Re: Playing Chicken

1

I assume that all the "FORWARD" signs that Obama people are carrying is an indication that we are jumping off.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 11:09 AM
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It's hard to bet against Obama pulling an inadequate compromise out of a winning hand, but who knows?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 11:27 AM
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Too soon!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 11:33 AM
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It's such an astoundingly crappy metaphor. There's nothing cliff- or falling-like about it.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 11:34 AM
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Yeah, probably too soon.

1) The outgoings would love to make a deal that improves their employment opportunities

2) If Obama is a nasty neo-liberal, he will probably not want to deal with the likes of Warren and Baldwin.

3) They have time, maybe six months. Cliff is more like a gentle slope. Rating agencies will downgrade again, for a laugh.

4) I think Obama, being a Reaganite, wants part of his legacy to be the "epochal Obama tax cuts." So the Bush/Obama tax cuts will expire.

5) Obama said during the debates that "The sequester is not going to happen." He and Treasury Secretary have that power, either by shifting money around or printing the trillion dollar coin, or something in between.

6) This New Republican Congress is not going to start on their knees, with their tail between their legs, begging for crumbs, or mixing metaphors already.

7) So too soon. Probably a nothing-burger delay during the lame duck, and then months.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 11:44 AM
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a bunch of junior congressmen want to keep their seats. end of story.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 11:46 AM
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Now we need a new post.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 11:47 AM
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Legislators love to find things to call "cliffs" on the basis of something slightly undesirable happening if no action is taken. DSH cliff, SGR cliff...


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 11:47 AM
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However this is worked out, we want it happening in the new Congress, not the old one, with the Bush tax cuts already expired. So a 'grand bargain' within next six weeks probably bad news.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 11:54 AM
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I'm hoping we'll cannonball right off that thing.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 12:03 PM
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Warren in debate

"Gregory asks about Simpson-Bowles to Warren and whether she'd approve $3 trillion in cuts with revenue increases. Warren says she would have a "balanced approach" but doesn't answer on S-B"

(Obama's "balance" stinks")

"Warren supports Obama jobs bills."

(Complicated, but the public-private partnerships are a neo-liberal camel's nose. No.)

Not good news to me, but a sign that she will bargain. Bargain enough to vote for something with Eric Cantor?

I hope it will be really tough for Reid and Obama, and the new Senators will be superpissed at a lame duck deal.

Obama has a lot less leverage than people say. Republicans can take "We didn't vote to raise taxes" into 2014 and their base will likely re-elect them.

Obama really really doesn't want to raise taxes on the "middle class", I think more than Republicans don't want to raise taxes on the rich. Evidence 2010 lame-duck deal. House Republicans have not been punished for obstruction in either 2010 or 2012.

Triumphalist thinking goin on.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 12:10 PM
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I think it plays out the way it did last time, with the exception that this time the Republicans take yes for an answer.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 12:25 PM
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Republicans, chased by their electoral loss and recognizing the need to tack to the center, join democrats in creating a sane compromise position that averts the cliff and doesn't let the 1% loot the economy.

What? What?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 12:38 PM
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I've decided that every time I see the term, and have an avenue and time to respond, I'm going to say 'there's no cliff.' Because there's no cliff. Can this become a meme?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 12:57 PM
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It's slightly less stupid than Taxmageddon, but it's pretty freaking stupid


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 1:11 PM
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Also, isn't the "fiscal cliff" the result of the deal to avert the last crisis created by GOP extortion? I thought the deficit was the crisis, now tax hikes and spending cuts are?


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 1:20 PM
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Equally relevant today.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 1:34 PM
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Not just stupid: affirmatively misleading. If it is true that the return to 1990s tax rates, and cuts in DOD would be recessionary, this would still take months to slip into effect. Any deal is going to be retroactive. That's not a cliff. That's an artificial deadline that can be negotiated or extended at will.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 1:38 PM
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I hope you don't mind my plagiarizing that. Despite living in a liberal bubble I have some relatives who work in finance and/or are somewhat susceptible to CW on stuff like this.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 1:42 PM
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Now, I forget, will there be debt ceiling risk in the next 2 years, or is it only sequestration and Bush tax cut expiration that the bawling is about?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 1:55 PM
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I don't know about the fiscal cliff, but I'd like to be the first to note that the Democrats are looking at an absolute disaster in the 2018 Senate elections, with 25 or so seats to defend.


Posted by: Unimaginative | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 2:04 PM
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25 or so seats to defend

What does this mean? Isn't incumbency generally an advantage?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 2:06 PM
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In an off year election incumbency is problematic, especially for a coalition that depends on minority voters and the young.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 2:09 PM
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Not having to run is safer than running with any advantage.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 2:14 PM
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25

Now I want to eat some chicken. Thanks, OP.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 2:15 PM
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26

A Popeye's just opened down the street from my office. I can't remember if I liked that kind of chicken or not.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 2:21 PM
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21 But 2016 will suck for Repubs - defending seats in PA, IL, WI, NH, etc.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 2:28 PM
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28

Popeye's is easily the best fast food chicken there is. Therefore you must like it.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 2:28 PM
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27: I'm sure Toomey's seat has already got various people salivating.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 2:33 PM
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I really like Popeye's sides too. I think I ate too much of their chicken when I was on the east coast a few years ago and as a result I find it difficult nowadays to eat any fast food chicken even though I still like it in theory.

The other place I really like is Church's, but I haven't been there in years.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 2:37 PM
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I guess the other big question is whether Kennedy can hold out on the bench another 4 years.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 2:40 PM
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Pollo a la brasa is the best chicken there is. Popeye's is OK, but greasy and sectioned before cooking. Those universal peruvian roasting ovens are a much better process, also sectioning post-cooking is more sanitary.

ALso also, those places are a reliable easy-to-find source of fairly priced lump charcoal. And they have Yucca fritters along with the magical styrene containers of both spicy green and mild golden sauce, the latter for dipping the freshly fried golden wedges of yucca. Also^3, usually a source of beer nearby.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 2:40 PM
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source of golden beer nearby.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 2:41 PM
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34

Chicken-eating musical link, 4 second ad leader, sorry. This one's smoother than Howlin Wolf's version.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 2:46 PM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6DAdDyWZaQ

Despite having the thread to myself, I apparently cannot be troubled to preview or spell.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 2:46 PM
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32 gets it RIGHT.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 2:48 PM
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30: The sides do it for me too.

