Monday New Year’s Eve Open Thread | Hall & Oates Week!

Happy Mun-dane, Everyone! It’s New Year’s Eve so keep it real, safe, and enjoy your last day of 2012.  This week’s featured artists are Hall & Oates.

Daryl-hall-John-oatesFrom the Wiki:  Hall & Oates is an American musical duo composed of Daryl Hall and John Oates. They achieved their greatest fame in the late 1970s and early to mid-1980s with a fusion of rock and roll and rhythm and blues styles, which they dubbed “rock and soul.” Critics Stephen Thomas Erlewine and J. Scott McClintock write,[1] “at their best, Hall & Oates’ songs were filled with strong hooks and melodies that adhered to soul traditions without being a slave to them by incorporating elements of new wave and hard rock.” While much of the duo’s reputation is due to its sustained pop-chart run in the 1980s, they continue to record and tour, and remain respected by various artists for their ability to cross stylistic boundaries.

They are best known for their six No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100: “Rich Girl”, “Kiss on My List”, “Private Eyes”, “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)”, “Maneater”, and “Out of Touch”, as well as many other songs which charted in the Top 40. In total, the act had 34 singles chart hits on the US Billboard Hot 100, seven RIAA platinum albums, and six RIAA gold albums.[2] Because of that chart success, Billboard Magazine named them the most successful duo of the rock era, surpassing the Everly Brothers.

In 2003, Hall and Oates were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Billboard Magazine had Hall & Oates at No. 15 on their list of the 100 greatest artists of all time and the No. 1 duo,[3] while VH1 placed the duo as No. 99 on their list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.


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99 Responses to Monday New Year’s Eve Open Thread | Hall & Oates Week!

  1. Happy New Year to you too! It is always nice to meet other Hall and Oates Fans. I would like to invite you to visit my Hall and Oates Discussion Board to keep up with all the news about Daryl and John:
    And please visit my Hall and Oates Facebook page too!

  2. The Best Is Yet To Come!

    2013 Happy New Year

  3. rikyrah says:


  4. Wobble Line Dance

    AP: White House and GOP reach deal on ‘fiscal cliff.’

  6. rikyrah says:

    Obama Punks The GOP, Yet Again

    Monday, December 31, 2012 |
    Posted by Deaniac83 at 11:42 AM

    If you watched the just concluded address the president gave on the Fiscal Cliff, tell me if you agree with the feeling I got from it: the president looked, sounded and smiled like a winner. And I can probably tell you why. Hell, he was practically gloating. Plainly spoken, he and his team just punked the Republicans, yet again. They got the Republicans to release the middle class hostage, without giving them a damned thing. Look at what he’s getting:

    •Higher taxes on the richest Americans (the level is yet to be determined, and the president pointedly stayed away from confirming the $400K/$450K numbers floating around, but taxes are going up). He just forced Grover Norquist’s Republican party to allow a tax increase. Big. F*cken. Deal.

    •The middle class tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, child tax credit education tax credit and other Obama stimulus tax credits are staying in place for 5 years, as are the breaks for small businesses, especially for the clean energy industry (I don’t think most people running around with their hair on fire realize how big a deal this is for the environmental community). The Alternative Minimum tax is fixed permanently not to affect the middle class.

    •Unemployment benefits extension.

    •An increase in the estate tax rate to 40% (the exemption level remains at $5 million, from MSNBC’s reporting, but I will confirm later).

    What do the Republicans get in return? Bupkiss. Nada. Nothing. A big fat zero. So basically, the president permanently protect working people and the poor and the middle class, permanently raises taxes on the rich, and the additional tax revenue from that. Republicans get no entitlement changes, not even a permanent aversion of the cuts hitting defense and other Republican sweetheart industries.

    And the president, in his address was brilliant in sticking a sharp stick in the eyes of the Republicans on those: he told them that if they want to avert those cuts later, they have to come up with additional revenues to balance those cuts. They can’t count the revenue added through whatever the possible fiscal cliff deal ends up being tonight. Republicans want to avert the defense cuts? Show us some revenue. Where will those revenues come from? As the president said, it will come from those who can afford to pay it most, the rich, at least as long as he’s president. And well, as he was keen on reminding the GOP, he’s going to be president for the next four years. He’s not done raising taxes on the people who have had it best.

    There is another tactical brilliance to the president’s address: he just told the American people that a deal is going to get done, and that agreements are close. If Republicans walk away now, they will look like complete duds who are hell bent on raising taxes on and penalizing the middle class. So he cornered them, told them he cornered them, and he told them that they have no way out.

    So, let’s recap. I was wrong to say that Republicans got nothing in this deal. They got less than nothing. They are in the red here. They are crying uncle and releasing the middle class hostage, in exchange for having to come up with even more revenues from the rich (maybe we can now see Boehner’s plan to raise revenue from “limiting deductions” on the rich only) when they seek any spending cuts, or to avert/replace any of the sequestration cuts they don’t like.

    You want to see what a master negotiator looks like? Then look at the guy who just got a deal to release the hostage (middle class and the poor) and in exchange gave the hostage takers less than nothing.

