Showing posts from August, 2011

A New Republican Depression?

For the first time, I am going to repost something I wrote a couple of years ago.  I hope some people will have the patience to read it, as it is by far the most important thing I have ever written.  It is going to consist largely of quotations, as I wouldn't expect anyone to take my word for what I am going to say. The quotations below are from Arthur Schlesinger's The Crisis of the Old Order, which I heartily recommend, in conjunction with John Kenneth Galbraith's short book, The Great Crash, which lays out a similar scenario.  As you read this, I beg you to think about what has gone on in this country since the days of Reagan. I will begin with a comment by Schlesinger about Andrew Mellon, Coolidge's Secretary of the Treasury, and one of the richest men in America at the time:  "The government is just a business," said Mellon, "and can and should be run on business principles."  The first necessity, accordingly, was to balance the budget, a


Ron Paul today.  Paul and Michelle Bachmann are scheduled to appear in a Republican "debate" at the same time that Obama is delivering a speech to a joint session of Congress about the economy: "Our campaign, however, thinks it is undignified that the President of the United States would resort to such transparent tactics to step on our Republican debate. The real losers here are the American People who deserve the opportunity to hear from both the President and the GOP contenders." Well, there you have, in a nutshell, the whole thrust of Republican ideology today.  Whatever serves the interests of their party is far more important than the welfare of the country.  And I'm not joking about this.  Could you imagine the uproar they would create if Democrats had dared to have a campaign event at the same time that Bush or Reagan were addressing Congress?  But no, another chance to hear Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry spin their lies and their hatred is far mor

Whoops...Sarah Misses the Boat

Some comments at Talking Points Memo today reinforce something that I have been thinking for the last few weeks: "Polls show relatively few Republicans clamoring for a Palin run on a national level as the one-time supernova is eclipsed by a crowded presidential contest and an array of new rising stars... It feels as if Palin's fabled 2012 run, a source of fervent speculation since before the 2008 contest even ended, has already gone out with a whimper. " Here's my suspicion:  Politicians have a certain amount of shelf life, earned or otherwise.  Otherwise, no one would have ever heard of Newt Gingrich since the last century.  But Sarah Palin chose, for her own economic benefit, to package herself as a celebrity more than a politician; and celebrities come and go in the blink of an eye.  Sarah Palin is now suffering the fate of a thousand ex-TV stars- she's yesterday's news.  People are bored with her.  She hid away for so long waiting for the other lun
A note on the current, predictable, Republican tantrum, from Daily Kos: "You knew this was coming. Despite the devastation caused by Hurricane Irene this weekend, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) today stood by his call that no more money be allocated for disaster relief unless it is offset by spending cuts elsewhere.[...] Meanwhile, FEMA is having to divert funding that was earmarked to "rebuild roads, schools and other structures destroyed during spring tornadoes in Joplin, Mo., and Southern states" to pay for hurricane relief." And hooray for FEMA.  If the voters in Southern States continue to elect these corrupt jackasses, let them be the ones to do without disaster relief.  Let them pay, as far as is possible, for having voted based on their greed and hatred, and based on which politician promises to cut their taxes the most, and let us all stand by and see where it gets them. This is exactly why I believe we should let these ignorant, malicio

Which Will They Blame Him For?

Not much in the news the last few days.  Man, I wonder if someone somewhere will add up the number of minutes of news coverage that Bush and Cheney's failed war in Iraq got compared to how much Obama's success in Libya warranted.  Anyway, what I have been wondering about is which way the Republicans will try to blame Obama for something having to do with Irene, the hurricane moving up the East coast. At first, I thought that their take on the whole thing would be to find that Obama totally over-reacted to the hurricane, playing into their narrative that Democrats don't do anything except spend money and expand government intervention.  But then I got to thinking about Bush and Katrina, and it occurred to me that they might need to pretend that Obama grossly under-reacted to Irene, since they love to pretend that Obama shares Bush's monstrous inadequacies, hoping to get people to forget what an abominable job Republicans did on everything when they were in charge. Pr

The Right Replies

With its typical fair-minded, dispassionate analysis. You may remember the Astute Bloggers post I wrote about in Wingnut Wrapup, which used some story about neanderthals as an excuse to print this photograph: Listen, I know, I know, these people are without conscience and it is useless to communicate with them, but I was so repulsed by this that I had to respond.  Here is my comment, posted at the website of these evil people, and their reply: Green Eagle said...   "This is one of the most disgusting, degraded pieces of racist trash that I have ever seen. I don't know who you are, but you should be deeply ashamed of yourself. Sad to say, you have so given yourself over to the lowest of human emotions that I know it will never happen. You are one contemptible specimen of life."  Reliapundit said...   "YOU ARE AN ASSHOLE GREEN EAGLE. I AM NO RACIST." No, you were just making a point concerning recent advances in physical anthropo

Show Tunes

From Talking Points Memo: "You probably won't be surprised to hear that Glenn Beck welled-up during his "Restoring Courage" rally in Israel. You might be surprised to hear that there were show tunes." Not if you read Green Eagle.

