Fiscal Funnies

The fiscal cliff theater going on in Washington strikes me as a ton of fun, and I wish I had more time to follow it.

As near as I can tell, the Republicans are refusing to negotiate while complaining that the President is refusing to negotiate. They say the President’s offer is not “serious,” but they have made no offers at all. So what does that make them?

They seem to think that “negotiating” means they can wait until the President offers them a package they like. However, the President has made it plain he is done negotiating with himself. The ball is in the GOP court.

Jonathan Chait says the Republicans are hoping that when the deadline for the “cliff” is nigh, the President will panic and give them what they want, which is to gut Medicare, Medicaid, etc. They are counting on fiscal hawks among the Dems to pressure the President to cave. He might, but I’m betting that he won’t.

Meanwhile, the Republicans are putting out signals that they want John Kerry to be the Secretary of State nominee. Y’know, the guy they swift-boated in 2004 and complained that he was too weak to run foreign policy is suddenly a man of integrity and international experience, as opposed to that Susan Rice bimbo. It’s worth noting that if John Kerry resigned his Senate seat it would be filled through a special election, and Scott Brown looks like a logical choice to run for it.

16 thoughts on “Fiscal Funnies

  1. Of course they want John Kerry as Secretary of State… they want a chance to put Scott Brown back in the Senate. Argh!

  2. The Republicans are in complete shock, because usually, President Obama and the Democrats compromise their positions BEFORE they even come to the negotiating table – searching for that famous unicornian bipartisanship.

    And they hoped it was Obama and the Democrats who would come in, proposing some dramatic changes in SS’s and Medicare’s ‘Earned Benefits,” and then fall for keeping the middle class tax cuts if the Republicans would be allowed to keep the tax cuts on the uber-wealthy. Or fall for the old, “Ok, we’ll close some loopholes – later…”
    This way, the Republicans could use the “Earned Benefit’s” changes, and beat the Democrats over the head with them in the next mid-term. Positioning themselves, like they did in 2010, as the “Saviors of Medicare and Social Security – protecting the old and infirm from the clutches of the evil Democrats.”

    Maybe this finally answers our question – “Is our Democrats capable of learning?”
    And the answer, right now anyway, seems to be, “YES!”

    And the Republicans have NO fall back position, because they already ran on those a few weeks ago, and got pretty soundly thumped!
    And whodathunkit, that hiring morons for Wingnut Welfare positions in Conservative Think Tanks, could cause them to have a brain-drain, where they have nothing new to propose?

    And so, they’ll lash out at President Obama and the Democrats – since that’s ALL they’ve got left.
    They’ll accuse the KenyanSocialistFascistCommunistHeathenMuslim of bargaining in bad faith, and whine about his complete lack of civility.

    Nooner’s will be spotted every day, copiously weeping salt tears on Broder’s grave.

    We voted for you, and people like Brown, Warren, Duckworth, Grayson, etc., and NOT them!
    We have your back, and their backs!

  3. About Brown in the Senate, if Kerry’s the SoS:
    -Centerfold Scottie’s already ruined his brand in this last election – so, he’s by no means, a ‘sure thing’ in the next one.
    -Gov. Patrick can put Barney Frank in, until the interem election.
    -And then, he can run in that, if Barney doesn’t want to.

    Imagine the fun of Centerfold Scottie having to debate either one of them?

    Centerfold Scottie might be better off sitting on the sidelines for awhile, and then running for Governor. Massachussetts has more of a history of electing Republican Governors, than Senators.

  4. Hey, maha – best of luck moving this weekend!!!

    I wish I could help.
    I used to be very strong and durable. My best friends and I were always there for one another, when anyone moved. We used to joke about forming our own moving company, called, “Hey, It Ain’t OUR Sh*t Movers!”
    And my late father always used to joke about me, saying I had “A strong body, but a weak mind.” Now, one’s in about as bad a shape as the other. And it’s anyone’s call which is actually worse…

  5. I just saw the POTUS on the Tee Vee; ‘looks like he just put the GOP’s king in “check”.
    If we go over the cliff, and the Grumpy Old Pricks do nothing, well, it’s on them.
    As an old pile buck I knew used to say “Oh, My Aching Ass!”.
    Obama knows how to play the game. With the exceptions of his drone war and “no daylight between us and Israel”, I like this president.

  6. The Republicans are in complete shock, because usually, President Obama and the Democrats compromise their positions BEFORE they even come to the negotiating table – searching for that famous unicornian bipartisanship.

    I’m not so sure about that:

    …by signaling its willingness not to raise top rates as high as they were under Clinton and to cut some $400 billion from projected increases in Medicare and other entitlement spending, the White House has ceded important ground.

    Republicans obviously want much, much more.

    …It’s also clear Republicans will seek whatever bargaining leverage they can get from threatening to block an increase in the debt limit – which will have to rise early next year if the nation’s full faith and credit is to remain intact.

    Meanwhile, the White House has started the bidding with substantial concessions on tax increases and spending cuts.

    Haven’t we been here before? It’s as if the election never occurred – as if the Republicans hadn’t lost six or seven seats in the House and three in the Senate, as if Obama hadn’t won reelection by a greater number of votes than George W. Bush in 2004.

    And as if the fiscal cliff that automatically terminates the Bush tax cuts weren’t just weeks away.

    Déjà vu all over again.

    But if it’s really going to be a repeat of the last round, we might still be in luck. Remember, the last round resulted in no agreement. And no agreement now may be better than a bad agreement that doesn’t raise taxes on the wealthy nearly enough while cutting far too much from safety nets most Americans depend on.

    If Republicans won’t budge and we head over the fiscal cliff, the Clinton tax rates become effective January 1 – thereby empowering the White House and Democrats in the next congress to get a far better deal.

  7. Ah, wheels within wheels. But not too difficult to figure out where the Republicans are going with this. 🙂

  8. Well,well, well. The Likud party just stuffed us in the ass AGAIN. They approved (at least) 3,000 new “housing units” in the occupied territories. Apparently, this is because most of the world approved, allowing the Palestinians “observer status” in the UN.
    Israelis are not serious about peace, let alone a two state solution. We need to cut all financial aid to Israel and enforce a general boycott.
    Are we edging close to WWIII ?

  9. There would be no fiscal cliff IF the republicans had taken an oath to the people for whom they work instead of grover norqist.

  10. It’s time to help the GOP grasp that being reelected has meaning. They haven’t responded properly to the first offer so its time for one they like LESS. How ’bout we limit all those deductions AND raise rates on the wealthy?

  11. The Likud party just stuffed us in the ass AGAIN. They approved (at least) 3,000 new “housing units” in the occupied territories.

    Maybe it’s time for one of those “market-based solutions” the Repukes claim to love so much.
    You want to build units in the West Bank? You tell us to go piss up a rope when we ask you to stop? OK, we’re subtracting $500k from your Uncle Sam welfare check for each unit you build. Oops, you just flushed $1.5bn.

  12. Kyle,
    I like that idea.
    Something needs to stop Israel’s Lebensraum expansion into the West Bank.

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  14. Lynn, that publication is from the Council On Foreign affairs; a neocon think tank headed by Elliot Abrams and his side kick Max Boot.They will give Israel a glowing report and nothig else.

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