The White House wanted a permanent extension for the middle class cuts and a temporary extension of the high end ones. But Republicans have refused any effort to "decouple" the two categories, insisting on extending both for the same duration, in order to avoid having to push for extending just the tax cuts for the rich later.

Also: Axelrod's acknowledgment that this solution amounts to merely kicking the can down the road is another indication that this would not represent a compromise in any meaningful sense. It would mean doing it the GOP's way for now, on the understanding that we'll have the exact same conversation again in a few years. It would mean temporary capitulation, pure and simple.

Stay tuned for more on this.

* Deficit commission's bizarre staffing arrangement: Important read: Dan Eggen on how the commission's satffers are paid by outside entities with a heavy ideological bent towards cutting entitlement programs.

* The deficit commission's very serious priorities: Kevin Drum on the draft report: "This document is a paean to cutting the federal government, not cutting the federal deficit."

* The best way for Dems to win back seniors is to cut Social Security: As Jon Walker notes, Dems took their most brutal shellacking among seniors, which makes it even more imperative that they draw a bright line protecting their lifeline.

* Whatever happens, Dems should always move to the center: E.J. Dionne wonders why no one told Repubicans to move to the center when they lost big in 2008 -- and counsels Dems to do exactly what the Republicans did to engineer their comeback.

* What the heck are we waiting for on DADT repeal? The Post breaks the news that the Pentagon has concluded that there's minimal risk to repeal. But Dems are apparently still in talks with John McCain over possibly nixing repeal from the big defense authorization bill moving through Congress. Why can't we get this done already?

* Bachmann goes bust: Millions of Tea Partyers gnash their teeth as Michele Bachmann, who had tried to convince GOP leaders that giving her a leadership slot would keep the Tea Party mob in check, throws in the towel on her leadership bid.

* Power lefty money types gear up for 2012: I reported yesterday that David Brock is planning a new outside group, and now dozens of Beltway power liberals are set to meet and strategize on how to match the right's powerful new infrastructure.

* And how will "Harry Houdini" handle his next act? That's what Harry Reid's staff has taken to calling him in the wake of his surprise victory over Sharron Angle, but he's going to need a really good bag of tricks to handle the challenges he faces now.

What else is happening?


By Greg Sargent  | November 11, 2010; 8:35 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Dems, deficit  
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Next: Will GOP's fiscal fraudulence save America from the deficit commission?

Comments


DIRTY LITTLE SECRET


Do you know why more people are not complaining that the stimulus did not create more jobs???

Because it did create jobs....


............ in China.


The Corporate Interests of the democratic party are MORE THAN HAPPY WITH THE STIMULUS.


The international corporations which supply Obama and the democratic party with contribution are happy with the results of the stimulus. Their factories in China have been saved - and their trade deficits are being saved. The corporate profits have been saved. That is all that Obama cares about. All the campaign contributors have been taken care of.

.

Posted by: OrangeForces | November 11, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Morning, Greg:

I intend to ignore the White House tax capitulation in order to control my blood pressure so I'll move right on to this:

"Power lefty money types gear up for 2012: I reported yesterday that David Brock is planning a new outside group, and now dozens of Beltway power liberals are set to meet and strategize on how to match the right's powerful new infrastructure."

Anybody else think spending billions of dollars on elections is a phenomenal waste of money? I can think of a thousand better uses for the that money and I'm quite sure everyone else can too. Good thing we are so flush with cash it doesn't matter. Ahem.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 11, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Obama refuses to Compromise with the Republicans - a direct violation of his campaign promises.

So, in the world according to Axelrod, capitulation is the only alternative???


Is Obama that stubborn and irrational that capitulation is Obama's choice instead of compromise???


.

Posted by: OrangeForces | November 11, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

"Anybody else think spending billions of dollars on elections is a phenomenal waste of money? I can think of a thousand better uses for the that money and I'm quite sure everyone else can too."

