You don’t often see Daily Kos linked around here – well, not since it became Firebagger Central. But this Conceptual Guerilla diary is a gem, so I’ll break the habit of a lifetime and link to the place.
The gist: CG got an email from “a guy who used to call my radio show over in Jacksonville” who described every Democrat as a “communist”.
That’s right, Rod. Every Democrat is a communist … going all the way back to 1933 when FDR set up New Deal Communism. That would be the same New Deal communism you grew up under. The New Deal Communism that made us the richest, most powerful nation in history. The New Deal Communism that took us to the moon just 36 years after FDR was sworn in.
Let me show you the track record of those New Deal Communist Democrats.
Communist Truman left 2.5 percent unemployment to Eisenhower.
Republican Patriot Eisenhower left recession and 6.5 percent unemployment to Kennedy.
Communist Johnson left 3.5 percent unemployment to Nixon.
Republican Patriot Ford left recession and 7.5 unemployment to Jimmy Carter.
Communist Carter wasn’t able to improve much on the recession he inherited . . .
… and neither were Republican Patriots Reagan and Bush, who left recession and 7.2 unemployment to Bill Clinton.
Communist Bill Clinton left 4.2 percent unemployment to Dubya . . .
Republican Patriot Dubya left recession and 7.6 percent unemployment to Communist Barack Obama.
No Republican Patriot ever left office with unemployment under 5% …. including Reagan. No New Deal Communist ever left office with higher unemployment than they inherited …
House Republicans caved to President Barack Obama’s demand for a two-month payroll tax cut extension, ending an impasse that threatened to raise taxes on 160 million Americans.
The capitulation came fast Thursday afternoon as House Republicans found themselves increasingly isolated in insisting that a full one-year extension was the only solution to the year-end crisis. The end of this debate will also come quickly – the House and Senate are expected to clear the legislation on a voice vote Friday morning.
“For the past several weeks, I’ve stated consistently that it was critical that Congress not go home without preventing a tax increase on 160 million working Americans. Today, I congratulate members of Congress for ending the partisan stalemate by reaching an agreement that meets that test.
“Because of this agreement, every working American will keep his or her tax cut – about $1,000 for the average family. That’s about $40 in every paycheck. Vital unemployment insurance will continue for millions of Americans who are looking for work. And when Congress returns, I urge them to keep working to reach an agreement that will extend this tax cut and unemployment insurance for all of 2012 without drama or delay.
“This is good news, just in time for the holidays. This is the right thing to do to strengthen our families, grow our economy, and create new jobs. This is real money that will make a real difference in people’s lives. And I want to thank every American who raised your voice to remind folks in this town what this debate was all about. It was about you. And today, your voices made all the difference.”
Now, get yourself to Hawaii Mr President:
President Barack Obama plays golf at the Kaneohe Klipper Marine Golf Course in Oahu, Hawaii, Dec. 26, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Steve Benen: American voters clearly aren’t happy, and no one in Washington is winning any popularity contests, but support for the Republican Party is deteriorating at a surprising pace. A new CNN poll shows the GOP “had the upper hand” when it came to holding the debt ceiling hostage, but the party has “lost a lot of ground with the public” in the process.
A lot of that anger seems directed toward the GOP. According to the survey, favorable views of the Republican party dropped eight points over the past month, to 33 percent. Fifty-nine percent say they have an unfavorable view of the Republican party, an all-time high dating back to 1992 when the question was first asked.
The poll indicates that views of the Democratic party, by contrast, have remained fairly steady, with 47 percent saying they have a favorable view of the Democrats and an equal amount saying they hold an unfavorable view.
…. the Republican Party’s support is down to an embarrassing 33% — the lowest either party has seen in two decades of CNN polls.
There’s plenty of speculation about what the 2012 elections have in store, and whether President Obama can win given the larger headwinds. It’s worth remembering that it matters what voters think of the opposition party, and if the recent trends pick up, the much of the public might balk at the idea of handing a wildly-unpopular Republican Party control of the White House and Congress.
