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Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:18 AM

Why Obama is the worst negotiator ever: He puts artificial constraints on himself

For example, he clearly really wants to get a deal done before the end of the year. Why? There really isn't any good reason for such a restriction, especially if it means a bad deal. There are rumors now that he is so determined to get a quick deal that he will give away half of the tax increase on the rich, probably all of the cap gains, dividend treatment, and inheritance tax, plus give up 2 years of Medicare or at least sign up for the "chaining" system on Social Security, which amounts to a big cut in benefits.

And why would he give this up?

1) To get a deal done this year; and
2) In exchange for an agreement from the GOP to play nice on the debt ceiling.

But those reasons are completely bogus. Regarding the time line, nothing happens immediately on January 1. The markets have already factored delays into their calculations. The damage to the holiday retail sales is already baked in the cake. There is absolutely no reason to weaken your position for an early deal. Indeed, the negotiation position is MUCH stronger on January 1. There are more Democrats in Congress then. Norquist's pledge is a non-issue. And the Bush tax cuts are history. Obama can negotiate from a new baseline.

And there is absolutely no reason to give anything for the debt ceiling. First, he has the 14th Amendment. He doesn't necessarily have to use it, but this moron took that off the table. That is insane. Make the GOP think you MIGHT use it, and all of a sudden, they have no leverage on that score. Moreover, be prepared to let the GOP shut down government. In fact, DARE them to shut down government. How did that work out for Gingrich? That is the best possible way to show how many services are really valuable. A good negotiator would be using the debt ceiling AGAINST the GOP. "Either you make my deal or else your only option is to shut down government. Let's see who wins that one."

And then there is this idea of letting the opponent change the terms on you. That always happens when you have a good negotiator across the table. You have to return fire with fire. When the GOP says, "well, maybe we can give you 1% of what you are asking for, but only if you start down the path of destroying Medicare by adding 2 years to the eligibility age", the correct response might be, "Hmmm that is very interesting. Of course this puts quite a difficult burden on those approaching the retirement age. You know, I think we might be able to agree on a plan that says the fully paid benefits start at 67, and we add a new option for those 50-66 that allows them the option to buy into Medicare early at the actual cost to the Medicare system. That will guarantee these older Americans good coverage at the lowest possible price, and won't cost the taxpayers a dime." Do we have a deal?

Of course the GOP would scream bloody murder about that. That's a sign it is an eff3ective negotiation. You let them know that if they want to change fundamental principles, two can play that game.

Is there anybody out there who really believes Obama is going to hold out for a good deal?

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Reply Why Obama is the worst negotiator ever: He puts artificial constraints on himself (Original post)
BlueStreak Dec 2012 OP
BeyondGeography Dec 2012 #1
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #6
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #2
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #5
sharp_stick Dec 2012 #10
jberryhill Dec 2012 #11
zipplewrath Dec 2012 #32
sharp_stick Dec 2012 #40
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #43
zipplewrath Dec 2012 #47
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #63
zipplewrath Dec 2012 #81
PoliticalBiker Dec 2012 #51
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #75
PoliticalBiker Dec 2012 #84
sharp_stick Dec 2012 #115
PoliticalBiker Dec 2012 #116
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #73
PoliticalBiker Dec 2012 #91
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #101
PoliticalBiker Dec 2012 #105
European Socialist Dec 2012 #3
sharp_stick Dec 2012 #4
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #7
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #78
treestar Dec 2012 #8
BlueMTexpat Dec 2012 #13
zipplewrath Dec 2012 #33
GeorgeGist Dec 2012 #9
alcibiades_mystery Dec 2012 #12
bamacrat Dec 2012 #14
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #17
Myrina Dec 2012 #24
bamacrat Dec 2012 #31
Xyzse Dec 2012 #15
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #19
Xyzse Dec 2012 #23
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #76
Dyedinthewoolliberal Dec 2012 #16
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #22
truebluegreen Dec 2012 #18
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #20
boingboinh Dec 2012 #21
truebluegreen Dec 2012 #26
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #60
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #137
forestpath Dec 2012 #25
patrice Dec 2012 #27
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #30
patrice Dec 2012 #34
patrice Dec 2012 #35
phleshdef Dec 2012 #56
no_hypocrisy Dec 2012 #28
unblock Dec 2012 #29
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #37
patrice Dec 2012 #36
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #39
patrice Dec 2012 #50
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #64
shrdlu Dec 2012 #38
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #41
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #45
NYC Liberal Dec 2012 #57
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #82
NYC Liberal Dec 2012 #94
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #97
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #42
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #44
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #46
coalition_unwilling Dec 2012 #54
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #55
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #61
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #70
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #87
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #99
alcibiades_mystery Dec 2012 #104
Surya Gayatri Dec 2012 #106
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #127
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #128
John2 Dec 2012 #48
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #62
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #72
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #77
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #88
Avalux Dec 2012 #49
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #53
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #67
Avalux Dec 2012 #69
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #74
Avalux Dec 2012 #85
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #80
Avalux Dec 2012 #83
Surya Gayatri Dec 2012 #107
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #114
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #86
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #126
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #129
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #131
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #134
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #139
John2 Dec 2012 #52
MjolnirTime Dec 2012 #58
rhett o rick Dec 2012 #93
DemocratsForProgress Dec 2012 #109
rhett o rick Dec 2012 #110
DemocratsForProgress Dec 2012 #111
backscatter712 Dec 2012 #59
sofa king Dec 2012 #65
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #68
sofa king Dec 2012 #71
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #79
sofa king Dec 2012 #120
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #124
sofa king Dec 2012 #133
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #135
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #89
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #95
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #102
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #112
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #130
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #132
John2 Dec 2012 #90
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #98
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #103
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #113
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #117
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #118
zipplewrath Dec 2012 #92
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #100
Surya Gayatri Dec 2012 #108
BlueDemKev Dec 2012 #66
Filibuster Harry Dec 2012 #96
ProSense Dec 2012 #119
zipplewrath Dec 2012 #121
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #122
zipplewrath Dec 2012 #123
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #125
zipplewrath Dec 2012 #136
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #138
Hekate Dec 2012 #140
union_maid Dec 2012 #141
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #142
Hekate Dec 2012 #143
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #144

Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:33 AM

1. It's silly to pretend there is no risk to the economy if everyone's taxes rise on Jan. 1

I don't have a problem going off the cliff if it avoids the cave-in that you are proposing, which is basically a collate-job of every potential concession that has been reported. But you shouldn't pretend there is no incentive to get this done before Jan. 1. There is. Not just for the economy, but to put this issue behind him and put some achievements on the board (starting with immigration) that will also require Republican votes in the House.

