12/08/2010 archive

Krugman: Obama’s Tax-Cut Defense ‘Enormously Self-Indulgent’

Obama is just caving to the hostage takers again like he did with health care. He just continues to lie and throw the true Democratic principle under the bus.

From James K. Galbraith

Whose side is the White House on anyway?

The president should know that, as Lincoln told Congress in 1862, he “cannot escape history”

This isn’t a parlor game. The outcome isn’t destined to be alright. It will not necessarily end in progress whatever happens. What we do, how we proceed, and how we effectively resist what is plainly about to happen, matters very greatly for the future of our country, of our children, and of another generation to come. We need to lose our fear, our hesitation, and our unwillingness to face the facts. If we thereby lose some of our hopes, let’s remember the dictum of William of Orange that “it is not necessary to hope in order to persevere.”

The president should know that, as Lincoln said to the Congress in the dark winter of 1862, he “cannot escape history.” And we are heading now into a very dark time, so let’s face it with eyes open. And if we must, let’s seek leadership that shares our values, fights for our principles, and deserves our trust.

History will not judge this President kindly.

Just Like Health Care

December 7th, 2010, a day that will live in infamy.

So this notion that somehow we are willing to compromise too much reminds me of the debate that we had during health care.  This is the public option debate all over again.  So I pass a signature piece of legislation where we finally get health care for all Americans, something that Democrats had been fighting for for a hundred years, but because there was a provision in there that they didn’t get that would have affected maybe a couple of million people, even though we got health insurance for 30 million people and the potential for lower premiums for 100 million people, that somehow that was a sign of weakness and compromise.

What goes around comes around.

The Ghosts Of Health Care Deals Past: Industry Negotiations Could Haunt WH In New GOP-Led Congress

Amanda Terkel and Ryan Grim, The Huffington Post

12-8-10 01:00 PM

WASHINGTON — The deals that the White House cut with major industries during the health care debate are threatening to come back to haunt the administration once Republicans take control of the House. One of the most closely-watched deals involved the White House working closely with a onetime foe, former GOP congressman Billy Tauzin, head of the drugmakers lobby. Now that the deal is done, Tauzin and the White House will find themselves once again on opposite sides. Tauzin, say people close to him, will be happy to talk.

Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Michael Burgess (R-Texas) will likely be the chairmen of the two committees that will have jurisdiction over any investigation into the health-care dealmaking. Both tell The Huffington Post they’re certain Tauzin is willing to chat.

“He’s a very transparent guy. He’s the kind of guy that’s happy to sit down and, you know, he doesn’t hide anything. If he made a deal as part of PhRMA with the White House, he’s going to tell you exactly what that deal was, who he made it with, what the terms were, et cetera,” said Burgess, the incoming chairman of the Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.

When you’ve lost Oliver Willis…

Obama Secures Peace For Our Time

Oliver Willis

7:11 am EST December 7th, 2010

I see President Obama has returned from his meetings with the GOP leadership and has come back waving and bragging of the agreement that cedes the Sudentenland (background) to the Republican party on taxes.

They’ve just conceded to the Republicans without any fight – like they consistently have since almost day one. What they’re telling us now is that their default position is concession and capitulation, giving in to the Republicans on key issues of national importance. He ran on not kicking the can down the road on important issues, but right here – again, with no fight – he’s thrown in the towel.

If President Obama is doing what is within his power to depress his base vote and give the Republican party a new lease on power, well he’s doing a great job at it. If his goal is to be a strong leader and a great Democrat, he’s failing miserably at it. 2010 was a repeat of 1994 and 2002, when all the force of moral good on the side of liberalism can’t overcome a Democratic party that simply will not fight. If he continues on this path, and nothing – absolutely nothing – has shown me otherwise, he’s setting himself up to replicate the Democratic losses of 1980 and 1984 no matter who the Republican nominee is.

We sent him to Washington to stand up and fight. Instead he’s cowering and retreating.

