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Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:15 PM

Esquire: The Grand Sellout Emerges

MODS: There are many articles referenced and subreferenced in this OP. All linked, sourced and excerpted per usual DU rules.

Before the Esquire article, you should understand why people are talking about Chained CPI, today:

Emerging from a Democratic Caucus meeting Tuesday morning — where they were briefed on Obama’s plan by top White House adviser Rob Nabors — the Democrats pushed back hard against the president’s proposal to reduce future cost-of-living raises for Social Security recipients.

The change — known as the chained consumer price index (CPI) — is said to cut $130 billion in federal spending over a decade, and would include safeguards to protect the most vulnerable seniors.

“I don’t like it at all,” said Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.).

“A terrible idea,” said Rep. and Sen.-elect Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).

“We don’t like the chained CPI,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.).

“We don’t like it,” said Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.). “Why are you hurting the vulnerable seniors?”

And so on and so on- worth reading that article too. There are a lot of Democrats who hate this. Can anyone blame them?


Photo Illustration by DonkeyHotey via Flickr/Special to The Politics Blog

I generally believe Ezra Klein when he talks about how everyone who matters is coming together to make a deal, so may I just congratulate all the important people on both sides of the aisle who have come together in semi-good faith to ram it to the rest of us. Really, kids, if this isn't really just a trial balloon big enough for the Macy's parade, well done.

On the spending side, the Democrats' headline concession will be accepting chained-CPI, which is to say, accepting a cut to Social Security benefits. Beyond that, the negotiators will agree to targets for spending cuts. Expect the final number here, too, to be in the neighborhood of $1 trillion, but also expect it to lack many specifics. Whether the cuts come from Medicare or Medicaid, whether they include raising the Medicare age, and many of the other contentious issues in the talks will be left up to Congress.


So here's where we sit. The Democrats, led by the president, who never is going to need to depend on Social Security, are prepared to concede on an issue that has absolutely nothing to do with the deficit. They are going to make life harder for millions of seniors. Social Security is now squarely "on the table" in any future budget negotiation. (Hey, who unplugged the third rail?) The simplest solution — raising the cap — is beyond discussion, now and forever. The "chained-CPI," which is a terrible idea on its own merits, as well as a piece of noxious moral sleight-of-hand, seeing as how it cuts benefits while pretending not to do so, is being adopted whole hog without a corresponding mechanism to raise more Social Security revenue to make up for the loss. If the president maintains his faith in the great god SimpsonBowles, the old folks will get a bump for only two years after the deal takes effect. Swell.

There are a couple of lines of thought here. For example, Paul Krugman is more optimistic.
Those cuts are a very bad thing, although there will supposedly be some protection for low-income seniors. But the cuts are not nearly as bad as raising the Medicare age, for two reasons: the structure of the program remains intact, and unlike the Medicare age thing, they wouldn't be totally devastating for hundreds of thousands of people, just somewhat painful for a much larger group. Oh, and raising the Medicare age would kill people; this benefit cut, not so much.


"Not so much"? That's what we get for a deal in which the president is simultaneously not even getting everything that he wants as regards the expiration of the Bush tax cuts. Granny needs to lose some weight anyway.

Quite honestly, the president's willingness to tinker this way with Social Security marks his presidency in a way that nothing else ever will. There is no economic need to do this to Social Security at all. There is no need for the program even to come up in the discussions. This locks Social Security forever into being defined for all political purposes as an "entitlement," and we all know that "entitlements" need to be reformed because everybody this president considers his primary constituencies say they must. It sets the stage for more concessions down the line by any Democratic president who doesn't possess the political momentum that the current president seems hellbent on squandering. This is that most horrible of Beltway concoctions — a deal for a deal's sake, a demonstration for the courtier press that Washington "works." (Chris Matthews last night said that he wanted a cliff-avoiding deal so that "Washington" could prove it can work again. He framed it around the events in Connecticut and gn control. These people think ... strangely.) If John Boehner brings home this deal, his caucus should name him emperor. If that caucus turns him down, they all should be placed in a locked ward for the duration of the president's second term. Meanwhile, David Gregory just had an orgasm you could hear on Mars.


More at the link! What a great position this puts Democrats in...for the Republicans!

To wit:
President Obama’s latest fiscal cliff offer to support deeper spending cuts to popular government programs puts his Democratic allies on Capitol Hill in a tough spot on Tuesday, driving them to dodge questions about whether they could support it.

Obama’s plan calls for $1.2 trillion in spending cuts that include changes like slowing the cost-of-living increases for Social Security beneficiaries – a reform Senate Democrats declared off the table weeks ago.

So now, Obama’s proposal puts Democrats in a bit of a political pickle.

