EXCLUSIVE: Conrad, demanding Social Security commission, meeting with Obama tonight

by: Chris Bowers

Tue Nov 24, 2009 at 18:18


One of the stories we have been following on Open Left is a threat from roughly 15 Senate Democrats that I have termed a "national suicide pact." Here is the threat:

  • These 15 Democratic Senators will refuse to raise the debt ceiling, thereby causing the United States to default on its debt by mid or late December.  Such a default will vastly increase the overall amount the federal government has to pay on its debt.

    UNLESS

  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi turns over Congressional power on Social Security and Medicare to an unelected commission that will almost certainly propose significant cuts in Social Security and Medicare benefits.  The recommendations of this commission will be sent back to Congress in the form of legislation that cannot be amended, which will be granted a vote, and which will pass with the support of 60% of both branches of Congress.
I have learned from a source that Kent Conrad is meeting with President Obama, tonight.  While the details of the meeting are unknown, Conrad is the ringleader of this group of Senate Democrats, and so it is highly likely that the meeting concerns the proposed independent commission for Medicare and Social Security.

We will only know what happens in the meeting based on future actions from Congress and the White House.  There are four basic options:

  1. President Obama convinces Senator Conrad to drop the threat, and raise the debt ceiling with no strings attached.

  2. President Obama convinces Senator Conrad to drop the threat in exchange for a token concession on other legislation, or on another summit discussing the problem   This happened at the start of the year.

  3. President Obama agrees with Senator Conrad, but tells him he that he will handle it himself around next year's budget (with an announcement likely in the State of the Union address).

  4. President Obama gives Conrad the commission now.
Depending on which of these four scenarios unfolds, we will know what happens at the meeting.

This is extremely high stakes-arguably the biggest policy meeting to take place in months.  And you heard about it here, on Open Left.

Chris Bowers :: EXCLUSIVE: Conrad, demanding Social Security commission, meeting with Obama tonight

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Or how about... (4.00 / 3)
  5. President Obama tells Senator Conrad to cram it.

that wouldn't be the pragmatic thing (4.00 / 5)
the compromising thing

the thing that apparently we should be satisfied


[ Parent ]
Yup, that would be so unobama! (0.00 / 0)
Least likely outcome. Don't hold your breath, grassroot!

[ Parent ]
...because Pelosi would kick both their asses. (0.00 / 0)
Who the %$#@ does he think he is to ask the President to order the Speaker around?
I know she'll tell them both to cram it if they dare.

Their cowardly actions - whatever they may be and obviously inspired by self-centered Joe Lieberman  - should stand alone and their bluffs should be called.

Who's chanting "Death to America" now??  

Nationalism is not the same thing as terrorism, and an adversary is not the same thing as an enemy.


[ Parent ]
Not to be picky, but (4.00 / 3)
that is actually my option #1

[ Parent ]
Not exactly (0.00 / 0)
Option 1 says Conrad drops the threat. Option 5 could be Conrad following through on the threat.

[ Parent ]
I think if your #1 involves Obama meeting with Conrad (4.00 / 1)
the way LBJ might have -- while he was taking a dump -- then your #1 and grassroot's #5 might be the same.

[ Parent ]
Yeah, that'll happen (4.00 / 5)

 And we'll get single-payer tomorrow.  

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn

[ Parent ]
Kent gets 174k from the government (4.00 / 9)
and thinks people on Social Security making 12k are spoiled

Any member of the Senate or House caucus (4.00 / 5)
that doesn't condemn this will bear part of the responsibility if anything other than #1 happens.

This is worse than a circular firing squad - its like blowing up your own side's supply lines.

Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.


With Senators like Conrad, one's own side becomes meaningless. (4.00 / 3)


--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
HCR Reconciliation... (4.00 / 2)
...would go through Conrad's Budget committee. Public option, RIP.

Self-refuting Christine O'Donnell is proof monkeys are still evolving into humans

Yeah... (0.00 / 0)
I was wondering if maybe Conrad and several others are going to trade this commission for the PO.     Not quite sure I understand WHY they want to do this.     But we are going after those D-Bags in pretty much every primary from now on...