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Response to BeyondGeography (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:50 AM

6. Please explain how rolling over on these issues helps him get a better deal on immigration

Please explain how that causes the Republicans to take him more seriously on the other issues?

The only thing they respect is force and the willingness to use it.

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:35 AM

2. Step 1: Add shit. Step 2: Stir.

Calling Obama a "moron" sounds like something my Tea Party neighbor might scream during one of his angry rants.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #2)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:49 AM

5. On negotiation, he is a moron. On other things, he's very capable

Name one good negotiation he has accomplished.

He has gotten his ass kicked every time. And now he has the best hand ever and looks to be giving it away.

Either he is a completely inept negotiator or else he never intended to fight for us in the first place. I prefer to believe he is just inept.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:05 AM

10. Fuck me but this is one of the dumbest...

Lily Ledbetter, End of Don't Ask Don't Tell, Extension of Jobless Benefits, The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

That's off the top of my head and pretty much all the time I've decided to waste on someone that appears to have picked an avatar based on personal intelligence.

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Response to sharp_stick (Reply #10)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:11 AM

11. Oh, I'm sure that BlueStreak is only warming up in the dumb department

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Response to sharp_stick (Reply #10)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:36 AM

32. Um, odd list

I presume you were attempting to indicate his negotiation prowess with your quick list. The problem is, it's a set of lousy examples. He had practically nothing to do with Ledbetter other than signing it. No negotiation required. DADT almost got blown, and didn't happen the way he laid out. A few senators put that deal together. He negotiated a 1 year extension of jobless benefits for a 2 year extension of the bush tax cuts. Not exactly a shining example of negotiation skills. And the ARRA was too small by half, he gave up the support to the states, which would have helped prevent the mass layoffs at the state public sector level, for more tax cuts (40% of the stimulus) for the "middle class". It turned into the weakest portion of the stimulus.

A good list might have included his work in nuclear disarming of Russia, or his work with Iran and sanctions. Quite honestly for all the arrows he took for it, his willingness to walk away from the "grand bargin" last year was probably the sign of a guy who knew when to walk away from a bad deal (which is part of being a good negotiator).

But the OP has some valid points about giving way too much up front. The only exception I'd make is that Obama would have to be careful with the public with indicating that the "cliff" isn't a big deal. They'll all begin to feel it soon after the first of the year, the hardest hit being the unemployed (which by the by is some of the most effective current "stimulus" still in action). So at the very least he needs to indicate that he is sensitive to the time scale. I do think he probably should have avoided the "cliff" metaphore and suggested more of what it really is, the top of the roller coaster and you pick up speed quickly as you go over the top.

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Response to zipplewrath (Reply #32)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:56 AM

40. Like I said

it was off the top of my head. The OP is worth less than the time I spent on it and I'll stick by the list in any case his ability to get any kind of stimulus passed in the environment he was in was outstanding.

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Response to sharp_stick (Reply #40)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 12:03 PM

43. Stimulus was a horrible job of negotiation

Half of it became tax cuts which are not stimulative. That allowed Republicans to come back later and say the stimulus plan was too costly for what it produced in jobs. Just like the ACA, he gave up a whole bunch of concessions to the Republicans and then didn't even get any significant Republican support on the final bill. If your opponent isn't going to vote for the law anyway, then don't give him concessions.

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Response to sharp_stick (Reply #40)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 12:16 PM

47. Oh, stimulus was guaranteed

I'm not sure why you'd say "any kind of stimulus". Both parties were declaring the need for stimulus, the only question was what kind. The GOP of course was calling for tax cuts, and reduced regulations. Obama was calling for direct stimulus and support for state budgets. He gave up much of the state support for tax cuts and what spending was left was intended to be for "shovel ready" projects. As Obama himself stated a couple of years later, there is no such thing as "shovel ready" projects. So he gave up stimulus that would have addressed the one area that is still hurting the most, civil sector employment, spent money on the sector that even he suggests was the least effective, and gave the GOP what they advocated, and got very few votes at all for that 40% of the stimulus. Heck, the public didn't even seem to be aware that he had agreed to cut their income taxes.

And this is what you want to point to as an example of his great negotiation skills? I'm not sure even Obama would use that as an example. As I suggested, he seems far more proud of his work in 2011 in terms of getting the debt limit raised, and setting up this conflict after the election. Guess we'll have to wait for the memoir.

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Response to zipplewrath (Reply #47)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 01:58 PM

63. The set-up appears to be an act of genius

Which is why it is so galling that he is now reverting back to the same mistakes he has made on the earlier negotiations.

I agree he has done a better this time, going a couple of weeks before making unilateral concessions. But that isn't good enough. You have to stay tough to the end when you have the kind of leverage he has.

The point, once again, is that he will never again have this kind of leverage unless there is some kind of historic sweep in the 2014 election cycle. If he caves on this, it is 4 years of lame duck.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #63)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:47 PM

81. Careful

99% of what we see is basically Kabuki theater. For all we know, we are seeing the RESULTS of on going discussions and concessions being made on both sides. Much like the Health Insurance Industry Stimulus Act, deals were "done" months before they were publicly acknowledged. Just as people say that "actions speak louder than words", we won't really know what, if any, concessions were ACTUALLY made until the deal is done. In 2011, there was a constant stream of reports about "done deals" only to find out that nothing was actually final until the whole deal is done. It will probably be the same here. Each days movement brings out new opportunities to renegotiate all aspects of the deal.