Though on reflection I have to go with Nando's as the best fast food chicken, but it's not available in the US. It's seriously good chicken, plus they had an ad that caused a minor diplomatic kerfuffle with Zimbabwe. Chicken that pisses off Mugabe has got to be good.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 2:54 PM
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Pretty sure there's a Nando's in DC. I remember my sister talking about it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 2:56 PM
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38: There are two in DC. One on 7th street between Chinatown and Mt Vernon Square, and one near Dupont Circle. There are also locations in Arlington, Bethesda, Silver Spring, Alexandria, Gaithersburg, and Annapolis (in the Annapolis mall, not downtown).


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 3:02 PM
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40

Somewhere around Connecticut and M. I ate there the other day. Definitely good but didn't find it world-shaking.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 3:02 PM
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Sorry, not Alexandria; National Harbor.

I've only been to the ones in Chinatown and Bethesda, but I've seen the one on Connecticut Ave, and Google Maps tells me the others exist.

And yes, their chicken is really good. But their "Macho Mint Peas" are the best thing on the menu.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 3:04 PM
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40: That's because the difference between good roast chicken and very good chicken is just not that big, compared to for example the difference between good and very good steak.

Oh, and I just remembered that I have in fact been to the one on Connecticut, but I was pretty drunk and nicotined up, so I have no idea whether it's up to par. I regretted it much less than most other drunk food, so there's that.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 3:07 PM
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43

Nando's is really, really good. But I though fast food chicken meant fast food fried chicken. I probably can't defend the distinction, but I feel like there's a distinction between fast food and over the counter and Nando's seems closer to over the counter. I've been to Nando's in DC (the one near Dupont Circle) and Burnaby, BC (in a giant mall).


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 3:08 PM
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44

However, they do not do crispy skin, which makes me a little sad.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 3:08 PM
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43: I think the cool kids are calling that sort of thing "Fast Casual" now. But it is fast, and it is food. Therefore...


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 3:09 PM
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46

Some backward snackers in here. DC's regional chicken is Doro Wat. Tell them የመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ ጥናቶች for extra goodness.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 3:12 PM
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47

46: That's not fast food, AFAIK.

And if I'm doing Ethiopian food, I'm getting the good stuff: kitfo.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 3:33 PM
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48

Also, I have no idea how to pronounce የመጽሐፍ ቅዱስ ጥናቶች.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 3:34 PM
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49

Or are we playing hangman? Because in that case I guess "a".


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 3:35 PM
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50

48: "Original Recipe"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 3:37 PM
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18 - Someone, maybe Jon Chait, compared it to the Republicans taking a bunch of hostages and threatening to kill them by withholding Vitamin C from their diet.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 3:37 PM
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47. Call ahead with a telephone and your delicious food will be ready to carry out when you get there.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 3:40 PM
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53

You should also do that at the Peruvian chicken place if you want to be sure you get in and out quickly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 3:50 PM
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54

I think 12 is probably right.

The Republicans have leverage in that the government is going to hit the debt ceiling again soon.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 4:11 PM
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NMM Darrell "three things can happen and two of them are bad" Royal.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 4:34 PM
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The Republicans have leverage in that the government is going to hit the debt ceiling again soon.

It will take a lot longer to hit the debt ceiling if we decide to go off the cliff.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 6:59 PM
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17: If I become prominent political commentator and the parties are still about the same, I'm going to call that my face punch theory of politics.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 7:20 PM
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But who comes off looking worse if we drive off the cliff? Probably depends how it pans out.

What I expect: Obama makes an offer like "Ok, how about all the government spending cuts and no tax increases in exchange for you all promising to be bi-partisan and friendly next year?"

Republicans bargain him down to 6 months, and the media covers the story of how the Republicans bravely bridged the partisan gap. Then they renege the next day.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 7:28 PM
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59

Knock knock.


Posted by: Barack Obama | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 7:38 PM
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We love you Barry. We even forgive you all those heinous interceptions.


Posted by: The Choom Gang | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 7:48 PM
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But who comes off looking worse if we drive off the cliff? Probably depends how it pans out.

I don't see why the 90's didn't teach us to go ahead and let the Republicans try and force another shutdown.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 7:56 PM
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Given that its not an actual cliff, and actual damages will be limited, it could be portrayed as as just another Republican temper tantrum. But I don't think Obama actually wants to play it like that, because it will fuck up his chance to build a legacy out of cutting Social Security.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 8:08 PM
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Do Republicans really think their mandate was to be as incalcitrant as possible? I know they're subclinically brain dead, but I was kind of thinking they'd like to create a narrative that they're cooperative (while not actually being cooperative in any way, shape or form.) At least avoiding the appearance of temper tantrums, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 8:11 PM
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64

Those in or prone to visit Boston should know there's an excellent Peruvian chicken place in Union Square in Somerville.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11- 7-12 9:34 PM
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65

But I don't think Obama actually wants to play it like that, because it will fuck up his chance to build a legacy out of cutting Social Security.

Is there anything actually concrete to suggest this or is this assertion still based on "uncorroborated anonymous things supposedly told to Matt Bai".


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 2:12 AM
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65: gswift, I think if the election result has shown anything it has shown that anonymous insider leaks to political journalists are far more reliable than actual "facts" and "numbers".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 2:39 AM
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Too little talk about the trillion dollar coin -- this MUST happen. If only to provide hilarious plot material for upcoming Bond and/or Mission Impossible franchise pip-squeezings.

FINAL SCENE, FINAL LINE

Cruise: Here my man, keep the change

HE FLIPS A COIN INTO THE AIR TOWARDS THE GLUM-LOOKING ETHNIC STREET FRUIT-VENDOR.

SLO-MO CLOSE-UP: WE WATCH THE COIN SPIN IN THE AIR. IT IS THE TRILLION DOLLAR COIN.

THEME MUSIC AND CREDITS


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 6:10 AM
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(ie fruit-vendor whose stall was knocked over during car-chase in opening pre-credit sequence.)


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 6:12 AM
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This discovery of a DC Nando's makes me much happier than it really should in any rational world.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 6:50 AM
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Fruit vendors have done more to change the face of the world in the last two years than every intelligence officer in MI6, CIA and SVR put together. About time they got a little love.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 6:54 AM
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SLO-MO CLOSE-UP: WE WATCH THE COIN SPIN IN THE AIR. IT IS THE TRILLION DOLLAR COIN.

In IMAX 3D.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 7:02 AM
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Legislators love to find things to call "cliffs" on the basis of something slightly undesirable happening if no action is taken. DSH cliff, SGR cliff...