Amazing... I'd like to print this article and shove it in Jerome Armstrong's hideously stupid face for calling Mark Warner a progressive.   What lying sacks.


[ Parent ]
It can be called "jurisdictionalization" making whatever you want to chnage or have democratic control over, "Not in your jurisdiction." (0.00 / 0)
It is a way to reduce democracy. Eventually the only thing congress will be allowed do is name post offices and honor constituents with recognition from the floor.

This is petty depressing.

--

The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky


[ Parent ]
Notice the timing (4.00 / 4)

 The Wednesday before Thanksgiving.

 The ultimate news-dump day.

 Even Bush wasn't THIS cynical.  

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn


[ Parent ]
Oh, of course he was... (4.00 / 1)
... but points for pointing this out.

We are ruled by dolts who think a middle ages strategist-slash-overprivileged-prince-of-an-asshole named Machiavelli still has all the answers to life.

It would seem mindless wankerism is a buy-partisan affliction, eh?

"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -Woody Allen, My Speech to the Graduates


[ Parent ]
Machiavelli was one of us (4.00 / 1)
Minor civil servant and good government obsessive, ruined by sudden regime change and gone cynical and bitter? Intensely focused on structure and prizing the ends above the means?

Machiavelli was our guy. Not a nice guy, but we owe more to him than they do. They're the Medicis.

Forgotten Countries - a foreign policy-focused blog


[ Parent ]
FASCISTS Blame Community Investment - They (0.00 / 0)
are NOT "Democrats" till they pass single payer

then I might listen to their right wing talking points / fucking lies ...

ha ha ha.

just kidding.

Why don't they just join the fucking fascist party, OR, they're just sooooooooooo successful selling us out from our side that their puppet masters won't let them tell the real truth ...??

rmm.  

It is too full o' the milk of human kindness To catch the nearest way


Cat Food Commission (4.00 / 7)
It's not a Social Security Commission, it's a commission to make boomers eat cat food.

Does Option #1 involve... (4.00 / 2)
..the Rock Obama throwing the fool from North Dakota out of the window of the Oval Office? That'd be the only option I could support.

Yes (4.00 / 1)
That's the kind of "convincing" I had in mind when I read option 1.

With Obama, on the other hand....

(Here again, we see the respect even the worst scum get when they make threats that are considered credible.

Yet, mind-bogglingly, on health insurance almost nobody even seems to care about that aspect of the "progressives" caving in yet again, after they blustered about blocking a phony reform bill.

And yet they're still going to keep whining things like: "Why does Stupak get respect and we don't?"

I guess Paul is right about schoolyard bullying; if you don't learn the lesson in childhood you never will.)

http://attempter.wordpress.com


[ Parent ]
public service announcement: please take off all neoliberal blinders now. (0.00 / 0)
These 15 Democratic Senators will refuse to raise the debt ceiling, thereby causing the United States to default on its debt by mid or late December.

bullshit. please take off the neoliberal blinders and start reading. this is would be a good place to start: What If the Government Just Prints Money?


Good point, but they're already printing lots of greenbacks (4.00 / 1)
Trouble is, of course, it's all going to the banksters, where it will do precisely no good at all, beyond buying some new Gulfstreams for our "betters."

Besides, they would never do that--forcing default. It's a hollow threat and everyone knows it, but it makes for some racy press releases, which is good for the White House, who really, really wants to cave in to these hacks in search of a payday.

"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -Woody Allen, My Speech to the Graduates


[ Parent ]
Someone remind me once again (4.00 / 3)
just why we have a "Democratic" party anymore, because with "Democrats" like these, who needs Palinites? Not only would such cuts be self-evidently evil, but they would, as Chris correctly points out, utterly destroy the Democratic party.