I'm pretty sure the corporations that donated so heavily to right wing groups saw it as an investment. They expect to recoup that money and more.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 11, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Anybody else think spending billions of dollars on elections is a phenomenal waste of money? I can think of a thousand better uses for the that money and I'm quite sure everyone else can too. Good thing we are so flush with cash it doesn't matter. Ahem.
-----------------------------------------

I largely agree although the money goes to media companies, ad agencies etc that do employ people so I try to keep that in mind. So the money isn't a complete waste. That said, the money could be used to help pay off the debt in our country that both parties claim to be so concerned about.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 11, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne, see the update. WH denying the Huffpo story on Bush tax cuts.

and DDWAD, I'd say you're absolutely right.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 11, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

"Power lefty money types gear up for 2012:"

So David brock is going to collect a lot of money to get Democrats elected so they can continue to support and defend DADT and DOMA in open court.

What next? The Sierra Club collects a lot of money to get Democrats elected so they can fight for mountain top removal, deep sea drilling and frakking NG?

Maybe the ACLU can collect lots of money so Obama can add people to his due process free assassination list.

And the AARP can collect lots of money so Obama and DINO Senate Dems can gut Social security.

Get real. I refuse to give money to national Dems but I'm going to turn around and give money to the veal pen members that so assiduously cover for them?

Give me a break...

Posted by: unymark | November 11, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Anybody else think spending billions of dollars on elections is a phenomenal waste of money? I can think of a thousand better uses for the that money and I'm quite sure everyone else can too. Good thing we are so flush with cash it doesn't matter. Ahem.
-----------------------------------------

I largely agree although the money goes to media companies, ad agencies etc that do employ people so I try to keep that in mind. So the money isn't a complete waste. That said, the money could be used to help pay off the debt in our country that both parties claim to be so concerned about.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 11, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

I think the vast majority of the money goes to pay for TV advertising, i.e., corporate media, thereby further advancing the transfer of wealth to the Plutocrats. Head I win, tails you lose. A nice game if you're the house.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 11, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

The "best way" to get back seniors is to scare them into thinking they might lose their social security???

HHHMM there is a phrase for that.


It's called PROTECTION RACKET. If that was done in the private sector, it would be called RACKETEERING. The truth is this was the incentive for the democrats in the health care bill - they wanted to create a new benefit, and then threat people that they would lose that benefit if they didn't vote for the democrats.


Yes, threaten.


Threats and scare tactics??? Is that all the democrats have left??? Obama did this in 2008. It is a disgrace and it is shameful conduct for anyone in public office.

.

Posted by: OrangeForces | November 11, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

"wbgonne, see the update. WH denying the Huffpo story on Bush tax cuts."

Allow me to translate this White House-speak, Greg: We haven't capitulated YET.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 11, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure the corporations that donated so heavily to right wing groups saw it as an investment. They expect to recoup that money and more.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 11, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse


Yup. That's how a plutocracy works. Welcome to the United States, Inc. We are living through a hostile takeover of our country.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 11, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

I think the vast majority of the money goes to pay for TV advertising, i.e., corporate media, thereby further advancing the transfer of wealth to the Plutocrats. Head I win, tails you lose. A nice game if you're the house.

-------------------------------------------

I wonder how the public would respond to a candidate who refused to spend so much money. I know I would be impressed although obviously policy positions would still determine my vote. I'm sure whatever money they didn't spend would just be spent elsewhere and it still wouldn't prevent private groups from spending lavishly. Ugghhh...I'm getting depressed.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 11, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Another plug for "The Corporation" by Joel Bakan. For those who want to know what we are up against in our fight to reclaim the country, this book and "invisible Hands" are indispensable.

O&O.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 11, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to all vets and active military, whether you follow Greg's blog or not.

It is amazing how detached we are from our combat personnel today. This was not the storyline of my lifetime.

That so many are yet willing to serve under these circumstances is noteworthy. Visit any of the Academies, or check out who is actually in scholarship ROTC, and you will be gratified to learn the the quality, intelligence, and skill of these outstanding young people. They should know we recognize them and will remember them if they are broken by combat.

When our folks come home wounded in body or soul, we must take care of them.

Thanks again.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 11, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Until the campaign funding environment changes, it would be sheer idiocy to let the GOP dominate another election cycle. Unless, that is, that you support a GOP-controlled Senate and a GOP House with increased numbers.

We need to focus right now, and going forward through 2012, on POLICY. The cat food commission, while not favorable at the outset, should motivate Dems to attack the GOP on policy grounds not political grounds. When the debate is on policy we win every time and we need to be mindful of that every single gdmn day. No more gutter politics food foghts with the GOP. POLICY is our path to victory.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 11, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Until the campaign funding environment changes, it would be sheer idiocy to let the GOP dominate another election cycle. Unless, that is, that you support a GOP-controlled Senate and a GOP House with increased numbers.