Taylor Marsh is a little more scathing, but she always is-

Getting that 1979 Feeling Again

by Taylor Marsh

08 December 2010 10:36 am

Two years later he’s been shown to cave on health care in favor of the insurance companies, protected too big to fail banking system, done nothing about the exporting of corporate cash from this country, ignored the job issue, and given lip service to Democratic policy principles while tilting the country ever rightward until today he’s made a deal with Republicans that they are cheering as he uses language like “hostage” for a situation he created because he not only doesn’t know how to lead, but won’t be bothered to try. He even handed off the tax deal to Vice Pres. Joe Biden, because Barack Obama is always looking for cover. On foreign policy Pres. Obama has ignored the implications of Gen. McChyrstal’s implosion, plus turned away from the obvious ramifications of the Karzai Wikileaks exposure; meanwhile, we’re days away from a complete Middle East dialogue collapse, as we are made to swallow an arms deal for the Saudis that makes absolutely no sense at all. Because of the midterms, Obama’s foreign policy options have dried up. All of this is why he rails at the Left so gracelessly, because those who understand the political disaster Obama’s constructing won’t follow him anywhere anymore.

Pres. Barack Obama has lost the entire industrial Midwest and the working class, with women splitting their vote in the midterms with the Right, while seniors went Right as well, because Obama also sold them out.

Whether Obama is challenged or not, his weakness as a Democratic leader is now etched in everyone’s mind. A challenger also doesn’t matter, because there are a growing number of Democrats who won’t vote for him in ’12 no matter what.

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.

Verlyn Klinkenborg: John Lennon

I don’t remember how I heard that John Lennon had been shot. Thirty years ago, on a warm December night in Manhattan, it was suddenly, in the air, on the street – with only a brief, grim gap between news of the shooting at the Dakota, on 72nd Street and news of his death at Roosevelt Hospital. I called my brother in California and then sat in the stairwell of a building at 27th and Third, numb and grieving, like everyone else.




We remember what we remember of Lennon, and of that night. When I was young, he was the only adult that mattered outside my family – the Beatle of Beatles. I loved his wit; his irony; his “Help!”; his urgent, reedy voice; his unceasing transformations. Like everyone else who loved him, I can’t help grieving, even now, for all the transformations we lost 30 years ago when John Lennon was only 40.

John Nichols: Organizing for America Sacrifices Credibility, Harms Obama, By Talking Up Misguided Assault on Public Employees

Organizing for America, the online community of campaigners for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential run that evolved into a Democratic National Committee-aligned “activist” network is undermining its own credibility — and, ultimately, harming the president– by attempting to gin up support for Obama administration initiatives that Obama backers did not support in 2008 and do not support now.

While OFA, the succesor organization to the “Obama for America” campaign organization,  was a disappointing player during the health care and banking reform debates, it has now begun to inflict actual harm – not just to progressive ideals but to the long-term prospects of maintaining what remains of Obama’s political base.

OFA, so silent on the compromise the Obama administration is trying to gin up to extend tax breaks for the rich, has found something it is for: cutting the pay of federal workers.

Julian Assange: The truth will always win

In 1958 a young Rupert Murdoch, then owner and editor of Adelaide’s The News, wrote: “In the race between secrecy and truth, it seems inevitable that truth will always win.”

His observation perhaps reflected his father Keith Murdoch’s expose that Australian troops were being needlessly sacrificed by incompetent British commanders on the shores of Gallipoli. The British tried to shut him up but Keith Murdoch would not be silenced and his efforts led to the termination of the disastrous Gallipoli campaign.

Nearly a century later, WikiLeaks is also fearlessly publishing facts that need to be made public.

I grew up in a Queensland country town where people spoke their minds bluntly. They distrusted big government as something that could be corrupted if not watched carefully. The dark days of corruption in the Queensland government before the Fitzgerald inquiry are testimony to what happens when the politicians gag the media from reporting the truth.

These things have stayed with me. WikiLeaks was created around these core values. The idea, conceived in Australia, was to use internet technologies in new ways to report the truth.


First of all I have to give credit to TheMomCat for the title.  It’s her coinage as far as I know, and I think it’s pretty punny.

So what’s so bad about the Tax Cut deal outside, of course, breaking yet another major campaign promise?

