Sunday Open Thread

Good Morning, Everyone :)

Hope you are enjoying this weekend with family and friends.

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74 Responses to Sunday Open Thread

  1. Pingback: Afternoon Open Thread - Jack & Jill Politics

  2. rikyrah says:

    Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 01:01 PM PST.

    Fiscal cliff discussions break down after Republicans demand Social Security cuts

    by Laura Clawson

    Fiscal cliff curb talks predictably broke down again when Republicans made a late demand for cuts to Social Security in the form of chained CPI:

    Talks foundered after Republicans dug in in an effort to get the largest deficit reduction deal in the time remaining, according to numerous Republican and Democratic officials familiar with the negotiations. Republicans told Democrats that they were willing to put off scheduled cuts in payments to health care providers who treat Medicare patients but that they wanted spending cuts elsewhere.
    But it was the inflation calculation that forced Democrats from the negotiating table. President Obama has said that in a “grand bargain” on deficit reduction, he would go along with the change, which would slow the growth of programs whose outlays rise with consumer prices, and would raise more revenue by pushing people into higher tax brackets.

    Democrats said that Mr. Obama and Congressional Democrats would accept that change, called “chained C.P.I.,” only as part of a larger deal that included locking in well more than $1 trillion in revenue over 10 years, along with other Republican concessions. Democrats fear that any such concessions now would only increase demands for addition concessions in the coming weeks, when talks resume on a “grand bargain” to reduce the deficit.
    Speaking from the floor of the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid rejected chained CPI:

    “The one thing I do want to mention is we’re not going to have any Social Security cuts at this stage. That just doesn’t seen appropriate,” Reid said. “We’re open to a discussion to entitlement reforms. But we’re going to have to take it in a different direction, the present status will not work. We’re willing to make difficult concessions as part of a balanced, comprehensive agreement, but will not agree to cut Social Security benefits as part of a smaller, short-term agreement, especially if that agreement gives more handouts to the rich.”

  3. rikyrah says:

    Senate showdown set for Monday
    By Steve Benen
    Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:02 PM EST.

    Fiscal talks took a step backwards earlier today when Republicans insisted on including chained CPI in the agreement. A Senate Democratic aide told me this afternoon, “We believed it was mutually understood that chained CPI was off the table for a smaller-scale agreement, and see Republicans’ continued insistence on including it as a major setback.”

    Democrats held firm, and soon after, GOP members backed off — at least on this one provision

    Negotiations over a last-ditch agreement to head off large tax increases and sweeping spending cuts in the new year appeared to resume on Sunday afternoon after Republican senators withdrew a demand that any deal must include a new way of calculating inflation that would lower payments to beneficiary programs like Social Security and slow their growth.

    Senate Republicans emerged from a closed-door meeting to say they agreed with Democrats that the request — which had temporarily brought talks to a standstill — was not appropriate for a quick deal to avert the tax increases and spending cuts starting Jan. 1.

    To hold the line against raising taxes on high-income households while fighting for cuts to Social Security was “not a winning hand,” said Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona.

  4. Eileen Left™‏@EileenLeft

    Hillary has a blood clot on the brain from the fall and concussion – reported on ABC news

  5. rikyrah says:

    The Associated Press ‏@AP

    BREAKING: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admitted to hospital with blood clot following concussion. -RD

    ETA: Kelly O’Donnell ‏@KellyO

    Sec. Clinton aide: she is being “treated with anti-coagulants at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Blood clot had formed following concussion

    • Ametia says:

      Hmm… prolly started her on Coumadin. Interesting that drs. didn’t put her on blood thinners earlier. This is nursing 101 here. Sorry, I’m suspicious is all.

      • My Mom suffered a blot clot in the leg and it was extremely painful. She could tolerate pain but the blood clot was almost unbearable for her. She was crying, I was crying because I had never seen her hurt so terribly. Drs went in and removed it immediately.

  6. Hillary Clinton hospitalized with blood clot

    WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has been admitted to a New York hospital after the discovery of a blood clot stemming from the concussion she sustained earlier this month.

    Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines says her doctors discovered the clot during a follow-up exam Sunday. Reines says Clinton is being treated with anti-coagulants.

    Clinton was admitted to New York-Presbyterian Hospital so doctors can monitor the medication over the next 48 hours.