Failing to stop Rommel's advance, aka the Montgomery Cliff.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 7:20 AM
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Since Quantum OS I have been toying with a screen treatment in which the Hott Laydee Agent from Exotic Climes has pledged her bodily allegiance to SMERSH, vowing to harm or kill all Western agents, precisely because just 10 years before her beloved father's oranges melons and chickens-in-crates concession in downtwn Kabul was smashed of business by a suave hit-and-run fellow in a ghost-grey Aston Martin. Revenge will be hers. And justly so.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 8:11 AM
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52: And that brings us to the problem of location.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 8:17 AM
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Is there anything actually concrete to suggest this

I'm mostly being snarky based on his apparent eagerness to put it on the table last time around. Also too, Simpson-Bowels.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 8:42 AM
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The thing that could make the 'fiscal cliff' at least a teachable moment if the press makes clear the actual relationship to the deficit. I mean, this surfaces the bipartisan consensus that deficits are necessary. Both parties and the entire business community are panicking because we may take concrete steps to reduce the deficit to manageable proportions. (And properly so, since vulgar Keynesianism works). They should report this as COUNTRY IN CRISIS CALLS FOR LEADERSHIP IN MAINTAINING MASSIVE FEDERAL DEFICITS.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 9:04 AM
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Also too, Simpson-Bowels.

Feeling much better, now that Homer has taken a purgative.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 9:05 AM
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Is there anything actually concrete to suggest this

unfortunately there is a fair amount of concrete evidence, most recently his Des Moines Register interview where he called for $2.50 in spending cuts to every dollar of tax increases. Unless he is counting spending cuts already made previously under his administration, or else he is thinking about military spending cuts, this is pretty problematic. But we'll see.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 9:06 AM
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77. Little-known fact: All members of that family produce blue turds.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 9:10 AM
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78:Is there anything actually concrete to suggest this

Most of the President's advocates choose to ignore his hints and whispers, or the freeze on federal hiring, or his trial balloons, or his boilerplate and pablum and vague pronouncements and by their standards...

...it appears the only concrete facts and figures we will be allowed to criticize will only be available in the bill after he signs the fucking thing.

This is how healthcare worked. "He says he likes a public option. Why are you attacking him?"

Oops, now that there is no public option available ever, feel free to criticize.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 9:17 AM
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I think the real problem for Obama's fiscal cliff negotiations is that Romney is a surprisingly strong, likable candidate with whom he is essentially tied in all the swing states.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 9:19 AM
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82

And of course the Ron Paul lobby is going to want their say.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 9:20 AM
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83

he is thinking about military spending cuts

First, it was an interview in which he was seeking the endorsement of a newspaper in a "critical swing state" (fuck you, Iowa). Which is to say, do you really take that interview seriously? Second, do you honestly think there's even the slightest chance, the slightest chance, that if that interview meant anything other than "please vote for me", that he doesn't think defense spending cuts are part of the equation? Third, why do you keep beating this drum? Again, you've let us know that you're in a position to know things. Given that, why don't you tell us things rather than pointing to shitty newspaper articles? Is that too much to ask? Finally, I'm eager for your review of Lincoln. But no spoilers, please. I think he survives the assassination attempt and don't want to be told otherwise.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 9:23 AM
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82: it would actually be awesome if Ron Paul had some clout in these negotiations, as he would support large-scale defense cuts (at least an order of magnitude larger than Obama would support). You could solve the entire fiscal problem just with Ron Paul's recommended defense cuts. The issue would be the Keynesian impact.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 9:24 AM
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Of course the other half of how the Obama supporters play this game is that whatever bill ends up on the President's desk will be called the only possible bill that could have ended up on the President's desk.

Because the bully pulpit doesn't work and Obama sucks at herding cats. Or whatever.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 9:24 AM
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85.1 gets it right.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 9:39 AM
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83: I have never claimed that I am in any position to 'know things' and in fact I am not in any kind of influential position that would give me access to any private information. That is your fantasy (one of a number you seem to be carrying around about me). I have only the same public information sources anyone else does (although my social circles mean I get a lot more emails about them than most people).

Anyway, if you had been following those public sources at all beyond throwing a little fit every time I posted, you would know that the 2.5-1 cut-revenue ratio has been one of Obama's most frequently used talking points, appearing in all the recent Administration budget documents and he also publicly stated it in the campaign debates.

But let me make an argument you could make if you had actually been following the issue. I was unfair to Obama in the following manner -- his $2.50 in spending cuts has consistently included the money saved from Afghanistan/Iraq draw downs, e.g. the spending difference between maintaining our full forces in Afghanistan over the next decade. That would be a 'cut' that would not require any cuts, and it is considerable money. It still does leave some cuts on the actual spending side though, and there are few places to go for that beyond SS/Medicare/Medicaid. The cuts could be relatively moderate and a lot of the debate will be around your view on whether cuts of that scale are acceptable (this is the entertaining slash vs. cut dance that has been going on).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 9:40 AM
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It will be the most liberal of all possible bills.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 9:41 AM
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sorry -- 'the spending difference between maintaining our full forces in Afghanistan over the next decade and reducing our committment there as he plans'.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 9:42 AM
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83: Likewise, Mitt Romney only pretended to be a conservative to get a shitty party's nomination.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 9:43 AM
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Second, do you honestly think there's even the slightest chance, the slightest chance, that if that interview meant anything other than "please vote for me", that he doesn't think defense spending cuts are part of the equation?

This is a fair question. The answer is that around the beginning of this year he already committed to a set of moderate cuts in future defense spending and has shown no public inclination to add further cuts beyond those for the additional deficit cuts that would be needed for a 'grand bargain'. To the extent that reluctance was election-related I would be happy to be pleasantly surprised.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 9:47 AM
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And 85.1 does get it right.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 9:53 AM
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87.1: whatever. You have in the past intimated that you're in the loop. And those of us who know who you are -- which is to say, many of us -- know that you're reasonably in the loop. Given that, I'm consistently interested in why you point to crappy newspaper stories rather than federal documents. I mean, I can understand why you don't reveal confidences -- and I don't want you to do that -- but I wish you'd stop rumor-mongering, as it's tiresome. I guess I'd put it this way, if you want me to stop calling you an idiot, I'd ask in return that you stop acting like an idiot.

87.2: do you really think I don't know this? I mean, really, do you think that?