Which, perhaps, is precisely these corporate whores' intention (and yes, they are whores, anyone who thinks otherwise and that they're doing this out of ideological motivations is too foolish to be worth arguing with). Because with the party destroyed, they can be rid of progressives and join up with GOP "centrists" (who themselves want to rid themselves of their Palinite fellow Repubs) to form a new "Fuck the Masses" corporate party.

And guess who'd head up this new party? Clue: he already does.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton


To be fair, as Chris has pointed out, they are not really part of the party. (4.00 / 1)
They do everything to distance themselves from the Democrats. Imho they should be thrown out of the Democratic caucus in order not to confuse the public about the real balance of power.

[ Parent ]
Sure they're part of the party (4.00 / 1)
And they're clearly part of the caucus. What they're not part of is what the party has traditionally been about, namely the legitimate interests of the non-privileged members of society (whether or not they themselves associate themselves with the party, which of course many don't, e.g. Teabaggers et al).

However consistent the party's actions have been with its values over the years (and clearly is has often not, e.g. lately), this goes back to Jefferson, Jackson, Bryan and FDR. And these people are not part of such values. They represent these historic inconsistencies, and need to be dealt with as such. And I don't think we have to kick them out of the caucus or party, so much as threaten to do so if they don't shape up, and at the same time come at them with attack ads and primary challenges. I.e. make it very, very unpleasant verging on untenable to keep acting like conservative Repubs while running as Dems.

We're always going to have a conservative wing in the party that causes such problems, but we should at least try to both shift it leftward and minimize its power, via whatever methods work best. This will never be entirely successful, but I'm not at all convinced that we've hit that wall yet. Not even close. The country's ideological distribution and center is indisputibly more liberal than that of the current political establishment, and the latter should be made to reflect the former as soon as possible. The country's leadership should generally reflect the values of the country that it leads. Seems pretty self-evident to me.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton


[ Parent ]
I have two problems with your arguments, Kovie (0.00 / 0)
Firstly, you simply accept the definition of the party put forward by the DINOs, that it's such a big tent that it covers them, too. This is a false definition, and it should be fought, not supported.

And then, yes, they're in the caucus now, but who says they should still be in it in the future? Obstructionists that don't care about any party line and who eagerly use GOP support to push their initiatives through should be excluded. Start with Lieberman. It's obvious now that any hopes that allowing him into the caucus would discipline him were totally misguided. This should have consequences now.  


[ Parent ]
Huh? (0.00 / 0)
To be effective and have a chance of not only being in the majority, but having a meaningful working majority, any party has to have a reasonably "big tent" that includes a right a left wing. The issue is less who's in this "tent" than who controls it, what its agenda is, and what outliers (on its right AND left wings) are allowed to get away with while in it.

For various reasons we're not likely to elect a Boxer or Harkin in Nebraska or Louisiana any time soon. Would you rather lose these states to a far-right Repub who will ALWAYS vote against our agenda, than have them stay in the hands of admitedly poor Dems who nevertheless can be made to vote the party line?

My problem with the likes of Nelson and Landrieu isn't their alleged ideological conservatism, but their voting record. They can be as "conservative" as they like so long as they vote the party line when it most matters. And we're always going to have such outliers (again, on both flanks). We're talking practical, real-world politics that will always include such unreliables, vs. a utopian vision for permanent minority status.

If we can replace them with better Dems, I'm all for it. Otherwise, we're stuck with their likes and need to make the most of it. Which we have not been doing. Meaning, Reid and Obama and their fellow establishment-embracing centrist Dems.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton


[ Parent ]
They're INDEPENDENTS. That's what they call themselves. (0.00 / 0)
Look at their websites, like Chris did. Politicians who don't stand by their party, in their own public statesments, and in their votes, don't belong into its caucus. This only results in watering the brand "Democratic Party" down. Just look at the rethuglicans, no "moderates" there anymore. The party base doesn't tolerate folks so much out of the party line anymore. And liberals sould do the same. Independents are independents, period. This would be much more honest for the public, and it would be better for the party. No sham packages anymore.

