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Posted at 6:00 PM ET, 12/ 6/2010

Happy Hour Roundup

By Greg Sargent

UPDATE, 6:50 p.m.: In his remarks just now, President Obama conceded he was unhappy with the compromise that temporarily extends the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. But he said it was the only way to prevent taxes from going up on middle class families -- effectively casting himself as the chief defender of the middle class against stray bullets fired in the the partisan wars of Washington.

"Around kitchen tables, Americans are asking just one question: Are we going to allow their taxes to go up on January 1st?" Obama asked. "Or will we meet our responsibilities to resolve our differences?"

Also interesting: Obama directly rebutted fellow Dems and liberal commentators who want him to let the tax cuts expire and allow the fight to spill over into next year. It was particularly noteworthy that in so doing, he again positioned himself as the defender of the middle class against "Washington," even though Dems and the left support a permanent tax cut for the middle class.

"There are some people in my own party, and in the other party, who would rather prolong this battle," Obama said. "I'm not willing to let working families across this country become collateral damage for political warfare here in Washington."

Finally, Obama sought to address inevitable disappointment on the left by vowing that he would win the argument over the deficit and the tax cuts for the rich in the long run, if not right now.

"These tax cuts will expire in two years," Obama said. "I'm confident that as we make tough choices about bringing our deficit down, as I engage in a conversation with the American people about the hard choices we're going to have to make to secure our future, it will become apparent that we cannot afford to extend those tax cuts any longer."

Translation: Just wait 'till 2012!

UPDATE, 6:12 p.m.: A senior White House official emails the emerging White House argument in favor of this deal on the Bush tax cuts: Taken in total, it's both stimulative to the economy and broadly the best possible outcome for the middle class.

The official argues that the array of additional tax cuts the White House was able to win from Republicans means "the middle class gets a good deal" that "no one thought was possible a few weeks ago."

Expect to hear this case -- and the argument that continuing the tax cuts for the middle class and unemployment benefits amounts to a second stimulus -- amplified in coming days.

* Obama and Congressional leaders are deep in talks on a potential deal that would extend the Bush tax cuts for two years in exchange for extending the unemployment benefits for 13 months.

* Also: Administration officials insist they won other concessions from Republicans, including an array of other tax breaks Obama wanted.

* Obama is set to give a statement to the press at 6:10 p.m. publicly confirming the outlines of the deal, so stay tuned for that.

* But Tea Party warrior queen Michele Bachmann says that some House Republicans might vote against this compromise because of the unemployment extension.

Which raises an interesting question: Will this tax cut deal be a non-starter for the Tea Party, complicating efforts to get House Republicans to support it?

* And: Jed Lewison games out why it's anything but assured that House Democrats will vote for this compromise. Can Nancy Pelosi sell this deal to the Dem caucus?

* Senator George Voinovich gets it right: Any "compromise" on temporarily extending all the Bush tax cuts is just kicking the can down the road.

* Priorities: Organizing for America has rallied behind Obama's pay freeze for Federal workers, but it hasn't done any lobbying for Obama's (original) plan to extend just the middle class tax cuts.

* Meanwhile, many former staffers who busted their humps to get Obama elected are none too happy with Obama's willingness to reach a deal.

* But despite all the angst on the left, Ed Rendell says there's no chance Obama will face a serious primary challenge.

* Dan Amira, on why Congress should pass repeal of DADT, even if it means working up until Christmas "like everyone else in America."

* Relatedly: As Joe Sudbay accurately suggests, if Harry Reid gave Susan Collins the week of debate she wants on DADT, GOP Senators would quickly realize they want to get home and only need a few hours of debate after all. Do it now!

* In an interesting read, David Dayen says that ultimately the left's disappointment with Obama is all about policy.

* And Elizabeth Edwards is seriously ill.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | December 6, 2010; 6:00 PM ET
Categories:  Happy Hour Roundup, House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Republicans, taxes  
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Comments

Prayers for Elizabeth Edwards and her children and family...

