Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A few guns, some butter

The week before the tax deadline is always the busiest for me. Here we go with some snips...

“We want to make sure … (chained CPI) is dead on arrival,” Democracy for American chairman Jim Dean told ABC News.

Dean’s organization is one of the many progressive groups that are part of the coalition to deliver the petition to the White House. Dean said that although he and his organization appreciate the president’s “forceful leadership” on issues like gun violence prevention, the CPI proposal is one that has caused them to be extremely disappointed in him.

“People understand that we are not getting everything out of this person,” Dean said. “This was never our way or the highway — even when he was elected in 2008. He’s crossed a line here.”

That was not unpleasant.

Look, it's time to end this ridiculous charade. The White House is proposing what's in the White House budget because that's what the White House wants. They'll fight just as hard to cut Social Security as they will for any of its other provisions. And that's because the White House, let's just face facts, isn't on the side of the American people. They should simply come out and speak with conviction: They don't give a shit about Social Security or anybody who is on it because they want a balanced budget with low taxes. That's the only explanation for passing another $3.4 trillion round of Bush Tax Cuts while cutting Social Security.

Chain, chain, chained...

They know it’s a loser and yet they persist.  That’s nothing I or most Democrats voted for in 2012.  There is a potential “right” way for chained CPI to be done, but there are so many caveats that it could never be done right in our current political system.

The truly stupid part is that we’re talking about debt when we’re still in a massive unemployment crisis. With the 78th anniversary of the WPA this week, that should remind us that we should be talking about jobs and not the deficit. 

Seriously, WTF?

But as always Obama negotiated against himself, made concessions without corresponding Republican ones, became the only elected official in Washington, D.C., to put Social Security benefits cuts in a formal proposal (thus owning them), and then ... what?

Republicans dismissed everything out of hand, progressive groups went to war against the White House, Congressional Democrats distanced themselves from the proposal save for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (ever the loyal lieutenant), and seniors certainly weren't impressed.

If Obama's goal was to look weak and isolate himself, generating bipartisan scorn and ridicule while giving Republicans a chance to claim Democrats want to cut Social Security during 2014 elections, then sure, mission accomplished.

If he actually thought he was accomplishing something useful, however ... the mind reels.

Maybe Democrats could stop quarreling about whether Obama is a putz or not, and perhaps get Hillary Clinton on the record about where she stands on chained CPI. I'm guessing that she won't hold a presser put up a YouTube coming out in favor.

Okay, enough of that.

-- Look, somebody borrowed my headline. Meh. It's not like I had it trade-marked or anything.

-- Maybe some action on the gun safety bill today or tomorrow.

The U.S. Senate will take up gun control starting on Thursday, with a filibuster from Republicans the first order of business before weeks of debates over background checks and other measures begin.

Majority Leader Harry Reid had asked for a compromise on background checks from two senators, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, by Tuesday night. Manchin and Toomey will announce the bipartisan deal on Wednesday morning.

The approval of at least eight Republicans is crucial because Reid will need 60 votes in the Senate on Thursday to have a successful cloture vote to avoid a filibuster. So far, eight Republican senators say they will not vote to support a filibuster.

A group of Republican senators including Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Jim Inhofe have said they will filibuster “any legislation that infringe[s] on the American people’s constitutional right to bear arms.” 

Carnival Cruz canceled his presser this morning, whatever that means.

Back to work.

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