[ Parent ]
Sigh (0.00 / 0)
I don't care what they call themselves or believe in, so long as they can be made to vote reliably D when we need them. The rest is just hot air as far as I'm concerned. I'm talking about pushing progressive legislation over the line however ugly the process is, not actually coming up with such legislation, and we're going to need their votes whether you or I like them or not. Or do you not know how the senate works? Obama & Reid have horribly misplayed the politics of these bills, and the results prove it. Unless, that is, they wanted these results from the start, which appears increasingly likely. But if that's the case, then these piss poor Dems are the least of our worries.

I think that you're failing to distinguish between policy and politics here. Their policy positions suck. But we still need their votes. And I believe that we can get them, IF our party's leaders wanted to get them and had the balls to do what it takes to get them. I'm not convinced of either at this point. The problem isn't with these self-interested ConservaDems, but with the party's leadership, which won't or can't lead. You're misplacing the real problem.

"Those who stand for nothing fall for anything...Mankind are forever destined to be the dupes of bold & cunning imposture" -- Alexander Hamilton


[ Parent ]
"so long as they can be made to vote reliably D" But they don't! (0.00 / 0)
At least not reliably. And if they do, it comes at a high price, results in watering down the bills, and making the policies less successful. And that's the problem.

"But we still need their votes." Not categorically. If Reid had some real balls, he would gather 50 Dem Senators, go nuclear, and get rid of the filibuster. This would make it much easier to pass more progressive bills, and take away the leverage from the BlueDogs. They couldn't blackmail Reid anymore, and he would have the necessary manoevering room to find the necessary majorities, withouthaving to rely on every single vote. So, sry, no, but I'm with Chris position, and I don't think BlueDog votes are really necessary.


[ Parent ]
Totally agree that party leadership is a dire problem, though. (0.00 / 0)
No misunderstanding on that.

[ Parent ]
re: threat (4.00 / 5)
These 15 Democratic Senators will refuse to raise the debt ceiling

no, they won't
and everyone knows it

this is as empty as a threat gets

now obama may give in. but that won't be a result of the threat. it would've happen threat or no threat


Pretty much agree (4.00 / 3)

 I doubt the gang of 15 wouldn't be floating this trial balloon without a nudge and a wink from the White House, or at least the confidence that Obama can be rolled.

 But no, we're not in Bush's third term, no sir... I'm sure some liberal judge got on the bench somewhere...

   

"We judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their actions. It is a great convenience." -- Howard Zinn


[ Parent ]
Yes? Uh, which liberal judge? (0.00 / 0)
I've read somewhere that the appointment rate of judges is at new lows. Even though Dems have a sixty seat majority, someone seems to be against appointing more liberal judges...

[ Parent ]
Exactly. It's all Kabuki. (4.00 / 1)


"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -Woody Allen, My Speech to the Graduates

[ Parent ]
National Suicide Pact... (4.00 / 4)
... has a very real ring to it now. It definitely belongs in the heders of every press release on this issue. Especially since these (bleeps) are going for the jugular while everyone is wrapped up in "healthcare" stuff which only looks worse by the day.

If this commission sees the light of day, it will mortally wound the progressive agenda, as the general public will only view progressives as real bastards... and understandably so, I'm afraid. It's a bulldozer that won't be stopped once it's in motion.

If the entire progressive community doesn't start thinking in more hegemonic terms right now and go on the offensive (meaning ending a lot of political careers of our enemies in our own party), all the other issues won't matter one whit. Our collective credibility and thusly political fate with the larger public, will ride on the outcome of this battle. Sorry to be so melodramatic, but this is my sense. No there's simply no better way for the Administration to neuter "teh left" than by shredding the last and biggest pillars of the American Social Contract and the the concomitant loss in standard of living (and thus rise in elderly poverty) that goes along with that.

As a "librul," Barack Hoover Obama will taint us all. That's why it takes a Clinton or an Obama to make this shit happen. These hacks are just place-holders for the next round of GOoPer mania. Screw the Veal Pen. The Veal Pen is a suicide pact all on it's own.

