The Scrooge Party

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Obama Administration

So the House passed the Senate’s “fiscal cliff” bill, with the support of most House Democrats but less than half of House Republicans. But seemingly in a fit of pique, yesterday the House flushed an appropriations bill for Sandy victims down the toilet.

If we were living in a Dickens novel, the GOP would send Tiny Tim to the workhouses without his crutch.

As to the deal itself, Paul Krugman says it’s not terrible, but …

Well, the CBO estimates cumulative potential GDP over the next decade at $208 trillion.So the difference between what Obama got and what he arguably should have gotten is around 0.1 percent of potential GDP. That’s not crucial, to say the least.

And on the principle of the thing, you could say that Democrats held their ground on the essentials — no cuts in benefits — while Republicans have just voted for a tax increase for the first time in decades.

So why the bad taste in progressives’ mouths? It has less to do with where Obama ended up than with how he got there. He kept drawing lines in the sand, then erasing them and retreating to a new position. And his evident desire to have a deal before hitting the essentially innocuous fiscal cliff bodes very badly for the confrontation looming in a few weeks over the debt ceiling.

If Obama stands his ground in that confrontation, this deal won’t look bad in retrospect. If he doesn’t, yesterday will be seen as the day he began throwing away his presidency and the hopes of everyone who supported him.

See also Michael Lind, “Right-Wing Dreams of Demented Utopias.”

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 2, 2013 @11:10 am

    Hmm…
    Anyone surprised that the vast majority of the House Republicans who voted “Aye” for this bill, were from the Northern Union (and affiliated) states, and the vast majority of those who voted “Nay,” were from the Southern Confederate (and affiliated) ones?

    Yeah, me neither…

    Oh, btw, maha, thanks for the link to that great Lind article about Conservative Dystopia’s.

  2. Bill Bush  •  Jan 2, 2013 @1:44 pm

    The Lind article reminds me of the Lofgren article on leaving the GOP cult that was published in Truthout on Saturday, Dec 3, 2011. When the true believers become disillusioned, you know something is wrong.

  3. joanr16  •  Jan 2, 2013 @2:10 pm

    Walternate* angry! Walternate encase Tea Party in amber**!

    =====================
    *Rep. Peter King, R-Alt Universe. **See: “Fringe,” Season 3. When there’s trouble, it’s what Walternate does. Always too late.

  4. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 2, 2013 @2:40 pm

    Ya wanna laugh?
    Peter King, and the other Republican Congresscritters from NY, CT, and NJ, are now angry that the House leadership didn’t do anything about paying for the damage from Hurricane Sandy.
    Gee, I hope they weren’t surprised.
    When you hang out long enough with selfish self-important sociopathic @$$holes, you can’t complain when they suddenly have no concern for you and your problems.

  5. justme277  •  Jan 2, 2013 @5:04 pm

    I am pleased with the deal, I don’t care how Obama got us there. I don’t always agree with the route my GPS takes me either, but as long as I get there who friggin cares. I don’t feel the need, as a general rule, to micro manage Obama. I voted for him because I trusted “He’s got this”. I may not like every detail of every little thing he does but I still have confidence over all that he can handle it. Bush made me wet my pants afraid. If this were a car trip with Obama I would feel safe letting him drive and not watching the road myself. With bush I was on the floor board screaming and would have been safer just jumping out on the highway. So to all those people in a tiff about the process I recommend a trip to Colorado or Washington state, they just need to smoke a fatty and mellow out.

    As far as the debt ceiling, wow what a shitty job has been done of making the general public understand what that even is. Example: I go into a bar to pick up a to go order of food and I hear ” And then he is gonna just raise the damn debt ceiling and spend more money anyhow” The entire table full of men, drinking in the middle of the damn day chimed in with groans and comments in agreement. Oh how I wanted to engage them and just educate them enough to understand it is just to pay the bills for the money we already spent..not the best idea to try to teach a grown man anything in these parts little lady, especially not ones who are drunk before noon on a weekday- plus my food was getting cold. But this is what people think. I was shocked at the general lack of understanding – isn’t someone like, I don’t know , the media or the DNC or the President or someone suppose to explain this to people?

    And I guess this is a question: What now? What will happen with no Sandy relief? What will people do? Are we just going to stop rebuilding places when storms or fire destroy them until we are out of cities? Will we drive by places like Jersey on our way to a vacation and stare at the ruins like a tourist attraction and tell the kids ” this is where Jersey use to be” Mommy whats Jersey?”

  6. erinyes  •  Jan 2, 2013 @6:52 pm

    Rarely is the question asked, where did all the money go?
    Somebody has it, and it ain’t us.