    Reines says doctors will continue to assess Clinton’s condition, “including other issues associated with her concussion.”

  7. Ametia says:


    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hospitalized Sunday after doctors discovered a blood clot during a follow-up exam related to a concussion she suffered this month, her spokesman said.

  8. Ametia says:

    LOL PBO: “CAN YOU SAY IT A LITTLE LOUDER, CANDY!” Favorite line of the 3rd debate.

  9. Ametia says:

    Congratulations, VIKINGS!

  10. Ametia says:

    Rik, here’s tthe link to the 12-30-12 MHP segments with Elon James White and other panelist.

  11. Ametia says:

    What it’s like to host ‘Melissa Harris-Perry’
    Joy Reid
    12:46 pm on 12/24/2012

    So what’s it like sitting in for Melissa Harris-Perry on Melissa Harris-Perry?

    In short, it’s a whirlwind! The four hours of great conversation viewers (and also panelists/viewers like me) get to enjoy every weekend are the result of a lot of hard work. Little do most — including myself until recently — know how many people are involved in putting together a show like MHP. Getting the right topics, the right guests, the right video and the right intros, teases, is a process, and a huge team effort. Plus you do a lot of reading. My homework volume for MHP rivaled the toughest classes I took at Harvard. Luckily, I am a nerd, so I enjoy the reading!

    Read on:

  12. Ametia says:

    Vikings are TCB today. Go Adrian Peterson!

  13. Ametia says:

    MHP: Behind Jet Magazine’s Jordan Davis Cover
    By: Hillary Crosley | Posted: December 30, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Jordan Davis, shot in Florida in November, will be on the first 2013 cover of Jet magazine. MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry spoke with Jet’s editor in chief about this choice, and how the magazine has long been a vehicle for civil rights journalism, beginning with the publication of controversial photos of Emmett Till’s disfigured corpse in 1955.

    Watch Harris-Perry and Miller discuss the impact of Davis’ image on the cover:

  14. Ametia says:

    G.O.P. Backs Off a Demand, Clearing Way for More Talks (chained-CPI)

    Source: New York Times

    WASHINGTON — Negotiations over a last-ditch agreement to head off large tax increases and sweeping spending cuts in the new year appeared to resume Sunday afternoon after Republican senators withdrew their demand that a deal must include a new way of calculating inflation that would lower payments to beneficiaries programs like Social Security and slow their growth.

    Senate Republicans emerged from a closed-door meeting to say they agreed with Democrats that the request — which had temporarily brought talks to a standstill — was not appropriate for a quick deal to avert the tax increases and spending cuts starting Jan. 1.

    To hold the line against raising taxes on high-income households while fighting for cuts to Social Security was “not a winning hand,” Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, said.

    The concession could be a breakthrough, but Senate Republicans were still balking at an agreement on Sunday, adopting a new talking point that Democrats want to raise taxes just to increase spending, not to cut the deficit. That concern appears to center on a Democratic proposal to temporarily suspend across-the-board spending cuts to military and domestic programs as talks resume on a larger deficit deal.

    Read more:

  15. Ametia says:

    LOL Seriously, who wears this shit? If a family member giftedd me one of these….


  16. Ametia says:


  17. Ametia says:

    COME ON TEXANS; I’m rooting for ya!

  18. Ametia says:

    Anyone seen Les Miserables?

  19. rikyrah says:

    Tom Brokaw and David Brooks would like you to know how good they would be at being the first black president.

    • Ametia says:

      THIS That MSNBC panel after PBO’s interview was PATHETIC. Just more of the same; blaming everyone except for TEABAGGING REPUBLICAN OBSTRUCTIONISM.

  20. rikyrah says:

    Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 08:00 AM PST.

    A sure sign Dems have the upper hand in filibuster reform: a bipartisan ‘compromise’ to take it away

    by David Waldman

    So, there’s now a bipartisan “filibuster reform” proposal on the table, backed by Senators Carl Levin (D-MI) and John McCain (R-AZ). What would it do, and what does it mean?
    Well, I’m sure I won’t surprise anybody by answering, “not much” to the first question. But the second answer is much more important. It means that the Senators who really wanted to resist all change are beginning to see the writing on the wall, with respect to the threat to adopt new rules by majority vote in the next Congress. If you don’t take the possibility that there are 51 votes available to adopt new rules by a simple majority vote next month, then you don’t even bother coming up with a compromise alternative. So in that respect, kudos to those pushing for reform! It’s a real pleasure to see Democrats organized enough to be able to get their way in the United States Senate, for a change!