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Response to sharp_stick (Reply #10)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 12:38 PM

51. Are you Kidding??

Extension of unemployment benefits? They are set to expire again, if you haven't noticed.
TARP? giving money to banks that buy legislators to put us back on the same path that put us in the hole in the first place?
Give me a break.

Obama is a wonderful visionary. He has a great vision for the future and the benefit to all of us. It can happen, but the problem is, he IS a lousy negotiator. He caves on his own deals before he gets to the table. He has surrounded himself with wall street types that... DUH! will give him advise to benefit wall street and make it sound like a good deal for the rest of us... Where have we heard THAT before.

He won't even bring up the 14th amendment so the reight have no concern regarding that option.
He will cave on retirement age even though it will save no money
He will give away at least... at least half the tax rate increase to the wealthy
He will concede to cuts in Medicare/Medicaid
All so he can get a deal done by the end of the year.
LOUSY negotiator - Let the cliff happen. Force the republicans' hand. Force them to propose the cuts in Medicare/Medicaid. Force them to propose unemployment compensation renewal. When their base stops getting their checks, they will change their positions.

The republicans need to be held accountable for their actions and their lies. They need to be held accountable for voter restriction legislation, anti-labor legislation and constant obstruction. He could do that, but he won't.

If you remember, Obama talked a good story after his first election, but got little done outside of the ACA, and even that was an abortion of the original idea... just to get republican votes... which he got none of anyway.

We, as his supporters MUST push him to do what WE want him to do, not what makes it look like bipartisan agreement. Bipartisan is bullshit with the current incarnation of republican. Not possible. We must forge ahead without them. We must make them irrelevant so they change their tunes.

The republicans understand the game. It's time the democrats beat them at it. We have the opportunity to do that now. I fear we will squander the advantage.... again.

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Response to PoliticalBiker (Reply #51)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:38 PM

75. Half your post says he will cave, the rest says he might cave. Which is it?

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #75)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:53 PM

84. Yer 'fused

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Response to PoliticalBiker (Reply #51)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 09:12 AM

115. Of course they're set to expire

a refresher course on civics would be helpful but something tells me it wouldn't do much good.

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Response to sharp_stick (Reply #115)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:01 AM

116. Ya got anything else?

constructive that is.

conversation.... heard of it?

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #5)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:33 PM

73. Make a specific prediction about what you think he will give away.

The folks who predicted that he'd never support ending DADT were wrong.

There are those who spent his entire first term predicting that he'd gut / slash or even kill Social Security. They were wrong.

So, if you want to be taken seriously, make an actual prediction. What will Obama give away, and why will he do it?

Back to Obama's other "bad negotiations" .... you mention the Public Option.

The PO was not going to pass. And to prove that statement, it I'll give you a test that no one else has passed. But maybe you will be the first.

The Public option was not supported by about 5-6 Blue dogs depending on how you count. It was also not supported by Joe Lieberman. And we needed 60 votes in the Senate to get it to pass.

You are now the President.

I will SPOT you all of those 5-6 Blue Dogs.

This means all you need to do if figure out how to flip Joe Lieberman and get him to vote YES. That's all you have to do. When you explain how you will flip Lieberman, please address these three facts about Lieberman.

1) Lieberman campaigned against Obama and for McCain in 2008.
2) Lieberman is known as the "Senator from AETNA"
3) Lieberman is not running for the senate again.

You are clearly a master of negotiation. And so, simply explain how YOU as President get that one vote. You need 60, and I've spotted you 59. You have to get Lieberman to vote yes with a Public Option in the HC reform bill.

Can you do it?

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #73)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:02 PM

91. Well Joe...

All of your relatives have their own insurance right?
Do you think they would like an option that costs them half as much for the same coverage?
The PU isn't the financial incentive for those that use it as private insurance is for those that provide it. Explain to your consituants why you support the latter. Perhaps those providers are slipping you a little on the side to stick it to the provided to? I wonder if they know what a recall is...

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Response to PoliticalBiker (Reply #91)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:44 PM

101. Wrong. Not all of my relatives had their own insurance ... my now 16 year old neice ...

is just one example. She is my sister's daughter.

She was diagnosed with a cancer called Neuroblastoma when she was 2 years old. It can be an extremely dangerous cancer because it usually has very few symptoms, so it tends to spread unnoticed. And if it spreads enough, you can't stop it.

In my neice's case, she started to run fevers for no apparent reason. As a result, they spotted the cancer, and after many chemo treatments, they determined she was cancer free again.

But afterwards, no insurance company would cover her for more than basic kid colds or sports injuries. She has kidney stones as a result of the Chemo. The best my sister could get was a policy that provided a small discount on such treatments.

My niece is likely to have fertility issues down the road. And the potential for her to get some other cancer is higher.

My niece recently, thanks to Obamacare, has full coverage. Her cancer is no longer a pre-existing condition.

If Obama got NOTHING, which is what you seem to want (the PO was never going to happen), my niece would STILL have no full coverage.

I could speak about other relatives, but I think my niece's case speaks for itself, and for the others in my extended family.

What else you got?

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #101)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:51 PM

105. Apologies...

I was speaking as if I was trying to convince Joe Lieberman to support the ACA
Just noticed your id
No offense intended

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:39 AM

3. He will punt on 2nd down instead of first down.

But, you better not criticize because where else can you go.

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Response to European Socialist (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:48 AM

4. There are plenty of places to go

I encourage an exhaustive search.