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 6, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

"Obama and Congressional leaders are deep in talks on a potential deal that would extend the Bush tax cuts for two years in exchange for extending the unemployment benefits for 13 months."

Just to confim, the unemployment extension is for up to 99 weeks, correct? They aren't making an additional tier beyond 99 weeks with this.

Posted by: jnc4p | December 6, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

jnc

I don't know the answer to that question

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 6, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Interesting...

"The deal also sets up a re-litigation of the tax cut fight during the height of the 2012 presidential debate...said the senior administration official, "... 2012 will be about whether or not we can afford to borrow more money from China for tax breaks for the rich. That's what 2012 will be about and that's an argument we will be happy to make.""

Good thing we're not just kicking the can down the road anymore.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 6, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I am saddened by the seriousness of Elizebeth Edwards's illness. She seems like a very good and courageous woman.

I hope she will survive this.

Posted by: battleground51 | December 6, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Looks like press conference cancelled, replaced with background conference call. Any idea why?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 6, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

I guess it is official now: the deficit is no longer a matter of national concern. We can have it all, and we'll never have to pay those nasty taxes.

Our children, on the other hand . . .

Posted by: bearclaw1 | December 6, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Dems don't have a "bench" from which a primary challenger could rise. Republicans, on the other hand, have only bench candidates and no real starters yet. Even so, Obama is looking like a weak candidate right now. Sen. Harkin is right, he better hope to face Sarah Palin because he could lose to anyone else. What he really needs is two opponents, one Republican and one Tea Party; then he'd probably win. But, it could happen that the Tea Party takes some states leaving no candidate with 270 electoral votes and the whole thing getting tossed over to the House of Representatives. In that case, he'll need some Republicans to vote for him eventually so deals like this might help.

How's that for planning for the worst case scenario?

Of course the better way would be to actually lead the country and get an outright majority of electoral votes on election night but that doesn't seem to be happening.

Posted by: matt_ahrens | December 6, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

What happens if the compromise that is emerging doesn't pass because Dems don't vote for it? I doubt Sanders, Feingold, and maybe even Schumer will vote for this the way it's going.

This is going to get messy.

Posted by: BGinCHI | December 6, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm so sorry to hear about Elizabeth Edwards. She already has endured more than anyone should have to.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | December 6, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Is Obama seriously COMPLAINING about the compromise he is making???


Seriously???


There has never been a person in history who has so disasterously been forced to keep a campaign pledge -


When there were good faith negotiations over Fin Reg bill, Obama was having his people stage votes in Congress designed to embarrass the other side - completely AGAINST the spirit of bipartisanship.


NOW Obama is complaining about the current compromise - slamming the Republicans again - bad faith, it is unbelievable how bad this is.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 6, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."---Edmund Burke

When we disagree with something coming out of Washington, there's often not much we can do about it. Don't like the war in Afghanistan? What are you going to do about it? Think your taxes are too high? Pay them or get what Wesley Snipes got.

But this looming extension of the Bush tax cuts is one instance where we can legally take matters into our own hands. If we are really convinced that the country would be better off letting the tax cuts expire, we can demonstrate the courage of our convictions by taking pen and hand and writing a check for the difference. I've no doubt George Soros, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Al Gore, John Kerry, et al., will be doing their parts. They believe the government needs the extra money and would doubtless make good decisions on how best to spend it.

I'm actually one of those skeptics who believes he's a better steward of his ill-gotten (worked-for) gains than the government, so I'm going to do my part to stimulate the economy by spending my share of the tax cuts. Now, if all of you who've been saying that ALL the tax cuts should be allowed to expire, for the good of the country, will simply do your part and send that little bit extra to your Uncle Sam---shoot, send him all you can---we'll turn this country around in a hurry. Think of it: you can help save the Obama presidency!