The Evil Called Centrism

Joe Lieberman style.  Here's Joe last February: "Sen. Joe Lieberman, the chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, agreed on “State of the Union” that the United States should have come out early with a stronger response. “I wish we had spoken out much more clearly and early against the Gadhafi regime,” the Connecticut Independent said. " And here is Joe from 2009, after a very cordial visit he and John McCain had with Gaddafi: "We never would have guessed ten years ago that we would be sitting in Tripoli, being welcomed by a son of Muammar al-Qadhafi," remarked Senator Lieberman. He stated that the situation demonstrated that change is possible and expressed appreciation that Libya had kept its promises to give up its WMD program and renounce terrorism...Lieberman called Libya an important ally in the war on terrorism, noting that common enemies sometimes make better friends." And yet we will all go to our graves hearing o

The Stupidity

Of the people that we turn our future over to...Here's a great article (via Atrios) about Alan Greenspan, who was allowed to run our economy for years, with predictable results, at least to anyone who really cared enough to open their eyes: " Alan Greenspan Insists That He Knows Nothing About the Economy That's what the Dow Jones effectively told readers today. The article reported that in response to a question at a conference: "Greenspan also said he believes that the sharp rise in gold prices is due to market concerns about inflation taking off in the long run. He noted how there has never been such a major expansion of credit in U.S. economic history." Well, actually credit expanded more rapidly than the 4.2 percent rate in 2010 in every single year that Greenspan chaired the Fed. In fact, it expanded more rapidly in every year in this series (going back to 1976) and probably every year since the Great Depression." Well, is Greenspan an ignoran

Two Ways to Leave Your Dictator

 REMOVING A DICTATOR REPUBLICAN STYLE Ten years later: Two trillion dollars wasted five thousand dead American soldiers Our country involved in two wars, where the possibility of winning has long vanished One million "enemy" dead, the vast majority of them civilians One country fractured, and now controlled by a variety of rerligious fanatics, the other one run by our hand-picked, 100% corrupt ex-oil executive REMOVING A DICTATOR DEMOCRATIC STYLE: Six months later: Cost: negligible No dead Americans We're out of there and the people can get on with their lives Country about to be liberated from 40 years of vicious dictatorship A good shot for a decent (by regional standards) government in the future Well there you go.  And this certainly does show why the public has so much trouble figuring out which party is better at running the country, right?

Wingnut Wrapup

I've been out of town for a few days.  Like termites, the wingnuts didn't have the decency to take the day off, so time to start clearing the backlog of idiocy: Katie Pavlich, Town Hall:  "Obama is Ruining My Vacation...President Obama is feeling the love in Martha's Vineyard, but not like he used to. O'Reilly Factor producer Jesse Watters took a stroll around the 'posh' island to see how people really feel about Obama vacationing there. One woman goes as far as saying he is ruining her vacation..." Katie Pavlich of Fox News managed to find one person on Martha's Vineyard that didn't like Obama being on vacation.  That will surely provide material for a hundred or so web posts.  Katie, you know whose vacation Obama really ruined?  Moammar Gaddafi's.  Why don't you go ask Gaddafi how he feels about it today? John Hawkins, Town Hall:  "7 Reasons Why Liberals Are Incapable of Understanding The World" Well, I couldn't b

More on the Texas "Miracle"

Two wonderful charts from Jared Bernstein from his blog On the Economy: Yes indeed, as you can see, Texas' miraculous job growth under Perry has been almost entirely attributable to more government jobs, and Texas leads the nation by far in the category of government job growth, accounting all by itself for almost half of all new government jobs in the last few years. There you go- a Republican talking secession out of one side of his mouth, and out of the other, taking credit for the results of the very sort of Democratic policy that he savages every chance he gets.  And yet he is taken by our political class to be a legitimate candidate to run the country. We all know that's how Rick Perry, or whatever other corrupt lunatic the Republicans choose will be treated by the press. Think what a wonderful place this would be to live in if our mainstream media had not conspired to hide from the American voters the abysmal deficiencies of George W. Bush.  And he started with a

Republicans, The Washington Post Has Got Your Back...