  7. Swami  •  Jan 2, 2013 @7:14 pm

    Walternate encase Tea Party in amber :)

  8. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 2, 2013 @7:22 pm

    And, maha, I disagree.
    They’d defiinitely would let Tiny Time bring his crutch – why waste their own wood beating on the poor, young, lad, when you can use his own crutch to do it?
    Productivity, and cost savings!

  9. Bill Bush  •  Jan 2, 2013 @9:33 pm

    @justme277: YES! I think most of hear this sort of ignorant chatter and decide it is better to walk on past it. They think becaue they know “deficit” and “ceiling” and “pass” that they have mastered the entire lexicon and all the concepts of taxation, budgeting and legislative maneuvering. A former student today told me that Rush Limbaugh plays at his workplace every day, and he doesn’t agree with it, but there it is. I guess those guys will soon get on their “at no cost to you” Hoverounds and head for the target practice range to kill time till their Social Security checks hit the Post Office they don’t want to pay for.

  10. erinyes  •  Jan 3, 2013 @6:16 am

    ‘Gulag, if they gave YOU a cookie, they’d have to give everyone a cookie. And we just can’t allow that to happen.It’s all about freedom from tyranny.

  11. erinyes  •  Jan 3, 2013 @6:40 am
  12. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 3, 2013 @8:21 am

    erinyes,
    I wouldn’t mind so much, if we hadn’t given the mostly Southern states whole boxes of cookies, when they had hurricanes.

    All right then, how about each state gets back from only what it kicks into the Federal kitty?
    Hell, NY, NJ, CT, and MA, if we in won’t have to pay for Dixie Secesh-wanna-be states highways, or schools, or hospitals, or airports, or railroads, can pay that $60+ Billion it’ll take to fix the damage, a hell of a lot faster.

    Even Cup O’ Schmoe is angry.
    Well, of course he is – he NOW lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. If he was still representing the Florida Panhandle, he’d probaly be one of the @$$holes who’d have probably said, “Nay!”, to the request for hurricane help for the North East.
    If the people in my neighboring states have any smarts, in 2014, they’ll kick out their Republican members of Congress.

  13. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 3, 2013 @9:37 am

    Great Op-ed in yesterday’s NY Times, by the retiring Democratic Congressman from Queens and Long Island.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/02/opinion/my-last-day-in-congress.html?emc=tnt&tntemail0=y&_r=0

    Basically, he said that when he came into Congress 30 years ago, politicians argued over policy. Now, they argue ideologies, and people’s legitimacy.

  14. goatherd  •  Jan 3, 2013 @9:53 am

    Sometimes I think one of the modern ways to “win an argument” is to convince your opponent that you are so completely ignorant of what makes a sound argument, so incapable of self reflection and so completely detached from reality that there really is no use in presenting a rational case for his opinion. The sad fact, and maybe what will ultimately cause our demise, is that in some ways this is a successful strategy. Reason is all well and good in an aspirational kind of way, but fear, anger and hatred are better at motivating people and binding us together.

    The other day one of my right wing friends presented something that could only be acceptable to someone with lower than a fourth grade reading comprehension level or a sufficient measure of resentment and rancor to completely destroy the capacity for rational thought and empathy. Ignorance and anger have become shibboleths. The only criterion that matters is the selection of the target. Of course, my friend’s offering ended in calling someone else an “idiot” for making an observation that was nuanced rather than black and white to the extent that it was possible for a deluded jackass to misunderstand it and enjoy “two minutes of hate”.

    I believe that something other than ignorance must be at play here. Otherwise some of my friends would clearly have been hit by a bus, while struggling to remember how to tie their shoe. One problem is the signal to noise ratio. Misinformation is a major industry with a lot of financial backing. If the misinformation confirms what you already believe or makes you angry at someone you are inclined to hate anyway it can be very effective agains the lackluster truth.

    I think we are in deep trouble here.

    And let’s face it. Conservatives say they love capitalism and free markets and the other happy horse manure, but what they really want is a system more like China’s, with near slave labor, no union representation and a huge population of desperate people as a servant class.

    “What a revoltin’ development this is.” – C. A. Riley

  15. c u n d gulag  •  Jan 3, 2013 @12:41 pm

    And now, just minutes away, we can all look forward to Joe Lieberman no longer being a US Senator.
    YAY!!!
    So, if anyone mentions his name, and just to piss-off that useless festering hemorrhoid on CT’s anus, we can all say, “Joe… Joe, who?”

    But I’m sure that Rupe and Rog have a nice comfy chair ready for Senator Quisling at FOX, so he can continue to do as much damage as he can to the President, his country, and his former party – all while making 7 figures a year.
    And, that’s not including the fortune he’ll make lobbying for corporations, in another year or so.



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