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Forum Post: ATTN Amnesiacs & Samers: GOP Holding US Hostage ~ AGAIN! ~ Sequester!

Posted 7 years ago on Dec. 31, 2012, 1:03 p.m. EST by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Sufferers of amnesia and the "Both Parties are the SAME" ailments have yet another chance to safeguard against delusion: Bookmark and Remember the saboteuring role RepubliCons are playing in this "Fiscal Cliff"~Debt Ceiling~(and now) Sequester sequel to the GOP Hostage Crisis Series Day Number 1508!! They could not care less what harm they do to the country or its people in their Cult Worship for the Greed-Addled few in the 1%. This time, don't forget and/or miss the RepubliCon malfeasance and sabotage ever again!!


RepubliCons ~ having been outed as the servants of Greed even to the least aware ~ are doubling-down on ignoring the 99% to hold out for all the tax breaks, public service cuts and any government sabotage they can muster for their beloved rich. With their ratings in the toilet, they have nothing to lose!!

Why tax the rich: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=S6ZsXrzF8Cc#!

Yet, bills have to be paid, taxes need to be collected, that's how nations work, and that's the extent of their cliff and debts. Cons just want to sabotage. The GOP Fiscal Hostage Crisis.

Blatant GOP Criminality and Sabotage Mildly Averted with last second "deals" and ignored by flaccid MSM.

Let's make this the RepubliCon death knell, and be done with their America and democracy hating asses!! Something to really celebrate a New Year and a New Beginning for.

The Resumption of Progress!!

8 Huge Corporate Handouts in the Fiscal Cliff Bill (see below)

No surprises

It appears that the Republicans simply won't pass anything. Boner wants to keep his Speaker's gavel, so a deal is out of the question. If you thought the Dems were going to go for chained CPI that has been ruled out as Republicans offered that as a 'compromise' they could live with. Grandma can't, but they don't care. http://www.prairie2.com/ at Sunday, December 30, 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

3-D Ludus latrunculorum (see footnote)

Initial unemployment claims dropped to a five year low last week, but save the champagne for New Years. Holiday weeks always end up being adjusted, usually upward when the disruption is straightened out. It is good news anyway since it didn't actually skyrocket upward as the right had predicted would be the result of the fiscal 'cliff' panic. The Republicans seem oddly concerned about the cuts to government spending that will kick in, with Boner narrowly squeezing through a bill that put off the cuts for a month. You would think they'd see any cuts as a good thing as it is their stated philosophy, but they're predicting the collapse of Western Civilization instead.

In another of his 3-D chess moves, Obama had his Treasury Sec announce unexpectedly that the debt ceiling has already been reached. They had put out that it wasn't coming until March based on juggling the government's books. The Republicans had refused Obama's request to end the unconstitutional limit on borrowing to pay for expenditures. Expenditures that the very same Congress has already mandated by law. It appears that he is simply going to call their bluff now, rather than allow them another go round in the Spring. He may choose to simply defy the weakened and foolish looking Republicans and let them sue him over the 14th amendment's requirement that Federal debts be paid, period. That's if they have the cōleī. (latin profanity)

Incredibly, the Republicans view of the negotiations is to sit and wait for the Senate Democrats to send them a bill that they like. They say that they won't write a bill of their own, that's another lie of course. Boner put out a bill, the fabulous Plan B, but couldn't find enough votes with the tea baggers against it. The House could vote on the Senate bill they keep insisting doesn't exist. He had planned to vote that down at the same time as his Plan B was voted in, but the Senate bill being reasonable might pass, so that vote won't happen.

So it appears likely that we will go off the 'cliff', at least briefly. It's possible that Boner will pass the Senate bill in the final hours of the year, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Most likely he will only allow anything to happen after his own re-election as Speaker. If he does it before, they will all gather for the symbolic 'dagger in the back' caucus, and make Cantor the new Speaker. (et tu Cantor?) So the dirty work of raising taxes on the rich will be done by Boner and he gets to keep the laurel wreath, at least until they can find some other excuse to perforate his toga.

Footnote - From the Wikipedia: Ludus latrunculorum, latrunculi, or simply latrones (“the game of brigands”, from latrunculus, diminutive of latro, mercenary or highwayman) is a strategy board game played by the ancient Greeks and Romans. It is said to resemble chess or draughts, but is generally accepted to be a game of military tactics. http://www.prairie2.com/

Saturday, January 5, 2013

It makes me nuts

There are 'liberal' economists and otherwise smart people going around saying that the Fiscal Cliff victory was really a failure because it made the Bush tax cuts permanent. Some of these people must be Koch brothers plants and the rest who fall for this 'logic' are not as smart as their media image would suggest.

To begin with you're only talking about the sliver between the 250,000 Obama campaigned on and the 400,000 number that passed. Sure these people get to keep as much as an extra $4500 a year that they should pay in taxes. Most people in that bracket are at the lower end and don't see much advantage at all. It cuts $20 billion a year from revenue, that's not really going to matter. We have bigger fish to fry.

It made the Bush tax cut permanent? They didn't amend the Constitution.

Republicans got nothing they wanted. Zip, zero, nada. Sure they had to give out some pork that amounts to a few ham sandwiches at the church picnic compared to the budget. Yes they went to some really bad people, but we got our sausage.

The really big win is that Obama looks good, the Democrats look good and the economy isn't harmed one bit. The Republicans look stupider every day in the eyes of people who were inclined to think they were the smart guys in the room.

We won this, it gives us huge momentum for the next battle. We will need that advantage to get the real reform we need and to get more Progressives elected. The 2014 campaign is only a year away. at Saturday, January 05, 2013 0 comments http://www.prairie2.com/



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[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

Fools who think the "ills r equal" are blind to the right wing extremist tea party trying to hold us hostage for the wealthy tax cuts and continued military spending.


[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Bookmark and list!!

[-] -1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

America Held Hostage 4 Years and Counting!

The RepubliCon Hostage-Taking Crisis!!

[-] 1 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 7 years ago

More to come. Next: Sequester, 3/1. Budget resolution/govt shutdown-3/29.

Just more attempts to derail the recovery they (repubs) weakened because they know thee 99% will be hurt, the 1% will not.

[-] -1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Day number 1508 of America Held Hostage by the GOP!!

[-] 2 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 7 years ago

Today is the new ransom deadline.

We gotta give them $85million and no one gets hurt.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Too bad the Seals can't deliver it.

[-] 1 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 7 years ago

They have no intention of paying it. In a few weeks all will be resolved with the budget resolution talks.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

GOP: The clowns are in charge

Why is John Boehner smiling? His conservative wing is terrified of the House's crazy and charlatan caucus

By Jonathan Bernstein

Saturday, Jan 5, 2013 05:00 AM PST

Alex Pareene had a very nice piece this week about the responsibility Northeast Republicans such as Chris Christie have for the very Republican craziness that prevented Sandy relief from passing the House of Representatives in the final days of the 112th Congress. He’s right, but there’s a group that’s even more responsible: sane conservatives.

That’s the lesson of the fiscal cliff end game – and of the pathetic “revolt” against John Boehner. In fact, it’s a reminder that the key hostage game in Washington isn’t that Republicans are threatening the nation’s economy over the debt limit. It’s that mainstream conservatives have allowed themselves to be taken hostage by fools and clowns.

The obvious truth about the Republican Party right now is that the tail is wagging the dog. The party’s dynamic, repeated again and again, is that everyone is afraid of being a called a RINO – a Republican in name only — and everyone accepts the ability of a few goofballs and a bunch of media hucksters to define what “real conservative” means.

That’s produced a completely dysfunctional party, and in turn it’s making the United States increasingly difficult to govern. Even when there’s an obvious, easy compromise to be had – as there was on the fiscal cliff – Republicans have the most convoluted time reaching that deal because a handful of people have decided that compromise itself is against their principles. And worse, the sensible people in the party are terrified of them.