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Response to European Socialist (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:51 AM

7. I can't go anywhere, but I can call attention to what is happening

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Response to European Socialist (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:45 PM

78. Can you make a specific prediction regarding what his "punt" will look like?

Its easy to claim he will punt and provide no specifics ... are you willing to make a specific prediction about exactly what that punt will be?

You must have some idea.

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:58 AM

8. It's not really a simple question

People talk like Obama is negotiating the price of a rug at a bazaar.

Obama is an excellent negotiator, as he gets more out of the situation than would be humanly possible with most DUers who insult his skills because they once got a good deal on a car. Boner would run you over with a bulldozer and have everything he wanted immediately.

I don't pretend to be good at it myself, but I can see that Obama is good at it and that he knows the ins and outs of the situation and is not oversimplifying them.

You're simply advocating taking huge risks as a bluff and thinking that always works. As I recall, the 14th Amendment argument was very dicey and very risky, yet you're talking about it as if it is clearly established. If it were, Boner and Co. would be in a very different position.

Face it, there are republicans in power and we don't get everything we want just because we have the presidency. A president who riskily bluffed and refused to negotiate might well cause great damage. Obama cares about how we end up living, not about whether he looks "brave" for taking big risks with our lives or not.

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Response to treestar (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:12 AM

13. Nice response!!!



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Response to treestar (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:43 AM

33. Not sure they're huge

Really, I understand what you mean about the advocacy of taking risk, it's the easy thing to suggest when you're not the one who will suffer the consequences. But there are very few "huge" risks here. Really, the vast majority are in the GOP's court. Going over the cliff, and shutting down the government are both more likely to stick to the GOP in the short run than the president. The actual problems with Jan 1 will take a couple of months to fully manifest themselves in much of the economy. With respect to the debt ceiling, I understand why the president wants it fixed now as part of the "deal", but as the OP suggests, making it an up front constraint seems wrong. You make that something that the GOP can use as protection from THEIR critics. In the process of negotiation, you give them the opening to throw that in. Truth is, there are many folks on both sides of the aisle that would like to "fix" that problem permanently. And we just confuse the public. It is a very clean issue to just "fix" the tax rate question. Extend them for the 98%, fix the minimum tax, and move on. Make the GOP come up with the "what else" gets done, and make them explain why it needs to be done "now" as part of "fixing" the tax rate problem.

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:04 AM

9. There are rumors ...

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:11 AM

12. This should bring the dumbest Obama haters out in droves

As the know-nothing circle jerk reaches fever pitch.

Have fun, y'all.

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:13 AM

14. I agree with that, but...

I think as much as we hate to admit it, PBO is just not as liberal as we want to think he is. If he were he would start his negotiations on the far left so what he compromises to is what he is now leading with. I don't think he will hold out for a good deal in the end. He will take what he can get. He isn't good at playing chicken with the pukes.

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Response to bamacrat (Reply #14)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:29 AM

17. What you say is undeniable, but the real question is why

Does he really not believe any of the things he says on the campaign trail? If so, his is one of the greatest con artists ever. Maybe I am a fool for being taken in by that, but I think he does believe most of what he says.

But he just is not good at this game -- and he doesn't seem to want to get any good negotiators around him. What we see over and over is his dominant tendency to assume that in the end, the decent, reasonable Republicans will show up. But they never do. And he just isn't willing to play hardball. He isn't capable.

I could listen to an argument that says on health care, he didn't have a very strong hand, what with the blue dogs undercutting him, and he had to bend over for that. But that is not at all the circumstance this time. He (or his people) carefully arranged for all the GOP goodies to expire at the same time, giving Obama the strongest negotiating position he has ever had, and far stronger than any position he will be in during his last 4 years. And still he refuses to use it in a tough-minded way.

I will stipulate that we haven't seen the final deal and maybe I will be surprised, but I don't think so.

I am open for bets. I bet we will see at least half of these tings in the deal he negotiates.

1) Something less than the return to the Clinton marginal rate on the top 2%

2) Something less than 20% rate on cap gains

3) Status quo on the inheritance tax

4) Some substantial concession on entitlements, either a raise in Medicare age or a cut in Social Security benefits through the "chained CPI"

5) No permanent solution to the ability of the GOP to take hostages on the debt limit. At best he will get an agreement that only last 4 years and he'll leave that problem for the next President, but the Medicare / Social Security cuts will be permanent.

6) Continued increases in military spending, more or less in line with what we were spending fighting Bush's wars.

7) No substantial stimulus funding.

Who wants to bet that he does better than 50% on these things? The key point is that if he does nothing at all, we end up in a much better position than we would be if he caves on half of these things.

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Response to bamacrat (Reply #14)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:16 AM

24. He isn't a liberal.

And our side of the electorate needs to stop fooling ourselves into believing that he is.

He's negotiating a deal based on his beliefs, which are Reagan-Democrat.

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Response to Myrina (Reply #24)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:35 AM

31. I have nothing to add to that. n/t

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:15 AM

15. Actually his past deals made it hard for me to vote for him.

His opposition however made it easy to vote for him.

Any how, at this point in time, I think he is doing better than prior deals. In the sense that he is not doing the negotiation as much with the Republicans in a group with just him. He is actually out campaigning on it, which is the right way to go about it.

Calling your Congressmen and Senators, particularly the Republican ones would be the best course of action.

Granted, I think he has signaled conceding on certain things that I think he should hold on to for a while longer, and I feel like the best course of action may be to not make a deal.

I mean, the Democrats in Congress seems to have a bill ready to push forward if things don't work out. Which to me is the right idea.

So again, contacting the Representatives in Senate and Congress is our job... The President's job is to educate people about it. It really would be nice to appoint Bill Clinton to explain things. He is far better at it.

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Response to Xyzse (Reply #15)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:33 AM

19. The signals he should be sending are:

1) I am perfectly willing to move forward letting all of these things expire. Either meet me mostly on my terms or lose 100%.