    But, if the votes are there, what good would a compromise proposal be, bipartisan or otherwise? The answer, of course, is that the votes haven’t been cast yet, and Senators are still subject to persuasion. So it’s absolutely within the realm of possibility that Senators may see something they prefer in the compromise proposal, as compared to what’s been floated so far.

    Given what’s in the new proposal, though, I don’t think that’s terribly likely, nor do I think it’s wise.

    The first big difference between previous proposals and this one is that this would not actually change the standing rules of the Senate. Instead, it would create a “standing order of the Senate,” designed to sunset with the 113th Congress. That by itself is not such a big deal. If adopted, it would be enforceable on the floor just like any of the standing rules. But remember that some of the reform-minded Senators are in this for more than just filibuster reform. Above and beyond that very important goal, they genuinely believe that Senators ought to vote directly on the adoption (or continuation) of their rules with some regularity, rather than simply assuming that they continue in force from one Congress to the next, as Rule V purports to be the case. Those Senators are not likely to be enamored of a compromise that drops this important aspect of rules reform.

    The second big difference is that standing orders of the Senate are either adopted by unanimous consent, or with the adoption of a resolution spelling out their terms. And while it’s entirely possible that an agreement could be worked out by which the parties agree to allow it through by unanimous consent, I’d certainly have to take that as a sign that we got considerably less real reform than we might have been able to get if the reformers had been a little more aggressive. Of course, it’s when you start moving into territory where some part of the proposal might actually draw objection that you realize that a compromise embodied in a resolution brought to the floor for a vote would be… subject to a filibuster.

    Now, a compromise that’s got widespread support might very well get past a filibuster with relative ease. But every filibuster carries risks, and over the years, many filibuster reform proposals have been killed outright once they fell victim to a filibuster. The “constitutional option” has come to be used as simple shorthand for a procedure that allows the Senate to change its rules by a simple majority vote, but it is in fact a very complex set of parliamentary maneuvers, carefully developed by previous reformers through years of trial and error, to put the Senate on a footing where a single vote can both end debate on proposed reforms and preclude any intervening motions that might give rise to yet another debate, and therefore another filibuster. It is only at that point when the possibility for all further delay has been extinguished that the Senate is in a position that guarantees a majority the ability to work its will. Previous reformers have learned through hard experience that leaving the door open to a filibuster is the kiss of death. And absent an iron-clad agreement for unanimous consent, a proposed standing order is always going to be subject to that threat.

    So while there is nothing inherently wrong or weak about adopting changes in the form of a standing order, and the order itself isn’t any less enforceable than a standing rule, the procedural problem is that the standing order route offers no guaranteed path to a simple up-or-down vote on the substance. While there are ways to get there, they rely either on taking the other side’s word on an agreement to get to that vote (or that they’ll grant unanimous consent), or on accepting the word of 60+ Senators that they’ll vote for cloture on any and all attempts to filibuster the adoption of the resolution embodying the standing order. And if you’re a believer in the finite nature of that special window of opportunity that the logic of the constitutional option is said to establish at the beginning of a new Congress, then you can’t afford to take any risk at all that any of the steps toward adoption of the standing order could be disrupted by a filibuster, lest the window be deemed closed by the very act of acknowledging the continuing force of Rule XXII, the cloture rule.

    That brings us to a third major difference between the standing order route and the rules change route. Rules changes, once adopted, are their own enforcement mechanism. That is, the fact that they’re rules gives them their own force. Standing orders, it’s true, can be enforced like rules. At least, once they’re adopted. And that’s where the problem arises. As I’ve just explained, the rules change route, via the constitutional option, follows a prescribed procedure designed to eliminate the possibility of being derailed by a filibuster along the way to rules change. The standing order route depends on deal-making to get there. And where a deal can be made, it can also be broken. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has found himself surprised in the past by members of his own Republican conference objecting to deals to which he thought he’d already gotten their consent, and that can be a dangerous thing in a delicate situation like this.