This is exactly the opposite of how normal parties operate. Normally, in a two-party system, both parties have strong incentives to move to the middle, since that’s where the votes are. That can be extremely frustrating to ideologues! Centrist members of Congress, as a result, often appear to have disproportionate influence. That’s not only because they can threaten to work with the other party, or that they’re well-positioned for making deals with the other party. It’s because most politicians concerned with reelection want to appear fairly close to the center.

For Democrats, what winds up happening is that the most moderate group doesn’t want to vote with the most liberal ones, and then the mainstream group wants to at least sometimes vote with the moderates and against the extreme. The check against that is the nomination process, which pushes politicians toward the party’s base (sometimes a bit farther, since primary electorates are farther from the center than are all party identifiers). Overall, there’s a balance, but it tends to favor the center.

What’s happened with Republicans is basically the opposite; they’ve become overly focused on nomination and, even in statewide elections in tough states such as Delaware and Nevada, they undervalue — and lose — general elections.

If that was the entire story, we would simply have an unusually ideological and conservative Republican Party. From a conservative point of view, it might even be well worth it to sacrifice a few general elections in order to push everyone who does win toward loyalty to conservative causes.

But it isn’t the end. Instead, what’s happened is that mainstream conservatives have allowed the Michele Bachmanns and Louie Gohmerts and Tim Huelskamps – and the Glenn Becks and Rush Limbaughs – to define “real” conservative ideas. And those folks aren’t really more conservative than, say, John Boehner or Mitch McConnell; they’re just shills and hucksters, either because they really believe a lot of nonsense or because it’s in their interest to peddle it to other chumps. Indeed: on the media side, and probably on the politician side, there’s a strong incentive for them to constantly differentiate themselves from other conservatives so that they can set themselves up as insurgents against an “establishment.”

The problem isn’t the Gohmerts and Bachmanns – it’s the perfectly sane, very conservative members of Congress, probably at least half of the House GOP, who are so afraid of epithets such as “establishment” and “RINO” that they allow themselves to be easily manipulated by the clowns. These folks have absolutely first-rate conservative credentials but aren’t willing to stand up for them against cranks and charlatans. Even though they presumably know that having a Democrat in the White House means they’ll have to cut deals at times. That there’s no plot to impose Islamic law on the United States. That Barack Obama is actually an American citizen. That forcing the United States government to default would actually be a bad thing. And this: that as much as they would wish it, not every conservative idea is overwhelmingly popular.

The consequence of all this is pretty simple: a dysfunctional, unpopular Republican Party. Which is (in my view) bad for the nation as a whole but is without question bad for solidly conservative Republicans.

You would think they’d do something about it. So far, though, I don’t even see a faint sign of it. Close

Jonathan Bernstein writes at a Plain Blog About Politics. Follow him at @jbplainblog More Jonathan Bernstein.


[-] 0 points by bensdad (8977) 7 years ago

Stop complaining about the GOP
They are only doing what their owners pay them to do.

[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

10 stupidest things said by the GOP in Feb


JUST Feb.!!! LOL

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 7 years ago

I dont know which is the craziest:

  1. those 10 insanities / lies
  2. 47% of Americans voted for people like that
  3. A major portion of OWS does not see how
    ......important it is to vote these people out
[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

I think most people (as per 2012 vote numbers attest) know how important it is to vote these people out. OWS has helped educate and excite many of those voters whether they like it or not.

It IS crazy that anyone doesn't agree, but they are either uninformed or a shill for the corp 1% oligarchs.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Do they also pay them to diffuse/vilify political discourse? Or as it seems, the very word "POLITICS" or the science/art of government itself???

There is some fucking Weird Witchery going on here!!!

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

8 Huge Corporate Handouts in the Fiscal Cliff Bill

Here are the corporate subsidies in the fiscal cliff bill that you may not know about.

January 1, 2013 |

Throughout the months of November and December, a steady stream of corporate CEOs flowed in and out of the White House to discuss the impending fiscal cliff. Many of them, such as Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, would then publicly come out and talk about how modest increases of tax rates on the wealthy were reasonable in order to deal with the deficit problem. What wasn’t mentioned is what these leaders wanted, which is what’s known as “tax extenders”, or roughly $205B of tax breaks for corporations. With such a banal name, and boring and difficult to read line items in the bill, few political operatives have bothered to pay attention to this part of the bill. But it is critical to understanding what is going on.

The negotiations over the fiscal cliff involve more than the Democrats, Republicans, the middle class and the wealthy. The corporate sector is here in force as well. One of the core shifts in the Reagan era was the convergence of wealthy individuals who wanted to pay less in taxes – many from the growing South – with corporations that wanted tax breaks. Previously, these groups fought over the pie, because the idea of endless deficits did not make sense. Once Reagan figured out how to finance yawning deficits, the GOP was able to wield the corporate sector and the new sun state wealthy into one force, epitomized today by Grover Norquist. What Obama is (sort of) trying to do is split this coalition, and the extenders are the carrot he’s dangling in front of the corporate sector to do it.

Most tax credits drop straight to the bottom line – it’s why companies like Enron considered its tax compliance section a “profit center”. A few hundred billion dollars of tax expenditures is a major carrot to offer. Surely, a modest hike in income taxes for people who make more than $400k in income and stupid enough not to take that money in capital gain would be worth trading off for the few hundred billion dollars in corporate pork. This is what the fiscal cliff is about – who gets the money. And by leaving out the corporate sector, nearly anyone who talks about this debate is leaving out a key negotiating partner.

So without further ado, here are eight corporate subsidies in the fiscal cliff bill that you haven’t heard of.

1) Help out NASCAR -- Sec 312 extends the “seven year recovery period for motorsports entertainment complex property”, which is to say it allows anyone who builds a racetrack and associated facilities to get tax breaks on it. This one was projected to cost $43 million over two years.

2) A hundred million or so for Railroads -- Sec. 306 provides tax credits to certain railroads for maintaining their tracks. It’s unclear why private businesses should be compensated for their costs of doing business. This is worth roughly $165 million a year.

3) Disney’s Gotta Eat -- Sec. 317 is “Extension of special expensing rules for certain film and television productions”. It’s a relatively straightforward subsidy to Hollywood studios, and according to the Joint Tax Committee, was projected to cost $150m for 2010 and 2011.

4) Help a brother mining company out – Sec. 307 and Sec. 316 offer tax incentives for miners to buy safety equipment and train their employees on mine safety. Taxpayers shouldn’t have to bribe mining companies to not kill their workers.

5) Subsidies for Goldman Sachs Headquarters – Sec. 328 extends “tax exempt financing for York Liberty Zone,” which was a program to provide post-9/11 recovery funds. Rather than going to small businesses affected, however, this was, according to Bloomberg, “little more than a subsidy for fancy Manhattan apartments and office towers for Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Corp.” Michael Bloomberg himself actually thought the program was excessive, so that’s saying something. According to David Cay Johnston’s The Fine Print, Goldman got $1.6 billion in tax free financing for its new massive headquarters through Liberty Bonds.

6) $9B Off-shore financing loophole for banks – Sec. 322 is an “Extension of the Active Financing Exception to Subpart F.” Very few tax loopholes have a trade association, but this one does. This strangely worded provision basically allows American corporations such as banks and manufactures to engage in certain lending practices and not pay taxes on income earned from it. According to this Washington Post piece, supporters of the bill include GE, Caterpillar, and JP Morgan. Steve Elmendorf, super-lobbyist, has been paid $80,000 in 2012 alone to lobby on the “Active Financing Working Group.”

7) Tax credits for foreign subsidiaries – Sec. 323 is an extension of the “Look-through treatment of payments between related CFCs under foreign personal holding company income rules.” This gibberish sounding provision cost $1.5 billion from 2010 and 2011, and the US Chamber loves it. It’s a provision that allows US multinationals to not pay taxes on income earned by companies they own abroad.