2) I am perfectly willing to either use the 14th Amendment on the debt ceiling or to let you shut down the government. I won't negotiate on the debt ceiling.

On that second point, he said he wouldn't negotiate on the debt ceiling, but there are credible rumors that he is doing exactly that -- offering big PERMANENT concessions in exchange for a TEMPORARY solution to the debt ceiling. If that is true, it is just plain dumb. Never trade away a permanent benefit for in exchange for a temporary one.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #19)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:12 AM

23. You may be right.

Thing is, other than what I mentioned, I don't really know what to do about that any more.

Although, I feel that people are not concentrating on the other issue on the purported Fiscal Cliff enough.
That is, the sequestration issue. I think they should discuss the details of that more than the tax issue.

They should change the conversation towards what should be saved in regards to the cuts with the idea that we need to pay for it, and it should be defrayed by some of the expiring Tax Cuts.

Then, next year, they can push forwards those Tax Cuts afterwards.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #19)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:43 PM

76. Hummmm .... Both of those have been addressed.

Regarding #1: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/05/timothy-geithner-fiscal-cliff_n_2247457.html

Regarding #2: What are "credible rumors" ... got any names?

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:16 AM

16. So you know all these good reasons to play hardball

but the President doesn't? Sheesh...............

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Response to Dyedinthewoolliberal (Reply #16)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:49 AM

22. He doesn't play hardball -- ever

That isn't who he is. And he evidently doesn't want anybody around him who does.

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:29 AM

18. I'd like to see him try Something Completely Different:

How 'bout increasing his "ask" when he gets turned down, instead of lowering it? That would be fun, and at least as useful.

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Response to truebluegreen (Reply #18)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:35 AM

20. Exactly. That sends the message

"Hey, I already offered you the best deal you are going to see. If you don't play ball, it gets worse. And if you don't get serious, I'm going to let everything expire, which is your worst nightmare."

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:48 AM

21. EASY ANSWER: Obama is a BLUE DOG Center-Right President

 

He wants the deal because he believes a lot in the Right's ideals of trickle down. He understands one must campaign as a Liberal to get elected but governing as a republican is how you get personally rich from Corporations when you leave the white house.

Sure, throw the pepople a bone now and then by offering up social issues that don't hurt your corporate buddies (same sex marriage). But on any other issue that connects back to Big $$...hell no you can't!

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Response to boingboinh (Reply #21)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:16 AM

26. +100

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Response to boingboinh (Reply #21)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 01:39 PM

60. I alerted on your post and a jury of your peers voted 3-3 to let it stand. One of your peers

 

who voted to let it stand suggested I instead challenge you in this thread.

So here goes: It's perfectly appropriate to label Obama a 'Center-Right President' (I have done so myself on more than one occasion here). But it is another thing entirely and verges on slander to insinuate as you do that Obama's governing is driven by a plan to enrich himself once he leaves office:

governing as a republican is how you get personally rich from Corporations when you leave the white house.


So here's the challenge: do you have even one shred of evidence to back up your slander?

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #60)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:28 PM

137. As I expected, complete and total silence when called out. I guess that's par for the

 

course here in the brave new world of DU3.

Insinuate that Obama is a corrupt pol intent upon enriching himself at the public trough, but then don't bother to support your slander. And a jury will let your slander stand by a 3-3 vote.

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:16 AM

25. No, I no longer believe it. This feels too much like history repeating.

 

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:21 AM

27. In order to make this claim you HAVE TO know more about everything than PO does.

Do you?

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Response to patrice (Reply #27)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:33 AM

30. We know what the big pieces are

If you are implying that Boehner has something he is using to blackmail Obama, well, that would be a problem, I'd think.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #30)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:46 AM

34. So "small" stuff doesn't matter. Tell that to any one person needing health care. nt

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #30)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:48 AM

35. The fact that you think I'm suggesting blackmail here is evidence of your bias. Admit it. nt

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #30)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 01:06 PM

56. You don't know shit. You are armchair Presidenting like the rest of the posers around here.

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:24 AM

28. Part of the problem is his lack of experience

as a litigator, negotiator, and/or mediator. His resume is community organizer, scholar, and professor.

When you do bare-knuckle litigation, you have to negotiate a lot of little shit to big shit from Day One in order to resolve a controversy. You may not like your adversarial counsel and/or his/her client. But it's the only way to move the matter along. It's a lot like poker where you have an innate sense of when there's bluffing and posturing versus true and fair negotiation. And there are times you are forced to walk away from the table because you're being played.

I only hope Obama is relying on those who know how to play hardball in negotiations.

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:30 AM

29. just to be clear, the 14th amendment is a some, but limited value here.

the 14th amendment lets treasury pay interest and principal on debt already incurred.

that's it.

it does NOT let treasury create MORE debt in order to pay for government operations or payroll or defense or aid or other programs or anything else at all.

so it keeps EXISTING treasuries from these shenanigans, but it doesn't let obama accomplish much extra in terms of the debt ceiling.

even if it were the case, at best it would just kick the can down to when they have to bring up the budget bills. republicans can use the same scorched earth negotiating crap to the annual budget cycle, and the 14th amendment is clearly no help there.

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Response to unblock (Reply #29)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:52 AM

37. re: kicking the can to the next budget, I agree with you

But the budget talks have been more wonky -- not the sort of things the GOP has been able to play out as a hostage situation. That could be their next move, of course.

Re: the 14th, scholars disagree on this. Some say that 14th makes the notion of a debt ceiling unconstitutional and the President can simply ignore it. That would force his opponents to go to the SCOTUS for an opinion. And that, in turn puts the SCOTUS in the position of being the party to shut down the government and put the country's credit at risk.

Obama should welcome that fight. He should have been enough of a student of history to see how that played out for Clinton and Gingrich. And Obama has the advantage of a much wider gap in popularity between POTUS and the Congress -- some 40 points. The country ALREADY blames the GOP for these tactics. Obama won an election because of that. He should not be afraid of that confrontation. He should welcome it, like standing up to the bully on the playground.