    I don’t know if Republicans – or for that matter, hair on fire Lefties – realize how big a win this is for the president. This is a BFD. Republicans are cornered, they can’t back out, they have no escape. They got us here. They rejected all the reasonable offers the president made just to protect tax rates for the rich. And now, they can’t even do that, and they have lost all leverage to force spending cuts without even more revenue. The Republicans went in for a fight all in, and they wouldn’t take yes for an answer, so the president just took all their chips and left them holding nothing but teabags.

  7. rikyrah says:

    a great comment by zizi:

    zizi2, A college Professor

    4 years into Pres. Obama’s presidency we have had far too many unfortunate occasions to see the vile bankruptcy of the noisemaking Emotional/Professional Left play out over and over again. But nowhere has this kneejerk tendency to second-guess or downright racist thrash the President been taken to more absurd levels than this year-end macabre spectacle we’re seeing unfold vis-avis the fiscal cliff.

    Yeah yeah I know, Dailykos always sucks. But today it was an orchestra of Left blowhards from the entire left media — print, online and blogsites, that sank to their ready racist playbook of hurling personal insults at the competence & humanity of this President.

    It is so predictable it makes me literally sick. But today it cut me even more especially when you realize that this President has gone this entire year without a vacation just so he’d fight indefatigably for the thankless job of leading this country. And fight he did with so much heart and administrative brilliance that left these same left blowhards speechless.

    To see Dailykos go from diary upon diary waxing poetic about Obama’s unbelievable win and the superlative skills of his campaign crew, and on and on and on to the vitriol today is whiplash-inducing. Just last week they finally came around to seeing the strategic brilliance of Pres. Obama’s 2011 debt ceiling negotiations. Kos himself keeps churning out article after article about one mind-blowing angle of the elections and campaign after the other.

    But today, there could be no more bumbling idiot, traitor to the American Middle Class/poor than this same President. From Jonathan Chait to Ezra Kelin to Jed Lewison, Slinkerwink, BrooklynBadBoy, PM Carpenter, Kevin Drum et al. How could both statements be true? Of course not. What we are seeing once again is the fundamental bigotry of the Professional Left to ever see this President as anything other than their janitor and at worse, tehir slave. yes I used that label because that is the perfect description of their downright disrespect for him.

    They never demean Clinton who actually BETRAYED their very core policies, in the same way. Naw… he’s a hero, but Barack Hussein Obama? He’s at best a bumbling fool who’s hellbent on delivering the head of America’s 99% to his Wall Street cronies. And at worst he’s supposed to be an evil traitor and insulted in the most racist terms.

    You know, if I were President Obama, I’d quit, take my family very far away from this godforsaken country. But I’m not him. He’s a bigger person than I am. His sense of mission is nobler than I will ever summon. So all I can do is defend him anyway anyhow, and wherever. I have been deleting followers like flies from my Twitter Timeline. I can’t stand it

    Yeah…As Ryan Lizza sums the whiplashing Left’s behavior within minutes, in a tweet;

    Old CW: Obama Caved! New CW: GOP got Rolled!

  8. rikyrah says:

    House GOP plans to wait — until after deadlines pass
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Dec 31, 2012 5:00 PM EST

    For all the scuttlebutt about a Senate agreement this afternoon, negotiators had not — and have not — resolved major issues such as the automatic spending cuts in sequestration, suggesting much of the relief was wildly premature. There’s still a very real chance the ongoing negotiations will simply fail.

    But there was another lingering question for which there was no answer: even if the Senate crafted a deal, could it pass the House? It appears we won’t find out until after the clock runs out.

  9. rikyrah says:

    Clinton’s Clot

    A reader writes:

    I am a practicing general/trauma surgeon here in Cleveland. Hillary Clinton’s blood clot (or “deep venous thrombosis”) is almost certainly related to her recent closed head injury. Trauma patients, particularly those with significant head or spinal trauma, are considered high risk for the development of these clots. The fact that Mrs Clinton developed a clot a few years ago additionally raises her risk portfolio. We see this all the time in medical/trauma practice. Head injuries alter the coagulation parameters of the body in unpredictable, potentially deleterious ways. As a result of this, I would expect her to require anticoagulation therapy for the rest of her life.

    The Althouse response is hysterical on so many levels. The part where she writes – ” Was it her brain (recently concussed)? Was it her leg (where she had a blood clot back in 1998)? The former is a big deal, the latter, not so much. Why not specify the site, since it make such a big difference, medically? ” – is about as ignorant as it gets. A blood clot in the leg is extraordinarily dangerous. Those clots have a propensity for breaking off and traveling to the main arteries supplying the lungs where you can, you know, die instantly.

    • Ametia says:


      Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a blood clot between her brain and skull behind her right ear, her doctors said.

      Clinton remained hospitalized Monday in New York after the clot was discovered during a follow-up exam related to a concussion she suffered this month, her spokesman said.

      Her doctors said in a statement that the clot found Sunday “did not result in a stroke or neurological damage” and that they “are confident she will make a full recovery.”