The White House announced Tuesday morning that the President’s trip to Interstate Moving Services in Springfield, VA., where he was scheduled to talk about fuel efficiency, has been cancelled.
Instead, the President will “meet with industry officials at the White House to discuss the first of their kind fuel efficiency standards for work trucks, buses, and other heavy duty vehicles,” the White House said.
Eugene Robinson: The so-called analysts at Standard & Poor’s may not be the most reliable bunch, but there was one very good reason for them to downgrade U.S. debt: Republicans in Congress made a credible threat to force a default on our obligations.
This isn’t the rationale that S&P gave, but it’s the only one that makes sense. Like a lucky college student who partied the night before an exam, the ratings agency used flawed logic and faulty arithmetic to somehow come up with the right answer. No, life isn’t always fair.
And no, I can’t join the “we’re all at fault” chorus. Absent the threat of willful default, a downgrade would be unjustified and absurd. And history will note that it was House Republicans who issued that threat.
…. What happened this summer is that Republicans in the House, using the Tea Party freshmen as a battering ram, threatened to compel a default. More accurately, they demanded big budget cuts as the price of raising the debt ceiling. If the Senate and President Obama did not comply, the Treasury’s access to capital through borrowing would have been cut off.
…. The ratings agency should have focused instead on the one development that has direct bearing on our creditworthiness: the GOP threat to force a default. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor should never have planned to use the debt ceiling vote as “leverage.” Obama should have made clear from the start that if necessary he would take unilateral action, based on the 14th Amendment, to ensure there could never be a default. And yes, progressive Democrats who voted against the final debt-ceiling bill should be ashamed.
It’s pretty simple: If you threaten not to pay your bills, people will — and should — take you seriously.
Edited for Clarity: Congress finally has a deal on the table that may pass …. So, who won? Who lost? Is it a massive cave by the President and Democrats? Or is there something more to it?
In looking at the deal, folks on the left are acting outraged. Medicare takes some cuts, there’s no revenue component, it looks like the Republicans got everything they wanted. Indeed, Speaker of the House John Boehner says he “got 98 percent of what I wanted”. But did he? Here’s some of the details that say he might have some ‘splaining to do later:
Revenues: Democrats are upset that the deal does not include increasing revenues. But that’s not accurate. In fact, it virtually guarantees a revenue increase by the end of 2012. And Boehner knows it…..
…. An interesting battle will start next year. It will begin to pit the military industrial complex against the bankers and million/billionaires. If the rich guys want to keep their tax cuts, 50% of it will come from military spending – contractors. That’s a big lobby to fight against. It will be fascinating to see how the spin starts to work there, as Republicans find their corporate benefactors are suddenly pitted against each other, and the American people get to see where the loyalties really lie.
Medicare and Social Programs: …. The area touched here has nothing to do with individuals. It’s all on the provider side. To be sure, this could have an effect on individuals, as providers may decide they don’t want to deal with Medicare if reimbursements are reduced, and this could reduce choice. But on the subscriber side, nothing changes. More importantly, the subscriber side is sequestered from further cuts, as are Medicaid and Social Security in their entirety.
Again, this is really a trap for the Republicans. With all of those areas off the table, where will they find cuts? And remember, they still need to cut an equal amount from defense as they do for anything else. Social programs are a large part of the budget. When you take them off the table, you remove major sources of budget reduction. Which means that cuts to other areas will have to be massive to have a chance at making a difference. So Republicans will have to sell Draconian slashes to areas such as education to be able to find enough budget to cut.
…. So, What Did It Accomplish?
A whole bunch. Pell Grants have actually been increased. The default scenario has been averted until at least 2013 with a debt ceiling raise. It did not require the passage of a Balanced Budget Amendment. And the cuts that are included are backloaded, meaning that they come further down the line, when the economy is (hopefully) on a better footing.
Sure the President is taking heat on this now. But the focus can now be on jobs (on which there has not been a single piece of legislation), and Republicans who are gloating now may not be so cheerful when it comes time to make the cuts they demanded.