Call the GOP's bluff. Ignore the debt ceiling. Even if they win in the SCOTUS, that results in a government shutdown, and Obama can win that one. Obama wins either way. There is no reason to concede ANYTHING because of the debt ceiling.

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:49 AM

36. Again, do you in fact know EVERYTHING you would need to know in order to arrive at this conclusion?

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Response to patrice (Reply #36)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:53 AM

39. OK, then go right ahead and suggest items that you think justify

the kinds of concessions that are apparently in the works.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #39)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 12:35 PM

50. Not my point. I'm saying there could be such things. You are saying there is no possibility

that anything other than "concession" is at work here, probably because you expect the Repubs to go for Obama's deal and you are more interested in tarring and feathering him than you are in one of the things he has mentioned eversince Jan 2011, and repeated yesterday in Detroit, whatever happens this session will be part of what happens next. AND you refuse to admit that what you are doing right here right now will LIMIT what he can do, now and in the future, by driving wedges into a base that MUST stick together in order to proceed on its OWN issues.

I, at least, am willing to admit that there are a huge variety of ways ALL of the related details to this stuff COULD be worked out. You have decided that there is one and only one acceptable set of results, which ever so coincidentally just happen to be yours, and you have determined on a MINUTE FRACTION of the whole universe of information that actually is determinative, and if you don't see what you, in your OPINION, think should happen, it's a failure and justifies fracturing the base and thus insuring defeat, which you will then claim as evidence that you were right all along, when, in fact, you and people like you engage in self-fulfilling prophecies for your own agendas and pretend that it is for the "greater good" of everyone.

In regards to your request of me to "suggest items", may I remind you that health care is on the table right this fucking minute and health care professionals are out there trying to advance that cause and you are not privvy to the precise details of how concessions will or will not be made in that field and IN EXCHANGE FOR WHAT. And that's only one issue that is on the table right now, with this tax question.

You also should know that I'm personally for holding-out to end the Bush Tax Cuts and even go with the 2010 budget deal, but the difference between you and me on that strategy is that I know that getting there requires much more than you ASSUME it does and I refuse to cut the ground out from under those working on that BEFORE they even get to it.

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Response to patrice (Reply #50)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:01 PM

64. What kinds of "things"? A sick auntie or something?

We know the big pieces that are at play.

We know what we get if we simply let everything lapse.

A successful negotiation will be a result that is clearly better than letting the current laws lapse.

Please explain how putting us on the course of raising the eligibility age for Medicare or greatly cutting Social Security benefits through "chaining" represents an improvement over what would happen by default.

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:53 AM

38. Wow! That old 900-pound elephant...

...is rampaging through the living room this morning. Mr. Some Say, my favorite authority, frequently claims Obama is playing a long game, or multi-dimensional chess, or has other gambits that I can't understand. I hope so. And he is not a moron. Maybe a little to comfortable with the rich and powerful and maybe too concerned with being portrayed as an angry black man.

I'm enjoying the discussion. Keep going.

But please tell me he is not contemplating raising the eligibility age for medicare. This would be a stunning betrayal of the trust placed in him by his reelection. If he caves on a fundamental issue of his party, then he can expect even stronger GOP resistance for the duration of his term. The voters have saved him from being a one-term president. He must save himself from becoming a lame-term president. He should man-up and dance with who brung him.

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Response to shrdlu (Reply #38)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:58 AM

41. EVERYTHING is nogotiable, and this means

the GOP can keep putting more and more demands on the table and then they "compromise" by giving the GOP half of what they demanded. For example, now that there has apparently been substantive discussion about raising the Medicare age to 67, the "compromise" will be something like "I successfully negotiated for it to only go up to 66-and-a-half, and I was able to get the GOP to agree to stretch that transition period by 3 years"

No. That is not a compromise. That is a capitulation. When they put that on the table, push back with the public option for everybody from 55-65. Obama's compromises are always on the GOP's terms.

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Response to shrdlu (Reply #38)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 12:09 PM

45. Actually ...

I find it (sadly) funny, that people are taking the word of Mr. Some Say ... You know ... The same guy that insisted that the presidential race so breath-takingly close ... that there have been substantive discussions about raising the eligilbility age, or anything else.

Truth is ... no one knows what is being discussed or what negotiating position President Obama is taking in the room; and those that do know, ain't talking.

Here's a hint, for those listening to Mr. Some Say ... what is said to the public is usually very different from the positions taken in the negotiating room.

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Response to shrdlu (Reply #38)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 01:11 PM

57. We've been hearing that tired meme for 4 years.

"But please tell me he is not contemplating raising the eligibility age for medicare. This would be a stunning betrayal of the trust placed in him by his reelection. If he caves on a fundamental issue of his party, then he can expect even stronger GOP resistance for the duration of his term"

It's getting really, really old.

He was supposed to announce that in his State of the Union in *January 2010*. People are absolutely swore it was going to happen.

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Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #57)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:48 PM

82. YUP ... same prediction pops up every few months ... then it doesn't happen ...

and those making the prediction go silent for awhile, and then pop back up a few months later ... and repeat the process.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #82)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:25 PM

94. In 2017 we'll start hearing "Well he really DID want to but WE stopped him."

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Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #94)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:31 PM

97. Agree.

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 12:00 PM

42. I would laugh at this drivel ...

if I didn't think you were serious.

I just love all the arm-schair negotiators that clearly know nothing about high-stakes negotiations.

Those that can do, do; those that can't do, teach; those that wish they could do, post on anonymous internet boards what those actually doing, should be doing.

BTW, when are YOU announcing YOUR run for office?

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #42)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 12:05 PM

44. Please share your resume including details of the high national elected offices you have held?

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #44)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 12:15 PM

46. high national elected offices ...

none.