Posted by: Brigade | December 6, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2010/12/06/obama-takes-credit-for-bushs-nafta-style-korea-free-trade-deal-he-once-opposed/

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | December 6, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

For someone who built his own campaign about Compromise and bipartisanship, I have NEVER IN MY LIFE seen someone complain so much about a Compromise


Obama just gave a speech which was the equivalent of "kicking and screaming" into EXACTLY what he promised the nation he would do for the entire 4 years in office.

Obama went around the nation - north and south, east and west - for two years - telling everyone how he was going to bring Compromise and bipartisanship to Washington DC and how wonderful the world would be when he did that.

What a fraud and a deception. What a disgrace. How shameful. Is Obama even an adult??? You have to be 35 years old to be President, and Obama isn't acting that age.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 6, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Chuck, I needed an extra shot of depression today. Plus it's below zero with wind chill.

Where's the vodka?

Posted by: BGinCHI | December 6, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

on the update

1) is it really that hard to get Republicans to agree to tax cuts?

2) did the tax cuts in the first stimulus actually help? Didn't the spending help more??? Why not try and get some real help out of this deal?

it seems the WH got fleeced on this deal.

Posted by: matt_ahrens | December 6, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

I think Rusty has gone off his meds.

Posted by: mwamp | December 6, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Is Obama seriously COMPLAINING about the compromise he is making???


Seriously???


_____________________


Apparently so.


Obama is a baby. Such a baby.


He committed himself to Compromise for the 4 years he is in office - and today's statement from Obama was nothing less than shameful conduct.


What is going on???


Seriously folks, if Obama is going to act like this, he should not be President. Clearly, Obama MISREPRESENTED himself to the American People in 2008. Obama is a fraud.


What is amazing is how many democrats are willing to back up Obama on his fraud - for the sake of their liberal agenda.


The democrats have destroyed their party - perhaps forever.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 6, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I think the HuffPo article on the tax cut deal (linked above) kinda nailed it:

---------------------------------------------
"The deal also sets up a re-litigation of the tax cut fight during the height of the 2012 presidential debate. Then, as now, the income rates will be set to revert for everyone to pre-Bush levels and there is no certainty that the economy will be on substantially better footing. Moreover, the administration would face a serious trust deficit after having just capitulated on the Bush tax cuts during the first go-round. Nevertheless, the White House seemed willing to muster up a campaign to let the rates for the wealthy expire in two years."
---------------------------------------------

Not to mention we'd be adding another 3/4 trillion dollars to the national debt all told. God knows I try to keep in mind that this stuff is not as easy as it sounds and I try hard to give the Obama administration (et al) the benefit of the doubt whenever I can, but this is a crappy deal. I hope Democrats in congress walk away from it.

Posted by: CalD | December 6, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

lmao. the loser is answering his own questions.

haha

Change of topic...

Ready your rotten fruit...I'm pretty certain I remember Obama saying before he was elected that he would consider not letting the Bush tax cut on the wealthy expire if the recession wasn't over...bombs away. And yeah, I'd consider us still in a recession although technically we aren't.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 6, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

All, see my update on Obama's remarks just now on the tax cut compromise...

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 6, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

jnc4p | December 6, 2010 6:12 PM


The deal is not entirely clear right now, and Congressional leaders on both sides are saying they may or may not be behind it.


However, it appears that the unemployment benefits section may extend the 99 weeks up to 119 weeks.

It is not entirely clear. But the 13 month extension MIGHT bring people up to 119 weeks.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 6, 2010 7:23 PM | Report abuse

Greg, my take on the substance of what the WH says in your update:

Remember when you're eating your shitsandwich that there's dessert.

Posted by: BGinCHI | December 6, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

AMT? Cap gains?

Posted by: sold2u | December 6, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

So much endless passion and obsession of dems over taxing other people harder, when it wont solve the deficit anyway. It is pure demogogudry, resentment, envy, and politics of division.

There is no such thing as borrowing to pay for lower taxes. Only for money spent.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 6, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

So much endless passion and obsession of dems over taxing other people harder, when it wont solve the deficit anyway. It is pure demogogudry, resentment, envy, and politics of division.