Today's example, from Jennifer Rubin, who makes the following sage comment about current Republican fave, Rick Perry, i.e. George W. Bush without the manners: "A Republican insider on Capitol Hill (no Bush affiliation and no preference for any campaign) disgustedly told me, “The guy who threatened secession is now calling someone else treasonous? Hello, pot, it’s me, kettle.” (The reference was to Perry’s remark, which some took to be humorous, about Texas’s willingness to secede...)" I am sure that you remember this incident as well as I do.  There was absolutely nothing humorous about what this seditious ass had to say.  He was dead serious.   But, in preparation for a general election campaign, it is the duty of the mainstream media to argue away all of the sick right wing positions that Republican candidates have taken over their political careers, in order to present them to the rubes as moderate centrists.  Thus, the distortion ends and the outright lying begins

The People Who Are Too Strong

For Barack Obama to take on, from a recent survey from the New York Times: " data we have recently collected, the Tea Party ranks lower than any of the 23 other groups we asked about — lower than both Republicans and Democrats. It is even less popular than much maligned groups like “atheists” and “Muslims.” Interestingly, one group that approaches it in unpopularity is the Christian Right." Yes, these people are less highly regarded in this country than Muslims or Atheists, but they are still the authentic voice of the American people, three years after their views brought us to the brink of disaster, and they must be obeyed. On the other hand, as  this public comment from an Obama campaign aide shows, they know who the real enemy is: "Paul Krugman is a political rookie. At least he is when compared to President Obama. That's why he unleashed a screed as soon as word came about the debt ceiling compromise between President Obama and Congressional..

Michelle Bachmann Makes A Fool of Herself Again

Remember Michelle Bachmann confusing John Wayne and John Wayne Gacy?  Well, she's at it again: "Michele Bachmann gave Elvis Presley, whose songs she uses at her events, happy birthday wishes today while she was in Spartanburg, S.C. Unfortunately, today's the 34th anniversary of the day he died." Your Republican party today- their two frontrunners are a secession-touting religious maniac and a woman who is demonstrably both insane and ignorant.

A Note on the "Texas Miracle"

Now that Rick Perry, the lunatic traitor who is the governor of Texas, is surging in the hearts and minds of the greed-maddened suckers who make up the Republican base, we are going to hear more and more about another created-by-Republicans, spread-by-the-press myth that Texas, under Perry's guidance, has done far better than the rest of the country in these troubled times. As much as I hate wasting my time having to do this, I know the need is there to rebut this lie.  Here's a nice little chart from Texas Watch, containing a little of the truth of life for ordinary people in Texas: The rest of the article is well worth a read, given the disinformation that we are going to be forced to hear about this miserable State in the next year or so.

Religion and Teh Gay

Let me start off by stating that I am neither religious nor gay, so by contemporary journalistic standards that makes me fully qualified to shoot my mouth off on this subject, which I am about to do.  So there. I hardly suppose I am alone in noting the fact that Conservatives, who feel free to ignore just about everything Jesus had to say about the poor, strangers, the sick, etc. feel fully justified in falling into a self-righteous fit of Christian indignation over two subjects that Jesus never felt called upon to mention- gays and abortion.  Here's my guess as to why that is. A salient factor of religion that I rarely hear mentioned is its role in making a virtue out of necessity.  The great example of this, to my mind, is Lent.  In the winter in Europe food was scarce, so the Church created this custom to give a veneer of virtue to what otherwise would have been a time of deprivation and want.  Even Christmas, and the pagan customs that preceded it, can be seen as primarily

False Equivalency Redux

From NBC: "Chuck Todd: Perry-Obama would be a picture of sharp contrasts.  David Gregory: You know, Perry talked about potentially seceding from the union. You think that's extreme. Well people on the other side think that introducing health care reform for the whole country is akin to European Socialism." Yes, from an honored member of our mainstream press:  Liberals advocating health care reform is exactly the same degree of crazy as Conservatives calling for secession from the United States. Boy, is 2012 going to be a painful year.  And by November of next year, how many ignorant, moronic voters will be convinced by this sort of thing that it's okay to let a pack of terminally corrupt lunatics run the country? Stay tuned.  The revulsion will be televised.