  10. rikyrah says:

    And…We’re Airborne

    by BooMan
    Mon Dec 31st, 2012 at 04:07:06 PM EST

    John Boehner has parties to go to, my friends. This is New Year’s Eve, his most holy holiday. Eric Cantor just announced that the House isn’t waiting around to see whether or not the Senate can hash out a deal. They’re going to start drinking as soon as it gets dark outside. I suggest that you do the same. We’re going over the cliff. And we were SOOOO close to a deal.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Rep. John Lewis’ wife, Lillian, dies

    3:45 pm December 31, 2012, by Daniel Malloy

    Sad news amid the fiscal cliff madness: Lillian Miles Lewis, the wife of U.S. Rep. John Lewis, died this morning in Atlanta, his office announced. Spokeswoman Brenda Jones said John Lewis is returning to Atlanta today but had no more details to release about the cause of death.

    The Lewises had been married 44 years. They have one son, John Miles.

  12. I feel like dancing Chicas…I’m loving “I Can’t Go For That!

    Happy New Years Eve! Lets celebrate together!


  13. rikyrah says:

    Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 10:38 AM PST.

    Farm bill still languishes in House, despite House/Senate committee agreement

    How dysfunctional is the House of Representatives? This dysfunctional, and it’s not even about the fiscal cliff curb. For months and months, House Speaker John Boehner has refused to bring the farm bill to the floor for a vote, held hostage by his caucus that has been locked in a battle over how much food stamp recipients should be punished. For the first time in modern history, the House is poised to fail on a farm bill.
    It’s so bad that House Agriculture Committee Chair Frank Lucas (R-OK) has negotiated his own agreement, apart from leadership, with Senate Chair Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) to try to stave off the worst impact of a failed farm bill by extending the current bill and replace dairy programs that expire with the end of 2012. Without some replacement for those dairy programs, the law reverts to a decades-old formula that could result in milk prices tripling within weeks. And yet:

    [T]he House GOP has yet to endorse the committees’ extension agreement, and leaders are also considering two narrower extension bills: a one-month extension and an even smaller bill that would merely extend dairy policy. As of Sunday night, Republican leaders had not scheduled a vote on any of them. […]
    A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said Sunday that Republican leaders had not decided how they would proceed on the farm extension, though a vote could come as soon as Monday.
    The fight over the farm bill, and specifically milk price supports, reflects larger problems Boehner is having with his caucus. Boehner and Lucas are in all-out public war over the program Lucas has come up with for fixing the dairy issue.

    The sparring between the two men continued in a meeting of the full GOP conference Sunday night, where Boehner again laced into the dairy program. But Lucas — the traditional “good soldier” for his party—held his ground. And the back-and-forth illustrates the problems facing the GOP as it tries to untangle itself from the milk crisis brought on in large part because of Boehner’s refusal to allow floor debate in this Congress on a full-scale, five-year farm bill.
    “We need to take positive action to put this issue to rest,” Lucas told reporters. “And make sure that it is clear to everybody in this country that the farm bill policy has certainty and we will not have eight- or nine-dollar milk.”
    If we have $8 or $9/gallon milk, that’s John Boehner’s fault, just to be clear. It’ll be a great thing to wash austerity down with.

  14. rikyrah says:

    What Obama is Doing

    by BooMan
    Mon Dec 31st, 2012 at 02:33:58 PM EST

    Perhaps the administration’s best argument for the deal that is being floated is that John Boehner is too budgetarily-illiterate and politically inept to actually press any advantage on the debt ceiling.

    The White House laughs off the GOP’s theory that they can use the debt ceiling to extract big spending cuts without any further tax increases. For one thing, Boehner wouldn’t know how to achieve his “dollar-for-dollar” rule if you gave him total control of the budget. Raising the debt ceiling will cost around $1.5 trillion through 2014. Boehner has never named spending cuts even in the neighborhood of $1.5 trillion. In fact, he’s never named many entitlement cuts at all. Republicans actually seem terrified of entitlement cuts.
    “You either cut Medicare or we default the country?” Asks one top Democrat, describing the fight the GOP is setting up. “And we don’t have the guts to put out our Medicare cuts so you need to put them out for us? And now you need to round up the Democratic votes to help us blackmail you? That’s the plan?”

    Indeed, the Republicans are playing with fire if they threaten to default the country again, but that is triply true when you realize that they can’t even craft a bill that would do what they say that they want to do and they are terrified of even trying to craft such a bill.

    Goal number one (before the cliff) has always been to break the grip of the Norquist pledge, while the next most important goals were to help the economy by extending unemployment insurance and stimulative tax credits, and to (ideally) end the fuss about the debt ceiling. In the floated deal, most of this is accomplished. Although the debt ceiling remains a problem, the quoted bit above explains why they are not worried about it. Plus, there are (so far) no cuts beyond those included in the sequester. If they want money for the Pentagon, we can trade it for money for Head Start. This is the downside of not reaching a Grand Bargain. We will have to barter for everything we value in the federal budget, which means we can’t be fully focused on immigration reform or assault weapons or addressing climate change.