Bush tried and failed to kill Social Security and gain the Big Kickback that would result in such programmatic destruction. But Obama will deliver if we don't toss his ass over the rail of the Titanic and steer away from the iceberg.

And low-information voters will hate us if we don't. We can forget about a friggin' "movement" at that point.

(Dammit, this is just making me too angry/anxious to be cool about this anymore. Note to self: must memorize words to "Oh Canada" real soon and like them... a lot.)


"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -Woody Allen, My Speech to the Graduates


unfortunately, my research indicates that the Canadians won't have us (4.00 / 2)
see also: Europe

[ Parent ]
Yes, that seems likely, doesn't it? (0.00 / 0)
But I have friends there, so I'm hoping that will work out, if need be.

See also: Australia. But New Zealand is another possibility.

This whole thing is just too weird. My paternal grandparents left Nazi Germany in '32 for the US. Now I'm looking at the possibility of doing the same thing, for many of the same reasons.

Though frankly, it really pisses me off that I even feel the need to think this way. I wasn't raised to abandon this country's principles. Or the real estate, for that matter. But it would be foolish not to have alternatives at this point.

"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -Woody Allen, My Speech to the Graduates


[ Parent ]
New Zealand is insanely expensive (0.00 / 0)
Australia is quickly running out of potable water

when do we get our Quietus kits?


[ Parent ]
We are definitely on the same page, mate (0.00 / 0)
Shit, I don't know. Still compiling.......

I would, however, point out that wages are ok in NZ. I'm not concerned out expenses, as long as I am allowed to work. They have a rather nice standard of living after all, even if we think somewhat differently about money issues. Be flexible in this regard.

I lived in Italy for almost a year back in the '80s. It was insanely expensive in terms of numbers, but you have no idea how many ways there are of avoiding those "numbers." So don't let stuff like that hold you back. I had great meals for $20 or less in one of the most expensive countries in Europe at the time. But it depends on the country, doesn't it?

Quite frankly, you get what you pay for. You pay taxes, but if you need a doctor, you pay nothing, or like $3 for a prescription or something. That's worth a lot more than most Americans seem to realize. It all adds up. There are other conveniences we don't even think about. Like cheap rail tickets and so forth.

It's not so bad, IMO. Money means different things in different places. So does the word "freedom."


"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -Woody Allen, My Speech to the Graduates


[ Parent ]
I really just meant the act of GETTING to New Zealand (0.00 / 0)
a couple grand, easily

[ Parent ]
Friends don't help. Got money? A specialized job? (0.00 / 0)
Always wonder why Americans think the rest of the world has a much more liberal immigration policy than their own nation. Simply not true.  

[ Parent ]
that was my original post (0.00 / 0)
no country will have me, not even Mexico

stupid modern border policies


[ Parent ]
You're right, Travis, but Emocrat seems to have illusions. (0.00 / 0)
As if friends could help with becoming a legal immigrant. As long as they aren't high ranking politicians, no chance.

[ Parent ]
Leaving (4.00 / 2)
Though frankly, it really pisses me off that I even feel the need to think this way. I wasn't raised to abandon this country's principles.

Freud tried to say that in 1938 about Austria. His friends told him the story of the captain who survived a sinking.

Reproached for not going down with the ship, the captain replied "I didn't leave the ship; the ship left me."

Freud got the point.

I've given thought to the same possibility, that I might want or even need to get out at some point.

One thing nobody who's loyal to American principles of liberty and responsibility needs to do is worry about abandoning those principles by getting out of this sovereignty zone. (It's hardly a "country" anymore in any real sense, just a Hobbesian corporate free-fire zone.)

The principles have long since been abrogated, largely with the consent of the masses. They only still repose in some  individuals, who can take them along within themselves, wherever they go.

In a letter to his father shortly before he was killed, Charles Hamilton Sorley wrote that he thought after the Great War all decent people of integrity would have to see themselves as pilgrims on the earth, since it would no longer be possible to reconcile integrity with adherence to any country or political structure or any group phenomenon whatsoever.

