Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

The Morning Plum

By Greg Sargent

* Behind the postponement of the Obama-GOP summit: The "summit" meeting between Obama and GOP leaders, which the White House had initially said was set for this week, has now been postponed, and Politico has a story up that tries to get inside what happened. The explanation: GOPers say they still distrust Obama for blindsiding them by asking if his meeting in Baltimore with GOP leaders last winter could be televised, an event that played in the president's favor.

I don't think this is anything to get worked up about. It reads less like the real position of GOP leaders and more like a handful of anonymous GOP aides leaking to make trouble. The Politico story is basically an effort to gauge the GOP mindset heading into the next two years, rather than a real explanation of what led to the postponement. Don Stewart, a spokesman for Mitch McConnell, emails over a statement claiming McConnell is "encouraged" by plans for the meeting:

The bipartisan/bicameral meeting at the White House with the President will be on Nov. 30. It will be a meeting where they can discuss issues that Republicans have long said can be accomplished together. These include reducing spending, growing jobs through increased trade and increasing domestic energy. The Leader is encouraged that the President wants to discuss these areas of agreement.

Either way, a quick glance back at what actually happened last winter shows that the White House asked GOP aides in advance whether they would agree to televising the meeting. After internal deliberations, they agreed. Nobody was blindsided, and it's unclear what GOP aides would have to be "distrustful" about.

* Dems preparing for political bloodsport? Good read from Dana Milbank, who explains why Chuck Schumer's ascension to a hyper-political messaging role indicates that "Democrats are preparing for two years of hard-nosed politics."

* But Dem leaders continue to dither on the Bush tax cuts fight: They still have not gotten serious about figuring out how, or whether, to take advantage of what should be a clear winner for them:

Senate Democrats met for more than two hours Tuesday without discussing plans for extending the tax cuts, and leaders in the House and Senate say neither body is likely to turn to the issue this week.

Just amazing.

* History lesson of the day: With Dems huddling behind closed doors and emotionally debating their losses, Dem Rep. Rob Andrews reminds folks that Nancy Pelosi engineered the Dem return from the wilderness in 2006 and 2008:

"She took over a caucus that had lost five consecutive elections, and at a time when people thought we'd never win again, she brought us to two victories."

Yup. And yet Dem Rep. Heath Shuler is calling Pelosi a loser to her face: "When I played in the NFL, and you lost significantly, you were replaced, and I had that conversation direct with her."

* Jon Kyl versus all of America on START: Senator Kyl's indefensible decision to block a vote on the so-called New Start Treaty puts him at odds with the 73 percent of Americans who want the treaty ratified.

* Also: Check out this amazing nugget on how hard the White House worked to win over Kyl, only to be betrayed in the end:

All told, White House officials counted 29 meetings, phone calls, briefings or letters involving Mr. Kyl or his staff. They said they thought they had given him everything he wanted, and were optimistic about completing a deal this week, only to learn about his decision on Tuesday from reporters.

* Fantasy of the day: Mike Bloomberg-Joe Scarborough 2012.

* Right on: Jonathan Capehart says we need to see the Pentagon's report on the imact of DADT repeal now.

* Chuck Grassley's legacy: As I noted here yesterday, it's now beyond doubt that he never wanted bipartisan cooperation, and Igor Volsky tallies up all of Grassley's bad-faith efforts to smear the health reform bill in the public mind.

* And the U.S. Chamber pretends to hit the "reset" button: Tom Donohue, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is set to give a speech today designed to soft-pedal the fact that the group remains committed to rolling back pretty much Obama's entire regulatory agenda.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | November 17, 2010; 8:24 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, House Dems, House GOPers, Morning Plum, Political media, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Happy Hour Roundup
Next: Republican irresponsibility on START

Comments

History lesson # 2.

Which Republican president spoke as follows to The American Society of Newspaper Editors?

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people."
Dwight D. Eisenhower
http://www.salon.com/news/robert_gates/index.html?story=/opinion/greenwald/2010/11/17/gates

Posted by: bernielatham | November 17, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Where the debt actually came from...