    The floated deal provides a LOT that we would not otherwise get, yet I am still not sure that the White House expects it to pass, and a big part of Obama’s appearance this afternoon was about making the Republicans look especially bad and petty if they do not agree to a deal. Basically, the president said that a deal was almost done and that their were only minor, insignificant things left to resolve. He taunted Congress, calling them totally ineffectual and openly laughing at them. This led, inevitably, to a bunch of butt-hurt tweets from Republicans and Republican aides about how Obama was “moving the goalposts” and trying to “sabotage a deal.” Yes, getting them to write those tweets was part of the plan to maximize how bad the GOP will look if they don’t agree to a deal.

    In other words, the president promised more than had been agreed to and dared the Republicans to blow up the talks. He can live with the deal he outlined, but he can live without it, too.

  15. rikyrah says:

    Obama: a deal ‘is in sight, but it’s not done’
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:40 PM EST.

    President Obama spoke briefly to supporters at the White House this afternoon, offering an update on the state of fiscal talks, stressing that a deal “is in sight, but it’s not done.” He added, “They’re close, but they’re not there yet.”

    Perhaps the most noteworthy thing about the brief remarks was the Republican apoplexy that followed. Apparently, the president’s tone hurt GOP lawmakers’ feelings — so much so that many Republicans are now arguing that a fiscal agreement mail fail because Obama made them feel bad.

    Seriously. That’s what they’re saying. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said on the Senate floor that the president’s tone represented “heckling,” and as a consequence, he “lost some votes” for a compromise deal. Soon after, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) also said Obama was too mean and made Congress feel bad.

    Just when you thought watching Congress couldn’t be any more painful, lawmakers find a way to make the institution look a little worse.

    I’d note for historical context that there’s a precedent for congressional Republicans ignoring national interests because of a perceived personal slight. In 1995, then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich said he shut down the government in part because then-President Clinton hurt his feelings by making him use a back exit to Air Force One. In 2008, the House GOP leadership said its members defeated an economic rescue package because then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi hurt their feelings with a “partisan” speech.

    In both cases, public reactions to Republican whining was overwhelmingly negative. If tonight’s fiscal deadlines go unmet because GOP lawmakers said Obama made them feel bad, it will remind the nation that Republicans in Congress are even more ridiculous than many feared.

  16. Gov. Perdue Issues Pardon of Innocence for Wilmington 10

    Gov. Bev Perdue today signed a Pardon of Innocence for the Wilmington 10 and issued the following statement:

    “I have spent a great deal of time over the past seven months reviewing the pardon of innocence requests of the persons collectively known as the Wilmington Ten. This topic evokes strong opinions from many North Carolinians as it hearkens back to a very difficult time in our state’s past, a period of racial tensions and violence that represents a dark chapter in North Carolina’s history. These cases generate a great deal of emotion from people who lived through these traumatic events.

    In evaluating these petitions for clemency, it is important to separate fact from rumor and innuendo. I have decided to grant these pardons because the more facts I have learned about the Wilmington Ten, the more appalled I have become about the manner in which their convictions were obtained.

    In 1980, a federal appeals court overturned the convictions in a written decision that highlighted the gross improprieties that occurred during the trial. The federal court determined as a matter of law that numerous instances of prosecutorial misconduct and other constitutional violations took place. Among other things, the court ruled that with regard to the testimony of the prosecution’s key witness – upon whose credibility the case depended entirely — “the conclusion is inescapable that [he] perjured himself” and that “this fact was bound to be known to the prosecutor . . .” The court also declared that it was undisputed that key documents had repeatedly been withheld from defense lawyers. It also found numerous errors by the trial judge that had the effect of unconstitutionally prejudicing the defendants’ ability to receive a fair trial.

    Since the trial ended, the prosecution’s key witness and two supporting witnesses all independently recanted their testimony incriminating the defendants. Furthermore, last month, new evidence was made available to me in the form of handwritten notes from the prosecutor who picked the jury at trial. These notes show with disturbing clarity the dominant role that racism played in jury selection. The notes reveal that certain white jurors believed to be Ku Klux Klan members were described by the prosecutor as “good” and that at least one African American juror was noted to be an “Uncle Tom type.”

    This conduct is disgraceful. It is utterly incompatible with basic notions of fairness and with every ideal that North Carolina holds dear. The legitimacy of our criminal justice system hinges on it operating in a fair and equitable manner with justice being dispensed based on innocence or guilt – not based on race or other forms of prejudice. That did not happen here. Instead, these convictions were tainted by naked racism and represent an ugly stain on North Carolina’s criminal justice system that cannot be allowed to stand any longer.

    Justice demands that this stain finally be removed. The process in which this case was tried was fundamentally flawed. Therefore, as Governor, I am issuing these pardons of innocence to right this longstanding wrong.”

  17. The Associated Press‏@AP

    Judge: Texas can cut funding for all Planned Parenthood family planning programs: -SS

    Lowdown mofos right here

  18. Twitter


    2 X’s!

  19. Twitter


    Water carrying GOP hack!

  20. Where is Potus gonna shove those spending cuts?

    bwa ha ha ha

  21. Ametia says:

    PBO: We’re close but not there yet. Looks like he’ll be hanging out in DC New Year’s eve.