There is no such thing as borrowing to pay for lower taxes. Only for money spent.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 6, 2010 7:47 PM | Report abuse

So much endless passion and obsession of dems over taxing other people harder, when it wont solve the deficit anyway. It is pure demogogudry, resentment, envy, and politics of division.

There is no such thing as borrowing to pay for lower taxes. Only for money spent.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 6, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

So much endless passion and obsession of dems over taxing other people harder, when it wont solve the deficit anyway. It is pure demogogudry, resentment, envy, and politics of division.

There is no such thing as borrowing to pay for lower taxes. Only for money spent.

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 6, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

"Translation: Just wait 'till 2012!"

Yup, good thing we're not just kicking the can down the road anymore.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 6, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

"There are some people in my own party, and in the other party, who would rather prolong this battle," Obama said. "I'm not willing to let working families across this country become collateral damage for political warfare here in Washington."

Some interesting triangation right there. That can't make his base very happy.

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 6, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Here it is folks, in explicit language and overall strategy.


Weekly Standard Editor Fred Barnes Calls On Conservatives To ‘Infiltrate The Mainstream Media’

Fred Barnes, a frequent Fox News commentator and executive editor of the Weekly Standard, has issued a call to arms: conservatives must “infiltrate” the supposedly liberal mainstream media. “What we need to do right now is dedicate ourselves to expanding our influence and not just sitting back and complaining about the mainstream media, but infiltrating them, overtaking them and changing the American media into something that is fair and balanced, once and for all,” Barnes told a dinner held by the conservative magazine American Spectator.

Barnes outlined his takeover plan for attendees at the swanky event:

Barnes and some other media critics argue that the broader, more liberal media still decide the daily story and political agenda, so he’s calling for a two-pronged war. One goal is to develop conservative reporters. “We need more smart, young people in journalism,” he argues, “to infiltrate—infiltrate!—the mainstream media. It can be done.”

Then he wants wealthy conservatives to build media outlets. Citing the millions of dollars thrown at political campaigns, he says “there is a lot of money out there that can be used to start new magazines, to buy television networks, to buy newspapers, to start newspapers—so much can be done.”

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/12/06/barnes-media-infiltration/

But you'd be mistaken if you presumed that precisely this strategy hasn't already been in place for a couple of decades.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 6, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

"The American people didn't send us here to wage symbolic battles."

Oh, well, what was last weekend ???


Obama and his democrats just got through votes in the House AND Senate on "symbolic battles" - so Obama just did one thing and said another.

Again, the American People are sick of this crap - Obama is not acting like a leader, he is not even acting like an adult


Obama is acting like a little child.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 6, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

bernie wrote: "But you'd be mistaken if you presumed that precisely this strategy hasn't already been in place for a couple of decades."

So, if he's asking for it to be done now, as if this "strategy" is not already in place, because he is unaware of the already in place "strategy"? Of does he know the "strategy" is already in place and is trying to divert attention from it by highlighting it? Or is he pretending it's not already in place for some other, nefarious ends? Or is he being intentionally kept out of the loop? If he's being kept out of the loop, is he really a part of this "propagandizing" "strategy"? Could we deduce, therefore, that Barnes is not an architect of this "propaganda" and just a dupe to those that are? And if so, who are the architects?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 6, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

"Which raises an interesting question: Will this tax cut deal be a non-starter for the Tea Party, complicating efforts to get House Republicans to support it?

And: Jed Lewison games out why it's anything but assured that House Democrats will vote for this compromise. Can Nancy Pelosi sell this deal to the Dem caucus?"
-------------------------

And there you have it: just as the Progressive Dems don't like extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, the Tea Party doesn't like the idea of additional stimulus spending (even for the unemployed).

To me, these positions signal that this is a rather reasonable compromise -- neither side gets exactly what it wants and is forced to make uncomfortable concessions that perturb their respective bases of support.

[p.s.: Yes, I know that the Progressive Caucus and Tea Party aren't absolute analogues. But, they are representing the most liberal and most conservative viewpoints on this matter.]