87.3: this was exactly my point. Again, I know you know things. I also know that you're probably a pretty bright guy, which leaves me totally annoyed by your tendency to pass along rumor and innuendo, sourced from crappy newspaper articles, rather than pointing to data or documents generated by the federal government.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 9:57 AM
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Let me add one more thing, PGD, I'm happy to let you talk whatever shit you want to talk at this point if you really want me to leave you alone. I mean, leading up to the election, it got under my skin when you'd pass along nonsense (or rumor) as fact. But at this point I don't really care. You're even welcome to keep calling me an asshole. And if you want, I won't respond in kind. Lord knows that you've earned the right to call me an asshole.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 10:02 AM
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94: VW, you need to get credit where credit is due -- you have earned yourself the right to be called an asshole.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 10:05 AM
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95: assuming you're kidding, fair enough. Assuming you're serious, fair enough.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 10:09 AM
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Let's just embrace reality and take this place to maximum asshole.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 10:19 AM
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No! The election is over! Everyone loves everyone else again! Or at least is back to bemused indifference! We can't start the cycle of hatred and recrimination again! At least until Congress reconvenes and Obama betrays us all.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 10:27 AM
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73: I think that was foreshadowed in Wayne's World...

Wayne: Excuse me, what are you guys doing here in the middle of the street?
Chicken-man: Well, I'm putting these chickens in crates, and stacking them right here. Jim's job is to make sure we always have plenty of watermelons.
Wayne: Oh, so you're selling watermelons.
Jim: No, no sir. We just have to make sure we have plenty of them stacked at all times, just like with these here chickens.
Garth: What do these guys do?
Chicken-man: Well, their job is to walk back and forth with this big plate-glass window every couple of minutes.
Garth: Weird.
Wayne: Yeah, you've got to wonder if this is gonna pay off later on.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 10:28 AM
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We are now in a state of permanent election.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 10:32 AM
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Since obviously we're going to be fighting about this from now until the ink is dried on the "grand bargain" (or not), here is my view in advance, which you can all come back and test against reality:

1) It's pretty likely that some kind of deal involving entitlement spending will be struck, and that this deal will be both (sincerely) supported by Obama and will be in many ways disappointing to progressives, although it will also include a few features, perhaps higher income taxes on the rich, that progressives like. I have no idea whether this deal is cut before or after the fiscal "cliff."

2) It's unlikely that this plan will be either substantially more or less progressive than what the median Democratic senator in the incoming Congress would vote for.

3) Progressives will (absolutely rightly)n push for a better deal and will (absolutely rightly) complain about what they're not getting. This not only will happen, but is really important and should happen. However, we'll also hear a lot of really stupid "you need to bid high to start a negotiation!" and general negotiation strategy type stuff from people who have never conducted a negotiation in remotely similar circumstances, and this will piss me off personally.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 10:33 AM
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Since obviously we're going to be

Do you think you're corresponding with people who will keep reading what you write when you begin a post with something like this?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 10:36 AM
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101 gets it right. I have nothing to add other than a quick sidebar about Halford being a complete dick.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 10:37 AM
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No! The election is over! It is time to go theoretical and meta. The response to 85.1 has encouraged me

97:Oh, Halford. You are denying diversity and difference in assholes.

Okay, you have read 85.1. Now, suppose the reality-based community says "This is the healthcare bill Nelson and Lieberman voted for. This is a fact. What do you have?"

And I am instantly on the counterfactual imaginary side. How exactly, according to proper standards, prove that there are several other possible healthcare bills that N & L might have voted for? I am asked for mechanisms, methods, but I really have very few "facts" that will make my case. If it can be done it is a ton of work, empirical and theoretical, and will always be trumped by the quick and easy "Here is the bill they voted for."

Part of what helps them is the deliberate ambiguity of professional political discourse.

But my contention is that we see here, if you watch how it works, is the epistemological sovereign that is the core of liberal authoritarianism. Who gets to collapse the wave function and kill the cat in the box gets to write the equations.

And this is why for instance Marxists and anarchists say "facts later, theory first"


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 10:39 AM
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take this place to maximum asshole

Been there. It was okay.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 10:39 AM
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I can say that I'm not going to keep reading. But I will go on to refute the merits of what you probably wrote, in noting that we're in a rather unique situation here -- president reelected by a strong majority, dems picking up senate seats, while the house remains Republican -- which could effect the way things turn out.

I would guess that Obama considers himself to be in a pretty strong position. Considering the extremely poor polling of Republicans with the millennial generation, a young Republican house rep might just not feel up for this fight, might prefer to compromise in exchange for the possibility of a long-term political career.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 10:41 AM
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It didn't take very much of my 20 year stint in DC to conclude that even the people who know stuff don't know shit. It's a lot more like junior high sophomore year than like the West Wing.

I think the President's 2.5/1 position is fairly well out there: the man pointed it out in the debate. Along with pointing out that his 4 trillion deficit reduction plan is on the internet. But there is zero possibility that Boehner would embrace 2.5/1. I doubt he could get 6/1 through his caucus, at this point: Obama is a failure is still the lead theme for the 2014 midterms. (Along with Nancy Pelosi is the devil.) And Republican compromisers can and should expect primary challenges, while those who just say no have nothing to fear from their base.

Also, we just had a vivid demonstration about how cuts aren't necessarily cuts. Did the ACA cut Medicare by 716 billion, as Romney and Ryan pointed out at every opportunity. Yes, but, we think, without affecting service. How much would you "cut" from Medicare if you extended VA-like price policies for pharmaceuticals to everyone in Medicare? I'm no longer in any loops on this, but on the state of what I used to know, we're talking about some real money. [Did the ACA make a material change here? I think I'd have heard if it did.]

I'd like to see a movement to double the FICA cap. And apply FICA to non-exempt caiptal gains income. How much are these 'tweaks' worth?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 10:42 AM
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101 and here we go

That was just, you know, completely authoritative Halford.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 10:44 AM
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However, we'll also hear a lot of really stupid "you need to bid high to start a negotiation!" and general negotiation strategy type stuff from people who have never conducted a negotiation in remotely similar circumstances, and this will piss me off personally.
I'd personally love it if people with experience in similar circumstances would give their insight into this sort of thing, but, and here my memory/reading comprehension at the time could easily be faulty, your position the last time this came up seemed to be that no one could judge the negotiations from public information.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 10:49 AM
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no one could judge the negotiations from public information

That has certainly been the case for 100% of negotiations I've been involved in for which there was public information available. Usually, the public information about a private negotiation is, whether deliberately or not, entirely wrong.

But that wasn't in legislative politics.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 10:52 AM
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What were you negotiating, Robert Halford?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 10:55 AM
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101 and 103 are right.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 10:57 AM
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The Imaginary

The basis of the Imaginary order is the formation of the ego in the "mirror stage"; by articulating the ego in this way 'the category of the imaginary provides the theoretical basis for a long-standing polemic against ego-psychology'[5] on Lacan's part. Since the ego is formed by identifying with the counterpart or specular image, "identification" is an important aspect of the imaginary. The relationship whereby the ego is constituted by identification is a locus of "alienation", which is another feature of the imaginary, and is fundamentally narcissistic: thus Lacan wrote of 'the different phases of imaginary, narcissistic, specular identification - the three adjectives are equivalent'[6] - which make up the ego's history.