8) Bonus Depreciation, R&D Tax Credit – These are well-known corporate boondoggles. The research tax credit was projected to cost $8B for 2010 and 2011, and the depreciation provisions were projected to cost about $110B for those two years, with some of that made up in later years.

Conveniently, the Joint Committee on Taxation in 2010 did an analysis of what many of these extenders cost. You can find that report here.

Naked Capitalism / By Matt Stoller | Matt Stoller is the former senior policy adviser to Rep. Alan Grayson and a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. He blogs frequently for Naked Capitalism. He appears on the FX show "Brand X with Russel Brand." Follow him on Twitter at @matthewstoller.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

By Joshua Holland

What the Fiscal Cliff Deal Was Really About

We won't know how it all shakes out for two months.

January 1, 2013 |

So, we have a modest deal in place to avert the contrived crisis known as the fiscal cliff. Washington is celebrating the fact that Congress averted the disaster that it created out of thin air last year.

Some say that it's not a bad deal on its merits, but we'll have to await final judgment until we see what happens with the debt ceiling, which has to be raised in the next two months. If the White House stands firm on its refusal to negotiate over the debt ceiling again, and doesn't give any more concessions, then we can look back at this deal as a pretty good one, on balance.

I suspect this will become the center-left conventional wisdom, and only dirty hippies will be bitching. So pass the patchouli, because I hate this deal.

It's simply a hostage exchange. The Republicans gave up the fiscal cliff, and will now take the debt limit, the federal budget and automatic across-the-board cuts to discretionary spending (the sequester), and have another standoff in 2-3 months time. The deal wouldn't have gotten 85 GOP votes in the House without the leadership giving right-wingers ironclad guarantees that they'll have another hostage soon.

What leverage will the White House have at that point? They've already rejected the "constitutional option" to avoid the debt ceiling -- and won't mint a big platinum coin. The Bush tax cuts on high earners will be off the table. That leaves cuts to defense -- which Republicans hate -- and public opinion, to which the GOP doesn't seem terribly responsive when its base is screaming murder and threatening primaries (which is always). That's pretty thin gruel given that the "austerity caucus" thinks it has a good shot at cutting Social Security and Medicare as part of a "grand bargain" with Obama.

Other than that, we'll only have the Democrats' legendary iron back-bone on which to rely. Nobody's ever gotten rich betting on that.

After the bill's passage, Obama swore he wouldn't negotiate over the debt ceiling again. That's an important principle to establish for the years ahead, but it's irrelevant to the deal at hand. Because the debt ceiling needs to be renewed at about the same time that the stop-gap measure funding the government runs out and the sequester kicks in, we'll have another hostage situation very soon.

So while progressives are celebrating Grover Norquist's ugly black eye, the can has only been kicked a short way down the road. Dems will have a poorer hand to play in the months to come. If cuts to popular retirement benefits end up in the mix of a budget deal, then this deal would have paved the way for a bad outcome.

Perhaps I'll be proven a pessimist. I certainly hope so. But I don't quite get the value of evaluating this deal in a vacuum, as if a showdown over the debt ceiling or a potential government shutdown isn't all but assured.

And someday you'll be able to tell your kids that you remember a time when Congress didn't need a phony crisis to pass laws.

Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet. He's the author of The 15 Biggest Lies About the Economy. Drop him an email or follow him on Twitter.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A victory is a victory

The White House has declared victory with the Senate bill on taxes. Given that most of the Bush tax cuts end with this version they have every right to crow. It's not the FDR era reform ending the predation of the 'economic royalists' that gave us the boom times that we had until Reagan unleashed them again, but it's all good anyway.

It's true that the threshold for higher taxes was raised to $400,000 but it also limits deductions for individuals starting at $250,000. More importantly is raises the capital gains tax rate back up to 20%, which increases the rate Mitt Romney and his ilk pay by a third. It should be four times that, but what can you do? The Senate bill will also reinstate the 'death tax' for estates over $5 million indexed to inflation, and sets the top rate at 40%, a major blow to the billionaires. Not enough, but better than the zero rate Romney promised.

For the first time in 50 years the Republicans won't be able to use the annual expiration of the Alternative Minimum Tax 'fix' that protects the middle class from a huge tax bite originally aimed at millionaires as wedge to bargain with, as it will finally be linked to inflation.

The so-called 'Doc' fix to Medicare that keeps compensation to doctors from being slashed by a third will be included for only one year however, allowing Republicans to mess with that again. And again, and again, no doubt.

The bill reinstates tax breaks for lower income people that were expiring, unemployment benefits and such, as well as tax breaks for small business. It even renews tax breaks for teachers who buy their own supplies. Most importantly it includes the renewal of expired wind energy tax credits that will get us off of coal generated electricity.

To listen to the Far Right's 'strum und drang' about the betrayal of the Republicans in the Senate who voted overwhelmingly for this bill you would think their world had ended. Let's be clear, it's nothing that should be considered 'reform'. It's just way better than what were expecting.

It still has to pass the House, and Eric Cantor is not interested in letting that happen, he really wants to be Speaker and lead the Tea Baggers back to the 'gilded age' of the 1880s. The question is what will John Boner do? The new Congress will have significantly fewer Tea Bag members. Does he have the votes to get re-elected? That is all he cares about, not being Speaker means far fewer invites to billionaire funded golf junkets. By some estimates he spends more time playing golf than on the House floor, you don't get an orange tan like his writing legislation. If Boner can get as few as 15 Republican votes and the votes of Democrats, it will pass. That would be Democracy, but that's a dirty word to Republicans.

If you actually understand economics and the history of Progressive reform should you call this a major victory? Hell no. Given the reality of American politics and the level of ignorance that holds sway in our time, is this a fantastic achievement by the Obama Administration? Hell yes. That is if it passes the House.

At best this only rolls back the onslaught of the billionaires to the Clinton era, when they did very well in wiping out the middle class. We can't think that we have won the war for America, we just kept a bit of high ground. The real battle still rages on, and we haven't even won this skirmish yet. Keep your powder dry. www.prairie2.com

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

The duopoly paradigm BS doesn't square with these facts, among others, so don't expect too much of a reaction.

4+ years of stonewalling and counting.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Dennis Kucinich on the "Fiscal Cliff": Why Are We Sacrificing American Jobs for Corporate Profits?

"We’re creating our own economic vice here that is entrapping tens of millions of Americans," says the out-going Representative.

December 28, 2012 |

Dennis Kucinich

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Obama and congressional Republicans remain at an impasse over the Republicans’ refusal to allow tax hikes, even for the wealthiest Americans. If an agreement is not reached in time, $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax increases will go into effect on January 1. But the tax increases would not necessarily be permanent. The new Congress could pass legislation to cancel them retroactively after it begins its work next year.

AMY GOODMAN: While the so-called fiscal cliff has dominated the news headlines, the Senate is also preparing to vote today to continue a controversial domestic surveillance program. In a blow to civil liberties advocates, the Senate rejected three attempts Thursday to add oversight and privacy safeguards to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA.

Joining us from Washington is Democratic Congressmember Dennis Kucinich. This is his last week in Congress after serving eight terms. Since 1997, Kucinich has been a leading progressive voice on Capitol Hill, introduced articles of impeachment against George W. Bush for the invasion and occupation of Iraq. He voted against the PATRIOT Act and advocated for ending the war on drugs. Dennis Kucinich ran for president in 2004 and 2008, vowing to create a Department of Peace. He’s also former mayor of Cleveland, Ohio.

Congressmember Kucinich, welcome back to Democracy Now!


AMY GOODMAN: Your term would be over, except you’ve been called back on Sunday, is that right, the House, to deal with the so-called fiscal cliff?

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: Well, I’ve been in Washington waiting to see if Congress would be called back into session, as it should be. And there really is no reason, no legitimate reason, why the country should be facing serious tax increases for middle class and also spending cuts that will further slow down the economy. You know, Amy, we’ve made all the wrong choices. We should be talking about jobs, having more people involved in paying taxes. We should be talking about rebuilding America’s infrastructure. China has gone ahead with high-speed trains and massive investment in their infrastructure. Instead, we’re back to the same old arguments about taxes and spending without really looking at what we’re spending. We just passed the National Defense Authorization Act the other day, another $560 billion just for one year for the war machine. And so, we’re focused on whether or not we’re going to cut domestic programs now? Are you kidding me?