We need to focus right now, and going forward through 2012, on POLICY. The cat food commission, while not favorable at the outset, should motivate Dems to attack the GOP on policy grounds not political grounds. When the debate is on policy we win every time and we need to be mindful of that every single gdmn day. No more gutter politics food foghts with the GOP. POLICY is our path to victory.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 11, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Bachman benched, see, there is an example of the Rs moving to the center in anticipation of 2012.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 11, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

"Until the campaign funding environment changes, it would be sheer idiocy to let the GOP dominate another election cycle. Unless, that is, that you support a GOP-controlled Senate and a GOP House with increased numbers."

I agree Ethan and I wasn't counseling otherwise. I'm just pointing out that there are much more beneficial uses for those enormous sums of money now being used to purchase elective office.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 11, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

orangeforces - you are full of it!
McConnell and Boehner passed laws several years ago giving HUGE tax breaks to companies that moved jobs overseas.

In Sept., ALL Senate Republicans voted "No!" to the Democrats' bill to give tax breaks to companies that move jobs BACK to the U.S. - the bill failed.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Republicans support outsourcing and companies that have moved jobs overseas rewarded Republicans by funding lying attack ads against Democrats to keep this policy in place.

Posted by: angie12106 | November 11, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Alert: Give tax breaks to the rich, which will cost Americans trillions of dollars, and then cut Social Security and Medicare to pay for it, should be an abomination to the people. I do not believe Pres. Obama will sign off on this insult, Nancy Pelosi has alredy spoken with a resounding No! We cannot keep taxing the people to death, while the wealthy and big business do not pay their fair share due to tax cuts, tax breaks, tax shelters, etc. Until we Replace Greed, with the prinicpals of sharing and cooperation, we will be unalbe to solve our problems. Greed and tax cuts for the rich is not the answer -- it is the problem! They want us to Sacrifice, but how come the Rich don't have to sacrifice too?

Wake-up Call: The soon to be Speaker, John Boehener, is the man who recently campagined for an Ohio Congressional Candidate who dresses up as a Nazi on the weekends! You know the Nazi uniform that stands for separatism, white power, kill off all Jews! This is who the U.S. Speaker of the House Palls around with -- God Help This Country!

We have to Stop making Deals with the Devil....

Posted by: wdsoulplane | November 11, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Why are liberals not banned for their repeated OT posts?

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 11, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

"Tax cuts for the wealthy create jobs." - McConnell & Boehner, HAHAHA - in China

Posted by: angie12106 | November 11, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

just pointing out that there are much more beneficial uses for those enormous sums of money now being used to purchase elective office.

Posted by: wbgonne
----------------------------------------
Although, evidently there are some very wealthy people who disagree with that.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 11, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

just pointing out that there are much more beneficial uses for those enormous sums of money now being used to purchase elective office.

Posted by: wbgonne
----------------------------------------
Although, evidently there are some very wealthy people who disagree with that.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 11, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Quite true. I wasn't clear. What I mean to say is that we Americans -- collectively -- could use that money for far better purposes. I have no doubt that those who funnel corporate money through the Chamber of Commerce expect -- and will receive -- a fine return on their "political donations".

Have a nice day, All!

Posted by: wbgonne | November 11, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Obama made sure the stimulus money went to the democratic interest groups.

And the stimulus money also went to create jobs in China - so that democratic corporate interests could keep their profits flowing.

Obama had MORE money than the Republicans in this election cycle - despite all the whining from Obama and crew.

Seriously folks


This is the problem with the liberals and the democrats - they refuse to look at reality. Sure, they want to FAWN over Obama, but when it becomes clear that Obama is not up to the job, they go silent.

This is shameful.


The country is demanding that the democrats - all around the nation - start to be honest about Obama. The country wants to hear that the democrats were WRONG about Obama. That they were WRONG to elect an unqualified and inexperience AFFIRMATIVE ACTION GUY who has no idea what he is doing.


I just hope he didn't bow to anyone on this trip.

How many vacations does that make for this year? 10 or 11?


Obama took off - left the country - after the election last week - when the smartest thing to do would have been to start talking to the Republican - and doing the nation's business.