Democrats can’t embrace Obama’s plan for fear of getting hammered by liberal interest groups and giving Republican House Speaker John Boehner room to push for further entitlement cuts.

Conversely, Democrats can’t threaten to scuttle a deal if the cuts are included because it could undermine Obama’s negotiating position. And while Democrats are likely to support the cuts as part of a larger fiscal cliff package, they can’t say so now.

So, they’re not saying much of anything.


Apparently it's just a bridge too far to ask the President to stop putting Democrats in the position of either supporting shitty legislation or openly rebuking him. Why does this situation, any of the insanity you've read above, even have to happen?

JUST GO OVER THE FUCKING CLIFF

PB

46 replies, 3235 views

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Arrow 46 replies Author Time Post
Reply Esquire: The Grand Sellout Emerges (Original post)
Poll_Blind Dec 2012 OP
MannyGoldstein Dec 2012 #1
Poll_Blind Dec 2012 #2
MannyGoldstein Dec 2012 #30
Fumesucker Dec 2012 #4
jsr Dec 2012 #22
MannyGoldstein Dec 2012 #29
Octafish Dec 2012 #3
Poll_Blind Dec 2012 #9
Octafish Dec 2012 #21
Poll_Blind Dec 2012 #23
Octafish Dec 2012 #34
WilliamPitt Dec 2012 #5
krawhitham Dec 2012 #6
AnotherMcIntosh Dec 2012 #7
BuelahWitch Dec 2012 #8
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #20
SomethingFishy Dec 2012 #44
Doctor_J Dec 2012 #45
spanone Dec 2012 #10
JEB Dec 2012 #11
Poll_Blind Dec 2012 #31
JEB Dec 2012 #32
Liberalynn Dec 2012 #43
WorseBeforeBetter Dec 2012 #12
leftstreet Dec 2012 #13
1ProudAtheist Dec 2012 #14
99th_Monkey Dec 2012 #19
Agschmid Dec 2012 #15
Poll_Blind Dec 2012 #16
snot Dec 2012 #17
Poll_Blind Dec 2012 #24
JDPriestly Dec 2012 #18
Poll_Blind Dec 2012 #28
femrap Dec 2012 #39
Doctor_J Dec 2012 #41
KoKo Dec 2012 #25
WorseBeforeBetter Dec 2012 #26
byeya Dec 2012 #27
arjazz Dec 2012 #33
Autumn Dec 2012 #35
CrispyQ Dec 2012 #36
CrispyQ Dec 2012 #37
Poll_Blind Dec 2012 #38
Doctor_J Dec 2012 #40
Poll_Blind Dec 2012 #46
Liberalynn Dec 2012 #42

Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:23 PM

1. This isn't actually happening.

'kay?

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:39 PM

2. I have the Third Way set as my home page and my isolation hood ready should the lies continue:





PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #2)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:40 AM

30. That is the perfect illustration.

I can die now. It's OK.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:44 PM

4. It's a two-fer that isn't happening

Cut SS and distract from gun control all in one swell foop.


Erasmus said that in the country of the blind the one eyed man is king.

Erasmus was a flaming optimist.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #1)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:21 AM

22. I refer you to THE PLAN:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/15/AR2009011504114.html

Obama Pledges Entitlement Reform
President-Elect Says He'll Reshape Social Security, Medicare Programs

By Michael D. Shear
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 16, 2009

President-elect Barack Obama pledged yesterday to shape a new Social Security and Medicare "bargain" with the American people, saying that the nation's long-term economic recovery cannot be attained unless the government finally gets control over its most costly entitlement programs.

That discussion will begin next month, Obama said, when he convenes a "fiscal responsibility summit" before delivering his first budget to Congress. He said his administration will begin confronting the issues of entitlement reform and long-term budget deficits soon after it jump-starts job growth and the stock market.

"What we have done is kicked this can down the road. We are now at the end of the road and are not in a position to kick it any further," he said. "We have to signal seriousness in this by making sure some of the hard decisions are made under my watch, not someone else's."

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Response to jsr (Reply #22)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:39 AM

29. La-la-la-not-listening-la-la-la

Obama has sworn on numerous occasions that there's no record of, that he won't reduce Social Security benefits for anyone, ever.

Regards,

Third-Way Manny

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:40 PM

3. Maybe in four years, we can vote in some Liberals. You know, Democrats.

In the meantime, I guess I'll just have to call my representatives, roll over, and weep for my country.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #3)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:08 AM

9. In an interview, my house rep recounted how a Democratic constituent had...

...asked him about Obama:

"One guy asked me, 'Give me 25 words what he's about and what he’s done for me.' I’m like, 'It could have been worse.'”


That about says it all.

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #9)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 09:07 AM

21. His arrival on the national scene eclipsed John the Cheater.

Who also just happened to be the only candidate talking about economic justice.