It's really hard to see any way to transcend that.

http://attempter.wordpress.com


[ Parent ]
Well said and I couldn't agree more. (0.00 / 0)
And to the extent it matters, I'm thinking in terms of needs, not wants.

"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -Woody Allen, My Speech to the Graduates

[ Parent ]
Not that I like this idea at all (0.00 / 0)
but aren't the hysterics a little uncalled for?  Any proposal that comes out of the commission is not only subject to a vote, but apparently needs to clear 60% in both houses.

Surely we can find 40 Senators and 175 Representatives who will block cuts to Social Security and Medicare.


Explain this (4.00 / 2)
Why would they want to do it if there was no chance anything would come of it?

It's certainly not because it will bring them votes....

Commissions are used to advance unpopular policies...weakening Social Security is an unpopular policy.

You confuse "hysterical" with realistic.  

Politics is the art of the possible, but that means you have to think about changing what is possible, not that you have to accept it in perpetuity.


[ Parent ]
Actually, commissions are used to make it look like (0.00 / 0)
politicians are making an effort when they're in fact not.

Recall that there was a Social Security bipartisan commission during the Bush administration; one of the co-chairs was Walter Mondale.  The commission recommended the usual massive slashes in Social Security; Mondale denounced it but got attacked for it anyway during his 2002 Senate race.

What happened?  Nothing.  The commission's recommendations were not binding or subject to a vote.  Bush tried to push something similar though less devastating in 2005 and got trashed for it.

This commission's recommendations will be up for a vote, but I really don't see how it gets past a supermajority of Democrats.


[ Parent ]
No, the "hysterics" are totally called for. (4.00 / 2)
The "commission" of Doom will only require a "straight up or down vote," which translates into plain English as simple majority.

As far as looking for a block of anything to do the Right Thing, just consider the track record thus far. Thus far, just this year, we're only running with a record of 0 for 24 or something.

The progressives are trying. I hope they continue to keep trying. But in the end, the WH is able to make them heel like good doggies. Until that dynamic changes, there's precisely ZERO reason to think this commission won't be most effective. That's the whole point of these commissions, after all. If congress had to lay waste to millions of retirees all on their own, it wouldn't work, because the pols would soon be kicked out of office.

That's the whole point of this way of doing things. It's completely anti-democratic and thusly beyond accountability. They know it will work, which is why they're pushing it. They also know they can then just blame the commission and try to stay in office.

Try broadening your thinking  about the political landscape a bit. This issue goes to the very heart of what used to be referred to as The Social Contract.

This is the really Big Prize for the reactionary, corporatist, neo-liberal scumbags. Healthcare Deform is peanuts next to this.

How else are they going to pay for another 20 years of stupid warfare? Seriously, it has to be paid for somehow.

This is how it's done.

"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -Woody Allen, My Speech to the Graduates


[ Parent ]
You're not making the case here (0.00 / 0)
The commission's recommendations are subject to a vote.  Chris Bowers wrote that it would take 60 percent of both houses.  Even if he's wrong and it only takes 50, that still means that we just need to find 51 Senators and 218 Representatives who are willing to defend Social Security.  As you say, Social Security is the "Big Prize" of the welfare state, so you really think we can't find that many people willing to stand up for it?

As we saw in 2005, Social Security is very difficult to touch.  Much of it has to do with its political popularity, but a lot of it also has to do with its genuine popularity among Democrats.  And we saw how much of a fight Democrats - including, btw, then-Senator Barack Obama - put up in 2005.


[ Parent ]
Good point, but the Senate isn't a problem in this regard. (0.00 / 0)
Only the House is. Getting even 60 votes, when you count all the RW votes, isn't too difficult.

The 60 vote rule would only apply if some Republicans decided to filibuster that which they've been trying to destroy for decades somehow came to the floor. That is why I say it's a simple majority. No GOoPer will "filibuster."

That said, I think you're right  that finding 218 in the House will be a big problem for the neo-liberals.