    The bipartisan group working on this plan, one would have to guess, probably see parallels between themselves and the “Gang of 14” that defused the 2005 “nuclear option” confrontation. But often forgotten about the Gang of 14’s deal is the fact that it actually had built right into it the threat to resort to the very same “nuclear option” it sought to avoid, if the Republican signatories felt their Democratic counterparts weren’t holding up their end of the bargain. That was the enforcement mechanism the parties gave themselves. The Republicans, though they preferred not to change the rules, reserved that right for themselves. And that was what would hold the Democrats to their pledge to support cloture motions on judicial nominations (except in “extraordinary circumstances”) for the balance of the 109th Congress. Although a standing order, once adopted, is enforceable just like a rule, it’s during the dangerous process of turning a mere proposal into an actual order that this latest proposal is most vulnerable. And while the same danger applies to an actual rules change, the constitutional option offers its own protection for the process, built right in to the carefully choreographed procedure. What is the protection for the process of adopting a standing order? Nothing. It’s a handshake deal. Unless, of course, the parties to the deal acknowledge that the majority reserves its right to resort to the constitutional option if things should go awry.

  21. rikyrah says:

    Sen Graham Exposes Republican Debt Lie by Attacking Social Security

    By: Sarah Jones
    Dec. 30th, 2012

    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was on Fox News Sunday this morning proving to America that he doesn’t really care about the debt problem at all, he just wants to appease his hatred for misnamed “entitlement” programs like Social Security.

    Graham insists that we must raise the age for Social Security in order to deal with the debt problem, but the Social Security Trust Fund has nothing to do with the deficit, and even former President Reagan knew this.

    Here’s Senator Graham on Fox this morning courtesy of Think Progress

    Graham said, “I’m not going to raise the debt ceiling unless we get serious about keeping the country from becoming Greece, saving Social Security and Medicare [sic]. So here’s what I would like: meaningful entitlement reform — not to turn Social Security into private accounts, not to take a voucher approach to Medicare — but, adjust the age for Social Security, CPI changes and means testing and look beyond the ten-year window. I cannot in good conscience raise the debt ceiling without addressing the long term debt problems of this country and I will not.”

    Graham is saying that Republicans will bring their “entitlement” grievances to the debt ceiling fight in order to address long term debt. So, he is just pretending to care about deficit reduction and clinging to raising the age for Social Security as a way to get there, unless he’s really unaware of how the Social Security Trust Fund operates. It is funded by payroll taxes. We pay into it our entire working lives in order to have it later. It’s not here to fund reckless spending or war

  22. rikyrah says:

    December 30, 2012

    Luck’s handmaiden: stupidity

    It is perhaps a karmic sign or celestial “told you so” or merely a hellish reality that the Number One reason Speaker Boehner is headed for reelection next week is that House Republicans have screwed themselves nearly as much as they’ve screwed America. Said one, “There’s no ‘better plan’ to get the House GOP out of this mess, i.e., ‘If I were speaker, I would do “X” as an alternative.'”

    I’ve yet to watch President Obama’s appearance on “Meet the Press,” but according to a just-in news alert he reissued on the program his understatement that Republicans “have had trouble saying yes”–a manifestation of borderline personality disorder for whose intervention the president knows that he, too, should thank either heaven or hell. Because in fiscal-cliff negotiations he moved on revenue, moved on spending, moved on stimulus, moved on a debt-ceiling prohibition and moved on entitlements. If Republicans had simply had the good sense to exploit these gratuitous appeasements, the president would have had nothing but hell to pay with his base.

    History will marvel for centuries that Republicans could have ever been so inexpressibly stupid, and Obama, so lucky.

  23. rikyrah says:

    December 30, 2012

    … a.k.a. S.O.P.

    Mitch McConnell just appeared on the Senate floor to re-announce his undying commitment to reasonable compromise. Harry Reid, immediately afterward, praised his friend and colleague as a man of good faith. (How both can spew such crap with a straight face remains beyond me, but that’s another story.)

    And, surprise, there is no Senate deal, because, as CNN first reported, McConnell demanded that President Obama’s earlier offer of a chained CPI be replugged into a compromise, and Democrats have balked.