Big Ideas, White House Style

Or, a Primer in How to Lose an Election.  As Atrios says , we're doomed.  From the New York Times: "Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Plouffe, and his chief of staff, William M. Daley, want him to maintain a pragmatic strategy of appealing to independent voters by advocating ideas that can pass Congress, even if they may not have much economic impact... But others, including Gene Sperling, Mr. Obama’s chief economic adviser, say public anger over the debt ceiling debate has weakened Republicans and created an opening for bigger ideas like tax incentives for businesses that hire more workers..." God in heaven above, when did Barack Obama allow the country to degenerate to the point where cutting taxes on corporations has become a Democratic "big idea?"  What's next, banning abortion and putting gay people in prison?  Doing away with Social Security?  What the hell is the matter with this man, and what is it going to cost us to go along with the end

Some Amusing Wingnut Lunacy

I suppose everyone wonders about what the future holds, once in a while.  Here's a little musing on the subject from the Astute Bloggers, from a couple of days ago after the first Wall Street bad day this week.  I thought you would find it interesting: UH-OH: DOW 9000 ON MONDAY? MAYBE... THE MARKETS IN THE MIDDLE EAST OPENED WAY DOWN. ASIA OPENS IN A FEW HOURS. UPDATE: PANIC ATTACK HITS TEL AVIV STOCK EXCHANGE. HERE IS A POSSIBLE SCENARIO: IMHO: PEOPLE ARE GOING TO REMOVE MORE MONEY FROM THE STOCK MARKETS AND HOLD IT IN CASH. Dow 9000?  Didn't happen, guys.  It takes a Republican to do that. A 10-15% CRASH WOULD HAPPEN TOMORROW IF IT COULD, BUT GOVERNMENTS PROBABLY WILL HALT TRADING BEFORE THAT HAPPENS - ALL AT ONCE, BUT THEY CANNOT STOP IT FROM HAPPENING. No government involvement, no 10-15% crash, no halt to trading like under Bush, even though you seem to be salivating at the prospect. MASSIVE LAYOFFS WILL FOLLOW WITHIN A WEEK. Didn't happen. TAX RECEIP

More False Equivalence from the Mainstream Press

This time from Matt Bai in the New York Times.   This one was motivated by the idiotic, pandering Republican presidential candidates who, in a debate the other day, unanimously stated that they would not accept a deal that included $1 in additional revenues for every $10 in cuts.  Here's Matt's take: " Bret Baier, asked the eight candidates on stage whether any of them would walk away from a “real spending cuts deal” that required one dollar in new tax revenue for every 10 dollars’ worth of reductions... Not a single candidate gave any hint that he or she would even entertain such a totally one-sided compromise. Now, to be clear, I don’t believe most of them for a second on this, and neither should you...For anyone serious about governing, it’s a no-brainer. ...If this were merely a Republican phenomenon, the party would be alone in suffering the wrath of the average American voter. But it isn’t. You could have put a lot of Washington Democrats up on that stage, an

The Republicanization of Barack- The Next Installment

Brilliantly explained by Robert Reich: "Americans are deeply confused about why the economy is so bad – and their President isn’t telling them. In fact, the White House apparently has decided to join with Republicans and blame it on the long-term budget deficit. ...Before I turn to the President, though, let’s be clear: The lousy economy is due to insufficient demand. Consumers – who are 70 percent of the economy — can’t and won’t buy because they’re running out of cash. ...rather than fight for a bold jobs plan, the White House has apparently decided it’s politically wiser to continue fighting about the deficit. The idea is to keep the public focused on the deficit drama – to convince them their current economic woes have something to do with it, decry Washington’s paralysis over fixing it, and then claim victory over whatever outcome emerges from the process recently negotiated to fix it. They hope all this will distract the public’s attention from the President’s failure

And When Obama Loses

He's going to come out and make such a nice, well-spoken concession speech, in which he'll express complete confidence that, now that Repubicans control the whole government again, they will rise to the occasion and act totally responsibly. Just like Hindenburg in 1933.