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, Congressman, the recent election was seen by many as a mandate from the electorate to finally begin to tax the wealthiest Americans to deal with some of the deficit. Your sense of whether President Obama and your fellow Democrats in the Senate and the House will stay the course on this or will eventually compromise in a way that many progressives would regret?

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: Well, first of all, we have a divided government. President Obama’s election sends one message; the election of a Republican House of Representatives sends another. The—actually, you know, working at odds here. You have Republicans who will not raise taxes for anyone who’s making more than a quarter million a year, and they’re looking at entitlement cuts. You have Democrats who say, let’s have any tax cuts that come up for those who make under $250,000 and no cuts to entitlements. You have a force here that isn’t movable right now.

Again, I want to say that we’ve been going in the wrong direction here. Why haven’t we been talking about stimulating the economy through the creation of jobs? We’ve seemed to accept a certain amount of unemployment as being necessary for the proper functioning of the economy, so that for corporations it will keep wages low. That is baloney. We’re creating our own economic vice here that is entrapping tens of millions of Americans, and I just find it unacceptable. It’s like this whole fiscal cliff thing is a creation of people who are unimaginative and locked in by special interests.

AMY GOODMAN: Congressmember Kucinich, the issue of Medicare and Social Security, what it means for President Obama to so-called compromise on these issues, can you talk about this?

REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: Well, there’s no reason whatsoever to bring Social Security into this discussion. And the fact that the White House has done it on numerous occasions should give everyone pause for concern. If Social Security has a problem down the road—we’ve already talked about this—you raise the caps on the income that’s accessible to Social Security. But you don’t talk about cutting benefits. You don’t talk about cutting cost-of-living increases through this chainedCPI, which is just a way to force seniors into a lower standard of living over the long haul. We need the White House to stand up for Social Security and Medicare. And, you know, unfortunately, we’re looking at a situation where, because Republicans want entitlements, you know, as they like to call it, in the mix on any budget discussions, the White House has yielded. Now, that may not happen in these negotiations in the next couple days, but you have to watch what’s happening in the 113th Congress.

So, you know, this is—we really have to decide who we are as a nation. We’re spending more and more money for wars. We’re spending more and more money for interventions abroad. We’re spending more and more money for military buildups. And we seem to be prepared to spend less and less on domestic programs and on job creation. This whole idea of a debt-based economic system is linked to a war machine. And it’s linked to Wall Street’s concerns rather than Main Street’s concerns. We need to shift that. We need to get government—give government back the ability to create jobs. Private sector is not doing it.

CONTINUED: http://www.alternet.org/economy/dennis-kucinich-fiscal-cliff-why-are-we-sacrificing-american-jobs-corporate-profits?paging=off

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

Dennis knows! Too bad repubs redistricted him out.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Payback is often a mighty mighty bitch, I hear.

Make a giant bookmark for the unicorn chasers!!!

[-] -2 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

" the White House has yielded"

"the fact that the White House has done it on numerous occasions should give everyone pause for concern"

Throw in both parties love of bombs, their love of handing the banks money, their love of accepting corporate bribes, their unwillingness to revisit trading with slave nations, their unwillingness to really do a single god damn thing that is going to radically shake this thing up...

There is no point in supporting that.

[-] -3 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

Unicorn chasers? There you go, insulting Occupy and everyone else who is tired of the bullshit.

In case you never read the article, Dennis is a unicorn chaser by your standards.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

I think he is a democrat who voted with his party 90% of the time. So NO! He is not a unicorn!

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

False Equivalency (hchc) again!

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Remember the 2012 GOP Fiscal Hostage CRISIS!!!

Throw the RepubliCON-1% Cultists OUT!! 2014! 2016! 2018! 2020!!!!

[-] -2 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

They'll forget all about it tomorrow.

They'll get "right" back to union busting and screaming about the FED.

[-] 0 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 7 years ago
[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

Here's what I'll give you.

They ARE vastly different in many ways.

They ARE disgustingly the same in many others.

They are us.

[-] 1 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 7 years ago

They/we are. We must change and force change in our representation.

[-] -1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Let's make a gi-normous BOOKMARK for them this time!!!

[-] -3 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

Please go to OccupyDetroit at their next GA and declare that the Fed, the Central Banksters, arent the problem..

God I would love to see you do that!!

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

I never said that.

You just like to accuse me of things you can use as a smear.

Why don't you come there and tell them how the Koch's activities are merely gossip and ALEC has NO effect on anything at all.

You should also remind them you got your info from prisonplanet and the JBS.

[-] -3 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

"They'll forget all about it tomorrow. They'll get "right" back to union busting and screaming about the FED."

Who in Occupy ISN't screaming about the Fed?

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

I wasn't aware there had been a poll done on that. Nobody asked me, as usual.

I never said the FED is faultless.

I said the "End the FED" movement is BS. I stand by that.

That's the screaming I'm talking about.

I stand by this statement too.

The #1 engine of inflation is and has been for a very, very long time .............. WallStreet!

Not the FED.

An agency that WALLSTREET has made a patsy of by buying it.

All roads lead to WallStreet and it's ilk all over the World.

Practically everything else is BULLSHIT. Or arguments over minute.

That's what I believe.

[-] -3 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

You realize the central bankers are the ones that started it, right? Hoover was an animal.

Not everyone is screaming end the Fed. Some want it moved to the Treasury, others just want some god damn accountability.

The Fed is what sets teh national monetary policy. Wall St carries out the orders. But they are both thick as thieves, so we kind of get into semantics a bit.

You have to admit, listening to these idiot politicians argue over 250k or 450k or 1m when Wallst is stealing 85Billion a month through the Fed is totally dishonest, they are all doing a total scam on the public by allowing this. Its a HUGE amount of money. Makes the tax arguement look like chump change.

As far as the article, when the author states something like that, it kind of paints the picture already. Honestly, I tried to read atlas a while ago, see what the hype was about, too god damn long. Im not too concerned with isms...communism, capitalism, objectivism, etc.

Im concerned with Justice. Re establishing a rule of law in this country. Because without it, it doesnt matter what ism you have, it will get fucked up.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

Yeah......I read that on Alex Jones a while ago too.

Some Birchers almost sold me on other parts of it back in the 80s, as well.

Culminating in my vote for Ron Paul and ending in my enlightenment and rejection of libe(R)tarianism and my further education in the actions of WallStreet. ( the folks who brought you the party. )

I have a question for you, if you don't mind.

Do you ever stick to the subject of an OP that you didn't start?

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

So you do not support ending the tax cuts for the wall st banksters.?

We should ignore that effort because of the 100 year old Fed scheme.?

Can we fight for more taxes on the wealthy? Is that ok? How about living wage w/ COLA? Can we fight for that?

Or should we get distracted by your squealing about the Fed?

[-] -2 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

How long is this mascot going to troll me?

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

I'm here to stay! You right wing piece of shit!

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

The GOP Has Taken America Hostage -- Is There a Downside for Them? Republicans are taking a beating in the polls. But it does not seem to weaken their position.

December 31, 2012 | [Why We Need to REMEMBER!!]

Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the fiscal cliff "negotiations" is that there is essentially no downside for Congressional Republicans in holding the country and its economy hostage. Democrats are less than two months removed from having resoundingly won the Presidency, gained seats in the Senate, and earned over a million more votes for House candidates than did Republicans. Due to gerrymandering, however, the Republicans still have a narrow majority in the House. Due to the Senate's ungovernable filibuster rules, Republicans can also control the balance of legislation in the Upper Chamber as well.

