Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Yes, Mr. President, there is a Santa Claus, but he’s not Mitch McConnell and he didn’t come early this year. The concessions McConnell gave you were not concessions at all but what he wanted. The Senate Majority leader and the Republicans want three things, tax cuts, tax cuts and more tax cuts. Only the extension of unemployment insurance (which at thirteen months I admit is a major achievement but does not help two million people who have been laid off for ninety-nine weeks) is a concession, all the others are tax cuts. True, all except those to the rich will stimulate the economy but the republicans, in their monomaniacal  pursuit of tax cuts, don’t care if they do some good.  They know, as many of us know that since they are not new they will not increase the economy faster than the slow pace it is increasing now. They are less a stimulus package than an antirecession one. 
Mr. President you are under siege. Even before you were sworn in the Republicans decided never to let you succeed at anything. You have said so yourself. They reject their own ideas if you agree to them. Senator McConnell has said his only priority is to make sure you will be a one term president. Make no mistake, if this means throwing millions  off health care by refusing to fund the Affordable Care Act, so be it. If it means allowing another financial meltdown, so be it. If it means killing the nuclear arms treaty Reagan would have been proud of, so be it. And if it means defaulting on our international loans we are forced to take to fund the tax cut for the rich, so be it. They have said this is their policy. You must believe them.
Yes, this is the public option debate all over again and yes maybe it never would have been passed but we will never know because you conceded even before the debate began. In a siege, the goal of the enemy is to gain access to the castle. I appreciate that you consider it the honorable thing to meet the Republicans halfway. But they have made themselves your enemy. You must meet them in the plain around the Castle to test their ability and resolve. If you meet them at the gate, halfway is in the castle. You concede too much ground too quickly. Stand and fight and If you must concede do so but make the Republicans concede something to you. That’s a compromise 

Monday, December 6, 2010


In a fit of self destruction, unusual even for Democrats, Senate dems this weekend voted to borrow hundreds of billions to give to the richest ten percent. Much of this, thanks to the Bush appointments to the Supreme Court in the Citizens United decision, will find its way to Congressional, Senate and even the Presidential campaigns. Republicans had twice as much to spend in the last elections and now, thanks to the dopey donkeys, will have as much if not more for future efforts. Well done twits.
This need not have happened. The Bill to extend tax cuts to families making $250,000 or less had a majority approving it but fell short of the sixty needed to bring the Bill to a vote. They could have done what the Republicans did in 2001 and passed it by reconciliation. If anyone recalls, and very few do, the Bush tax cuts did not have 60 votes either and the Republicans used reconciliation to pass it by 51 votes. Vice President Dick Cheney, future international fugitive and man of misery, cast the tie breaker as President of the Senate. He is actually proud of giving himself a massive tax break. The reason these breaks to the rich are set to expire this year was to evade the Byrd Rule which prevented any Bill to pass by reconciliation if it increased the deficit beyond ten years of enactment. So even though it blew a trillion dollar hole in the debt and created minimal jobs it passed 51 to 50. Today, the Democrats have 53 votes and would not need Vice President Biden to vote. Obama’s promise to his base could have been passed by reconciliation simply by having the middleclass tax cuts expire before ten years just as Bush’s promise to his base passed. But that, by some twisted logic which defies rational understanding, is underhanded and beneath the dignity and high ideals of The Democratic Party.
In the end, and it may very well be the end, the Republicans get all the campaign funds they need to vote these fine idealists out of office. We will be left with thugs and hooligans. Brilliant.