Posted by: associate20 | December 6, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

Who was Obama negotiating with ???


Nancy Pelosi apparently hasn't signed onto the deal.

Harry Reid's office says they will talk about it tomorrow.

Boehner's office says they will "look at the deal" - not exactly the words of someone who was just a part of negotiations.


Sounds like Obama told someone WHAT the deal would be, and then he announced it WITHOUT getting the agreement of everyone.


Why wasn't the Republicans with Obama at the announcement - all sharing the credit.


That is the ESSENCE of Compromise - sharing the credit.


Obama has TWISTED the meaning of Compromise into something that would give him a win, and everyone else gets nothing. Well, that is not Compromise, that is NOT bipartisanship


That kind of attitude actually PREVENTS Compromise.


And that is what Obama has become: an OBSTACLE to compromise.


It is amazing. It's not about Obama.

LET ME ASK YOU THIS:


In announcing the Compromise, how many times did Obama use the word "I" ???

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 6, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

I'm really sorry to hear that about Elizabeth Edwards...

Prayers and best wishes to Elizabeth Edwards and her family.

Posted by: associate20 | December 6, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Boy, talk about a bad fall. Barry's Treasury Department can't even print money right. If only we'd had some sort of sign that Geithner isn't competent.

http://www.cnbc.com/id/40521684

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 6, 2010 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Who cares if the left is angry at Obama? He knows that they aren't going to suddenly vote Palin for President.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 6, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

I commend President Obama for his leadership. The sh*t he has to put up with from both sides is unbelievable. I, for one, am grateful for everything he does to support the middle class.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 6, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

I commend President Obama for his leadership. The sh*t he has to put up with from both sides is unbelievable. I, for one, am grateful for everything he does to support the middle class.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 6, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

"There is no such thing as borrowing to pay for lower taxes. Only for money spent. "

Well, since Republicans aren't about to cut spending any time soon, and they aren't about to raise taxes to pay for the spending they won't cut, looks like we get to borrow, borrow, borrow!

Posted by: DDAWD | December 6, 2010 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Jane Hamsher thinks the payroll tax holiday is bad, a slippery slope attack on Social Security. Ezra Klein thinks the whole tax cut compromise is much better than he would have expected a week ago. So I guess we can see where the new lines of discussion and argument are starting to be drawn.

I wonder what the next inflaming issue will be, and what other important policy initiatives like the safe food act will fly largely under the radar.

Posted by: AllButCertain | December 6, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

And what Ethan said.

Posted by: AllButCertain | December 6, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

McWing:

re Bernie and Fred Barnes

Bernie's belief that Barnes' speech reveals some nefarious right-wing plot to take over the media is founded on two premises. First, that the mainstream media is not dominated by liberals and liberal narratives. And second, that Fred Barnes (among others who advance the same strategy) know that it isn't. If either of these premises are false, then the nefarious plot becomes simply an obvious, and indeed necessary, reaction in order to rectify a lopsided situation.

So the question Bernie would answer, if he had an objective bone in his body (doubtful, as you know), would be how does he know that Barnes does not in fact believe that the media is biased in favor of the left? And if Barnes does believe it, what is so controversial about his call for the right to take steps to alter that bias?

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 6, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Boy, talk about a bad fall. Barry's Treasury Department can't even print money right. If only we'd had some sort of sign that Geithner isn't competent.


__________________________


Great comment

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 6, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

It is amazing that everytime the democrats get in office, they jam-pack every budget with as much spending as they can.


AND then the democrats blame the Republicans for not making taxes high enough.


And the democrats give every excuse in the book - class warfare, taking money from the poor, hurting the unemployed.

Stealing from grandchildren....


Everything - EXCEPT admitting that the democrats increased the spending in the first place, and the spending needs to be cut drastically.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 6, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

ScottC3,

Further, Barnes gave the speech at a dinner sponsored by American Spectator. The audience, presumably, would be aware of the ongoing "strategy," no?