Tea Party Failure Again

I have been on something of a crusade the last couple of years to demonstrate the effective nonexistence of the Tea Party as anything but a fiction created with money from the likes of Dick Armey and the Koch Brothers. Here's another example: "Americans For Prosperity, the Tea Party astroturf group “founded and funded by infamous GOP rainmakers Charles and David Koch, rolled into Jacksonville Tuesday, and only roughly 15 people showed up” to their “Running on Empty” tour. Florida director Slade O’Brien told Politijax the turnout was “shocking.” AFP’s tour is trying to convince Floridians to support increased offshore drilling in the wake of the BP disaster." Still, the Tea Party- I mean to say, the small number of very rich people who fund the illusion of its existence- controls much of our national discourse, and has now apparently succeeded in bringing the nation's economy to a dead halt, while Congress and the President fight endlessly over how much the poor

A Short Report on the Wisconsin Recall

Democrats picked up two of the six recall seats in Wisconsin. This is after Republicans like the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove spent $40 million dollars in six State Senate campaigns,  which they were able to do thanks to five corrupt Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices. This is not democracy, folks.  It is incipient dictatorship. 

Wingnut Wrapup

Writers on the right have been so hateful lately, that it's hard to take any pleasure in recording their disgusting maunderings, but here's a sample from the last week or so. Unfortunately, I feel the need to start off today with a few of the sick wingnut reactions to the slaughter of over ninety people in Norway last week by a Christian fundamentalist right winger, whose writings indicated that he was heavily influenced by American right wing hate-bloggers.  Needless to say, this is a small sample: Tim Dunkin, Renew America:  "the Left is really, ultimately, responsible for creating the conditions that led to Breivik's massacring of 69 children at Utoya Island and 8 government officials in Oslo. The Left is simply too efficient at what it does..." I have written frequently about the absolute inability of conservatives to take any responsibility for their behavior.  I guess this is an all too typical example. Monte Kugliowski, Renew America:   "Libera

It Just Gets Worse

From Think Progress this evening: "Obama Agrees With Panetta, Endorses Medicare ‘Adjustments’ Over Defense Cuts | In a letter on Friday, Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) asked President Obama to repudiate Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s insistence that in order to deal with the nation’s debt and deficit, additional revenue should come from tax increases and cuts to entitlement programs, such as Medicare, instead of the reducing military spending. TPM notes that Obama gave his answer in an speech today in which he backed Panetta.  Obama said there isn’t much more to cut beyond the defense and domestic spending reductions that were part of the debt ceiling deal last week. “What we need to do now,” Obama said, “is combine those spending cuts with two additional steps: tax reform that will ask those who can afford it to pay their fair share and modest adjustments to health care programs like Medicare.” The people who supported Barack Obama and worked to get him elected have been total

More on the White House Failure

I want to quote some of an analysis by Hunter, at Daily Kos, of the White House's performance in the recent debt ceiling negotiations.  I have repeatedly said things like this for the last year or two, but I think it is important to hear it from someone other than a squawking parrot.  This is a pretty good summation of the whole situation: "The more we hear reaction from both parties, the more convinced I am that...this "compromise" is in fact an unambiguous and abominable failure by the administration... and one which is going to have serious long-term negative repercussions for the economy, the markets, and the political environment in general. This practice—agreeing to even the most outrageous conservative demands now in exchange for the mere hope of a better outcome later—has been pervasive in this White House, and extremely damaging.  Each negotiation...sets the administration up for worse failures in the next round of negotiations, as their own targets

Bye Bubba

A sort of personal post, but I noticed that Bubba Smith died a couple of days ago.  I had a girlfriend a long time ago whose roommate dated Bubba for a while (at that point in his life, I think Bubba switched pretty frequently,) and though I didn't know him well, he seemed like a pretty nice guy to me.  He had a great college career, and was an easy first round draft pick, but his professional career was cut short due to injury.  Bye, Bubba.

Who The Hell Is This Guy, Anyway?

An extremely depressing report from the Los Angeles Times this morning: "Already, the outlines of a hard-nosed reelection campaign are emerging. Using surrogates to distance the president from the effort, his team is pushing back hard against criticism of his handling of the economy. At the same time, aides are developing lines of attack against potential GOP opponents. "It's not going to be 2008 'Yes, we can' anymore. I think it's going to be slash-and-burn," said Democratic pollster Paul Maslin." So, after a governing like a Republican, he's now decided to campaign like a Republican. Great job you've done of changing things in Washington, Barack.

The Truth That Dare Not Speak its Name

Well, these days, apparently no truth can speak its name.  I remember reading years ago how in Communist Eastern Europe, the truth could be spoken only in comedy or science fiction.  At least, we have the Onion left: "A day after signing legislation that raised the government debt ceiling and authorized steep budget cuts, President Obama thanked Democrats as well as Democrats for their willingness to make tough, but necessary, concessions during negotiations. "I'm truly grateful that both Democrats and their Democratic counterparts were able to reach this consensus, accepting an agreement that is far from perfect not just for Democrats, but also for Democrats," Obama said Wednesday of the deal that cut federal spending $2.1 trillion over 10 years but included no revenue increases of any kind." Too bad you have to pretend to be joking to tell the truth in America today.