If 'the Imaginary, the Symbolic and the Real are an unholy trinity whose members could as easily be called Fraud, Absence and Impossibility',[7] then the Imaginary, a realm of surface appearances which are inherently deceptive, is Fraud.

The application to "fiscal cliff politics" is trivial, and left to the reader.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 10:58 AM
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101 and 103 are right.

Thanks for your informative comment. Someone stole some bicycles out of my garage awhile back, Sifu. Where do you think I should look for them?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 11:01 AM
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Usually, the public information about a private negotiation is, whether deliberately or not, entirely wrong.

Do you mean to say that negotiators lie to the public, Robert Halford?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 11:02 AM
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101 is right, but there will also be 4) Progressives calling for a better bill (by their standards) will be accused of being Nader and Stein voters, impetulant whiners, etc. etc. by centrist Democrats.

Should I be encouraged that there doesn't seem to have been an equivalent this year of Obama appointing Rahm Emanuel chief-of-staff right after being elected? So the face punching might not come from the administration so much?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 11:09 AM
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[Did the ACA make a material change here? I think I'd have heard if it did.]

Nothing huge - nothing like negotiation or a formulary. A small fee on pharma manufacturers ($27b over 10 years); more required drug rebates under Medicare Part D and Medicaid ($70b); some other minor stuff. All that probably more than offset, from the industry perspective, by closing the donut hole for seniors and getting more people insured and thereby covered for drugs.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 11:12 AM
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Maximum asshole is a nice phrase, maybe a good choice for an artisanally-frayed baseball cap's slogan.

Here is something that puzzles me about US politics: Why does Grover Norquist have any power? Who supports him?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 11:28 AM
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117 --OK, well, I know a good way to make a big cut in Medicare.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 11:31 AM
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||

I just went in to a coffee shop. There are 3 transit cops with 2 others as backup and 2 police cars questioning some guy of color. I saw them ask for his ID. Why do they need so many?

|>


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 11:36 AM
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101: Since obviously we're going to be fighting about this from now until the ink is dried on the "grand bargain" (or not), here is my view in advance

Jeez Halford, don't you realize you need a more extreme starting position in a blog fight? It's the Overton theory of blog spats, my friend.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 12:25 PM
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Nothing huge - nothing like negotiation or a formulary. A small fee on pharma manufacturers ($27b over 10 years); more required drug rebates under Medicare Part D and Medicaid ($70b); some other minor stuff.

Maybe this is implied by "other minor stuff", but there was also an expansion of eligibility for the so-called Section 340b program, which permits certain healthcare providers who serve disadvantaged patients to piggyback on federal government drug procurement.


Posted by: Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 12:31 PM
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OK, well, I know a good way to make a big cut in Medicare

The problem is that Rahm bought off the pharma industry during the fight over the ACA by promising not to do this. The deal was "Pharma industry contributes $80 billion over 10 years, and no more.") You can argue about whether or not it was wise to make that deal (considering the narrow margin of victory, I lean against second-guessing it), but it does impose certain costs on the Administration if they renege.

At this point, the optimal strategy is probably to keep pharma on board, and bring them into alliance with the health plans to beat up on the non-primary care doctors and the hospitals. There will be plenty of time after 2016 to turn around and stick it to pharma.


Posted by: Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 12:40 PM
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(1) I'm okay with any deal that is no less progressive than simply diving off the fiscal cliff headfirst with no parachute. I think the law as will be in effect on Jan. 1 ought to be the starting point of any negotiation.

(2) There is no chance of any deal before Jan. 1 being that progressive, and exceddingly slim chance of any deal after Jan. 1 being that progressive.

(3) Therefore any deal that happens is very likely to be bad news.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 12:44 PM
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There is no chance of any deal before Jan. 1 being that progressive, and exceddingly slim chance of any deal after Jan. 1 being that progressive.

Why not?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 12:46 PM
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Can someone link to something about the actual consequences of the "fiscal cliff"? I've seen wildly varying estimates of the effect and impact.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 12:47 PM
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125: because it's more progressive than any Republicans or most Democrats want?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 12:48 PM
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I mean, doesn't the CBO estimate something like a 4% cut to GDP from going over the "cliff" and putting the economy into recession? (Obviously, that doesn't happen immediately on January 1, but still).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 12:50 PM
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127: Sorry if I'm being obtuse. Why is going over the fiscal cliff more progressive than what most Democrats want?

Don't you think it's possible that a bunch of junior house republicans will think that compromise, even severe compromise, serves their self-interest more than plunging the economy into a recession?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 12:53 PM
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128: that's why it's important that the president (continues to) reach out and try to look like the grown-up in the room who is willing to work to reach a compromise on this. But he shouldn't actually cut a deal, or een offer a deal nearly as generous as he offered last summer. (Which was a terrible deal.) And that has the potential to create very bad optics--when republicans offer the same deal he put on the table last summer, will he be able to say "no" (and give them the talking point "we offered him his own deal and he rejected it!")? Which is why Republicans probably (rightly) view last summer's offer as the starting point for any negotiation.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 12:56 PM
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why was last summer's deal a terrible one?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 12:58 PM
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126: As ever, Wikipedia is a decent place to start. Discusses and cites a lot of CBO information.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 12:58 PM
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Don't you think it's possible that a bunch of junior house republicans will think that compromise, even severe compromise, serves their self-interest more than plunging the economy into a recession?

No.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 12:58 PM
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133: Is that because you don't think people in office want to stay in office, more than anything else?

If you have some other reason, feel free to share it.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:00 PM
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@134

Threatening to crash the country unless they get what they want is a tactic that has worked for the republicans every time they've tried it*. There's no way they're going to realize that this time it's finally going to backfire.

*It failed when Gingrich shut down the government in the 90s. But both the republicans and the democrats seem to have forgotten any lessons they might have learned from that.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:04 PM
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I do think people want to stay in office more than anything else. Junior Republicans can be so rabidly deluded that they think veering rightward is the best way to do that. (And who knows, given their district, maybe it is.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:04 PM
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123 -- If there's something enforceable somewhere? Or was it some assurances by a guy long since out of office that no Congress ever would pass any bills that included such a thing? Let old folks find out that the choice is between walking back a bribe the the pharm industry (which, by the way, I didn't see advertising for the reelection of the president) or cutting benefits, and see what they want to do.