    Thus “reasonableness” comes back to bite the Democratic side in the ass. You don’t ever offer a concession you’re not prepared to live with, or one whose acceptability to your own party is uncertain, as both Speaker Boehner and President Obama have now done. What’s more, given an ironclad and invulnerable fallback position–the cliff itself–any proposed concessions were sure to be self-destructive to the Dems, for Republicans could then righteously drag those concessions into the new year’s negotiations on any middle-class tax-cut legislation, which, no doubt, they’ll now do.

    This–Obama’s proffered S.S. concession–was a self-inflicted wound, and yet more evidence that one should never attempt compromise with faithless, opportunistic gangsters.

  24. rikyrah says:

    Fiscal cliff: Republicans have no principles

    There’s no deal because the GOP’s confused: They’re against voting to raise taxes, even if that raises taxes more
    By Jonathan Bernstein

    What’s truly amazing about the issues involved in the fiscal cliff is, at the end of the day, just how easy a compromise should be.

    This isn’t a decision about war and peace, or abortion, or gay and lesbian rights – issues on which compromise is exceedingly hard to find because of the nature of the issue. A nation can’t be halfway at war; abortion either is or isn’t murder. Budget disputes – overall spending totals, and especially tax questions – are by nature just not like that. A few billion more for the Pentagon or a few billion less? That’s exactly the kind of question normally solved by striking a deal.

    Now, granted, even in cases where the two sides eventually compromise, it might not seem as if they will, even right up to the last minute. And it’s always more difficult than just picking a number halfway between what both sides want. After all, bargaining power may not be equal; right now, Democrats control both the White House and one chamber of Congress, so they might be able to get a bit closer to their ideal point than will the Republicans, who have only the House. Meanwhile, both sides may inflate their original bids; it takes quite a bit of bargaining to get to where negotiators’ true positions are revealed, thus allowing for the difference to be split (or for the side better at bluffing to do a bit better than it should).

    But, yes, if it’s just money, it should be very possible to split the difference.

    So why is this one so hard? Because Republicans aren’t treating it as a difference over dollars; they’re treating it as if a principle is at stake, even if they seem to be struggling to find the principle:

  25. Pamplinlaw‏@LesaPamplin

    Help me Joe, PBO kicking my ass. McConnell reaches out to Biden, Reid steps back

  26. rikyrah says:

    Why Being the Next Serena Williams Isn’t Easy

    By: Hillary Crosley | Posted: December 28, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Taylor Townsend is a young tennis star on the verge of going pro, but the phenom is unfortunately facing some of the same challenges as trailblazers like Serena Williams. The problem? The 16-year-old African-American athlete is shaped like her champion predecessors Williams and Lindsay Davenport, and her frame has made some in and out of the sport call her fitness into question, according to the New York Times.

    Because she is black and has a sturdy 5-foot-6 physique and strong ground strokes, Townsend often draws comparisons to Serena Williams, a 15-time major singles champion. Townsend said she was flattered to be mentioned in the same breath as one of the greatest players in the game’s history. But occasionally, the surface comparisons cut deep.

    In the Orange Bowl doubles final, Townsend and her partner, Gabrielle Andrews, powered to victory despite the heckling of an elderly man who zeroed in on her race and her baby fat. For all Townsend’s success this year, her appearance was what thrust her into the spotlight at the United States Open, the year’s final major. The U.S.T.A., which oversees her training, tried to discourage her from playing in the Open, declining to pick up her expenses because she was not in peak shape.

    Her mother paid her way, and when Townsend’s plight became public, several prominent women in the sport rushed to her defense, including Williams and Lindsay Davenport, another sturdily built former world No. 1 whose fitness was questioned early in her career.

    Describing the controversy as unnecessary, Williams said, “Women athletes come in all different sizes and shapes and colors and everything.”

  27. rikyrah says:

    Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 07:03 AM PST.