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/11/where-did-our-debt-come-from/66530/.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 17, 2010 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Bernie and wbgonne

This piece in the Nation enables both of your views re Dems and Obama. We know the game being played and the stakes are very high, but we must keep our eyes on the policy that will enrich the middle class not the concessions that supposedly need to be made to remain in power. It's the concessions that will disillusion the people.

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

"Bluntly put, Obama needs to learn hardball. People saw this in him when he fired Gen. Stanley McChrystal, and many of us yearn to see more. If he absorbs the lesson of power, he will accept that sometimes in politics you can't split the difference or round off sharp edges. He has to push back aggressively and stand his ground, more like those ruthless opponents trying to bury him. If Congress won't act, the president will. But first he has to switch from cheerleading to honest talk. Tell people what the nation really needs, what Republicans intend to sabotage. In a political street fight, you've got to hit back.

Only Obama can decide this about himself, but others can influence the outcome by surrounding him with tough love and new circumstances created by their own direct actions. It does not help Obama to keep telling him he did great but the people misunderstood him. He did lousy, not great, and in many governing dimensions people understood his failures clearly enough. They knew he gave tons of money to bankers and demanded nothing in return. They knew he thought the economy was in recovery. They couldn't believe this intelligent man was that clueless.

Popular forces can blow away the fuzziness. They can mobilize to demonstrate visible support for the president's loftier goals and to warn him off the temptation to pursue a Clintonesque appeasement of the right. Given the fragile status of his presidency, Obama needs to know that caving in is sure to encourage enemies and drive off disheartened supporters. People should, likewise, call out the president's enemies and attack them with the harshness that's out of character for him. The racial McCarthyism of the GOP establishment is a good place to start."

http://www.thenation.com/article/156384/obama-without-tears

Posted by: lmsinca | November 17, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

@Greg - I expect you'll want to do an update on item one above...

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2010/11/thats_the_story_galacticfail_edition.php#more?ref=fpblg

Posted by: bernielatham | November 17, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

With Schumer in charge of combining message and policy in the Senate to try to retain as much Dem Senators as possible in 2012 is FANTASTIC THING.

He will essentially be the De Facto Senate leader for the Democrats as Jim DeMint is for the Republicans.

I trust Schumer's instincts more than I do Axelrod's.

Posted by: maritza1 | November 17, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

They should increase taxes on the rich by 1% every time a liar like John Kyl tries to pull one of these "trying to damage the President on the world stage" stunts. Hardball is the only game these extremists will play.

Want to spend $14B upgrading nukes while we're in a bank-induced Wall Street-induced recession? THEN YOU NEED TO PAY FOR IT, MR. KYL. Scumbag.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 17, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

They should increase taxes on the rich by 1% every time a liar like John Kyl tries to pull one of these "trying to damage the President on the world stage" stunts. Hardball is the only game these extremists will play.

Want to spend $14B upgrading nukes while we're in a bank-induced Wall Street-induced recession? THEN YOU NEED TO PAY FOR IT, MR. KYL. Scumbag.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 17, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse


Let's take a vote


WHICH democrats here are in favor of raising taxes $700 Billion in the middle of a recession???

.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 17, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Imsinca:

Agreed that the Dems must both defend and attack. As we Patriots fans like to say, the best defense is a good offense. But you still have to put points on the board to win. I'll return to what I've been saying since spring 2008: the Democratic Party is hopelessly dysfunctional and can only be rescued by a commanding president. It is ALL on Obama. But, frankly, I still see no signs that he gets it.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 17, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

And not to rain on the Schumer Parade but I have real doubts whether Mr. Wall Street is what the Dems need right now.

Later.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 17, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans' top tax guy in the House threatened in the clearest possible terms today that he and the rest of the GOP would vote to block any tax cut for the middle class during the lame duck session unless tax cuts for the wealthy are extended for the same period of time.