NOW, it appears all the nation will see from Obama is self-serving political moves - and little action of what is truly in the best interests of the country.

You wanted Obama, and you are personally responsible for the damage this dude does to the country.

.

Posted by: OrangeForces | November 11, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

angie12106 at 9:21 AM


What about the corporate interests that give money to Obama and the democrats?

How can you be so blind to what is going on there???


Ddawd - same with you - you immediately start equating "right-wing" with corporate interests - and you ignore ALL the money going to Obama and the democrats.


Did you forget that Obama took almost a million dollars from BP while the SAFETY of offshore oil drilling was under review or are you just forgetting about all the money the democrats took from corporate interests???


This is WHY the entire nation finds it so difficult to simply START a conversation with the liberals - they are blinded to how the democrats sell the country out.


.

Posted by: OrangeForces | November 11, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

P.S., I can hardly wait for Joe Barton (R-Big Oil) to take over the Energy Committee. First act for BP Barton, object to energy efficient light bulbs and insist upon energy-wasting incandescents.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/compost/2010/11/mulligans_whats_joe_barton_got.html

Speaking of dim bulbs, how long before BP Barton proves beyond all shadow of a doubt and to a mathematical certainty that carbon is good for us. Never mind the frying whales.

http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/americas/11/10/whale.sunburn.california.climate/?hpt=Sbin

Posted by: wbgonne | November 11, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

On a previous topic: Shrink, thanks for looking at that Soros article yesterday morning and reporting that the photo that I could not see did not add clarity to the muddled complaint. It appeared to me that Scott had a good question, the article itself did not answer his question without the photo, and it was enough for me that you say it did not with the photo. Thus I finally agree with Scott: Greg should have reported it without the scare line unless Greg could point to something you and I did not see in the cited article.

clawrence, I apologize for the OT, but I do not get back here after 9 AM and owed a reply to shrink.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 11, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne at 9:38 AM

I'm sure that you did not see my comment at 9:36, but if you are going to post a comment about Barton, please list ALL the money that Obama and the democrats took from BP and the oil interests.


Just to be fair.


AND don't forget the review of offshore oil drilling that Obama announced in a big speech last March - the one in which Obama said offshore oil drilling was safe and should be EXPANDED.


.

Posted by: OrangeForces | November 11, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Thanks Mark, yes, calling out Glen Beck for being a bigot is blog fodder, but throwing around accusations like antisemitic, even if a question mark is appended somewhere, is pernicious.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 11, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

If you haven't read the link to Kevin Drum's take on the deficit commission, please do. The chart is especially enlightening.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"To put this more succinctly: any serious long-term deficit plan will spend about 1% of its time on the discretionary budget, 1% on Social Security, and 98% on healthcare. Any proposal that doesn't maintain approximately that ratio shouldn't be considered serious. The Simpson-Bowles plan, conversely, goes into loving detail about cuts to the discretionary budget and Social Security but turns suddenly vague and cramped when it gets to Medicare. That's not serious.

Bottom line: this document isn't really aimed at deficit reduction. It's aimed at keeping government small. There's nothing wrong with that if you're a conservative think tank and that's what you're dedicated to selling. But it should be called by its right name. This document is a paean to cutting the federal government, not cutting the federal deficit."

Posted by: lmsinca | November 11, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I think Kevin Drum's analysis of spending chart in his Mother Jones post about the SImpson-Bowles "plan" is all you anyone needs to see to get it. Slash discretionary, slash Social Security, protect rising Medicare expenditures. At all costs. And completely unsustainable.

Posted by: KathleenHusseininMaine | November 11, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne, you may be gone already but wanted to let you know I'm really enjoying the book, I'm at Fenway. Remind me sometime to tell you a little story of political corruption in my city from about 15 years ago. It's one of those funny but true local politics goes berserk stories.

Also, regarding the waste of campaign dollars, I made a comment the day after the election that if Meg Whitman had spent her $160m creating or investing in a couple of start-ups that employed Californians she wouldn't have had to buy the election, Californians might have given her the job.

Posted by: lmsinca | November 11, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin, no need to apologize; I am simply pointing out an obvious double standard here.