    Poor in Georgia? Don’t expect anything but humiliation from the state

    by Laura Clawson

    The fact that today, just 27 percent of Americans who are poor enough to qualify for cash benefits under Temporary Assistance to Needy Families actually receive those benefits is one of the great successes of welfare reform, if you measure success by the “get everyone off of welfare at whatever cost to their health and well-being” standards the reformers intended. And by that measure, Georgia is amazing: Less than 7 percent of Georgia families living in poverty receive TANF, Slate’s Neil deMause reports.
    In 2004, the state hired a new Department of Human Services commissioner whose overriding goal was to get people off of welfare. Not to make them not need it, just to keep them from receiving it. (Again, in the spirit of welfare reform.) Under her leadership, 60 percent of those who had been receiving benefits—a number that had already plunged in the immediate wake of welfare reform—dropped out of the program, and the percentage of applications approved dropped from 40 percent to 20 percent. Today, Georgia receives $330 million a year from the federal government for TANF, but it doesn’t go to TANF:

    Instead, according to a September 2012 study by the nonprofit Georgia Budget & Policy Institute, the state has found ways to use TANF money to paper over other program budgets, with more than half of Georgia’s welfare funds being siphoned off to pay for the state’s unrelated child welfare program. This maneuver, which is allowed under federal law, has effectively saved the state hundreds of millions of dollars that it would otherwise have to cover with tax revenues. […]

    To ensure that states didn’t just cash their federal TANF checks without spending anything on the poor, Congress added another requirement, the so-called “maintenance of effort” requirements that would cut funds to states that didn’t devote enough money to anti-poverty programs. Earlier this year, a study by the federal General Accountability Office revealed that Georgia was counting private spending by nonprofit food banks and similar private charities to account for nearly half of the state’s own required welfare spending targets—more than double the percentage of almost any other state.

  28. rikyrah says:

    In discussing compromise, remember: Republicans lost the election

    Posted by Jamelle Bouie on December 28, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Today, senators return to Washington as they begin a final effort to reach agreement on the “fiscal cliff” before time runs out. Leading Republican efforts this time is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who received the ball after House Speaker John Boehner failed to corral GOP votes for a conservative alternative to President Obama’s proposal.

    (/Gary Cameron/Reuters)

    Odds for a deal are slim at best; Republicans and Democrats are separated by an intractable divide on taxes, which itself is a proxy for the larger fight over the future of the welfare state — Republicans want to shrink it, Democrats want to maintain the status quo. More narrowly, lawmakers such as McConnell — who is up for reelection in 2014 and might face a conservative challenger — just aren’t in a position to make deals that raise taxes.

    This, however, hasn’t stopped the usual calls for compromise. For example, as part of an effort to bring “both sides” together, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has directed stores in the Washington, D.C., area to scrawl “come together” on drinks served today. And McConnell, playing off said calls, has begun attacking the White House as the key stumbling block to a deal. Here’s Politico:

    Speaking on the floor Thursday afternoon, McConnell said he was a “little frustrated because we’ve been asking the president and Democrats to work with us on a bipartisan agreement for months — months.”

    McConnell added: “Republicans bent over backwards. We stepped way out of our comfort zone. We wanted an agreement. But we had no takers. The phone never rang. And so now, here we are, five days from the New Year, and we might finally start talking.”

    What’s striking about McConnell’s rhetoric — and the calls for compromise writ large — is the extent to which they seem to operate in a vacuum. Neither McConnell, nor Boehner, nor Schultz (or similar-minded people at organizations such as Fix the Debt) have acknowledged one key fact about the current situation: That it comes just a month after a presidential election, where the incumbent won a solid victory after campaigning for a stronger safety net, tax increases on the rich and a “balanced” solution to deficit reduction.

  29. rikyrah says:

    Obama to GOP: Last chance

    Posted by Greg Sargent on December 28, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    President Obama, during a brief statement to the press just now, said Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell are in the process of working out a deal to avert the “fiscal cliff” tax hikes, and pronounced himself optimistic about the talks. The key to Obama’s statement, though, is that he spelled out the political reality Republican leaders will be left facing if a deal is not reached:

    Senators Reid and McConnell are working on such an agreement as we speak. But if an agreement isn’t reached in time between Senator Reid and Senator McConnell, then I will urge Senator Reid to bring to the floor a basic package for an up or down vote, one that protects the middle class from an income tax hike, extends the vital lifeline of unemployment insurance to two million Americans looking for a job, and lays the groundwork for future cooperation on more economic growth and deficit reduction. I believe such a proposal could pass both houses with bipartisan majorities, as long as those leaders allow it to actually come to a vote. If members of the House and Senate want to vote No, they can.

    The key word there is “majorities.” Obama is demanding that Mitch McConnell allow a straight up-or-down vote on Harry Reid’s fallback proposal, if the two sides cannot reach a deal. If no deal is reached, Obama is daring McConnell to filibuster a continued tax cut for the middle class and daring Boehner not to hold a vote on it.