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/11/gops-top-tax-guy-republicans-will-block-permanent-middle-class-tax-cut.php?ref=fpa

In response, the President of the United States must now say that he will veto any legislation that will provide any additional tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 17, 2010 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Politico is the TMZ of politics.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 17, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

One of the memes that is becoming increasingly frustrating for me is the one that says that it is inappropriate to describe the right as evil or as wanting the country to fail so that the GOP may regain power. And while many of the sheep on the right I agree are not evil, only deceived, there are leaders on the right that are truly evil. One of them is Roger Ailes:

In an interview, Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes told The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz that he thinks President Obama is a far-left socialist.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/17/ailes-obama-far-left-socialist_n_784670.html

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 17, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

@Ims - Right on the money!

Posted by: bernielatham | November 17, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

This is the point where the Joint Chiefs and Obama's entire cabinet need to hit the talk shows and Op Ed the crap out of Kyl.

Make the public aware Kyl is endangering this countries security by being a little primadonna.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 17, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse


Greg

The truth is that Obama's actions over the past two years have gone far toward an atmosphere of mistrust - and creating an atmosphere in which people have to "watch their backs" whenever they meet with Obama.


SHARP CONTRAST: Reagan and Tip O'Neal - you think that Tip O'Neil was worried how Reagan was going to portray him in the press after a meeting ???


NO - the way Obama has acted has spoiled the atmosphere.

Obama has been acting like a child over the past two years.


Obama is DIRECTLY responsible for spoiling the atmosphere.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 17, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Greg will get to the Bloomberg/Scarborough story in short order. Here's Tomasky's take and it's very bright...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/michaeltomasky/2010/nov/17/michaelbloomberg-us-elections-2012

Posted by: bernielatham | November 17, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

"This is the point where the Joint Chiefs and Obama's entire cabinet need to hit the talk shows and Op Ed the crap out of Kyl."

Would that it were so, Mike. I desperately hope to see signs of life like that but, alas, I fear all we're hear in some tripe from John Kerry about ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Now I'm out for real.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 17, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

"This is the point where the Joint Chiefs and Obama's entire cabinet need to hit the talk shows and Op Ed the crap out of Kyl."

Would that it were so, Mike. I desperately hope to see signs of life like that but, alas, I fear all we're hear in some tripe from John Kerry about ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Now I'm out for real.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 17, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

One element missing from Mike's account linked above is that Bloomberg and Murdoch are buddies. It would be in Murdoch's lizard interests to push Bloomberg into such a race (even if Bloomberg were to succeed thought he wouldn't) because it would, as Mike says, give the election to the Republicans.

Who would FOX throw their support behind? Obviously, both Bloomberg and the Republican candidate. Fair and balanced.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 17, 2010 9:32 AM | Report abuse

@RedTeaRevolution

*raises hand*

Though, I don't believe that money should go towards bringing down th e deficit or paying down the national debt.

We should let the tax cuts expire for all income over $250k, then use the first 4 years of the income dirived from that - approx. $280 billion - to do 3 things:

1...temporarily increase food stamp payments
2...temporary extention of unemployement benefits
3...fund infrastructure projects

Items 1 & 2 pump money directly into the economy in a much more efficient way than tax cuts would. Item 3 gets people back to work, which still puts money into the economy more efficiently than tax cuts as well as pulls people off the list of those that need unemployment benefits in the first place.

So there's my view. Let's have your reasoned, well thought out, logical response. I'm sure it's based resoundingly on fact and established economic theory, as mine is.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | November 17, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

@Greg

Any chance you'll be able to get a comment from Glenn Thrush about Josh Marshall's utter dismantling of his bullsh*t story this morning?

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2010/11/thats_the_story_galacticfail_edition.php?ref=fpblg

There's no reason this shouldn't be a story. Politico blatently misrepresented the facts of RECENT history - either by choice or by a lack of factcheck. They should be held responsible for their mistakes, and asked to answer for them.

Shine a light on this, and make it known that pushing false stories or simply taking the word of political spokesmen is not how journalists should be operating. This is how you help make other media outlets better, Greg. This, right here.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | November 17, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Wondering ... it is generally accepted as fact that Fox is the most watched cable news outlet and that stories in support of right wing talking points, no matter how flawed factually, drive ratings, internet page views and revenue for the promoter of the story.

Does anyone have a theory on why this is true? Even as Obama and the Democrats were experiencing significant electoral success, right wing media dominated so it does not appear to coincide with the actual views of the electorate.