Bernie, can you clear this up for us? Was this speech designed to pry more money for the cause from the rubes that would attend an American Spectator sponsored dinner (said rubes being ignorant of the decades old strategy)? Also, why risk the exposure? Surely the architects know that you know, and are actively distributing the warning. Is it to try and impugn your knowledge? To say, "Hey, we're just starting this strategy. Who're you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes?"

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 6, 2010 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Obviously conservatives need to infiltrate the mainstream media. Otherwise how else are we going to have a bunch of talking heads on TV arguing that Obama wasn't born in the US?

Or arguing that lowering taxes reduces the deficit?

Or arguing that the ACA increases the deficit?

Or saying that liberals hate America?

Or saying that the Clintons had a bunch of people killed?

Or calling Obama a socialist?

Or attacking the construction of a religious center in NYC?

Or airing a bunch of doctored video by James O'Keefe?

Or talking about whether Obama's fist bump with his wife is a secret terrorist gesture?

Or argue that global warming isn't real?

Or argue that evolution isn't real?

Obviously if these opinions are to ever get major play in the mainstream media, conservatives must infiltrate it.

Because otherwise, we'd never hear about these viewpoints...

Posted by: DDAWD | December 6, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

Jennifer Rubin reports:


A Capitol Hill aide described Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid's demeanor upon returning from the White House: "He looked like someone shot his dog."

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 6, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

Citigroup Stake Sold by Government for $10.5 Billion

Obama the failed socialist. A pretty successful capitalist, though.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 6, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Ddawd


We realize you are a member of the DEAD AGENDA SOCIETY - but do you have to list all the items ???


,,

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 6, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse


LET ME ASK YOU THIS:


In announcing the Compromise, how many times did Obama use the word "I" ???

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 6, 2010 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Stephen Dinan writes:

"Members of Congress on Monday called on President Obama to issue a public correction after he incorrectly labeled E pluribus unum the U.S.'s motto in a speech last month, rather than "In God We Trust."

The lawmakers, members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, also said the president was making "a pattern" of dropping the word "Creator" when he recites the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence.

"By misrepresenting things as foundational as the Declaration of Independence and our national motto, you are not only doing a disservice to the people you represent you are casting aside an integral part of American society," the representatives said in a stern letter asking for him to correct the speech."

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 6, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

DDAWD wrote: "Because otherwise, we'd never hear about these viewpoints..."

Doesn't your comment beg the question? If Barnes is aware of the existing conservative "decades old strategy" of infiltrating the media (and your apparent belief that it has succeeded), why is he demanding a start to it?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | December 7, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

DDawd--I like your list. In fact I think we need more lists to remind us what all the talking points are and where they're coming from, what canards go unanswered in the MSM, what good if imperfect legislation has been passed in this Congress, and what difficult issues have been tackled with a degree of resolve. And we maybe need more lists like lmsinca's catalogue of disappointments. Maybe if we stop looking at just one thing at a time and ignoring all the rest, we'll understand things better and know where to direct our best efforts toward change.

Posted by: AllButCertain | December 7, 2010 12:21 AM | Report abuse

AllButCertain | December 7, 2010 12:21 AM

_______________________________

Yea, and the American People can be sure of why they rejected the liberal agenda.


And they can remind themselves never to vote for another liberal, again.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 7, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

I heard that this is where the posters who go sick of Cillizza's GOP sycophancy and miserable writing ended up. And sho'nuff I see a few familiar names, also a few who bring back the urgency of an Ignore Poster option.

All settled in here now, life is very good indeed, and the news from my former country is very very bad indeed.

Extend the Bush tax cuts? Nonsense. Let them all expire, middle class included, thereby providing more revenue to stimulate the economy and get the people who don't make enough to pay taxes in the first place .. back to work.

CF8
Cần Thơ, Việt Nam

Posted by: caothien9 | December 7, 2010 2:44 AM | Report abuse

Fred Barned? To call him a prostitute would be an insult to prostitutes. But he certainly bears the same relationship to jourmalism that a streetwalker bears to conjugal bliss. Barnes was the guy who trashed The New Republic, for which he deserves a place in Hell alongside John McCain, Barnes is the guy who went from Tom Braden's chair on Crosssfire to Pat Buchanan's.