    A senior Senate Dem aide tells me that the fallback proposal Reid is working on would extend tax cuts on income just up to $250,000, not up to $400,000, as Obama’s most recent compromise proposal did. What this means is that if Senate Republican leaders fail to agree with Senate Dems on a proposal, the fallback plan Reid will offer will essentially rescind Obama’s offer to raise the income threshold to $400,000.

  30. TJ Holmes‏@tjholmes

    NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell reporting a major setback in the fiscal cliff negotiations.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Where things stand
    By Steve Benen
    Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:00 AM EST

    We’ve reached the point at which the looming fiscal deadlines are so close, we can count them in hours, not days. Indeed, as I hit “publish,” the ball drops in Times Square in just 62 hours.

    So, where do things stand in Washington? The picture is a little murky.

    President Obama met yesterday with the top lawmakers from both chambers at the White House yesterday, and declined to do what Republicans wanted him to do. The GOP request was simple: Obama should guess what might make Republicans happy, craft a new offer with preemptive concessions designed to satisfy conservatives, and then wait for GOP leaders to tell him whether the new offer is good enough. The president, fortunately, is not a fool and did not play along.

    Instead, they agreed to allow a new set of negotiations to advance. Obama/Boehner talks are out; Reid/McConnell talks are in.

    At the urging of President Obama, the Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate set to work Friday night to assemble a last-minute tax deal that could pass both chambers of Congress and avert large tax increases and budget cuts next year, or at least stop the worst of the economic punch from landing beginning Jan. 1.

    After weeks of fruitless negotiations between the president and Speaker John A. Boehner, Mr. Obama turned to Senator Harry Reid, the majority leader, and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader — two men who have been fighting for dominance of the Senate for years — to find a solution. The speaker, once seen as the linchpin for any agreement, essentially ceded final control to the Senate and said the House would act on whatever the Senate could produce.

  32. rikyrah says:

    America poised to reap benefits of Obamacare. Hobby Lobby still not budging
    By Laura Conaway
    Fri Dec 28, 2012 3:01 PM EST.

    As an update to last night’s segment about the Supreme Court refusing to let Hobby Lobby skip providing its employees coverage for contraception:

    “They’re not going to comply with the mandate,” said Kyle Duncan, general counsel of The Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing the company. “They’re not going to offer coverage for abortion-inducing drugs in the insurance plan.”

    As for the potential fines, Duncan said, “We’re just going to have to cross that bridge when we come to it.”

    Those fines could be as high as $1.3 million per day.

  33. rikyrah says:

    Polarized America: Thank Republicans

    Posted on 12/30/2012 at 12:44 pm by Mr. Brink

    Both sides are not the same, and if the two parties seem further apart today, even as Republicans drag the country over their ‘fiscal cliff’ like a drunken uncle out of liquor in the front yard trying to beat up an uppity inflatable Santa while the whole family hides the children and apologizes to the neighbors, it’s because the Republican party has become more extremist, more partisan, and more divisive. While Democrats have stayed relatively sane and centrist over the same time span, a couple of charts posted by Harry Enten, via Voteview, reveal just who the partisan, divisive culprits are by looking at roll call votes:

    The DW nominate score method puts legislators on a scale from -1 for most liberal to 1 for most conservative. The folks who maintain the system at Voteview have plotted both the House and the Senate over the past 130 years.

    The average Democrat was a little north of -0.4 after the 1992 elections and right at -0.4 in the last congress. This percentage has been fairly constant for the past 20 years even when the Democrats won more swing and red districts when they won back the majority from 2007 to 2011.

    There has, however, been an increase in partisanship in the house, and it truly is “asymmetrical”. The Republican House caucus has been becoming more conservative every year since 1977, whether or not House Republicans are winning or losing elections. Republicans have climbed from 0.4 on the DW nominate scales after the 1992 elections to near 0.7 in the last congress. That type of charge towards polarization is historically unusual over data that stretches back 130 years.

  34. rikyrah says:

    The Top Ten Smartest Democratic Quotes of 2012

    By: Hrafnkell Haraldsson
    Dec. 30th, 2012

    So without further ado, here is my Top 10 Smartest Democratic Quotes of 2012:

    10. Michelle Obama: “I have seen firsthand that being president doesn’t change who you are – it reveals who you are.” – September, 2012.