Well, it raises taxes on those making less than $20,000 a year.

The “2% Payroll Tax Cut” starves Social Security, throwing it into a fiscal crunch that did not previously exist.

The Estate Tax break alone, affecting only 1.62% of Estates, will cost over $23.2 Billion per year.

And it runs up a $900 Billion Defict in just 2 years with over 70% of the benefits going to the Wealthiest 2% and Corporations, proving that anyone in Washington who claims to care about The Deficit is a FLAT OUT LIAR.  As Robert Reich says– “Families with incomes of over $1 million will reap an average of about $70,000, while middle-class families earning $50,000 a year will get an average of around $1,500.”

Not to mention that all these Republican Trickle Down Voodoo Economics Policies have been tried and tested for the last 10 years and are PROVEN FAILURES.

Likewise Liars are anyone who claims to care about Democratic Electoral Victory.  74% of Obama contributors and volunteers are deeply opposed to this deal, while fully 57% say it will make them less likely to support Democratic Candidates in 2012.

And Barack Hussein Obama is not just a Liar, but a Craven, Cowardly, Petulant, Whiner.

Update: I ought to point out before you invest a lot of time that the presser runs 32:24 and the Special Comment 11:51.  Americablog had the best liveblog coverage that I have read.

On This Day in History: December 8

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

December 8 is the 342nd day of the year (343rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 23 days remaining until the end of the year.

John Lennon, October 9. 1940 – December 8, 1980

The Tea Maker

Yoko Ono

John and I are in our Dakota kitchen in the middle of the night. Three cats – Sasha, Micha and Charo – are looking up at John, who is making tea for us two.

Sasha is all white, Micha is all black. They are both gorgeous, classy Persian cats. Charo, on the other hand, is a mutt. John used to have a special love for Charo. “You’ve got a funny face, Charo!” he would say, and pat her.

“Yoko, Yoko, you’re supposed to first put the tea bags in, and then the hot water.” John took the role of the tea maker, for being English. So I gave up doing it.

It was nice to be up in the middle of the night, when there was no sound in the house, and sip the tea John would make. One night, however, John said: “I was talking to Aunt Mimi this afternoon and she says you are supposed to put the hot water in first. Then the tea bag. I could swear she taught me to put the tea bag in first, but …”

“So all this time, we were doing it wrong?”

“Yeah …”

We both cracked up. That was in 1980. Neither of us knew that it was to be the last year of our life together.

Prime Time

A Charlie Brown Christmas (the classic).  Rachel in her proper place apparently.

You know, I think this Christmas thing is not as tricky as it seems! But why should they have all the fun? It should belong to anyone! Not anyone, in fact, but me! Why, I could make a Christmas tree! And there’s not a reason I can find, I couldn’t have a Christmastime! I bet I could improve it, too! And that’s exactly what I’ll do!


Dave hosts Johnny Depp and Ra Ra Riot.  Jon has Seth Green, Stephen Julie Nixon and David Eisenhower.  Conan hosts Rainn Wilson, Roberta Mancino, and Christina Perri.

BoondocksIt’s Goin’ Down

  1. What is your favorite word?
  2. What is your least favorite word?
  3. What turns you on?
  4. What turns you off?
  5. What sound or noise do you love?
  6. What sound or noise do you hate?
  7. What is your favorite curse word?
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
  9. What profession would you not like to do?
  10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Zap2it TV Listings, Yahoo TV Listings

Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

59 Top Story Final.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 WikiLeaks chief Assange behind bars in Britain

by Alice Ritchie, AFP

1 hr 23 mins ago

LONDON (AFP) – WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange was refused bail Tuesday by a British judge over claims of sex crimes in Sweden, dealing a fresh blow to the website which vowed to stay online and reveal more US secrets.

The elusive 39-year-old Australian said he would fight an extradition request by Swedish authorities as he appeared in court in London just hours after he emerged from a month in hiding and surrendered to police.

Filmmaker Ken Loach, socialite Jemima Khan and campaigning journalist John Pilger each offered to put up part of his bail but a judge in London refused, saying a court would review the situation at a hearing on December 14.