How FDR Handled Big Money, Versus What We Are Getting Today

When FDR, not only a man born to riches, but a member of America's patrician class, was elected President, he believed that it was in everybody's interest to emerge from the depression, and that he could come up with a program for recovery that would be favored by all, because it would work for everybody.  By 1936, he had learned differently.  Roosevelt had figured out that the rich, the bankers, the investors, were so intent on pursuing their own short term interest that they would shove the rest of us into the gutter rather than share the burden of rebuilding our economy.  Roosevelt was forced to make a choice between the bankers and the people, and he made that choice.  If you have never heard this short excerpt from a 1936 FDR speech, please listen to it: Roosevelt chose the people over the bankers, and his choice led us out of the Depression into our nation's longest period of prosperity.  Barack Obama, who claims to be a student of Roosevelt, must be familiar with

Defeated- Week Three

Ha ha ha ha.  And no, I'm not giving up on this story.  $5,000 in the third weekend.  Man, what a hit! 

Stupidity and Viciousness Beyond Comprehension

Who else?  Joe Lieberman: " I want to indicate today to my colleagues that Senator Coburn and I are working again on a bipartisan proposal to secure Social Security over the long term, we hope to have that done in time. To also forward to the special committee for their consideration. So, bottom line, we can’t protect these entitlements and also have the national defense we need to protect us in a dangerous world while we’re at war with Islamist extremists who attacked us on 9/11 and will be for a long time to come." Yes indeed, folks!  We have to let lots of old people starve to death or we won't be able to fight a couple hundred fanatics halfway around the world, who attacked us once, ten years ago, and have totally failed to do anything since.  Because only by taking trillions away from poor people and giving the money to rich people can we be safe from having our throats slit in our beds.  That makes sense, right?  Oh, where would our country be without cen

A Philosophical Question

For the sort of people who like to debate the whole "Tree in the woods" sort of thing: If you suffer a total, ignominious defeat, but call it a victory, is it a victory?

The Beast Approaches

Another bit of cheerful  news today: "Fire Destroys We Are Wisconsin PAC Offices in La Crosse; Recall Efforts Subdued We Are Wisconsin's La Crosse headquarters a 'total loss' after Saturday morning blaze. Fire officials in La Crosse are continuing to investigate a Saturday blaze that destroyed the regional offices of We Are Wisconsin, a union political action committee (PAC) that has pumped millions of dollars into supporting Democratic candidates in the upcoming recall elections. The La Crosse Tribune reports that the cause of the fire, which started at about 9:30 a.m., remains unknown." The last few years I've spent a lot of time reading about Germany in the 1920's.  I know a lot of people must have thought I was as crazy as the teabaggers when I saw reflections of that period of intimidation and political violence in what is gong on with the American right. Sure, Republicans haven't gone as far as the right wing parties in 1920's Ger

A Little More Meaningless Nonsense

From the New York Times: "A White House official argued Sunday that the president had another trump card to play: the scheduled expiration of the George W. Bush tax cuts at the end of 2012.  Obama would block extension of the reductions, either as a final act in office after losing the November 2012 election or after winning a second term." Fat chance. Of course, this will be Obama's promise to get real Democrats to vote for him in 2012, but at this point could there be a person on earth stupid enough to fall for that?  No, when the Republicans start their screaming, he will collapse again. That is, if they haven't found a way to impeach him before then, and if Harry Reid doesn't engineer a "compromise" to remove him from office in return for a Republican promise to be nice to Democrats in the future.

Total Collapse

First, Paul Krugman, then me.  I don't have it in me to make any clever remarks about the budget "deal," so just read the words of the master: "The President Surrenders...the deal itself, given the available information, is a disaster, and not just for President Obama and his party. It will damage an already depressed economy; it will probably make America’s long-run deficit problem worse, not better; and most important, by demonstrating that raw extortion works and carries no political cost, it will take America a long way down the road to banana-republic status. Make no mistake about it, what we’re witnessing here is a catastrophe on multiple levels. It is, of course, a political catastrophe for Democrats, who just a few weeks ago seemed to have Republicans on the run over their plan to dismantle Medicare; now Mr. Obama has thrown all that away. And the damage isn’t over: there will be more choke points where Republicans can threaten to create a crisis unles