    • Ametia says:

      Line’s till drawn in the sand. MIDDLE CLASS TAX CUTS ONLY

      • Ametia says:

        “It appears that an agreement to prevent” the fiscal cliff tax hike for Americans set to hit at midnight “is within sight, but it’s not done,” President Barack Obama said today.

        The agreement would extend tax credits for families with children, for tuition, and for clean energy companies, the president said, adding that it would also extend unemployment insurance.

        The deal being discussed will ask the wealthiest 2% of Americans to pay higher taxes for the first time in two decades, Obama said.

  22. rikyrah says:

    The case for the Dems’ negotiating strategy

    Posted by Greg Sargent on December 31, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    The White House and Dems are taking heavy criticism this morning for giving more ground towards Republicans in the fiscal cliff talks. Dems have offered to raise the income threshold to $450,000 and to keep the estate tax threshold at $5 million, in exchange for an increase in unemployment benefits but no additional stimulus spending. This is being widely denounced on Twitter and elsewhere as squandering Dem leverage.

    The view of the situation taken by White House and Dem negotiators, however, is at least worth thinking about.

    A White House ally spells out an alternative interpretation. Dems don’t necessarily believe going over the cliff will give them all that much more leverage in the talks next year. It’s been widely argued (by me and many others) that if we do go over the cliff, Dems can simply move to pass the Obama Tax Cuts For The Middle Class, forcing House Republicans to go along. But some Dems question whether House Republicans will feel the need to follow this script. Rather, the thinking goes, if Dems do that next year, the House GOP leadership can pass its own bill cutting taxes on all income up to, say, $500,000 or $600,000.

    If the idea is that it’s easier for Republicans to support continuing tax cuts just on some income levels after they’ve all expired, such a bill (with $500,000 or $600,000 as the threshold) could pass the House. What’s more, some Congressional Democrats may feel like they have to support such a bill, too. And the worry is that if this is then kicked over to the Senate, then some Senate Dems may feel tempted to support it or at least negotiate around it, which could divide Senate Dems. After all, some of them have already voiced support for putting the income threshold at $500,000 or $1 million.

    And so, the idea is that it’s better to lock in a deal on rates now, at, say, $450,000, extend unemployment benefits, and pocket those gains and continue the fight next year. Raising the income threshold is obviously not desirable, but Dems will have broken the decades-long GOP opposition to raising tax rates on the rich, pocketed hundreds of billions in revenues, made the tax code more progressive, and extended unemployment benefits — all without agreeing to any spending cuts yet.

    In so doing, will Dems squander their leverage next year? I and others have argued that they would. But the alternate interpretation is that Republicans, even next year, after a cliff dive, won’t have their options as limited as we might hope — they might not have to support the $250,000 threshold, after all. And Dems may still retain leverage in another way, even with the rates locked in by a deal this year. Republicans will use the debt ceiling to extract spending cuts, but Dems might counter by demanding more revenues via tax reform that closes loopholes and deductions for the wealthy.

  23. rikyrah says:

    Senate Republican Compares Raising Taxes to Drowning the Rich

    By: Sarah JonesDec. 31st, 2012

    How’s that fiscal cliff coming along? Not so well, if you’re listening to the Republicans on the Senate floor.

    Rand Paul (R-KY) brought the shrillness to new heights today on the Senate floor, screeching about how y’all want to punish the rich “producers” and how you’d pay for it when you ruin the economy just because you wanted to get some rich people. Paul likened raising taxes on rich people to “drowning” them (a more specific version of “death by taxes”). Yes, you are killing rich people out of pure spite.

    Really, you should be thanking a rich person, he lectured. He bordered on hysteria, seeing the ever more likely scenario that yes, rich people might have to pay a smidge of a bit more in taxes next year. He is very disappointed in your lack of sympathy for the rich. Mean American citizens.

    Rand Paul wants y’all to get serious, and by serious he means Obama phones, which he referenced as he lectured Democrats on their lack of seriousness (free stuff! moochers). The Senator finds great gravity in right wing conspiracies, but no gravitas in discussions about the fiscal cliff if they involve raising taxes on the much maligned, put-upon rich people. (Cutting children off of food stamps? Now that’s our serious House Republicans at work for American taxpayers.)

    Anyone who isn’t rich is not “productive”: You just want to take money from the “productive” people and give it to yourselves, Rand condemned. You will pay for this because the economy will plummet. Do you feel better now, you spiteful 98%?!

    John Thune (R-South Dakota) revved the hysteria before Rand, opining with increasing volume about how this is all the Senate’s fault and they haven’t passed a budget in three years (translation: he’s blaming Democrats for the House’s failure). Thune is pretending he isn’t aware of Article 1 in the Constitution. The budget is technically the House’s job, though the Senate and President submit a budget proposal indicating what they will support. No one ever asks a Republican why they keep shoving the doomed Ryan budget down our throats.

  24. rikyrah says:

    What McConnell and Biden came up with

    By Steve Benen
    Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:23 PM EST

    After Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid ran out of enticements to offer Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican turned to Vice President Biden, and the two invested several hours trying to work something out.