It really could be worse. The warmongers who lied America into war could be getting away with treason.

Oh.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #21)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:16 AM

23. Oh, and it still could be worse than the warmongers getting away with treason...

Their ideologies could be made to appear fashionable!

Oh...

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #23)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:06 PM

34. Oh, what the heck. Integrity is for paupers.

...and a few others, perhaps.



The Second Great Betrayal: Obama and Cameron Decide that Banks are above the Law

Posted on December 17, 2012 by Devin Smith | 12 Comments
By William K. Black

One of the “tells” that reveals how embarrassed Lanny Breuer (head of the Criminal Division) and Eric Holder (AG) are by the disgraceful refusal to prosecute HSBC and its officers for their tens of thousands of felonies are the false and misleading statements made by the Department of Justice (DOJ) about the settlement. The same pattern has been demonstrated by other writers in the case of the false and disingenuous statistics DOJ has trumpeted to attempt to disguise the abject failure of their efforts to prosecute the elite officers who directed the “epidemic” (FBI 2004) of mortgage fraud.

HSBC was one of the largest originators of fraudulent mortgage loans through its acquisition of Household Finance.

Three recent books by “insiders” have confirmed earlier articles revealing the decisive role that Treasury Secretary Geithner has played in opposing criminal prosecutions of the elite banksters and banks whose frauds drove the financial crisis and the Great Recession.

Bair, Sheila, "Bull by the Horns: Fighting to Save Main Street from Wall Street and Wall Street from Itself (2012); Barofsky, Neil, Bailout: An Inside Account of How Washington Abandoned Main Street While Rescuing Wall Street (2012); Connaughton, Jeff, The Payoff: Why Wall Street Always Wins (2012).

Geithner’s fear is that the vigorous enforcement of the law against the systemically dangerous institutions (SDIs) that caused the crisis could destabilize the system and cause a renewed global crisis. I have often expressed my view that the theory that leaving felons in power over our largest financial institutions is essential to producing financial stability is insane. Geithner, it turns out, is very sensitive to that criticism. I will return to that subject after setting the stage.

CONTINUED...

http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2012/12/the-second-great-betrayal-obama-and-cameron-decide-that-banks-are-above-the-law.html



Thank you, Poll Blind, for still giving a damn about, oh, you know, justice and stuff. Like "Systemically Dangerous Institutions."

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:45 PM

5. Bookmarked for later

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:50 PM

6. You have to give up something to get something, don't like it take the House back

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Response to krawhitham (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 12:27 AM

7. "take the House back"? How? By repeating what was done in '93 to get results similar to '94?

 

There are some on this site who are pushing hard for that.

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Response to krawhitham (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:08 AM

8. Gerrymandering doesn't exactly make that easy

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Response to krawhitham (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:43 AM

20. doesn't wash anymore. actually, i think we should shut down congress for a big money saver.

 

we'd do just as well on our own.

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Response to krawhitham (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 06:58 PM

44. Fine, give up something that won't HURT PEOPLE..

Why is it people seem to think the only place to cut spending is on sick people, schools, the elderly...

How about we start making corporations actually pay taxes? How about we audit the Pentagon who seem to have misplaced 2 trillion dollars..

How about the Pentagon gets rid of their 234 golf courses, and their private jets and personal chefs.

This whole thing is BULLSHIT. There is plenty of money. Just not for anyone who needs it.

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Response to krawhitham (Reply #6)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 07:02 PM

45. He already gave up 2 years of top-heavy tax cuts

and he never gets anything in return

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:11 AM

10. did the media call boehner a sellout when he agreed to tax raises?

the media is having a heyday

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:41 AM

11. Cut the bloated, lardass, corrupt, defense dept.

Putting SS benefit cuts on the table is taking food off the kitchen table for many. Sickening.

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Response to JEB (Reply #11)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:48 AM

31. Nobody's talking about it but the Repukes and some Dems are...

..scared shitless of those automatic defense cuts that would pop in on Jan 1 if we go over the cliff.

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #31)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:52 AM

32. I'm for going off the cliff.

And that is one of the best reasons. Only way to touch the defense sacred cow.

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Response to JEB (Reply #32)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 06:49 PM

43. Me too

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:43 AM

12. Christ Almighty, yes, just go over the fucking cliff...

rather than try to ram this deal through before Christmas. But car-washing, dog-walking Obama wants it done. I feel sick.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:47 AM

13. DURec

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:56 AM

14. If Strengthening Social Security

 

Is indeed the end goal here, then why not enact a SS tax on capital gains like Obamacare did with the new Medicare tax on capital gains? That is where the top 2% are getting over on the rest of us. No SS tax on capital gains, yet those very same capital gains are used to determine their benefits when they retire. Just another hidden way to steal wealth from the middle class and the working poor.