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 17, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

yawn, yet another transfer payment scheme from a liberal. Will wonders never cease?

What I do admire about BBQ's comment, though, is the honesty of it. BBQ just wants to confiscate money from some people and give it to others. No mess, no fuss, no bother. Just hold them for their hard earned cash and give it away to others who didn't earn it.

Isn't it amazing what humans are capable of conceiving once they for forgo any sense of shame?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 17, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

This morning, Bloomberg reporter Drew Armstrong broke an incredible story revealing that health insurance companies, like UnitedHealth and CIGNA, funneled $86.2 million into the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in 2009 to pay for the Chamber’s multifaceted campaign to kill President Obama’s health reform legislation.

Why did insurance companies try to hide their donations to the Chamber’s anti-health reform campaign? Given their own unpopularity and Obama’s pledge to be the first leader to successfully reform America’s broken health system, the health insurance industry hatched a plan to fundamentally deceive the public, the press, and politicians. Instead of fighting reform tooth and nail, the insurance industry worked to manipulate the process and ultimately kill reforms by adopting what ThinkProgress termed “The Duplicitous Campaign.” In public, health insurance lobbyists and executives promised to support reform and work closely with reform advocates. The top health insurance lobbyist, Karen Ignagni, went to the White House early in the reform debate and promised Obama, “You have our commitment to play, to contribute and to help pass health-care reform this year.”

In private, the health insurance industry worked with conservative think tanks and media, right-wing front groups, and highly ideological trade associations like the National Association of Manufacturers and the Chamber to kill the bill. By using third party groups and ideological cover, the health insurance industry sought to trick Americans into hating reform.

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/11/17/chamber-insurance-86-mil/

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 17, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