    At this point, they appear to have the framework for a deal they can live with. Whether anyone else can live with it remains to be seen, but we’re getting a look this afternoon at some of the details.

    The top tax rate rises to 39.6 percent for individuals making more than $400,000 and families making more than $450,000. Capital gains and dividends will be taxed at 20 percent with the same income thresholds. The Personal Exemption Phaseout (PEP) is set at $250,000 and the itemized deduction limitation (Pease) kicks in at $300,000. The AMT is patched permanently. The estate tax would exempt estates up to $10 million and tax them at 40 percent above that.

    The various business tax credits — R&D, wind, etc — would be extended through 2013, as would unemployment insurance. The stimulus tax credits — namely, the expansions of the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the college credit — would be extended for five years, which is hugely important to the White House. The scheduled cuts to doctors in Medicare would be averted through spending offsets that neither side considers injurious.

    And, of course, extended unemployment benefits would, as part of the deal, continue until 2013. The package would not include a debt ceiling increase.

    It’s worth emphasizing that this isn’t the official blueprint, released publicly by negotiators, but rather, leaked details, some of which vary slightly from other reports based on other leaked details. In other words, nothing is written in stone just yet.

    One of the key sticking points — if not the key sticking point — continues to be the sequestration cuts. McConnell has suggested a three-month suspension, setting up a March showdown over spending and offsetting cuts (followed by a February showdown over the debt limit), but Senate Democrats have said this is entirely unacceptable.

  25. rikyrah says:

    this totally is one of my favorite segments of the election season..Maddow hit it out of the park with this one:

  26. rikyrah says:

    With 14 hours to go
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:30 AM EST

    By the time Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell turned to Vice President Biden as his new negotiating partner, one thing was clear: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had simply run out of counteroffers. Democrats had gone as far as they could go, and Republicans weren’t willing to say, “Yes.”

    Just how far had Reid gone in making concessions? For one thing, the income threshold for higher rates was moved up from $250,000 to $400,000 (or depending on which insider account you believe, $450,000). For another, Democrats had also largely caved on estate taxes, raising the eligibility threshold and accepting a lower rate.

    Both of these concessions, it’s worth emphasizing, would mean far less deficit reduction — the ostensible point of this exercise. The tradeoffs are a reminder that when Republicans say they’re desperate to address the debt, they really don’t mean it. Democratic proposals do far more to reduce the fiscal shortfall than GOP alternatives — and Republicans are the ones who pretend to see a “debt crisis.”

    As if this weren’t enough, Democrats were also offering to accept these terms without a debt-ceiling increase. Instead, all Dems would get in return are measures that have traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support: middle-class tax breaks, extended jobless aid, and temporary fixes on AMT and Medicare reimbursement rates.

    Democrats are even prepared to postpone the sequester, a policy Republicans say they’re desperate to avoid.

    It’s unclear why McConnell wasn’t prepared to accept this overly generous package, but whatever the motivation, it’s unlikely Republicans will get a better offer later in the week if the deadlines go unmet and Democratic numbers in both chambers improve.

  27. rikyrah says:

    Charts for talking fiscal cliff
    By Laura Conaway
    Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:03 AM EST

    If you find yourself home for the holidays and arguing about the fiscal cliff, try these two charts. First, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows how we got all this red ink. Simply, the Bush tax cuts did it. Letting go of the tax cuts for the rich would save $950 billion in deficits over the next decade, the Center says. It’s worth reading their whole post.

    The chart below comes from North Dakota Senator Kent Conrad, a Democrat. First posted by our pal Ezra Klein, it shows the level of tax revenue during the last five budget surpluses. We’re five percentage points, give or take, below that now, and we’re broke

  28. rikyrah says:

    The Story Behind the 47 Percent Video

    It took months to get the scoop that rocked the 2012 election.

    —By David Corn

    | Mon Dec. 31, 2012 3:31 AM PST

    Editor’s Note: This article is adapted from Corn’s ebook, 47 Percent: Uncovering the Romney Video that Rocked the 2012 Election.

    As 2012 draws to a close, many year-end reviews of the election season have focused on September 17, the day Mother Jones released the 47-percent video that captured Mitt Romney at a private fundraiser. That moment, when millions of Americans saw the candidate denigrating nearly half the electorate as “victims” who do not take “personal responsibility and care for their lives,” is widely seen as having upended the campaign. But the path to the scoop began months earlier, with a story about aborted fetuses.

    Early on in the election season, Mother Jones had made a decision to look closely at Mitt Romney’s record as a businessman—a record the campaign was promoting as a key reason why voters should choose him. As I dug into the history of Bain Capital, the private equity firm Romney had founded and managed, I found out about an investment it had made in Stericycle, a medical-waste disposal firm that in more recent years had been attacked by anti-abortion groups for disposing of aborted fetuses from family planning clinics. I obtained an electronic pile of documents related to the deal, including filings Bain had made with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Romney was listed as an active participant in the Stericycle investment, which occurred in November 1999. This fact was significant; it undercut the claim that Romney had departed Bain in early 1999 to run the Winter Olympics, and had nothing to do with the firm’s actions after that point, including investments that relocated American jobs.