Then again, I think back on the bank bailout bill and.... let's just say I'm not too confident this can't be finagled. If the WH pushes hard enough, they'll even get a lot of so-called "progressives" to vote for it. The Veal Pen in action.

On the other hand, if progressives start waging war on these people and take a few or more of them out in the next cycle, so they can spend more time with their money in the Caymans, that would certainly help with my heartburn!

"More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly." -Woody Allen, My Speech to the Graduates


[ Parent ]
I still don't understand (0.00 / 0)
Why can't liberals in the Senate filibuster it?  You don't think there are 40 Senators who'll defend Social Security?

There's a big difference between this and bank bailouts.  Social Security is one of the crown jewels of the Democratic welfare state.  Witness how the party came together to defend it in 2005 - these are not just rank-and-file liberals, but the entire House and Senate leadership.  The whole party was united on this.  Even stinker Joe Lieberman had to give in and suppress his anti-Social Security tendencies.


[ Parent ]
What Would Defaulting Do? (0.00 / 0)
So I'm going to be the idiot on this one, and would just like a discussion of the practical consequences of not raising the debt ceiling.

I was in the Navy when Newt refused to pass a budget and froze up the government, but I suspect keeping the debt ceiling down would cause different problems.

First off, it would certainly answer the question of just how rogue an agency the Fed has become because those guys have gotten VERY CREATIVE over the last year.

Maybe I should post this on an economics blog, but I'm sure all that I hear there is how it's a WORLD ENDING EVENT.

So, if we locked the debt ceiling what does it do to Wall St and the "Masters of the Universe"?  Because if it screws those bastards into the ground as bad as they've screwed our country into the ground - well, I'm tempted.  But what would it do to Main St?  Or the rest of us?

Especially in hindsight, I've come to think the whole "Wall St bailout or it's the end of the WORLD" was the Wall Streeters lying their asses off - it would have been the end of their world, but not mine.  So let's try to figure out what crashing the debt ceiling would actually do to the real world before we decide it's the end of the Mayan calendar.


Why should it have any negative consequences for Wall Street? (0.00 / 0)
Doesn't make any sense to me. Defaulting on the public debt would mean that investors would run away from treasuries. The US would have to raise interest rates on those, and other Wall Street investment products would probably become more attractive. The foreign money would still be there, but it would go inot other investments. That's what bankers love!

All it will accomplish is ruining the US reputation as a reliable debtor, with very negative consequences for financing the budget, and the US would have to pay much more for its debt. It's the economical equivalent of shooting your own foot.


[ Parent ]
re: bastards (0.00 / 0)
So, if we locked the debt ceiling what does it do to Wall St and the "Masters of the Universe"?  Because if it screws those bastards into the ground as bad as they've screwed our country into the ground - well, I'm tempted.

well, if it would screw the wall street bastards would conrad, nelson, bayah, lieberman and feinstein support it?

not a chance!


[ Parent ]
Conrad really has to go! This should be top priority for progressives. (0.00 / 0)
This guy is dangerous! His kind of blackmailing and threatening to steer his block towards the rethuglicans can't be tolerated. Cut off the head of the traitor movement!

When is he up for reelection? What can be done to unseat him? Even losing that seat would be better than having this poisonous snake in the Senate!


He's up in 2012 (0.00 / 0)
and he'd be difficult to defeat with anybody.  His approval ratings are usually in the 70s.  Even with super-popular John Hoeven running against him they're about even in the polls.

It remains to be seen whether the events of this year or the next will have an impact on his popularity at all.


[ Parent ]
Dig deep, find the dirt and the corpses in the cellar. (0.00 / 0)
This jerk doesn't deserve to be treated nicely. Such business sellouts all have weak spots. Expose them, and let the scandal sink him.

[ Parent ]
OT, but Dem House Ballot below 3? (0.00 / 0)
Things aren't movin into the right direction. And a healthcare reform that will only implement important provisions in 2013 won't help much...
:-(

but it's ok when progressives want a catfood commission! (0.00 / 0)
or is the imac in the most historic health bill ever somehow different from what conrad wants?

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