    9. Barack Obama: “You didn’t build that.” – July, 2012.

    8. Barack Obama: “You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can’t visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally.” – September, 2012

    7. Barack Obama: “All they have to offer is the same prescription they’ve had for the last thirty years: Have a surplus? Try a tax cut. Deficit too high? Try another. Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and call us in the morning!” – September, 2012

    6. Barack Obama: “You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military has changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines.” – October, 2012

    5. Joe Biden: “That’s a bunch of malarkey.” – October, 2012
    4. Joe Biden: “Osama bin Laden is dead, and General Motors is alive.”

    If anything encapsulates Obama’s first term, it is these ten words: short and to the point.

    3. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA): “Republicans say they don’t believe in government. Sure they do. They believe in government to help themselves and their powerful friends. After all, Mitt Romney’s the guy who said corporations are people.

    “No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they cry, they dance. They live, they love, and they die. And that matters. That matters because we don’t run this country for corporations, we run it for people. And that’s why we need Barack Obama.” – September, 2012

    Elizabeth Warren’s words give me Goosebumps three months later. This would have been number 2 if not for President Obama’s brilliant stroke that turned Romney’s trap on himself and obliterated his hopes in front of 70 million Americans. Which brings us to number 2.

    2. Barack Obama: “Please proceed, Governor.” – October, 2012

    Now to look at this, without any context at all, you’d just shrug. But this was perhaps President Obama’s most brilliant stroke in all of 2012. As Jon Stewart put it, Romney thought he was about to trap Obama, but, ”When you’re feel you’re about to spring what you, Governor Romney, think is the checkmate moment of the debate, and your debate opponent says to you, ‘Please, proceed,’ ‘Hold on, are you trying to open that door? Let me open it wider. The door you appear to want to walk through.

    “You might want wonder if, a la Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner, that door your opponent your door is pointing to is merely paint on a rock.”

    1. John Kerry (D-MA): “Ask Osama bin Laden if he is better off now than he was four years ago.” – September, 2012.

  35. 1995 ad in New York Magazine to meet author Barack Obama at Barnes and Noble.

    1995 ad in New York Magazine to “meet author Barack Obama” at Barnes and Noble.

  36. Ametia says:

    Yep, MOFOs want to continue playing games with the national debt.

  37. Rikyrah,

    That’s one of my Mom and Daddy’s favorite songs. You touched my heart this morning.

  38. Ametia says:

    Elon Jamaes on MHP says 2012 was the YEAR OF WHITE PRIVILEGE and not RACISM. Really?

  39. Ametia says:

    GOP Senator Concedes Fiscal Cliff Defeat, “Hats Off To The President”

    Lindsey Graham says odds of deal are “exceedingly good,” but hints at another debt ceiling fight.

    Posted Dec 30, 2012 9:29am EST

    WASHINGTON — South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham conceded defeat in the fiscal cliff negotiations Sunday morning, saying “hats off to the president.”

    In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Graham complimented President Barack Obama for sticking to his guns in talks with congressional Republicans.

    “He stood his ground. He’s going to get tax rate increases,” Graham said. “It will be a political victory for the president.”

    “The president won. The president campaigned on raising rates and he’s going to get a rate increase,” he added.

    But Graham hinted that Republicans will now put up a tougher fight on raising the debt ceiling in the coming weeks, saying potential agreements to avert the fiscal cliff do little to deal with the nation’s debt crisis.

  40. Ametia says:

    The People’s View’s Deaniac83/Spandan On Radio Debating Chained CPI

  41. Ametia says:

    Here we go Katt Williams wants to whip Tarrentino’s azz

    Says he checked with NIGGERDOM and no one gave Quentin permission to use nigger in his movie

    Katt Williams — Quentin Tarantino Has No Business Using the N-Word


  42. Ametia says:

    Pres. Obama tells Gregory the press should stop the false equivalency “both sides are just kind of unwilling to cooperate” blame game. #MTP

    Sandy Hook is worse day of his presidency.

    Will post full video as soon as available.

  43. Ametia says:

    POTUS is on MTP now. Gregory is asking will he get it done on gun control.

  44. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone :)

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