    On July 2, I posted a story on the candidate’s connection to Stericyle, reporting that Bain had filed SEC documents—including one signed by Romney—designating Romney as an active participant in the deal in late 1999. The story made news, and soon other outlets followed up.

    A few days later, I received an email from James Carter, a freelance researcher who had information to share. (He didn’t mention he was the grandson of President Jimmy Carter and possessed a deep personal motive for unearthing material on Romney, who routinely disparaged his grandfather. I wouldn’t learn of his relationship to the former president until early September, when Carter and I met at the Democratic convention in Charlotte.) Carter tipped me off to documents about a Bain affiliate’s investment in a Chinese firm named Global-Tech Appliances, which outsourced manufacturing for US corporations including Sunbeam and Hamilton Beach. The Global-Tech deal had occurred before Romney left Bain for the Winter Olympics.

  29. rikyrah says:

    A ‘totally untrustworthy negotiating partner’
    By Steve Benen
    Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:05 AM EST.

    To understand why constructive negotiations between the parties have proven to be so very difficult, look no further than this message from one of the Republican Party’s purported “rising stars.”

    It’s possible, of course, that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is badly confused — public policy is generally not his strong suit — and doesn’t realize his rhetoric isn’t true. Or maybe he does realize he’s misleading the public and doesn’t care.

    Either way, the far-right Floridian has summarized a larger problem in just 135 characters. Rubio wants Americans to believe Republicans didn’t push for chained CPI — which would reduce Social Security benefits — as part of the ongoing fiscal talks. We know this isn’t even close to being true — indeed, by yesterday afternoon, GOP senators had agreed to drop this demand that they’d fought for earlier in the day.

    Paul Krugman added that Rubio’s bizarre falsehood is a reminder why it’s “crazy” to think Republicans would ever agree to a sensible Grand Bargain: “You can’t make big deals with a totally untrustworthy negotiating partner.”

    Also note what this tells us about the efforts to make bipartisan changes to entitlements. As Ezra Klein explained, “Today’s Republican Party thinks the key problem America faces is out-of-control entitlement spending. But cutting entitlement spending is unpopular and the GOP’s coalition relies heavily on seniors. And so they don’t want to propose entitlement cuts. If possible, they’d even like to attack President Obama for proposing entitlement cuts. But they also want to see entitlements cut and will refuse to solve the fiscal cliff or raise the debt ceiling unless there are entitlement cuts.”

  30. rikyrah says:

    Dems Torn Over Schumer Plan To Raise Taxes On Millionaires Only

    At an undisclosed White House meeting yesterday with Senate Democratic leaders, President Obama pushed back on a controversial, but politically potent tax cut plan that has knocked Republicans off message in recent days.

    Pushing hardest for the new approach was Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the third ranking Democrat in the Senate and the Dems’ new point man for combining message and policy. He proposes to create a new tax bracket above the $1 million income threshold, and let Republicans decide whether to fight to the death to give those people a tax cut. It’s the one compromise that polls well and wrongfoots the GOP at the same time.

    “Republicans are worried about this proposal because it would expose that they are fighting for millionaires instead of the middle class,” said Schumer’s spokesman Brian Fallon in a statement to me.

    Just today, Republicans were forced off their usual tax cut talking points to blast Schumer’s plan not because it will raise taxes on millionaires, but because it focus groups well.

  31. rikyrah says:

    Dem diss for Newark’s Cory
    Last Updated: 7:32 AM, September 10, 2012
    Posted: 1:32 AM, September 10, 2012

    Cory Booker’s golden tongue may not be enough to get him out of the Democratic doghouse.

    The hard-charging Newark mayor spent the Democratic National Convention trying to build support among party leaders for an expected run against incumbent Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie next year.

    But he’s still getting the brush-off from some top Democrats — including the one governor who could make or break his hope of taking on the popular Christie.

    Twice in recent months, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who heads the Democratic Governors Association, has rebuffed Booker’s requests for the association to intervene in the New Jersey governor’s race — a rare tactic designed to clear potential competitors from the field.

  32. Ametia says:

    PBO to speak at 1:30 pm/12:30 CT Watch live here:

  33. rikyrah says:

    A Defeated Boehner Forges Blindly Ahead with Plan C: Blame Obama

    By: Sarah JonesDec. 31st, 2012

    Speaker Boehner made little sense Sunday as did a run around reality after Obama held him responsible for the fiscal cliff negotiation failures.

    Boehner pulled out his Republican Get Out Jail Free card, “Americans elected President Obama to lead, not cast blame.” But he sensed that it was no longer enough just to cast general aspersions on the President, though certainly Boehner has given that a good go. What’s a humiliated-by-his-own-caucus Plan B failure to do? Plan C!

    Plan C is to blame Obama for being unable to stand up to his own party. Yes, in Boehner’s imagination, it was Obama who was unable to stand up to his party. Not the Speaker, whose own party left him impotent in the fiscal cliff negotiations. Some call this projection, and it happens more often when a person can’t face reality because it’s too painful. Thus, denial becomes projection.