Posted by: clawrence12 | November 11, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

lmsinca at 9:48 AM


The democrats promised the country up and down all last year that Obama's health care plan would bring down the costs of health care, and solve the Federal budget problems related to health care.


Are you saying now that isn't true???


What are all these 20% premium increase all about if the Federal budget part of health care isn't taken care of yet???

Sounds like the democrats have some answering to do.

Posted by: OrangeForces | November 11, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Quick note or two.

Apparently, Tucker Carlson has now fessed up to having written the fake Olbermann emails and then sending them to the Philly paper. Turning into a bit of a scum, this fellow.

Bet you're sorry you missed this:

"Last Friday at the National Press Club, THE WEEKLY STANDARD and the Washington Examiner held a panel discussion on the 2010 mid-term elections and the future of the GOP. "

Both are, of course, owned by Philip Anschutz, both are money losers and are sustained by ads and monies from Anschutz. and both have the function of forwarding a pro-Republican narrative (from Politico re Examiner - "When it came to the editorial page, Anschutz’s instructions were explicit — he 'wanted nothing but conservative columns and conservative op-ed writers,' said one former employee.")

So that sure would have been a humdinger of a discussion. Here's a brief excerpt of a description from the WS on content:

"Byron York thinks that Republican voters are hoping that someone new, like a Chris Christie or a Paul Ryan, will throw his hat in the ring and save the GOP. And Michael Barone asks the question on everyone's mind: Will Palin run? Barnes says she's a likely candidate and would do well in early contests such as Iowa and South Carolina, while Kristol suggests Palin might actually throw her support behind another strong conservative vying for the nomination." http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/weekly-standard-and-washington-examiner-2010-next-congress-and-2012_516349.html

Interesting turn of phrase, that "save the GOP", don't you think? But I wanted to point out Kristol's suggestion on Palin. Bill has a problem. He was instrumental in creating Palin but he's smart enough to know 1) she'd be a disaster for the GOP if she runs and 2) that he can't join in on the emerging "GOPers pummeling Palin for self-survival" crowd because his goals will be seriously endangered if the Palinites revolt. The out for Kristol and company is, as I've said before, precisely what Kristol suggests above.

Keep watching him and his media operations (and Limbaugh!) as they slither their way through this needle.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 11, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

"Why are liberals not banned for their repeated OT posts?"

Ummm.....because the Morning Plum is generally considered to be an open thread? Because perhaps Greg doesn't have a problem with OT posts so long as they are intended to educate or broaden and further the dialogue - which birther/truther nonsense does not do? Because perhaps this is Greg's blog and he reserves the right to do what he wants with it?

Posted by: schrodingerscat | November 11, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

The tax cut problem isnt the GOP-its Democrats. If the WH has to live with a temporary extension, it will be because of Dems who are unwilling to vote for the perm under $250K, temp over $250K, compromise and force the GOP to be the naysayers. Once again, some unprincipled centrist Dems are making life easier for the GOP by carrying their water for them and not making the choice between Dems and GOP clear. Dems could have done this before the election but didnt because too many Dems wouldnt go along. Dems could have passed more stimulus through reconciliation, but didnt because too many Dems said no. Ironically, of course, many of those very same Blue Dog Dems have now been defeated, in some part, becase of the very non-action they insisted upon. I am critical of Obama for not explaining his policies better, especially on the need for government stimulus of the econony, but I remain firmly convinced that the number one impediment to getting done what needed to be done on the economy was the need to placate centrist/conservative Dems. And one wonders why are they Dems-government action to help the economy is fundamental to the Democratic Party since the New Deal, as is favoring the middle class over the wealthy on taxes. To paraphrase Admiral Stockdale-who are these people and why are they Democrats?

Posted by: gregspolitics | November 11, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

clawrence

You know the answer to your question on banning.

The even-handedness does not exist.

The truth does not exist either.


.

Posted by: OrangeForces | November 11, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Update aside - of course the WH is going to cave to the republicans on the tax cuts.

They (along with the spineless dems in the senate) have shown time and time again that they don't have the stomach for a fight. My only wish is that the WH would get on with it and capitulate now in order to save everyone all the drama over the next couple of weeks.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | November 11, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

All, new Adam Serwer post on the "catfood commission" and the GOP:


http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/11/will_republicans_fiscal_fraudu.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 11, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

So here is the quid pro quo: Since all indications point to continuing high unemployment levels for at least the next two years, Obama extends the Bush tax cuts for all for the next two years, while Republican agree to reauthorize UI benefits for the next two years.