it's unclear what GOP aides would have to be "distrustful" about.


~~~~~

Be honest, what they are really saying is, "We don't want Obama to make us look like idiots again." It is not that they are "distrustful" of anything Obama might do, they are worried that their own caucus will come away, again, looking like rubes with nonsensical talking points masquerading as ideas.

Anyone who watched "Question Time" last time should be able to understand why this is a very valid concern for the GOP.

Posted by: HansSolo | November 17, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

We need more democrats like this guy in Montana. Don't wait for legislation to work in the interest of your constituents. Take the fight to the source. It may take awhile but there is speculation he may get approval from HHS.

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

"HELENA, Mont. — The governor of Montana asked Tuesday for federal permission to sell cheaper prescription drugs in his state through the federal Medicaid program, a proposal he expects will catch the eye of other cash-strapped states.

Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who launched his political career a decade ago by taking busloads of seniors to Canada to buy cheap drugs, said the waiver would allow Montana residents to get the drugs at about half the retail price.

Schweitzer said the federal government can get cheap drug prices for Medicaid, the federal program for seniors and low-income residents, because of Congress' negotiations with special interest groups. Those prices are far less than the price for those on Medicare, which usually serves the elderly, or private insurance plans, he added.

He said he got a copy of a highly confidential Medicaid drug price list by getting his chief of staff to sign a nondisclosure agreement that is usually handled at the state agency level. Schweitzer said it is obviously unfair to charge one group of people far less than another group of people for the same product."

Posted by: lmsinca | November 17, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Bernie, why? I think the story is much ado about nothing, for the reasons I said.

And BBQ, I took the story as more reporting on what GOPers were saying than as an endorsement of what they were saying.

Posted by: sargegreg | November 17, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

HansSolo, the story quotes one anonymous GOP aide. I don't really care what one anonymous aide says.

Posted by: sargegreg | November 17, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

I fully expected someone to point this out earlier, but Heath Shuler calling Nancy Pelosi a loser and citing his rich experience in the NFL is priceless. . .

"4. QB Heath Shuler (Tennessee)
Drafted by: Redskins, first round, No. 3 overall, 1994
Shuler started eight games as a rookie and certainly didn't look like an immediate bust, throwing 10 TDs and 11 interceptions. However, over the next three years with the Redskins and Saints, he would throw 21 interceptions to just five touchdown passes. He was out of the league by 1998."

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/draft08/news/story?id=3325687

Fourth biggest NFL draft bust of all time. . . he was replaced then, he can be replaced now.

Posted by: Michigoose | November 17, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Obama “just has a different belief system than most Americans.”

Well, yea, it's called Black Liberation Theology.

It's called going to Rev. Wright's church for years.

It's called emphasis on Redistribution of Wealth - and Class Struggle.


In short, it called UNAMERICAN.

.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 17, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Worthless Democrats. They can't figure out how to battle a political party riven with internal contradictions, no leadership (12 presidential contenders and counting, Michael Steele isn't going to leave quietly, the firm of Barbour, Rove & Gillespie back room $$ managers, Bush/Cheney zombie tour, the TP, Palin on every channel...more fun than a barrel of monkeys!) and no political platform other than battling Democrats. It should be easy. But Democrats are feckless and ultimately, afraid.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 17, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

And, seriously, something needs to be done about Kyl. How can we get this into the news nationwide? I've written to my local newspaper, but this is really a story that needs to be the top of the network news broadcast every night until the whole country realizes what Kyl (and, by extension, the rest of the Republicans in Congress) are doing to ALL of us.

Posted by: Michigoose | November 17, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Gotta love the entire Palin family:

Willow Palin, the 16-year-old daughter of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, wrote multiple Facebook posts containing homophobic slurs such as "fa**ot" on Sunday night, according to TMZ.

The web site reports that Palin's teenage daughter wrote the comments on Sunday night, when her mother's television show "Sarah Palin's Alaska" premiered on TLC. According to TMZ, a classmate of one of Palin's children published a Facebook update claiming that the show "is failing so hard right now."

Willow Palin reportedly unloaded on the student, calling him "so g*y" and "such a fa**ot." She later demanded that the student "quit talkin sh*t about my family." According to screenshots obtained by TMZ, the 16-year-old called another commenter on the Facebook thread a "low life loser" and lashed out at multiple others, writing, "Sorry that all you guys are jealous of my families success and you guys aren't goin to go anywhere with your lives."

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 17, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Let's take a vote


WHICH republicuns here are in favor of adding another $700 Billion to the nation's deficit???

Posted by: jp1954 | November 17, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

@BBQ: "Items 1 & 2 pump money directly into the economy in a much more efficient way than tax cuts would."

How does inserting a 3rd party or intermediary into the equation equal increased efficiency? Such things may be morally justifiable and may generally have more desirable outcomes, however those are defined, but it cannot be more efficient to take and then redistribute money, while paying for various people and systems to administrate that process, than it is to simply let folks keep more of their own money in their pocket. Or bank account, such as the case may be.