    As if to prove this point, the Speaker (figuratively) pointed his finger as far away from himself as possible, “The president’s comments today are ironic, as a recurring theme of our negotiations was his unwillingness to agree to anything that would require him to stand up to his own party. We’ve been reasonable and responsible. The president is the one who has never been able to get to ‘yes.’”

    Ah, so the president didn’t put changes to Social Security on the table. He didn’t raise the number from $250,000 to $400,000. And in Boehner world, refusing to do anything that raises taxes on the top 2% (which was the hold up for his tea caucus) is “reasonable and responsible.” Yes, it’s reasonable to hold the entire country hostage so the Republicans can service the top 2% at a rate that would have made Reagan blush.

    Boehner might wish America didn’t know about the Republican failure, but they do. With the failure of Plan B, any political cover Republicans might have manufactured died.

  34. rikyrah says:

    Hall and Oates just stay in your head all day long…the songs keep on playing in your head…


    I’m gonna love this series.

  35. Ametia says:

    Michigan Governor Signs Extreme Anti-Abortion Bill Into Law
    By Tara Culp-Ressler on Dec 31, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) has approved a controversial package of abortion restrictions that will limit abortion access for women who live in rural areas, require doctors to prove that mentally competent women haven’t been “coerced” into their decision to have the procedure, and enact unnecessary, complicated rules for abortion clinics and providers. The governor signed HB 5711 into law on Friday despite widespread protests against the omnibus anti-abortion measure.
    Snyder claims that HB 5711 “respects a woman’s right to choose while helping protect her health and safety.” But women’s health advocates warn the law will seriously threaten women’s access to the health services they need by imposing harsh regulations on abortion clinics and providers:

  36. Congressional report highly critical of security at US Consulate in Benghazi

    A Congressional report on the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi is highly critical of the handling of security at the mission in the Libyan city, where four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed on Sept. 11 of this year.

    NBC News obtained an advance copy of the report entitled “Flashing Red: A Special Report On The Terrorist Attack At Benghazi” by the Senate Committee On Homeland Security And Governmental Affairs. The report is due to be released Monday. The chairman of the committee, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, retires from the Senate on Jan. 2.

    The Congressional report follows a separate investigation by the State Department Accountability Review Board (ARB), which blamed State Department officials for “systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies” that led to protection for the Benghazi facility that was “grossly inadequate to deal with the attack that took place.” In response at the time, Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said the problems highlighted by the ARB were unacceptable, “problems for which – as Secretary (Hillary) Clinton has said — we take responsibility.”

  37. I am so loving “I Can’t Go For That”, Rikyrah!

  38. Ametia says:

    If anything has taught us a huge lesson in 2012 it is :


    So let’s continue shutting down their lies, spin, and blame on PBO

  39. Ametia says:

    Heard this classic on the way in to work this morning- Baker Street!

  40. Ametia says:

    Kim Kardashian Pregnant With Kanye West’s Child (Video)

    The reality star/fashion designer is expecting her first child, her rapper boyfriend announced during a concert on Sunday.

    Get ready for what could be the most publicly observed pregnancy in history.

    Kim Kardashian Pregnant: The Best Twitter Reactions

    The Kardashian Christmas Card Features the Entire Family, Including Kim Kardashian’s Deceased Kitten

    Kim Kardashian Makes Cameo in New Kanye West Clip (Video)
    Reality TV star Kim Kardashian is pregnant with her first child, THR has confirmed. Her rapper boyfriend Kanye West made the announcement during a concert in Atlantic City on Sunday evening, saying “Stop the music and make noise for my baby mama.”

  41. Ametia says:

    How Serious Is Hillary Clinton’s Blood Clot and Hospitalization?
    Dec 31, 2012 4:45 AM EST
    Clinton was hospitalized to treat a ‘clot’ Sunday after a recent illness, fainting, and concussion. Dr. Kent Sepkowitz on what’s behind her spokesman’s terse announcement.


    Weakling that I am, I think I will give Clinton the benefit of the doubt one last time. Like so many, the thought of a life without the Clintons strikes me as too bleak and too boring, and my judgment may be clouded. Fortunately, though, I am not treating her, only guessing from afar.

    But here goes: as someone with a history of clot, it may be that the bed rest she took after the concussion caused a clot recurrence. Bed rest is well known to do just that, which is why hospitals go to great lengths to prevent clot in bed-bound hospitalized patients by applying inflatable stockings to squeeze the calves intermittently or else by giving injections of blood thinner. And maybe her concussion was pretty bad, and she was dizzy and miserable and in bed a lot, and eventually the clot returned. And she or Sunday’s doctor spotted it, and she really only needs 48 hours in the hospital to smooth things out and be sent on her way.
    Maybe. In the swirl of guesses and smart-guy insights, this much about her condition is certain—unlike politics, where truth can remain hidden forever, in medicine, sooner or later, the truth will out. Always.


  42. Ametia says:

    Good Morning, Everyone! :-)

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