If Republican say no. Fine. Obama allows the Bush tax cuts to expire and sits back and watches the Republicans Hooverize, not only the 15 million-strong unemployed, but the entire middle class for the next two years.

Posted by: davidfarrar1 | November 11, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Again, I think the problem is not that the WH is scared to fight GOP, but that it is forced on so many issues to have to fight Dems. A permanent tax cut under $250K could have been passed through budget reconciliation with no GOP vote required, but Dems wouldnt do it because the House Blue Dogs and Senate centrists wouldnt go along. Dems didnt even pass a FY2011 budget resolution because it would have meant voting for a deficit which so many Blue Dogs were scared to do. So instead they lost anyway when actually voting for some job creating stimulus and a permanent tax cut under $250K might well have got them reelected. Stupid and scared is really bad politics.

Posted by: gregspolitics | November 11, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

"...if Meg Whitman had spent her $160m creating or investing in a couple of start-ups that employed Californians..."

Well that is quite an imagination you have there, delightful but unrealistic. Could you imagine how different everything would be if rich people used the wealth they concentrate to "create" jobs? Parasites are disgusting.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 11, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

One last item...

"Exclusive: Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito Dismisses His Profligate Right-Wing Fundraising As ‘Not Important’

Last night, the American Spectator — a right-wing magazine known for its role in the “Arkansas Project,” a well-funded effort to invent stories with the goal of eventually impeaching President Clinton — held its annual gala fundraising event. The Spectator is more than merely an ideological outlet. Spectator publisher Al Regnery helps lead a secretive group of conservatives called the “Conservative Action Project,” formed after President Obama’s election, to help lobby for conservative legislative priorities, elect Republicans (the Conservative Action Project helped campaign against Democrat Bill Owens in NY-23), and block President Obama’s judicial appointments. The Spectator’s gala last night, with ticket prices/sponsorship levels ranging from $250 to $25,000, featured prominent Republicans like RNC chairman Michael Steele, hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer (a major donor to Republican campaign committees and attack ad groups), and U.S. Chamber of Commerce board member and former Allied Capital CEO William Walton. Among the attendees toasting Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), the keynote speaker for the event, was Supreme Court Justice Sam Alito.

It’s not the first time Alito has attended the Spectator dinner. In 2008, Alito headlined the Spectator’s annual gala, helping to raise tens of thousands of dollars for the political magazine..."
http://thinkprogress.org/2010/11/10/sam-alito-republican-fundraiser/

To paraphrase Josh, "the Supreme Court is wired for Republicans". But it's really worse than that. What the hell is going on in Alito's noggin? Does he tea with Scaife? Does he believe that Dem or liberal political philosophy is so alien or anti-American or inherently and inevitably destructive that the AS's history of forwarding some of the most deceitful propaganda around during the Clinton period is somehow justified?

Posted by: bernielatham | November 11, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

shrink

What can I say, I'm a dreamer. LOL

Posted by: lmsinca | November 11, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Only the Republicans want a weakling in the White House, and they are succeeding. Obama the Wimp will give in on tax cuts for the rich, and forever screw the Democrats.

If Obama wants to reduce the deficit, he should get us out of Iraq and Afghanistan, like he promised. But, no, he will extend our hemorrhaging deployment and play right into the Republicans hands. What an idiot.

The Dems should run the New York Mayor for President in 2012.

Posted by: dozas | November 11, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

I posted about this yesterday, now Benen picks it up. I agree with him, this is really worth watching!

"""If she sticks with the GOP, Snowe would not only risk losing in a primary, but she'd also have to spend the next year and a half moving further to the right than she's generally comfortable with. Giving up on her far-right party, in contrast, would allow her to ignore conservatives' demands and improve her odds of keeping her job.

This week, a leader of the Tea Party Patriots announced that Snowe "is definitely our next target." Dems are giving her a way out of that mess.

The response from the GOP will very likely be, "Remember Specter.""""

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2010_11/026586.php

Um.

Snowe-ball effect? Hmmm...