It's called Selling Out, and Barned did it, and in a big way. One of a long line of wannabe journalists like Cillizza who didn't have the talent so they cultivated the connections and sucked up to the side that paid better.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 7, 2010 2:51 AM | Report abuse

@DDAWD: bread and circuses.

And you left out sightings of the Virgin Mary and Elvis.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 7, 2010 4:18 AM | Report abuse

Fred Barnes has called on conservatives to infiltrate the liberal MSM??

Hey, I'm way ahead of him on that.

Anyhow, the liberal MSM is it's own worst enemy. Just look at what has happened to their beloved Democrat party when the MSMs wet their collective panties over lord OBAMA.

Let the MSM be leftist all it wants. It works very well for the G.O.P.

Now, about that DREAM ACT. What a nightmare that is. AMNESTY by another name is all it is. It is another, liberal scheme to fatten their (legal) voter rolls at taxpayer expense.

Why would any nonRINO vote for that??

Posted by: battleground51 | December 7, 2010 6:18 AM | Report abuse

Everything you need to know about this
deal is the timeline: the unemployment benefits are extended for 13 months, the tax cuts for two years.
When I worked and voted for Obama, I did so believing he was a liberal (nobody expected a progressive) and an intelligent man. Clearly neither is true, as he continues to sell out his base for a mess of potage.

Posted by: kstack | December 7, 2010 6:30 AM | Report abuse

CF8, there is a greasemonkey script you can get to block anyone you don't want to read.

http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/89140

Highly recommended. Pretty much everyone uses it except for the Conservative posters who enjoy 37th's racism.

Posted by: DDAWD | December 7, 2010 7:06 AM | Report abuse

Kevin W (if you are out there):

I wanted to press you a little further about your support for letting the Bush tax cuts expire for anyone making more than $250k. Your reasoning seems to be that extra money in the pockets of "rich" people will not have the economic stimulative effect that it will have in the pockets of those who make less than $250k, because those under $250k will spend it, and those over will not. (If this is not your reasoning, set me straight.)

One of the main problems with this, I think, is that extending the Bush tax cuts would not add money to anyone's pocket that is not already there. We've been operating under the Bush tax regime for several years already. Extending the tax cuts will simply maintain the status quo. Failure to extend them, however, will result in less money in the pockets of taxpayers than currently exists.

So the question we face, then, is not whether extending them for "the rich" will have a stimulative effect for the economy, but rather whether the failure to extend them will have an anti-stimulative effect. It seems to me that the answer must be yes, even if one believes (as you seem to) that spending is the only relevant stimulus and that investment doesn't matter to economic growth. People with less money will spend less...even "rich" people. Granted, the ratio of their decrease in spending to tax hikes may not be on par with those who make less, but it will have some stimulative effect (actually anti-stimulative), which seems to be the focus of your support for letting them expire.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 7, 2010 7:18 AM | Report abuse

ddawd:

"except for the Conservative posters who enjoy 37th's racism."

I don't use it and I don't enjoy anyone's racism.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 7, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

@DDAWD - that's a good list.

The stark Manichean framing implicit in Barnes' comments (echoed by folks on the right above) is mirrored in many other aspects of the modern American conservative conceptions of the world - abortion, gay issues, American exceptionalism, Muslims evil versus christian triumphalism, evolution, economics, social policies, global warming etc. The tribal us versus them is extreme and, in so many of these cases and others, any move or consideration to lessen division or bridge between "sides" engenders the sort of vitriol and hatred usually reserved for enemies in war or even seriously unbalanced priests describing the oh-so-proximate temptations of Satan.

