Happy New Year

Well, let’s start with a happy thought — reports are that since the election, Sean Hannity’s ratings have dropped like a rock. See also “The GOP’s Lost Year in the Fox News Bubble” by Eric Boehlert.

As for the deal — progressive/liberal pundits and bloggers are nearly all very angry and think the President could have gotten a better deal. I’m about on the same page as Josh Marshall — the worst part is that we probably will be vulnerable to another destructive fight over the debt ceiling. The rest of it is a big meh.

Ezra Klein has a breakdown of exactly what was agreed to. I’d like to point out that some of the “small stuff” hardly anyone talks about actually are big deals — the “doc fix” is fixed for another year, for example. Otherwise physician Medicare reimbursement rates would have plunged 27 percent today. Milk prices will not shoot up, at least not for nine months. Unemployment insurance is extended. If it took moving the tax hike needle from $250,000 to $450,000/$400,000 to resolve those issues, I’m not too concerned. But if we end up in another debt ceiling hostage situation in a few weeks, then this was a really bad deal.

Of course, there’s always a chance the House won’t approve the bill as is, and then we’d be back to square one.