129 -- A recession caused by the Kenyan socialist's intentional stabbing veterans, soldiers, old people, and everyone else in the back? A price worth paying.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:05 PM
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text, you apologized for being obtuse, and I believed you, but 134 seems deliberately obtuse. Of course they want to stay in offce. (Maybe not more than anything else, but certainly plenty.) Compromising with Democrats--compromising on taxes--has proven to be a significantly greater threat to a Republican re-elections than has intransigence.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:08 PM
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134: Any Republican who votes for a deal not blessed by the leadership of the party is likely looking at a primary challenge.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:09 PM
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Are there a significant number of junior House Republicans who aren't also hard-core teabaggers?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:09 PM
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A recession caused by the Kenyan socialist's intentional stabbing veterans, soldiers, old people, and everyone else in the back? A price worth paying.

Yes, demographics show that there is a great future in this strategy.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:10 PM
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I agree with 123.2, however. The important thing is to find some ways to reduce the outlays without affecting service, if a deal is going to get done.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:12 PM
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136: Do you think that a few House Republicans might want to be something more than a junior Representative one day? How likely is that aspiration going to be achieved, clinging to a dwindling regional base?

If I were a Republican in the House right now, I would become the Republican who triangulated. Especially if there were likely to be an open Senate seat in my state, or governorship, or somesuch.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:15 PM
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It's an enormous opportunity. Do you think the House of Representatives might contain twenty opportunists?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:16 PM
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141 -- Demographics in gerrymandered House districts? In the run-up to an off-year election? Resistance now is probably a very effective play for a great many Republican members. Oh, they have to make it look like the other guy is the problem, but how hard is that: he's demanding more taxes so he can spend it "Chicago-style" and is so dedicated to his hateful a divisive agenda that he's willing to plunge the country into recession and fatally weaken our military. In fact, it's likely that weakening the military is his real goal.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:18 PM
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urple, why was last summer's deal so terrible?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:18 PM
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This is trolling, plain and simple.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:18 PM
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How likely is that aspiration going to be achieved, clinging to a dwindling regional base?

That's assuming the base is dwindling in their relatively small region. In many regions, that's not the short-term forecast. Someone linked recently about people segregating by ideology more than they used to.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:19 PM
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147 to 143 and 144. I don't feel like bothering to answer 146.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:20 PM
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143, 144 -- Are you a brain in a vat, or something? Do you understand how Republican politics works? How these guys got into the House, and what sorting mechanisms they've gone through?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:20 PM
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145: Right, because Obama is unlikely to find any House members from gerrymandered backwoods districts who might want to move to a larger stage.

They're going to latch onto a bunch of bullshit that was just trounced in a national election. They probably aren't very smart politicians, which is why they are in the House of Representatives in their 30s.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:21 PM
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150 pwned by 147.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:21 PM
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This is trolling, plain and simple.

Why was it a bad deal, from a progressive standpoint? Isn't that kind of important? What are you doing here if you're unwilling to answer that?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:23 PM
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147: yes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:24 PM
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You are all concern trolls. It isn't working, and this is very entertaining.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:25 PM
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155.last may be the trolliest thing you've ever written, text. You're not really Te/rry Au/stin, are you?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:28 PM
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Why are people allowing text, no matter how venerable his association with this blog may be, to dominate a conversation that might, and I'll grant that "might" is doing a lot of work here, otherwise have been even a little bit fruitful?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:28 PM
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I have been refraining from yelling at the dude because that's usually even more boring than just letting him kill threads quietly, but if that's a thing that people are into let me know.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:29 PM
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Oh dear I'm being trolly! By asking basic questions about a bunch of longwinded question-begging bullshit.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:30 PM
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Please, yell at me, Sifu. What would you like to yell? It's likely to be very effective.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:30 PM
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As it stands, a link to wikipedia is the high-water mark in this thread. (It's actually a really good link, though, so there.)


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:32 PM
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Please Von Wafer, tell me what fruit this conversation has to bear. I am interested in it. I'd like to know why it is better for progressives to go off the "financial cliff" than for Obama to sign the budget deal he offered last year.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:32 PM
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161: I really thought 101 and 103 had a lot to offer as well.

But I think that counter- or afactual discussions about negotiating strategies at the presidential and congressional level tend to run up on the rocks sooner or later no matter what, because it genuinely is impossible to have a good contemporaneous sense of what's going on.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:36 PM
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I thought 114 had a lot to offer too, Sifu.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:39 PM
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163: right. It's maybe possible to do decent history of those sorts of negotiations at the highest levels -- Showdown at Gucci Gulch is a pretty good example of this, maybe* -- but real-time reporting and blog-commenting is necessarily going to be crippled by the impossibility of differentiating signal from noise.

* I don't know enough to know for sure.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:40 PM
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Do you think you might be part of the problem, VW?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:42 PM
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165: I think that's right. Especially since the parties involved have every reason to be publicly disingenous about their ultimate intentions.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:44 PM
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Further to 165, this is the source of so much of my hostility toward and skepticism about the "let's see what WaPo has to say about the budget battle" school of blog commenting. Comparing newspaper accounts from a given moment to the documents that will typically appear later is really instructive. Oddly, it turns out that Lincoln wasn't actually an unprepared rube in the run-up to the shelling of Ft. Sumter. And, even odder, one of the reasons that people were sure that he was out of his depth at the time was because Seward was planting stories with his pet reporters to make Lincoln look like a fool. Ratfucking and false flag operations have been part of politics for a very long time.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:45 PM
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167 cont'd: which is why arguments like the one we had previously about whether the administration was THIS CLOSE to giving up major concessions drive me sort of insane. Unless you have really good sources (ideally documentary ones) with an unbiased interest in getting the story told, it seems like the only real information that can be brought to bear on what people were trying to do is the deal that eventually gets struck.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:45 PM
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Oh hi, thought-brother.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:46 PM
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168 before seeing 167, but there you go. Anyway, I should really read the new Stahr biography of Seward more carefully. My first glance at it suggested it was quite interesting.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:47 PM
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What is the Summer 2012 deal of which Urple is speaking? (I'm probably totally forgetting something). Is this the secret deal to cut Medicare and Social Security as reported in the Washington Post, or Obama's proposal for the 2012 budget, or something else?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:47 PM
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Double or triple heh.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:48 PM
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I totally agree with 168-169 and 165. Again, every negotiation I've had private information about, the public reports have been totally and completely wrong.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:49 PM
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If the Obama administration feels misrepresented, they have had the opportunity to put their version of events forward. Have they?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:53 PM
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If not, do they see some advantage in being portrayed as the Post did?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:54 PM
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The point is not that they are misrepresented. The point is that how they are represented is only irrelevant insofar as it helps them achieve their goals. If you are trying to negotiate, you often times do not want your negotiating partner to know exactly what you are willing to settle for. Both sides will feed the press information that they think will make the other side more amenable to whatever they're trying to accomplish. This has an at best tangential relationship to whatever underlying truth of the matter there is at a given point.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:55 PM
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176: yes. Or at least they don't see a disadvantage. Or they do see a disadvantage, but see a greater disadvantage to trying to change it at this time.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:56 PM
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Do you want me to tell you what the advantage is that they see?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:56 PM
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Because if so, you are definitely not getting my point.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:57 PM
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175: on a number of occasions, Biden has promised somethingsomethingsomething* about protecting Social Security.