High level negotiations: 12 labor contracts ... 1 two day walk-out, no wage or benefit give-backs.

Civil Rights Litigation Settlements: $12,000,000+

Your turn ...

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #46)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 12:54 PM

54. Down goes Frazier! (Tip of my hat to my friend Orrex who

 

reminded me of the famous Howard Cosell line.)

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Response to coalition_unwilling (Reply #54)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 12:58 PM

55. I wonder if ...

Bluestreak will respond? I've been waiting with baited breath.

Maybe, he/she had to run an errand.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #55)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 01:50 PM

61. I've had this same discussion with the gentleman before

He has not held any elected office yet he is claiming that is a prerequisite for understanding negotiations.

I have shared my professional resume with the gentleman before and am not going to repeat it here. Anybody is welcome to search DU if they think that is somehow germane to the conversation.

If the gentleman truly has had key responsibilities in negotiations of that sort, then he will know that the points I am making are true. You simply don't tell your opponent when and how you are planning to cave before the negotiations begin in earnest, yet that is exactly what this President has done every time.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #61)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:22 PM

70. Okay ...

I have shared my professional resume with the gentleman before and am not going to repeat it here. Anybody is welcome to search DU if they think that is somehow germane to the conversation.


So you have not held an elected office, nor have youh experience in high-stakes negotiation? But you DID stay in a Holiday Inn Express, thereby providing you knowledge of real-life negotiation strategy, right?

BTW, "the gentleman" DOES have experience in high stakes negotiation, as briefly detailed above; and that experience informs "the gentleman's" dissent.

If the gentleman truly has had key responsibilities in negotiations of that sort, then he will know that the points I am making are true. You simply don't tell your opponent when and how you are planning to cave before the negotiations begin in earnest, yet that is exactly what this President has done every time.


You do realize that what is said in public, during negotiations, is about "the appearance of reasonableness" (the reasonableness that is directly traceable to the election results AND current opinion polling numbers, BTW) AND is completely irrelevant to what is said at the negotiation table. Right?

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #70)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:55 PM

87. As I mentioned in the other thread

I negotiated many computer service contracts over the years, each of which seems to have been larger than the sum total all your negotiations.

I am not interested in a personal battle of resumes here. You would do well to address the substance of the points rather than to try to turn this into a personal thing.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #87)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:33 PM

99. It was you that placed resumes on the table ...

Last edited Tue Dec 11, 2012, 05:19 PM - Edit history (1)

but I am pretty certain the value of the labor contracts plus the settlements, dwarfs your computer service agreement deals. But you are right, this isn't about a my resume is bigger than your resume pi$$ing match.

I am happy to discuss the substance of the points, which as I recall is your belief that President Obama is the worst negotiator ever. But in order to have such a conversation, we must agree on a couple points:

First, President Obama's at the table negotiating position is likely very diiferent from the public positions presented ... It is how high-stakes negotiations are played, especially in the public-sector where it is far more important to appear to the public reasonable, than to be seen as strong (by your partisans).

Second, we must agree that your characterization of President Obama's negotiating position is vastly over-blown/hyperbolic ... he has said, none of the things you credit to him.

Third, informing your opinion on what is going to happen by listening to the very people that last month were telling you the election was too close to call, is ill-advised.

Okay ... now can we talk?

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #99)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:07 PM

104. A total and complete ass kicking of the OP

Congrats, Strong.



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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #99)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 05:27 PM

106. Cheering you on from the sidelines here...

And 1StrongBlackMan sends BlueStreak to the mat with a wicked left-right cross!

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #99)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:10 PM

127. By your logic, the only reasonable thing is to go into a bunker for 60 days

and then come out and have a look around.

You are welcome to do that. And for that matter, you are welcome to keep pissing on this thread. Makes no difference to me. But I am a person who is not comfortable hanging out in bunkers. I try to inform myself as much as possible.

Regarding your comment about media sources, some were much more reliable than others. There is an art to reading between the lines.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #127)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:35 PM

128. Okay ...

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #44)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 12:22 PM

48. I'll put

 

my two cents in. Just why do you think President Obama can do any concessions without the agreement of a Democratic contoled Senate and many Democrats in the House? You are making the assumption President Obama owns the Democratic Party and my representative in North Carolina. And you act like a few Republicans in Red Districts own the Government. This is ludicrous. So in effect, you are claiming President Obama will be the only person at fault, while you detach any blame to other members of the Democratic Party. That seems like a strategy to help the Republicans by pitting focus on one person. Is that the stratgy for dividing the party? and President Obama's power is measured by those that back him and so do the power that represents my representative. If I and others in my District tell our representative, not to agree with President Obama, then that is how things work. So all this power you attach to Obama, is a straw man.

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Response to John2 (Reply #48)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 01:54 PM

62. You can't put tooth paste back in the tube

Obama is the leader of the party. When he lets it be known that he is willing to increase the Medicare age, there is no way for, say, Charles Schumer, to pull that point back. It is over once Obama puts it on the table.

Look, I know this isn't what everybody wants to hear, but it sure looks like he is selling us out again. If you don't believe me, don't argue with me today. Come back in 3 weeks and show me how wrong I was.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #62)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:31 PM

72. He has done no such thing ...

When he lets it be known that he is willing to increase the Medicare age


You know you keep saying it, but that doesn't make it true.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #72)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:44 PM

77. What are you saying, man?

That doesn't make any sense.

You are saying that when he indicates he's willing to negotiate away the Medicare age that he can pull that back? Nonsense. Once it's out there that becomes a new baseline for the GOP negotiations.

Are you sure you actually had the principal role in all those negotiations you talk about?

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #77)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:56 PM

88. I'm saying ...

PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS NOT SAID, INDICATED, IMPLIED THAT HE IS WILLING TO NEGOTIATE AWAY THE MEDICARE AGE!!!

