On the tax cuts deal

I’ve been complaining about those Bush tax cuts for a few months. Now the deal is (almost) done. I’ll just like to some more articulate people’s thoughts on why lots of Democrats will be looking around for a new leader over the next 20 months.

This “deal” Obama just made with Rep.s:$900 billion UNpaid for! Where r Teabaggers to protest? Ben Franklin costume in the wash?

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Ok I’m starting to scream at Obama on tv the way I used to with Bush – not a good sign

@billmaher

My conversations with various progressives over the past 24 hours have convinced me that the problem is less the specifics of the deal — though liberals legitimately dislike the tax cuts for the rich, and rightly point out that Obama swore to let them expire — than the way in which it was reached. Put simply, Obama and the Democrats didn’t fight for them. There were no veto threats or serious effort to take the case to the public.

Instead, the White House disappeared into a closed room with the Republicans and cut a deal that they’d made no effort to sell to progressives. When the deal was cut, the president took an oblique shot at their preferences, saying “the American people didn’t send us here to wage symbolic battles or win symbolic victories.” And this came a mere week or two after the White House announced a federal pay freeze. The pattern, for progressives, seems clear: The White House uses them during elections, but doesn’t listen to, or consult them, while governing. In fact, it insults them, and then tells them to quiet down, they got the best bargain possible, even if it wasn’t the one they’d asked for, or been promised.

Ezra Klein

…if Democrats give in to the blackmailers now, they’ll just face more demands in the future. As long as Republicans believe that Mr. Obama will do anything to avoid short-term pain, they’ll have every incentive to keep taking hostages. If the president will endanger America’s fiscal future to avoid a tax increase, what will he give to avoid a government shutdown?

Paul Krugman

Mr. President, for these meager crumbs, you have given up costly, insulting, divisive, destructive tax cuts for the rich and you have given in to Republican blackmail which will be followed by more Republican blackmail.

This President negotiates down from a position of strength better than any politician in our recent history. It is too late now to go back and ask why the President, why the wobbly Democratic leadership, whiffed on its chance to force John Boehner to put his money where his mouth was. In September Boehner said if he had no other option, of course he would vote to extend tax breaks only for the middle class.

We have enabled this President, and his compromises-spinning-within-compromises. And now there are, finally, those within his own party who have said “enough.” In the Senate, the Independent, Mr. Sanders has threatened to filibuster this deal. He deserves the support of every American in doing so, as does Mr. Conyers and Mr. McDermott and the others in the house. It is not disloyalty to the Democratic party to tell a Democratic president he is wrong; it is not disloyalty to tell him he is goddamned wrong.

It is not disloyalty to remind him that we are not bound to an individual. We are bound to principles. If the individual changes, or fails often and needlessly, then we get a new man. Or woman. None of that is disloyalty. It is self-defense.

Keith Olbermann

Religulous

Religulous – 8/10

Perhaps not the best documentary ever, but it articulates my thoughts on religion in a way my mind is attuned to. Most of my friends would not agree with the points Bill Maher makes here, and I do not wish to highlight our differences now, so I’ll just keep my comments brief. While I am flummoxed by the beliefs of others, and I admire Bill Maher’s earnest stance against religious, I wish for people I know to find peace and joy in their lives however they might arrive at that.

Daily ToYoTA: Bill Maher on France

I don’t plan to have this blog devolve into nothing more than daily YouTube clips. But when time or circumstances or mood preclude me from writing anything, I’m still going to stick with this daily exercise for now, because I kinda need the daily amusement…

This is from a New Rules segment from a May ’07 episode of Real Time with Bill Maher. I’ve been catching up the iPod audio podcasts lately. Real Time is one of the best shows on television…

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