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Response to 1ProudAtheist (Reply #14)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:41 AM

19. That or raise the cap

either option is hugely better than this flat-out betrayal of seniors,
and ALL of us will be seniors someday.

This should be roundly rebuked by Obama's base, very publicly, in no uncertain terms.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:02 AM

15. Can you PM me the text of your post? I am very interested in how you excerpted everything...

It looks really good.

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Response to Agschmid (Reply #15)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:18 AM

16. Done! If that doesn't help, see HERE:

HERE

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:37 AM

17. Why shdn't we openly rebuke him?? Why not strengthen his hand for holding out for what WE want??

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Response to snot (Reply #17)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 10:47 AM

24. Actually, WE as constituents can do anything we want. It's Democratic congressional...

...members who are in the tricky spot.

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:39 AM

18. Chained CPI is extremely dishonest on the part of the President.

He just sold Congress on the idea of cutting payroll taxes. In other words he just PURPOSELY AND KNOWINGLY REDUCED THE AMOUNT OF TAXES BEING PAID INTO THE SOCIAL SECURITY FUND.

And now he seems to think that Social Security is in trouble and needs to be cut.

You can't have it both ways, Mr. President. Either you should not have cut the payroll taxes (Social Security and Medicare taxes) or you can claim that Social Security is in financial trouble and seniors need to take cuts.

This is duplicitous. We worked for you. We voted for you, Mr. President, trusting that you would protect Social Security and Medicare. You are double-crossing us.

This is cowardly on your part. Just cowardly.

We want to go over the cliff. We want to see cuts in military spending -- big cuts. Our military is way overextended as it is.

No cuts to Social Security and restore the obligation to pay the full payroll tax.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:24 AM

28. +1

And, if you recall (and I recall because my Democratic House rep. Peter DeFazio strongly lobbied against it), the payroll tax "holiday' was promised to be only temporary. Promise broken.

PB

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 05:59 PM

39. It's beyond

 

cowardly....it's deceptive and sly....conniving.

I really don't like him. He does the biding for the rich. He does as he is told.

Are you sure RobMe didn't win?

I just can't f*cking believe the lies of his campaign.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #18)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 06:44 PM

41. He's a coward

and I think our focus in January should be to get him to change his party affiliation. He doesn't belong in history with Truman & LBJ. He deserves to be with Reagan and Bush II.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:00 AM

25. Recommend...Thanks for pulling it together so nicely. n/t

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:18 AM

26. K&R (n/t)

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:21 AM

27. Oh No! Oh No! There are serious people here who are saying we are panicky and

 

our noses are probably running. This can't be true - Just hold your breath.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 11:53 AM

33. Sell out is right.

 

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 01:09 PM

35. Embrace and become one with the cliff!!

The elderly and Veterans do not deserve to be used in this way.

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Response to Autumn (Reply #35)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:43 PM

36. Embrace and become one with the cliff!!



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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:47 PM

37. It's beginning to feel a lot like . . .

2009.

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #37)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 02:58 PM

38. And they're gunnin' for a 10 year deal, so the goodness goes till at least 2022.

Yet I see this shit coming together in a hurried middle-of-the-night vote.

Just fucked when the alternative isn't that bad.

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 06:42 PM

40. Isn't this interesting

Emerging from a Democratic Caucus meeting Tuesday morning — where they were briefed on Obama’s plan by top White House adviser Rob Nabors — the Democrats pushed back hard against the president’s proposal to reduce future cost-of-living raises for Social Security recipients.

The change — known as the chained consumer price index (CPI) — is said to cut $130 billion in federal spending over a decade, and would include safeguards to protect the most vulnerable seniors.

“I don’t like it at all,” said Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.).

“A terrible idea,” said Rep. and Sen.-elect Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).

“We don’t like the chained CPI,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.).

“We don’t like it,” said Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.). “Why are you hurting the vulnerable seniors?”


They're not real Dems...erp...they always hated Obama...erp...they're racists...erp...they don't understand politics...erp...they need to take a civics class...erp

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Response to Doctor_J (Reply #40)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 08:59 PM

46. Indeed! And at the link in that particular story there are even more listed. nt

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Wed Dec 19, 2012, 06:46 PM

42. They shouldn't care how it makes anyone look

if they reject it. They should just do what is right by the American People period.

And "undermine his negotiating position" what a joke. What negotiating position? What else can I cut for yor next John and Eric?

I really hope the Pres and Pelosi get a nasty shock from the PUKES. I hope enough of them vote against this deal, so that even sellout Dem votes won't be enough to help Boner and the President pass it.

Then it's over the cliff we go. YAY, much better than SS cuts.

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