Introducing additional steps involves a necessary creation of both extra cost and consumed time. Given that when the government takes $1 dollar from Joe the Plumber but doesn't give Jack The Unemployed Roofer but .70 cents of the dollar, and doesn't give it to him for month after it has been taken from Joe the Plumber, it cannot be said to be a more efficient process.

I'm pretty sure studies have been done, and there's no sign of any kind of super-cooled super-conductivity in any government agency or process.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 17, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

pragmatic, the question is not what is wrong with the Palins (everything), but what happened to the Ds? They squandered one of the greatest demonstrations of political good will I have ever seen (viz. Obama's inauguration parade) in a remarkably short period of time.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 17, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

@skipsailing28

"What I do admire about BBQ's comment, though, is the honesty of it. BBQ just wants to confiscate money from some people and give it to others. No mess, no fuss, no bother. Just hold them for their hard earned cash and give it away to others who didn't earn it."

How amusing that in the same paragraph that you admire me for my honesty of opinion, that you so dishonestly respresent my opinion.

You know what I'm for? I'm for fixing our economy. Food stamps, extending unemployement, and direct federal spending are PROVEN as the most cost-effective ways to do that. Notice that all 3 of the things I listed are temporary (spending stops when the money/project finishes). After the economy recovers, and unemployment starts to go down, then the long term deficit and debt issues will be much easier to tackle.

Also, you're inability to make a reasoned argument beyond the most meaningless and tired of talking points, must less one that gets into the actual details of the tax code, really makes it appear that you're nothing but a blind partisan: ignorant, uncurious, and intellectually dishonst/empty.

Unless you actually want to take a serious look at how things work and what needs to be done to fix them, you're just flat out worthless. Either step up to the plate, and really make an effort to help make this a better country, or get your a** off the field.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | November 17, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

All, nice new post from Adam Serwer on the GOP and START:

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

Ethan, that's for you :)

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 17, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

And once again "think progress" shows us why liberalism is struggling these days.

The essence of the, gasp!, revelations about the alleged insurance company actions is that somehow Americans are so stupid that a huge campaign is all that is needed to sway them against their own interests. And, according to liberals, America's best interests are always and everywhere served by liberalism.

Yes, the American people did reach the conclusion that Obamacare was a menace to them. It didn't take massive spending by anybody. All it took was a close look at how it was passed. Good fruit cannot grow on bad trees and the process was ugly.

So I'll add "think progess" to the list of liberals in denial. Liberals just refuse to face the fact that America doesn't want their agenda. Rather than confront that they weave intricate webs of self deception.

And there is another message in the story. Businesses will act in a manner designed to maximize their profit. As liberalism shifts power in America away from the people and toward the central government, businesses will become far more adept at playing the DC game. They will have to just to survive. I don't believe that liberals understand this dynamic. Therefore I predict that they will be disappointed repeatedly as the people they hate (successful business people) use the liberals' holy grail (centralized power concentrated in the hands of a few)to earn more money.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 17, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Bush tax cuts ... passed in reconciliation. According to skip, this makes them bad. Let them all expire!

Right skip?

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 17, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

@Greg

"And BBQ, I took the story as more reporting on what GOPers were saying than as an endorsement of what they were saying."

I guess I'm old fashioned, but I don't believe that "stenography" consistutes "reporting". It's a reporter/journalist's job to hear what they are saying, fact check it, then put it in context and report on the entire story. The breakdown of political journalists simply reporting "what they are saying" as opposed to "what is happening" is one of the biggest reasons we have a failing media.

Perception is reality in DC. Unfortunately for the rest of us, reality is reality - and we have to actually live it. Politicians will cotinue to stop dealing in reality because the press stops reporting on reality and instead only "reports" on the perception.

It needs to stop if we are ever going to hold our politicians accountable for the consquences of their actions.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | November 17, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, yeah. Why not be honest with yourself? All of your schemes for "fixing" the economy rest on a single concept: taking money from one group and giving it to another.

If you think your schemes are proven winners, show me some proof. I'd be quite interested in that. It seems to me, that if government spending were the key to prosperity the Soviet Union would still be around and the people living under that system would be rich, fat and happy. So..., got proof? Because the historical record mitigates against you.

You said it, I just pointed it out. Go back and read your own words. You want to increase taxes on one group (those with the nerve to make more than 199,999 per year) and give it to another group. To simplify the discussion we should name the groups: how about, the tax payers and the tax recievers? Or better yet, the productive people and the non productive people?