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 11, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

davidfarrar1 is onto something but it should be bolder than just extending UI benefits, and it might even be a good thing. Obama should require that a solely temporary extension of all of the tax cuts be combined with additional stimulus. This could include a package of UI, state and local aid, and infrastructure funds, and a partial payroll tax holiday, to be paid for by soaking up the Federal Reserve's $600B of new QE, at no interest cost to the Treasury since all interest paid to the Federal Reserve on its holdings of govt debt is returned to the Treasury. A concern has been that the additional QE might not work because the money might just go into the pockets of investors and not go back into the economy. This would take care of that.

Posted by: gregspolitics | November 11, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

I'm assuming this is a trial balloon. I also assume that it's not going too well. I a nation where 40% of voters believe or believed that we were attacked by Iraqis on 9-11, or who believe that Obama is not a citizen (or who don't realize Hawaii is even a state), the temptation is to play to this ignorant swath. It will of course, never work. If you've demonstrated that you are willing to take lessons on morality from a multiply-married draft-dodging junkie, you will fall for anything-and the manipulation machine of the multi-nationals is simply too entrenched. There is no need to even try to engage this human refuse. It is our duty to do the best we can for these unfortunates, but that is where our responsibility ends.

Posted by: whereareweandwhatarewedoinginthishandbasket | November 11, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

That could work, gregspolitics, if the numbers are work out. I at one time suggested that the $600 trillion divided by the 15 million presently unemployed and soon to be cut off of all UI benefits, is something like $350 per week for two years.

By allowing the states to create their own "must-work" programs in order to receive such an amount, those who do not wish to work, will receive only $175 per week. Those who do want to work , will be paid the additional $175, but through their employer, for something in the range of $525 per week.

Those under this program who do find work, would still be paid the minimum wage, which would go towards medical care and other FICA costs.

ex animo
http://nolp.blogspot.com
davidfarrar

Posted by: davidfarrar1 | November 11, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

One more thing, Mr. Handbacket, with unemployment levels as high as they are today and projected to continue at least until 2012, we can no longer assume these people are misfits who refuse to work or find jobs for themselves. We must realize this is a unique situation that requires emergency, out-of-the-party-box solutions. Unless the U.S. Congress acts millions of Americans and their families will become wards of the state, especially the elderly poor, those out of work between the ages of 55 and 63.

ex animo
http://nolp.blogspot.com
davidfarrar

Posted by: davidfarrar1 | November 11, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

One more thing, Mr. Handbacket, with unemployment levels as high as they are today and projected to continue at least until 2012, we can no longer assume these people are misfits who refuse to work or find jobs for themselves. We must realize this is a unique situation that requires emergency, out-of-the-party-box solutions. Unless the U.S. Congress acts millions of Americans and their families will become wards of the state, especially the elderly poor, those out of work between the ages of 55 and 63.

ex animo
http://nolp.blogspot.com
davidfarrar

Posted by: davidfarrar1 | November 11, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Bernie, did you see Olbermann thank Kristol on Tuesday night?  NBC/GE/MIP/Government.  As we both know, their paymaster(s) are the same.

Wheels within wheels my friend.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 11, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Sorry for the duplication!

ex animo
http://nolp.blogspot.com
davidfarrar

Posted by: davidfarrar1 | November 11, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

All, more thoughts on this right here:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/11/the_crux_of_the_issue.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 11, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

None the less the fact remains that Axelrod said the WH would extend the uber-wealthy tax Bush tax cut and that "the only condition, at least initially, seems to be that the tax cuts for the wealthy not be extended "permanently."

This so-called-non permanent extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy is still an extension of the tax cuts for the wealthy.

Obama previously stated that he would not agree to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

It's like just being a "little bit pregnant". Either you are or you are not extending the tax cuts for the rich. Axelrod said that the WH would extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich.

Or perhaps the WH is now parsing their words like the past President who keep on asking "what is 'is' ".

Posted by: kirby2 | November 11, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

One thing is for certain, the White House will cave in, to republicans. They always do. I've never seen such a spineless group, of individuals. I wish that the President would grow a spine, and stand up to republicans. Right now, President Obama is too willing to compromise, and too passive.

Posted by: 46theud | November 11, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

The rich pay their taxes again, or else!

Posted by: dudh | November 11, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

According to Republicans, The Wealthy deserve every consideration. Heck, why not make them eligible for food stamps???

Posted by: thebobbob | November 16, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

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