It's true that Republicans have been taking a beating in the polling on the fiscal cliff negotiations. That's not surprising, since Republicans want very unpopular things. Further cuts to earned benefit programs and lower taxes on the rich were resoundingly rejected by voters in November, and they continue to poll poorly. In theory, fear of voter backlash should cause Republicans to think twice about holding the line on these policies. But voters already rejected Republicans by wide margins this year and it did little to weaken their negotiating position.

There is little problem for Republicans, then, in attempting to get their way through holding the economy hostage despite the clear will of the American people. The biggest danger to most individual Republicans remains a primary challenge from someone even farther to the right. The vast majority of them are so protected by gerrymandering as to face little to no danger from a Democratic challenger in the near future.

Also, since the conservative agenda depends on the notion that government itself is a failure and doesn't work, there's no issue for them in making that supposed incompetence a reality. Since the President and his party end up being blamed by voters when economic conditions are poor, scuttling the economy in the wake the President's re-election is actually a smart political move for them.

It's up to Democrats to show that government can be a force for good and to protect the economy, which means that only Democrats have the incentive to reach a deal to avert crises like the "fiscal cliff" or the debt ceiling. Republicans have no such incentive.

But there is yet another twisted irony here. Since conservatives both lack incentive to make a deal work and want deeply unpopular policies, it makes perfect sense for them to withhold any cooperation on a deal that makes sense and the American people actually want, opting instead to force most Democrats to vote for an amalgam of terrible policies while they themselves remain mostly intransigent. And why not? Since seniors tend to like their earned benefits but support Republicans because of fear that tax revenues are being spent on the "wrong" people, why not force Democrats to cut those benefits while raising taxes to avert a fiscal crisis? There's no significant backlash Republicans can expect from voting no.

From the conservative calculus, there's no reason to stop the taking of economic hostages and no reason not to push the damage of horrible votes to avert crises back onto Democrats.

So what should Democrats do? The same thing governments do when confronted by more pedestrian hostage takers: refuse to negotiate. Insist on the correct and popular policies, and if Republicans refuse to abide by them, then allow the chips to fall where they will on various fiscal crises.

There should be, then, no deal on the fiscal cliff today. Democrats should make it clear who was responsible for the failure to come to a deal and why, allow the tax increases and cuts to take place, and then do little over the next two years but force Republicans to vote against simple and popular policies like middle-class tax cuts, repeal of the most onerous sequestration cuts, immigration reform and the entire rest of the broadly popular Democratic agenda all the way until November 2014.

It may or may not be that voters will punish Republicans appropriately at that time. But at the very least Democrats will avoid the indignity of being manipulated by hostage takers into voting against the American people just to reach a terrible deal.

Hullabaloo / By David Atkins http://www.alternet.org/gop-has-taken-america-hostage-there-downside-them?paging=off

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Saturday, January 5, 2013

It makes me nuts

There are 'liberal' economists and otherwise smart people going around saying that the Fiscal Cliff victory was really a failure because it made the Bush tax cuts permanent. Some of these people must be Koch brothers plants and the rest who fall for this 'logic' are not as smart as their media image would suggest.

To begin with you're only talking about the sliver between the 250,000 Obama campaigned on and the 400,000 number that passed. Sure these people get to keep as much as an extra $4500 a year that they should pay in taxes. Most people in that bracket are at the lower end and don't see much advantage at all. It cuts $20 billion a year from revenue, that's not really going to matter. We have bigger fish to fry.

It made the Bush tax cut permanent? They didn't amend the Constitution.

Republicans got nothing they wanted. Zip, zero, nada. Sure they had to give out some pork that amounts to a few ham sandwiches at the church picnic compared to the budget. Yes they went to some really bad people, but we got our sausage.

The really big win is that Obama looks good, the Democrats look good and the economy isn't harmed one bit. The Republicans look stupider every day in the eyes of people who were inclined to think they were the smart guys in the room.

We won this, it gives us huge momentum for the next battle. We will need that advantage to get the real reform we need and to get more Progressives elected. The 2014 campaign is only a year away. at Saturday, January 05, 2013 0 comments

Friday, January 4, 2013

Seri, I don't like bananas

What to say when your smart phone begins to dominate your life. "Take your paws off me, you damn dirty app"! at Friday, January 04, 2013 0 comments

Organized peasants with simple wooden pikes always defeated knights

There were 155,000 new jobs created in December, slightly more than the monthly average for the year. October's number was moved up slightly, and November's number was revised upward to 165,000. The right was chanting before the election that the government numbers were being faked, and would be revised downward to negatives after Obama stole the election.

There were 30,000 new construction jobs and 25,000 new manufacturing jobs, both indicating real growth. None of the new jobs came from retailing with Christmas season sales being rather flat. Healthcare created 45,000 new jobs, the aging population and the fact that tens of millions of people now get healthcare for the first time would be factors in that number. That would include people who have insurance that they are no longer afraid to use, since they can't lose it under Obamacare reforms.

This isn't fantastic job creation, but is more than twice what we need to keep up with current population growth given that we have 'negative' immigration. The average wage in the private sector crept up by six cents an hour to $19.92. The problem is that the average is being driven by the huge number of people who don't get paid very well, but are seeing modest increases, while those jobs that actually pay a good wage are being eliminated entirely. Ten states enacted modest increases in the minimum wage with most still under $8. Canada's minimum wage is around $10/hour, or slightly more in some Provinces with serious talk of increasing that to $16/hour.

Republicans haven't lost their nerve when it comes to baldfaced lying in front of the cameras. Senator Mitch McConnell got prominent face time this morning by saying that the debt ceiling is all that stops Obama from spending money that we don't have. The fact is that the Constitution stops Obama from spending money. All spending bills must originate in the House, as any Senator well knows. Obama can't spend one dime that Congress does not appropriate, and in fact most of the spending is mandatory, he can't refuse to meet the requirements of the legislation even if he want's to. Sure he can trim here and there. Obama has saved hundreds of billions by eliminating Bush crony contractors, and other deliberate waste.

Still the Republicans dominate the news cycle where they are shown fighting the deficit dragon with their mighty swords sallying forth in their shiny armor. A fairy tale of course. Republicans can't spend money fast enough, they just try to make sure it doesn't benefit anybody who isn't in the oligarchy that they've pledged their fealty to.

The simple fact is that if rich people got no special rates on dividends, interest, capital gains, and no other tax breaks us peasants never see, there would be no deficit even in this depressed economy. If corporations weren't able to offshore profits that would be another $500 billion. Besides that, we don't know how much the wealthy have in their money bins by simply evading taxes entirely, but tax haven countries have between 20 and 30 trillion dollars in their banking systems, and it's not there legally.

If the economy were up to speed we'd have little or no deficit even with the rich doing so very, very well. Another fact is that the economy would come roaring back if these parasites weren't dragging it down by hoarding money. People simply don't grasp the basic concept that money only exists to make the economy operate. Rich people don't like a booming economy. A booming economy creates competition, and the common man starts thinking he can own things. All bad for the truly rich, and they won't stand for it. www.prairie2.com

Oh, and the solution for defeating pike men? Get the peasants to fight one another, then swoop in and run down the stragglers for sport.

at Friday, January 04, 2013 1 comments

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

the 77%

The right is making a big deal out of the tax 'increase' on the 77% that will go into effect once Obama signs the Republican approved tax bill. This claim is based on the expiration of the 2 point cut in the Fica tax. Keep in mind that this was a Reagan tax on the working poor and middle class while the rich are exempt from paying Fica on nearly all of their income. All of it, if they can avoid wages.