Does that work for you?

so yeah, let's see your proof. I'd be quite interested in learning how massive Federal (or state or local for that matter) has resulted in prosperity for everyone. Just some facts is all I'm asking.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 17, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Prag has blown the lid off of, what's sure to be called "Willowgate!". Get Dr.Sullivan on the horn.  Tell him to bring his specimen!

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 17, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Kevin- "How does inserting a 3rd party or intermediary into the equation equal increased efficiency? Such things may be morally justifiable and may generally have more desirable outcomes, however those are defined, but it cannot be more efficient to take and then redistribute money, while paying for various people and systems to administrate that process, than it is to simply let folks keep more of their own money in their pocket."

Tax cuts don't help out the unemployed a whole lot so by not doing what BBQ suggested, you end up missing 10% of the population. And that 10% is probably going to spend that money and put it right back into the system. I am guessing that's what BBQ meant by more efficient meaning it doesn't end up in a savings account. Although, I don't think the middle class saving money should be used as an argument against a stimulus measure. Not saving money is one of the reasons we are in this mess to begin with and I'm guessing those people who learned that lesson are one of the reasons (albeit a good one) that the recovery is so slow. That and no new jobs or income growth.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 17, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Kids learn what their parents teach them. For the right, there is no responsibility for anything, even their own kids' bigotry.
It's all just a game to you "folks" isn't it Troll?

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 17, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Yes! GREG, ADAM, thank you!!!

This story has been pissing me off for days and has been flying totally under the radar.

I expect to see more on this issue in the blogosphere now that you guys have taken a good hard look at it. Yay! Well done, thank you.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 17, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Prag- I have to disagree with you on the pointless information you provided on Willow.
I have siblings who made some rather curious life decisions (thankfully they recovered from them) that in no way reflected the upbringing provided by my parents.
Why go after Palin's kids when she provides plenty of ammunition of her own? Not to mention its not a message that most people are going to like or side with.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 17, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

@Kevin

"How does inserting a 3rd party or intermediary into the equation equal increased efficiency?"

Because food stamps and unemployement benfits are not "inserting a 3rd party" into anything. The government has a budget. It has a dollar to spend - which it can either spend by cutting taxes (reduced revenue) or by directly spending it (spending).

By giving tax cuts, someone has a dollar more in their pocket, which they can spend on food or a car repair or a new TV or fertilizer for their lawn or a haircut, or whatever else people spend money on. However, the LIKELYHOOD that they spend it on these things is very LOW, especially when we're talking about income after someone's first $250k.

By temporarily increasing food stamps, the government is "spending" that dollar on something that's VERY LIKELY to be spent (everyone needs to eat). Plus, since that person just saved a dollar on food, they are free to spend that "saved dollar" on something else. This becomes VERY LIKELY as income levels decline, since they are more likely to have been putting off purchases such as haircuts, car repairs, etc. The same sort of effect happens for unemployment, though it's more an effect of being able to pay their bills, leaving whatever money they can scrounge through odd-jobs or whatever to be used on everyday items that they otherwise would have put off.

Taken on a whole, it means that a dollar "spent" by the government on a food stamp means $2 get spent in the economy (it's actually a bit lower, like $1.70 or something). You don't get nearly as powerful of a stimuluative effect with tax cuts, which is basically $1 spent = $1 into the economy, even with across-the-board tax cuts that also include low income workers who are more likley to spend it.

"I'm pretty sure studies have been done..."

There have, and they consistently back up the things I've said. Here's some addtional info, posted on Ezra's blog back in June, based on a study done just this past April. It even has a graph of this exact thing.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/06/research_desk_whats_a_dollar_o.html

The conclusion:

"...if the government wants the maximum stimulus at the minimum deficit cost, direct spending is the way to go."

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | November 17, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Fair enough, ashot. Perhaps my frustration with everything rightwing has me willing to stoop to their tactics. But I am reminded of the great CSNY tune "Teach Your Children" first appearing on the seeming ironically titled album "Deja Vu"

You, who are on the road
Must have a code
That you can live by.
And so, become yourself
Because the past
Is just a goodbye.

Teach, your children well
Their father's hell
Did slowly go by
And feed them on your dreams
The one they pick's
The one you'll know by.
Don't you ever ask them why
If they told you, you would die
So just look at them and sigh
And know they love you.

And you (Can you hear and)
Of tender years (Do you care and)
Can't know the fears (Can you see we)
That your elders grew by (Must be free to)
And so please help (Teach your children)
Them with your youth (You believe and)
They seek the truth (Make a world that)
Before they can die (We can live in)

Teach your parents well
Their children’s hell
Will slowly go by
And feed them on your dreams
The one they pick's
The one you’ll know by.

Don’t you ever ask them why
If they told you, you would cry