176: yes, they want to appear ready and willing to negotiate about anything ("We'll adopt good ideas no matter their sources.") in good faith, while casting the opposition as intransigent and immoderate. Or maybe I'm wrong!

* I'm mumbling not because I can't find the promises, but because they always struck me as deliberately ambiguous.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 1:58 PM
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Now I'm curious what disadvantage their could possibly be from correcting a false story. You're suggesting, if I understand you correctly, that some party had an interest in portraying the administration as willing to offer a deal that would be considered a sell out by their base (the details are hazy at the moment; I'm falling asleep at my desk). The administration knows it's false. Their negotiating partners know it's false. They can't just say they didn't offer the claimed deal because why?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 2:03 PM
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182 before I read 181.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 2:05 PM
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179 to 182. I have no idea. Maybe somebody is playing a really stupid game of eleventy-million dimensional chess. Maybe it's important to them that a certain reporter believe in a certain source. Maybe they were willing to offer the deal but they planned to renege at the last second. Maybe they were willing to offer the deal straight up for some reason. There is absolutely no way to know.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 2:06 PM
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There are 3 transit cops with 2 others as backup and 2 police cars questioning some guy of color. I saw them ask for his ID. Why do they need so many?

Probably the type of call. Things that come in as a person with a weapon, a robbery, a fugitive, or something else potentially exciting tend to get swarmed by every cop in the area.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 2:08 PM
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181.1: I don't think I would count deliberately ambiguous general promises as a correction of the Post story.
181.2 is interesting. They certainly seem to value convincing the media that they are willing to compromise and their opponents are intransigent at the expense of base enthusiasm.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 2:10 PM
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Just to be clear, is the "Summer 2012" offer the alleged offer from the Post story?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 2:37 PM
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I share Walt's desire for a post-election era of good feelings on Unfogged. Personally, I've always found it hard to understand why people take such violent dislikes to each other based on internet postings. I'm the Will Rogers of the internet. But...

On this 'rumor and innuendo' thing. Both of the sources I cited to in this thread were direct quotes from Administration figures, the first from the President himself and the second (the link in 87) a long exchange with Jay Carney. Re the WaPo story, I linked to that because of the constant claim that Obama is doing only what the Senate allows him. The WaPo account was that Obama was surprised at being outflanked to his left by a bipartisan group of Senators on the budget. But whether you believe that part or not, the core story of what Obama was prepared to agree to in 2011 has been confirmed over and over again, including by the Administration. See the link in 87 and also this clip of Jay Carney confirming that raising the Medicare age was on the table (a policy that I find it very hard to see an excuse for). In fact, Carney specifically says in regard to the various news stories around the budget negotiations, that "a lot of the reporting around what has been under consideration has been accurate". In other words, the President of the United States supports the veracity of my posts on Unfogged.

More broadly -- no rumor and innuendo allowed? In blog comment sections? Seriously? Then it would just be dick jokes and that's it?

I don't think I ever intimated that I was 'in the loop', whatever that means. (A very funny movie btw).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 2:53 PM
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188 was meant to include links to various funny scenes in the aforementioned movie . Maybe my favorite movie about politics ever.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 2:56 PM
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I can't believe how worked up I was about the debt fight last summer and now I don't remember most of the details.

I thought the freshmen Republican reps might have been genuinely ambivalent about re-election last summer since the powers-that-were-already-there hadn't had a chance to work on them and they seemed to have an almost cathartic belief in the purifying powers of default, but now I figure they're pretty well accustomed to being in office. Plus, as everyone else is saying, moderation is bad for their primary health.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 2:56 PM
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So I just got an email from a quite market-savvy relative (he's made top 1% type money doing it for a living) and he said he's selling a large percentage of his domestic investments because he doesn't foresee any leadership in Washington over the next four years. I had written off his opposition to Obama (which caused some family drama) as CNBC/banker bubble-think, but now he's risking serious money based on his political convictions. I would expect the economy to continue to grow modestly, especially since we're now under-supplied on housing, unless the Republicans explicitly sabotage things, but he's the expert so I don't know what to think.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 3:07 PM
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Sounds like it might be an emotional decision that quite a few investors will make. Maybe a good time to buy.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 3:14 PM
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191: sounds like a buy signal to me. The only people who are going to crash the economy in the short run are the House Republicans.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 3:14 PM
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jinx, buy me a coke.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 3:15 PM
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it's the new pwned, just go with it.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 3:16 PM
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The only people who are going to crash the economy in the short run are the House Republicans.
Unfortunately, they're sufficient.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 3:18 PM
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now he's risking serious money based on his political convictions

THAT ALWAYS WORKS.


Posted by: Sheldon Adelson | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 3:19 PM
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To be fair, he didn't say it would necessarily be Obama's fault, just that there wouldn't be any compromises made on things that had to be done like raising taxes- he seems to have bought into the "Republicans will destroy the world unless Romney wins, so vote Romney" arguments.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 3:25 PM
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191: Maybe he's got some other financial activity he's not talking about that would benefit from people acting as he says he's acting.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 3:25 PM
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a policy that I find it very hard to see an excuse for

You have to wonder about this, because the budgetary impact is miniscule* (especially if you phase it in eight or ten years from now), and it does nothing to curb the long-term cost escalation trend, which is the real driver of Medicare's solvency.

I have a cynical theory about why it's so popular: it would facilitate the enrollment of seniors in private Medicare plans, which are (mostly, not always) lucrative for private insurers. If you retire at 65, you can go straight from employer coverage to Medicare. About 75% of people choose traditional Medicare. They generally don't have a strong relationship with their insurer, who treats them like a "covered life" rather than a customer (the employer is the customer). In fact, less than 20% of "age-ins" to Medicare choose their employer-sponsored insurer for Medicare coverage.

Now, if the age of Medicare eligibility is raised to 68, retirees will have to fend for themselves on the public exchange. At that point, the insurance company has their hooks on the person, and can spend the next three years trying to sell them on Medicare Advantage.