Obama got a temporary cut in Fica taxes that was made up for out of general revenue for the Social Security Trust Fund in order to stimulate the economy. Fica should be reformed so that the first $20,000 is exempt while there is no upper limit. Republicans like 'flat' taxes, right? Of course they do, if they don't have to pay it. Ha ha ha ha ha (my best 'The Shadow knows' voice) http://www.prairie2.com/

[-] -1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

House Republicans Obey RW Fuhrers & Kill Hurricane Relief Bill then Cave to Sandy Aid Pressure & Negative Appearance

by John Avlon Jan 2, 2013 12:05 PM EST Updated

After broadsides by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and New York Congressman Peter King, Speaker Boehner and GOP House leadership announced Wednesday afternoon that an initial vote on $9 billion in Hurricane Sandy relief would be conducted Friday, with a vote on the remaining $51 billion in requested funds on January 15th. Apparently drywall safety and a war memorial 96 years in the works are more urgent than getting billions of dollars in aid to Hurricane Sandy victims. John Avlon on the GOP’s new low.

It was a congressional slap in the face to victims of Hurricane Sandy.

More than two months after hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in the tristate area were destroyed or damaged by Hurricane Sandy, Republicans in the House of Representatives intentionally killed the $60 billion bill passed by the Senate by refusing to bring it to a vote on New Year’s Day.

New York Republican Peter King told CNN that the GOP ‘turned its back’ on his constituents, and suggested he might leave the party: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/01/02/house-republicans-kill-hurricane-sandy-relief-bill.html

Right-wing activist groups like Americans for Prosperity, the Club for Growth, and Heritage Action have all pressured congressional Republicans to vote against the bill.

Yes, the final hours of the 112th Congress were crowded with the chaos of avoiding the fiscal cliff, a vote that Speaker Boehner pushed despite the opposition of a majority of conservatives in his conference. Nonetheless, there were plenty of opportunities.

As a reality check, here is a list of items Speaker Boehner did decide to bring for a vote on New Year’s Day before Congress fled for the night/year, provoking well-deserved outcries from New York Republicans like Pete King and Michael Grimm. These are the items that are apparently more urgent than Hurricane Sandy relief, excluding multiple post-office renamings.

• Drywall safety • Frank Buckles WWI Memorial • Redesignate Neil A. Armstrong Flight Research Center and Hugh L. Dryden Test Range • Conveyance of certain property in Kotzebue, AK

None of these items exactly screams urgency. The World War I memorial has waited 96 years, and drywall safety seems like the definition of optional. Paying tribute to Neil Armstrong is always welcome but could have waited until the next Congress or for that matter been passed earlier without much objection. And as far as the “Conveyance of certain property in Kotzebue, AK”—after multiple readings, I don’t have a clue what it means, and I’m willing to guess that the vast majority of congressman who voted for it don’t either, although I’m sure it’s important to the 3,201 people who live there.

Read it and weep. This is what our dysfunctional divided Congress took time on New Year’s Day to vote on while deciding to tell the hundreds of thousands of people who are still digging out and rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy to suck it up—you’re on your own. It is not compassionate, it is not wise, and it reflects a completely inverted sense of priorities.

But while Republicans treat the tristate area like an ATM machine for their campaigns, they don’t have a lot of constituents in the area, hence the callous lack of urgency. If the hurricane had affected Texas, you can be sure of a very different tone. And while it’s true that absurd pieces of pork were initially proposed for the Senate bill, including money for fisheries in Alaska, that’s no reason to kill the bill.

Congressman Peter King, left, joined by other New York–area lawmakers affected by Superstorm Sandy, express their anger and disappointment after learning the House Republican leadership killed a vote on aid for the storm's victims, in Washington, Jan. 2, 2013. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

If Congress can’t agree on the no-brainer of hurricane-relief funds, how can we rationally expect they will find the political will to deal with immigration reform or high-capacity ammunition clips, let alone entitlement reform or tax reform. The private sector and individual citizens have done their part, raising more than $300 million for Hurricane Sandy relief, but that is insufficient, as I argued on CNN last week.

This is a new low reflecting the stranglehold on common sense that activist groups have on congressional votes, particularly in the polarized and ideological House GOP. As Congressman Pete King said in a righteous fury, “It is disgraceful. It even makes it worse being a Republican.”


[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Paul Krugman - New York Times Blog

December 30, 2012,

The Hostage Drama Begins

It sure looks as if we’re going over the fiscal cliff, but that may be the least of our problems. The debt ceiling is a much bigger and more dangerous issue, and it looks very much as if Republicans are set to destroy the full faith and credit of the United States if they can’t get their way.

The key thing to remember — and what the GOP hopes you won’t understand — is that raising the debt ceiling only empowers the president to spend money that he’s authorized to spend by Congressional legislation; nothing more. Conversely, a party that refuses to raise the debt limit is saying that it’s prepared to inflict vast damage on America in order to achieve things that it couldn’t achieve through actual legislation — in effect, that it’s prepared to use vandalism to subvert the constitutional process.

Still, that’s where they’re going.

Back in 2003, when I published The Great Unraveling, I got a lot of ridicule from centrists over my claim that modern conservatism, which has taken over the GOP, was a deeply radical movement. (I also got a lot of grief for daring to suggest that Bush led us to war on false pretenses). At this point, does anyone doubt that that’s what we’re seeing?

So what we’re probably looking at over the next few months is an epic confrontation. Maybe Obama wimps out — in which case he’s effectively surrendered the presidency to Grover Norquist; maybe GOP leaders back down, but then face a civil war within their own party; or maybe we’ll have a vast, rolling crisis that won’t truly be resolved until the 2014 elections.

Happy New Year!


[-] -1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Surrender Document

by Stephen Pizzo

Every war has a first day, and I remember when the Culture War was declared. It was August 1992 in Houston. I know because I was there, at Ground Zero, when the Culture War was formally declared.

That was the convention when Ronald Reagan handed the GOP standard off to George H. Bush. And it was the convention at which Pat Buchanan declared war on that part of America that embraced "secular humanism," rather than good old Judeo-Christianism.

I won't recall the battles. We all remember them too well. But every war ends eventually and, hopefully this November's election marked the beginning of the end of that one. With the youth vote on the rise and racial demographics moving from Wonderbread-white to whole-wheat brown, it seems clear that Buchanan and his troops are pretty well on their way to a well-earned place upon the trash heap of history.

Oh sure, a few will refuse to surrender to the inevitable, like those straggler-Japanese soldiers who turned up decades later hiding in the jungles and hills of long ago-liberated South Pacific islands. But the voters have spoken and will, in the years ahead, speak even louder. It's over General Pat, et al.

So I figured it's time to start setting out terms of surrender for the GOP's culture warriors. I am not going to insist that their surrender be unconditional. After all, as a student of history, I remember well what happened after WW I when the French and British exacted unreasonably harsh terms on the Germans. That just set the stage for the next war, and another culture war is the last thing we need.

Therefore I will be generous. For starters, no one goes to the gallows.

But there are some bottom line concessions we should insist upon. So here's a first rough draft of the GOP's Culture Wars Terms of Surrender:

Culture War Articles of Surrender.

Article One: We, (hereafter meaning the GOP) acknowledge a fertilized human egg is no more a person than a fertilized chicken egg is a chicken.

Article Two: Evolution is science. Creationism is not science. Evolution belongs in science classes. Creationism belongs in church.

Article Three: Corporations are political entities created for legal and tax reasons only. Corporations are not now, nor have they ever been, the same thing as "people." After all, if corporations were really persons, and treated accordingly, prisons would be filled with boards of directors. Since they are not, we hereby acknowledge the difference.

Article Four: We acknowledge that wealth has never trickled down. We admit that this is especially true for the American economy, which is 70% driven by consumers consuming. We acknowledge the direct cause-effect relationship between consumers spending money on stuff and the wealth of those who produce that stuff; to wit, wealth trickling up, not down. We apologize for any inconvenience or hardships our previous cyclical and self-serving position on this matter may have caused.

Article Five: We hereby acknowledge that the First Amendment's clause on religion only bars the government from establishing or favoring an official religion, or discriminating against particular religion(s). The First Amendment does not, we acknowledge, give any particular religion, no matter how demographically dominant, the right to impose their beliefs on those who do not share them. Nor does the First Amendment allow any religion to impose its beliefs in public schools or enshrined in government policy.