So just look at them and sigh
And know they love you.

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 17, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

@skipsailing28

"You want to increase taxes on one group (those with the nerve to make more than 199,999 per year) and give it to another group."

Nope. I want to increase the tax rate on INCOME over $250k. If someone makes $300k, the increased tax rate would only effect $50k of their income. Also, should they be unfortunate enough to lose their job and their income drops to zero, they don't take that rate with them. This isn't about a particular group of people.

"To simplify the discussion we should name the groups: how about, the tax payers and the tax recievers?"

We are all tax recievers. We drive on public roads, eat food cleared to be safe, and all the other thousands of ways that our tax dollars effect our daily lives. So I don't think that "tax reciever" for what you mean it to be fits. "Tax Payer" is fine for anyone who pays taxes, though. So yeah, "tax payers" would be effected by "taxes". The conspiracy is revealed!

"Or better yet, the productive people and the non productive people?"

At least here we're starting to see the underlying distain you have for the less fortunate in our country. Notice that you are the one making this into the "Haves" versus the "Have-nots", not me.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | November 17, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Nice word parsing. You want to tax "income". You seek to assuage my concern by stating that you are only hammering 50K of their 250K. How magnamious of you. And someone making 500K only faces your consifcatory taxes on the last 250. No doubt that will soothe thier anger at having thier hard earned money taken from them.

No liberal here has the honestly to admit it, but the fundamental theory for liberals VS the rich is that the rich don't need the money. So the tax code is just a way for the folks in DC to decide how much money we need. As Obama said, after awhile, you've made enough money.

My point remains: those that make more than some threshold amount the liberals define will pay more in taxes. You desire to take their money from them. It is just that simple.another way to look at this: liberalism punishes success. The more an American makes the more the liberals want.


Yes, we are all tax recievers. That, however is not an ethical or moral argument for taking from one group just to give to another. When I pay my gas tax I can at least hope that the money I pay will result in some form of utility. What utility do I or my community derive from transfer payments?

Further, the fact that the government does SOME things for the citizens doesn't mean that we should be OK with the government doing ALL things for the citizens. Conservatives don't talk about NO government, we talk about LIMITED government.

And it is NOT disdain, it is reality. The measure of economic performance for a country is GDP. That stands for GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT. There's that concept again: production. As in make something, or do something that others in the country find valuable enough to pay for.

One of the reasons that I find liberalism so disgusting is its abject failure. Unfortunately for the stalwarts that support its dogma, I live in the 'hood and so I see the failure each and everyday.

so the emotional argument has no effect on me. I see how the "system" gets screwed by the tax receivers. They are Americans and as such they work the system to benefit themselves. I don't blame them for this. Rather I blame latter day liberals who can't bring themselves to recognize that good intentions aren't enough to generate good results. Further I blame liberals for not recognizing the damage to our country their demands have and will continue to do.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 17, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

@skip

*yawn*

Nothing but tired talking points, over and over. I came with factual, detailed, proven breakdown of how and why a particular plan would help the economy. You came with nothing, nothing but the same bumper sticker slogals about how it's only liberals who take part in class warfare, and how liberals hate the rich, and how liberals blah blah blah.

Go ahead, bury your head in partisan sand with your knee-jerk hatred of anything you don't already believe. I have real work to do.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | November 17, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Skip posts the same stuff over and over again. I considered a challenging post, but he typically ignores engagement, so it's not worth the bother.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | November 17, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, yeah to both of you.

FairlingtonBlade simply offers an excuse for a reluctance to actually debate liberal talking points. Excuses are kinda worthless. either you can do a better job of "proving" liberalism success than BBQ or you should just keep lurking.

BBQ's never answered my question: if government spending has such a huge multiplier effect, why did the Soviet Union Fail? why don't we just give away billions in food stamps so that we'll all be rich?

Keynsian economics has failed, yet again. Once again starry eyed Democrats spend a fortune and visit disaster on the country as the try to prove that the government is the solution.

How is what Obama is trying any different from the failed policies of FDR? Keynesian economics coupled with a disdain for productive people didn't solve the depression and it hasn't delivered this time either.

So boys, when is it going to work?

Just too funny.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 17, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I've hardly been a lurker, Skippy. Gotta job to do and such. I'll turn your question around though. If government control is such a horrible thing, why is the PRC such a success? On a slightly less ridiculous note, how about das Bundesrepublik Deutschland?

As for proving "liberalism" to be a success, how about you prove "conservatism" to be a success. As well all know, the last 8 years have been soooooooooo successful. I can't walk outside without putting up an umbrella to shield me from the mana from heaven.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | November 17, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company