I have zero evidence for this theory, except for the fact that Joe Lieberman was a big supporter of raising the eligibility age, which means that it must be somehow in the interest of insurance companies.

*If my theory is correct, the budget impact could be negative, because private Medicare costs the government more than the traditional kind.


Posted by: Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 3:26 PM
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200: unfortunately CBO scores the savings at $148 billion over ten years. Their scoring is all that matters in the short run. I agree with some of the possible impacts you are pointing out though.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 3:34 PM
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also, the expiration of the Bush tax cuts on dividends (which Obama has said he will indeed eliminate for $250K+) could have a direct effect on stock prices.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 3:36 PM
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I see that I've been repeating myself.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 3:41 PM
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191: I'm personally counting on this happening, and moving money into the US stock market when it happens.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 3:43 PM
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Yeah, I actually need to do something with some retirement money, and am waiting for a low point.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 4:05 PM
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Now, if the age of Medicare eligibility is raised to 68, retirees will have to fend for themselves on the public exchange. At that point, the insurance company has their hooks on the person, and can spend the next three years trying to sell them on Medicare Advantage.

Interesting, and not at all implausible, but OTOH, 65-67s might be the most profitable group for Medicare Advantage plans to have, being the healthiest. In theory rates paid to plans vary by age and health condition and many other factors, so rates would be correspondingly lower, but in my understanding MA plans are a lot more skilled than CMS at predicting risk and cherry-picking seniors who are healthier than their rate implies.

Also Exchange plans would have less takeup than Medicare for cost reasons, which would reduce (or even eliminate) the benefit of getting more seniors in MA rather than FFS.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 4:07 PM
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Actually I suspect doctors, hospitals, drug and device companies, and all the other providers and suppliers would be the biggest beneficiaries of increasing the Medicare age, not insurers. Less Medicare and more Exchange means purchasers are less centralized and therefore have less negotiating power.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 4:17 PM
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Personally, I've always found it hard to understand why people take such violent dislikes to each other based on internet postings.

I, on the other hand, understand this completely. Words and ideas matter to people, and they should.

I will admit, however, to puzzlement at the inexplicably random vitriol aimed at you. I can't account for it at all.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 4:59 PM
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129

Don't you think it's possible that a bunch of junior house republicans will think that compromise, even severe compromise, serves their self-interest more than plunging the economy into a recession?

If you want a model of how Republicans with enough power to obstruct but not enough power to get things done will behave you might look at California for the last 20 years or so.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 6:34 PM
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Sadly this is a rare case where I agree with Shearer.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 7:05 PM
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208: thanks. I chalk it up to a mix of inexplicable personality kinks and bitter envy.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11- 8-12 9:54 PM
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I liked Rachel Maddow's election night coverage so much I watched her show tonight for the first time in years, albeit in the late night rebroadcast. There wasn't nearly enough interesting news today.

Then MSNBC First Look came on and reported that Obama is going to call on Congress to extend the Bush tax cuts once again but make no other request, suggestion, call, or demand at this time. I don't know if he will - there's supposed to be some speech today - but I wanted to make sure that this media report was brought to the attention of this thread before it could be discredited.

I'm sure if Obama does make this call, it will be not only a pragmatic move but the most liberal possible and its effect on any negotiations will be unknowable.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 3:31 AM
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212: I told y'all. Obama will not fucking not raise taxes on the "middle class" cause he is zombie reagan or frightened by zombie reagan as a small child wasn't reagan elected as a zombie or whatever

he will not do it. Repubs have the leverage


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 5:48 AM
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213: regardless of the situation you make so many awful predictions that I wonder what keeps you going? Is that you, Dick Morris?


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 5:54 AM
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214:Hi turgid!

Compassion and empathy and courage keep me going. And lots of caffeine. Thank for asking.

I hinted at this in the other thread. Multiple imaginaries, shifting planes of imaginaries rather than identifying with the hollowpoint of a bullet headed to hit the ONE TRUELY TRUE TRUTH are my tools. There ain't no probabilistic.

Perspectivism. Cloacal versus phallic. Joyce versus Pound.

Science is fascist. Myth is freedom.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 6:34 AM
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...in other words, because I have an audience here willing to indulge my rhetorical onanism.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 6:56 AM
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215: Your versions of compassion and empathy seem pretty far out. Blood in the streets, eh? I can at least see the use of caffeine from the elevated heart rate and machine-gun staccato of your subject changes. No signs of actual compassion or empathy...

Maybe for types, but not for actual people.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 7:11 AM
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Halford: by "last summer", I meant summer 2011, not summer 2012. Sorry that was unclear.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 7:44 AM
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216:You got something against...ogged needs to come back more often with the restatement of this place's mission


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 8:01 AM
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Rhetorical onanism is a good use of the internet so long as the rhetoric is good, and Bob's is. This is what I meant by saying I didn't understand why people took such dislikes...internet comments are a form of performance art. In one sense it's silly to say Obama is "zombie Reagan", but in another you have to ask how many times and how lavishly does Obama have to praise Reagan before someone gets some rhetorical license around here?

There is a really important truth underlying everything Bob says which can be divorced from blood in the streets rhetoric. It's just this -- *Obama is not all that liberal*. He really isn't. It's pretty important for the actual left to understand that. There are lots of reasonable reactions to that, including "I'm not all that liberal", "The country isn't all that liberal", "nobody who was all that liberal could get anything done", "he is still effective in moving the debate back toward a more reasonable center", etc. But especially now that he has been reelected there is no reason to spend the next four years making excuses.

With all that said, we still haven't seen the outcome of this bargaining, we'll know a lot more in a few months.

OK, bring on the random vitriol.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 8:24 AM
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I'm pretty much with PGD's 220. And Bob's digressions into the aesthetics of Japanese cinema are added value. He's also got a very thick skin and doesn't seem to take offense about being told to fuck off (frequently by commenters I very much like as well).


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 8:32 AM
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This thread died a while ago, and I hadn't read it until now.

Way back at 107:

But there is zero possibility that Boehner would embrace 2.5/1. I doubt he could get 6/1 through his caucus, at this point: Obama is a failure is still the lead theme for the 2014 midterms. (Along with Nancy Pelosi is the devil.) And Republican compromisers can and should expect primary challenges, while those who just say no have nothing to fear from their base.

I tend to agree. Frustratingly, I had a conversation with a friend today who insisted that the election outcome had *changed everything*, that the Republicans would have to play ball now. He felt that moderate Republicans in Congress would throw Tea Party types under the bus. Boehner surely would, he felt.

I confess I had a hard time making anything of this theory other than that he was suffering from Obama whirly-eyes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 9-12 7:36 PM
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