Article Six: We hereby acknowledge that climate change is not only real, but in large part the fault of mankind's careless and wanton use of fossil fuels. And, we admit here that our earlier position, as noted in the bumper sticker slogan: "Drill Baby, Drill," was actually, "Dumb Baby, Dumb." (Special apologies offered to the citizens of New Jersey.)

Article Seven: We promise to cease opposition to scientifically-sound alternative energy. We also acknowledge that other countries are pulling ahead of the US in the development of financially and ecologically sustainable alternative energy solutions. Germany, for example, now produces a surplus of solar-produced electrical power. We hereby acknowledge we missed the boat on that one and that, rather than being part of the solution, were the very embodiment of the problem. We are really,really sorry about that.

Article Eight: We acknowledge that, if America is about anything, it's about immigration and assimilation. The color and ethnicity of immigrants changes over time. We apologize for reacting poorly to this fact in the recent past and promise to me more welcoming to legal immigrants in the future, no matter their color, creed or nationality. (We also took note in the last election that the votes of people of color counted just the same as the votes of white people with red necks. Duly noted.)

Article Nine: We acknowledge that, while women are equal to men in all areas of ability, there are undeniable biological differences. This is particularly true when it comes to reproduction. Men cannot get pregnant, for example. In the recent past we supported reactionary forces on the right that wished to make it difficult, if not impossible, for women to control what happens to and within their own bodies. This was wrong. In fact, we acknowledge, those restrictive measures bordered upon a massive human rights violation. We promise to, from this day forward, to shun such totally dickish behavior.

Article Ten: Finally we agree to cut all ties with groups that are or associate themselves with the low-brow movement that broadly slithers under the banner of "The Tea Party." Furthermore we apologize to the broad American electorate for any encouragement or financial support we rendered to this collection of largely certifiable ignoramuses. We admit to embracing stupidity in an attempt to find votes from a larger demographic than just the rich and super-rich. But, since our party had had little if any entree into the world of ordinary Americans. we instead fostered a dangerous relationship with America's lowest of the lowest denominators. We wholeheartedly apologize for that. (Besides, all that came back and bit us in the ass this November anyway.)

Article 11: The Sandy Hook Shooting Massacre was the straw that broke the camel's back, and we finally realize the obscenity of our obsolete firearm laws, and call for an immediate ban on all sales, trades and ownership of all guns and ammo, NOW!!

People's lives trump guns!


So, there you go - the first rough draft of Terms of Surrender in The Culture War. I will leave it to those better qualified than me to sharpen it up for the final surrender ceremony on January 21st.


About author Stephen Pizzo is the author of numerous books, including "Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans," which was nominated for a Pulitzer. His web site is News For Real.


[-] -1 points by Shayneh (-482) 7 years ago

Apparently Obama doesn' t have a clue when he said that the debt limit would be reached in March and "now it is a "crisis"'.

What's wrong with cutting government spending - we are already at 16.4 trillion dollars in debt.

What's wrong with the Republicans refusing to end the "limit on borrowing? Do you spend more money then you have coming in?

As I said before "stupid is as stupid does" voting for Obama expecting different results - insanity - you get what you deserve Obama voters so stop whining and deal with it.

You sound like little kids crying because you can't get your way.

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

The $16 T national debt is what Bush left us. ALL of it came from Bushes decisions. He Left us a $1.4T annual deficit the Pres Obama cut to $900B.

But the annual deficit is still from Bushes decisions. Obama would've cut more but traitorous congressional repubs sabotaged the economy.

Your repubs should be put in jail for those crimes.

[-] 0 points by Shayneh (-482) 7 years ago

Yah right - When Bush left office we were 10 Trillion in debt - 4 years later we are at 16.4 trillion in debt. Bush really had a hand in that didn't he?

Big deal cutting 900 billion - what about the rest of the 5.6 trillion he put the country in debt?

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

The $16T national debt is what Bush left us. ALL of it came from Bushes decisions. He Left us a $1.4T annual deficit that Pres Obama cut to $900B.

In 2009 the deficit Bush left was $1.4T! Pres Obama could not change that!

Add that to your $10T debt you admit bush left us. the next 3 years we cut that annual Bush deficit of $1.4T by $500B to a current annual deficit of $900B.

We would have cut more but traitorous repubs blocked all recovery jobs programs, fired 1 million state public workers and therefore sabotaged the economy.

Understand?. As soon as your extremist tea party right wing wackos get out of the way we will balance the budget just like we did for 3 years under Pres Clinton.

[-] 0 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

Glad to see both of you arguing about debt, and which idiot politician is to blame, when the banks are currently robbing 85billion a month under the bipartisan cover of silence.

[-] -1 points by Shayneh (-482) 7 years ago

Well the people voted in this moron politican - what else do you expect. Look at the last 4 years and believe that by voting in the same person for President is going to change things in the next 4 years - Not!.

[-] -1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

You voted for Romney?

[-] -1 points by Shayneh (-482) 7 years ago

Yes I did because I didn't want to see what we are seeing now - the same shit over and over again -

If Romney was in office at least there would some kind of agreement on things - not gridlock like we are still seeing and will conintue to see for the next 4 years.

Personally, I don't give a damm if an agreement is reached or not - I am tired of listening to whiners who applauded Obama during his speech when he said the agreement was to tax the wealthy.

Well those people deserve what they get - Just wait - if you think things are bad now - give it another 6 months.

[-] -1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

The Senate would still be Dems you genius. Glad to see you fall for the propaganda. A nation of idiots endorsing people who wouldnt even want to sit down and eat dinner with them.

[-] 0 points by Shayneh (-482) 7 years ago

So what you are saying is that it's the Dems fault for what's going on today - good call.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 7 years ago

That's right play dumb . . . . OH . . . wait . . . I'm sorry you weren't were you (?) you are dumb. So So sorry.

[-] 0 points by Shayneh (-482) 7 years ago

Has nothing to do with "playing dumb" and has all to do with "electing the same person that has stagnated this economy for the past 4 years with "gridlock" and "expecting things to change" the next 4 years.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Well the people who voted for Obama are insane if they think things will change with him in office for another 4 years.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 7 years ago

Boner? Bitch? Can't-or? stagnating - right?

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

I think you and OTP are good conservative soldiers. So now that the deal is done are you suggesting there will be an economic crash within 6 months?

In that time we will have dealt with the sequester cuts, & the debt ceiling, will that prevent your predicted coming economic crash in 6 months.

[-] -2 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

Im not saying its either of their faults, its ALL OF EM, they are all pretty pathetic leaders if you ask me, and are more like children than adults.

No amibition, no sense of urgency, no follow through, and no worries of their party not getting votes next election for being massively incompetent. The last one is the main reason for the previous traits.

[-] -2 points by aville (-678) 7 years ago

vq is a programmed , trying to reason with him/her, and /or using logic is a waste of time.

[-] 0 points by VQkag2 (16478) 7 years ago

Fuck you! I gotcha' program right 'ere!!

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Nice RW Echo Chamber Talking Points.

Were you this concerned with spending when the Bush-Cheney Crime Family LIED us into Fraudulent Blackwater Boondoggle Wars for Big Oil and let Big Biz mercilessly Enron and WS the country and world economy nearly to death and then reward them with giant BONUS Bailouts??? Hmmmm???

Just as FDR saved the country from the carnage caused by GOP-1% Money Mad Pirates by spending, we have to do the same today. Big$ has raped and plundered this country long enough, time for them to pay for their crimes against humanity!!

We know that you Righties just hate America (truth, justice and the American way) and democracy (for, by and of the people), and want a nice warm totalitarian plutocracy, BUT (no matter how much you sabotage) IT AIN'T HAPPENING!!!!

[-] -1 points by Shayneh (-482) 7 years ago

Oh so it's Bushes fault -

And the Righties don't hate Amercia - what they hate are people who won't carry their "financial load". Just think if every American contributed their fair share of taxes the debt on the government would be paid down and the economy would be booming again.