As a follower and personal friend of the Horned One, I can assure all that it's quite nice over here.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 7, 2010 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Greenwald has another very good piece on the broad spread of moves against Assange and wikileaks. Those with some uncaptured neurons will probably perceive the relationships between what Barnes' is up to and why we're seeing this unprecedented international attack on wikileaks - to get or to maintain power and control, information systems must be commandeered and manipulated in purposeful ways so as to protect existing power and thwart challenges to it.

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/12/06/wikileaks/index.html

Posted by: bernielatham | December 7, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

I suppose I could add that as good as these folks are at the propaganda game, just think how much more effective it would have been - story-wise - if Saddam had been pulled from his 'hole' and if Assange had been found and manhandled into cuffs by Jessica Lynch (while wounded and in imminent danger of being raped).

Posted by: bernielatham | December 7, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

I happened to catch this headline and seriously choked on my coffee. From the NY Times.

"Bush Tax-Cut Deal With Jobless Aid Said to Be Near"

There's just so much irony there it's difficult to know where to start.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 7, 2010 8:27 AM | Report abuse

@Ims - We have so much to thank him for. A great man. An exceptional national leader.

Posted by: bernielatham | December 7, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

All, Morning Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/the_morning_plum_145.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 7, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Bernie says:

"The tribal us versus them is extreme..."

The irony. The irony.

There is almost no one on this board more guilty of "manichean framing" than Bernie himself. His lack of self-awareness boggles the mind.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 7, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, DD, if I do end up hanging around (not the plan at the moment) I'll definitely use it.

Really gotta wonder about a guy so inddefatigable in his hatred, not exactly enviable .. still at it after all these months.

I got disgusted with Cillizza's lousy writing, mediocre intellect, and shAmeless suckuppery and baailed, then came the move, then came the serenity of being here. Not likely to get myself wrapped around the axle of fights I no longer have a dog in.

That said, nice to hear from you again.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 7, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

And for those who aren't presently sending checks to Ralph Nader to save us all from the two parties that smell exactly the same...

"The Tax Deal
I’ve been on a bunch of planes, but catching up on my blog and email reading the progressive wonk consensus seems to be that the tax cut deal is . . . not as bad as people feared it would be based on what was happening the previous week. And I totally agree, though that’s largely a case of expectations management so I’m not going to break out the flowers.

What I will say, though, is that this has partially set my mind at ease about the prospects of a GOP strategy of economic sabotage. The tax policy the right wants, though in general bad for the country, is not bad for short-term economic performance. And the concessions they were willing to give Obama in exchange for boosting the incomes of rich people are expansionary in the short-term. So the terrain here exists well within the range of “normal” politics where conservatives want lower taxes on rich people. This is kind of nutty in my view, but it’s a deeply held article of faith on the right and not some ad hoc effort to sink the economy or anything.

In a non-optimistic vein, though, this is really kind of sad statement on where Washington is at the moment. What you can say in favor of this deal is that it is a kind of expansionary fiscal policy. But if expansionary fiscal policy is the order of the day, then this is a mighty ineffective way to go about. And if the reason we can’t have a real robust jobs program is that deficits are evil, then why on earth is it that we need huge deficit-expanding tax cuts for the children of the hyper-wealthy?"

http://yglesias.thinkprogress.org/2010/12/the-tax-deal/

Posted by: bernielatham | December 7, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Even though the Afghanistan escalation was a substanttially worse uh disappointment one nevertheess feels that for Obama to capitulate on the tax cuts for the wealthy goes beyond spinelessness, beyonf disappointment, beyond even betrayal. It represents, if I may coin a phrrase, a deal-breaker. Expect serious talk of a primry challenge to emerge, and not petulant complaining, but earnest, and woth money behind it.

I would much rather see the middle class tax cuts expire than see the ones for the wealthy preserved. The whole idea that taxation stifles growth is garbage in the first place.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 7, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the script, DD, pity we didn't have that back in the days of JakeD and zouk. The experience would have been substantially better. Needless to say, I'm not seeing "Rain Forest Rising" any longer.

You'll be happy to know it works in Vietnamese Chrome. Better than WaPo, which keeps on showing me French for some reason.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 7, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

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