But your argument will be that there aren't any jobs - not according to Obama - according to him we only have 2 million people on unemployment - spoken in his speech yesterday.

So that argument is "null and void".

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

More RW Echo Chamber Talking Points, you Righties are so limited.

The Bush-Cheney administration were doing the dirty work for the Greed-Addled few in the 1%, the Big$ power brokers who own the RepubliCon Cult and MSM, and have used their holdings to redistribute nearly all of the country's wealth to themselves. Like the Nazis, the Bush-Cheney administration and their GOP comrades in Congress and states are guilty of obeying treasonous orders from their 1% leaders ~ via Norquist, ALEC, Heritage, Koch Bros, etc.

You must have hated WS and the Savings and Loans for not "carrying their financial load." Their deregulated, casino capitalism, culture of greed, shirked all responsibility for "carrying their financial load" on to the American Taxpayers to the tune of untold $Trillions! And what about the Corporate welfare and tax evasions? More costs to Taxpayers! You must be furious about all that goldbricking!

Why do I have to point out these glaring examples of GOP "financial load" and "fair share" hypocrisy? Because critical thought is not the authoritarian Righties' MO, obeying and parroting is.

Questioning your GOP Cult's 1% Charley Manson is abjectly "null and void."

[-] 0 points by imagine40 (383) 7 years ago

Party difference explained scientifically!!!


And the Pres plan to map the brain.


I begin to see the ultimate goal.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

The Pres is going to cleanse us of RW Authoritarians??

Now I know I love this guy!!

[-] 0 points by imagine40 (383) 7 years ago

That would be something.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

A goal truly worth fighting for.

[-] 0 points by imagine40 (383) 7 years ago

That's why I'm fighting.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Unite and Win!


[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Hey, it came back!!

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Hmmm, I replied to this and my reply was removed. Will this one stick???

[-] -2 points by Einsatzgruppen1 (-56) 7 years ago

DNC propaganda.

[-] -1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Immersed in a sea of lies, Cons do believe that truth is propaganda. Like Chief Justice Roberts did when the President criticized Citizens United.

[-] -1 points by Einsatzgruppen1 (-56) 7 years ago

Yeah. Only cons spread propaganda. How much is the DNC paying you stupid assholes to shill for them?

[-] -1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

What happens when you drink your own bath water.

[-] -2 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

Neither party's plans are going to do a damn thing to help this nation.

There is no cliff.

Stop falling for the propaganda.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

False equivalency to the bitter end!

RepubliCons ~ having been outed as the servants of Greed that they are even to the least aware ~ are doubling-down on ignoring the 99% to hold out for, tax breaks and any other government sabotage, for their beloved rich.

Yet, bills have to be paid, taxes need to be collected, that's how nations work, and that's the extent of our/their cliff. Cons want to ignore this and extort instead. The GOP Fiscal Hostage Crisis.

Let's make this the RepubliCon death knell, and be done with their America and democracy hating asses!! Something to really celebrate a New Year and a New Beginning for.

The Resumption of Progress!!

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Your Guide To The Looming Spending Cuts: Where They Came From And What They Will Mean

By Travis Waldron on Feb 20, 2013 at 12:00 pm

The United States is rapidly approaching March 1, the date on which the automatic spending cuts put in place by the summer 2011 debt ceiling deal will begin taking effect. There is little indication that Congress will avert the cuts as it did in January, as Republican leaders have thus far been unwilling to negotiate with President Obama and Senate Democrats.

Congress is currently on recess until next Monday, leaving just five legislative days until the automatic cuts — known as sequestration — will take effect. Here’s a breakdown of why the sequester was created and what it will mean for programs facing cuts and the nation’s overall economic recovery:

Why the sequester was created. The sequester was a result of the GOP’s wrangling over the debt ceiling in the summer of 2011, when Republican leaders — who had previously passed clean debt increases 19 times under President Bush — demanded spending cuts as the price for averting a costly default. On the brink of default, Congress passed the Budget Control Act, which enacted immediate spending cuts and created a supercommittee tasked with striking a “grand bargain” to reduce the deficit. Republicans walked away from the committee after refusing to consider tax increases on the wealthy, setting sequestration into motion. The sequester, which cuts from both domestic and defense spending, was designed to be painful enough that both sides would negotiate to avert it.

How to avoid it. The sequester was originally supposed to take effect on January 1, but it was avoided as part of the overall “fiscal cliff” deal that maintained most of the Bush-era tax cuts and enacted spending reductions to offset the first round of automatic cuts. In the past, Republicans offered plans to offset the sequester by cutting more spending, even though deficit reduction efforts have been heavily skewed toward spending cuts to domestic programs already. Democrats have offered multiple proposals that would bring more balance to efforts to reduce the deficit. A plan from the Congressional Progressive Caucus would replace the sequester largely with new revenue, evening the balance of spending cuts and revenue increases in overall deficit reduction efforts. Senate Democrats proposed a plan that reduced the deficit by $110 billion, enough to offset the sequester until next January. Half of the reduction comes from cuts, the other half from tax increases on the wealthy. Republicans, however, have again refused to negotiate over new revenues, even from tax reform that would close corporate loopholes.

What it will mean. Because its cuts are across-the-board, the sequester will affect most domestic programs. Jobless workers will lose access to unemployment benefits, while safety net programs for women and children and early childhood education programs will face deep cuts. The sequester will cut funding for law enforcement and border security, food safety, airline travel security, Head Start, disaster relief, and health research. Defense programs will also see reductions. These cuts will have broad ramifications for the country’s recovering economy, pushing it down the austere path Europe has followed into second recessions. Independent reports predict that sequestration would reduce economic growth by 0.6 percent over the year while also leading to the loss of 700,000 jobs. The debt limit fight that created the sequester already pummeled the recovery, and allowing these spending cuts to take effect would cause even bigger problems.


[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

The PowerPoint That Proves It’s Not Obama’s Sequester After All

by John Avlon Feb 20, 2013 4:45 AM EST

Republicans have taken to calling the deep cuts that could reverse our hard-won economic recovery ‘Obama’s Sequester.’ But a July 2011 PowerPoint obtained by John Avlon shows the opposite may be true.

With deep sequestration cuts just days away, Congress is on vacation. But they’ve still got plenty of time to play the blame game.

The latest semantic spin is to call the looming $1.2 trillion in cuts, which could throw the whole economy back into recession, “Obama’s Sequester.” House Speaker John Boehner indulged this approach half a dozen times in a floor speech before he went on break, establishing its place in the talking-points firmament.

There are a couple problems with this tactic, as my colleague Michael Tomasky pointed out Tuesday. Congress passed sequestration before the president signed it, and the whole self-defeating exercise was carried out in response to Tea Party Republicans’ insistence that we play chicken with the debt ceiling, which ultimately cost America its AAA credit rating.

But here’s the thing. I happened to come across an old email that throws cold water on House Republicans’ attempts to call this “Obama’s Sequester.”

It’s a PowerPoint presentation that Boehner’s office developed with the Republican Policy Committee and sent out to the Capitol Hill GOP on July 31, 2011. Intended to explain the outline of the proposed debt deal, the presentation is titled: “Two Step Approach to Hold President Obama Accountable.”

It’s essentially an internal sales document from the old dealmaker Boehner to his unruly and often unreasonable Tea Party cohort. But it’s clear as day in the presentation that “sequestration” was considered a cudgel to guarantee a reduction in federal spending—the conservatives’ necessary condition for not having America default on its obligations.

The presentation lays out the deal in clear terms, describing the spending backstop as “automatic across-the-board cuts (‘sequestration’). Same mechanism used in 1997 Balanced Budget Agreement.”

The Joint Committee, ultimately misled by Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) into enacting the sequester, is explained in detail under a page titled “Entitlement Reforms and Savings”:

CONTINUED: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/02/20/the-powerpoint-that-proves-it-s-not-obama-s-sequester-after-all.html