He HAS said that everything is on the table ... He will listen to anything the gop offers ... the Medicare/SS programs need modifications to make them stronger (modification that he has outlined, in broad and specific term); but NEVER, not once, has he said anything approaching what you credit to him.

And, YES, I have state first chair at the negotiation table. That's how I know what is said to the public during negotiations is irrelevant.

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 12:31 PM

49. Please explain your first sentence.

What information do you have indicating Obama "clearly" wants to get a deal done by the end of the year?

And to answer you last sentence - No, I don't think he's going to hold out for a good deal because there isn't one, I think he's going to take us over the cliff. I'm hoping he does.

All this talk about entitlement tinkering and making concessions so that Republicans will play nice is nothing more than talk. There is no way in hell an agreement can be made before the first of the year, both sides know it. Secretly, Republicans want to go over the cliff too, so they won't be accountable for raising taxes on the wealthy. They'll blame Obama and Dems for it all (fine with me). It's politically advantageous for Republicans to hold out at this point.

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Response to Avalux (Reply #49)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 12:48 PM

53. Thank you ...

Apparently Bluestreak believes (as a poster above referred to) Mr. Some Say ... the same guy that told us the election was a horse-race ... actually knows more this time around.

But you're right ... going over the cliff benefits conservatives because they do not have to vote to raise taxes on the wealthy; and then again, when they turn around a vote to re-instate the tax cuts for the 98%. However, for the 16 seconds that the public pays attention, the conservatives will be blamed for any damage going over the cliff does.

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Response to Avalux (Reply #49)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:06 PM

67. Reported by Ezra Klein

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/07/the-fiscal-cliff-deal-comes-clearer-a-37-top-tax-rate-and-a-higher-medicare-eligibility-age/

Perhaps Klein is wrong, or maybe it won't end up this way, but he is certainly not the only one who has been hearing this. When there is smoke, there is fire.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #67)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:16 PM

69. Just because Klein is reporting what he thinks may happen doesn't make it so.

Has it occurred to you that the White House is playing McConnell and Republicans? If I'm wrong and the deal Klein thinks will happen comes to fruition, I'll come back here and apologize to you.

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Response to Avalux (Reply #69)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:37 PM

74. Especially when ...

Klein starts the opinion part with:

Talk to smart folks in Washington, and here’s what they think will happen


Especially when those same "smart folks" had the recent election a squeaker ... a too close to call horserace.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #74)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:54 PM

85. It doesn't matter what we say.

Reactionary people will continue to do just that - react to opinion as if already fact. It's too bad, really.

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Response to Avalux (Reply #69)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:47 PM

80. I'm not looking for apologies. I'l looking for realists.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #80)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:50 PM

83. Oh boy. Good luck with that. n/t

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #80)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 05:44 PM

107. "Apologies" aside, just what do you intend to do with

this desperately sought "realist", once you find him/her?

Just where do you expect this line of argument to lead, starting from your ill-conceived and ill-supported OP contention?

What is the expected result of all this verbiage? Sounds like a pile of Baseless Speculation or "BS" to these ears.

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Response to Surya Gayatri (Reply #107)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 09:20 PM

114. A: Have a reality-based conversation.

If you think it is baseless, then by all means, feel free not to "contribute". We will all learn soon enough whether or not the concerns are baseless. Personally I don't like the feeling of being taken for a ride, so I prefer to pay attention to the deals as they are being put together. If you would prefer to not think about it until you see the final product, that's OK with me. But it seems there isn't much that can be done at that point. We have already seen, for example, an enormous push-back as Obama seemed to be giving away 2 years of medicare. Pushing back after the deal is done -- well, that is baseless.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #86)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 01:06 PM

126. I saw that. It is encouraging.

The maximum point of leverage happens in early January:

1) when nobody feels bound by the Norquist pledge any more.

2) When there are more Dems in the House and Senate

3) After all the current laws have lapsed and the public starts to get restless about their reduced take-home pay, loss of unemployment, and end of the payroll tax holiday.

The perfect play is to use December to raise the angst level very high among Republicans, and then press like hell in January to ram through a quick bill to end their pain.

Nothing good comes from allowing the House to pass the Senate bill in December. Basically that kills any chance for the other others Obama wants to accomplish. But the big risk pushing those "over the cliff" is the "Y2K problem". If we get to late January with no bill, the world may have figured out that the idea of a "fiscal cliff" was 99% hype, and things could really bog down. Nonetheless, I think there will remain at least a desire to lower the tax rates for the 98% and that will still give Obama the upper hand. And there are also adjustments to the sequester formula that people will want to make, so even in the worst case, there will be opportunities for progress with Obama having the advantage in every scenario.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #126)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:01 PM

129. Agree. The House GOP is only good at doing nothing.

They've spent the last 2 years doing nothing.

There is no reason to think they can get their act together before the end of the year. So I think we probably go off the cliff.

Boehner can say he stood his ground, but then he'll have to acknowledge that Congress must act he'll save some face, when I suspect the Dems will agree to not cut defense (leave it flat).

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #129)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:13 PM

131. That scenario makes sense -- but it is not by design.

I mean, even today, Reid is taunting the House to pass the Senate bill. He should just shut up and let this scenario play out. Having the House pass the Senate bill is our worst possible outcome. All other scenarios are better than that.

Maybe this is some really genius reverse psychology that I don't understand. Or maybe, like you, the WH is very confident that there is no way Boehner gets that vote to happen in December, so they are piling on just to up the ante for January.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #131)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:59 PM

134. I think Reid is screwing with McConnell.

But I'm not sure which Senate bill you mean.

The Senate has already passed a bill that maintains the tax cuts for those under 250k. The House won't vote on it.

Reid did just make Mitch filabuster his own debt ceiling bill, which was hilarious. Is that the bill you mean? Passing that now outside the "fiscal cliff" bill would be great for dems.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #134)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:15 PM

139. No, I really meant Boehner.

Today Reid made another plea for the House to pass the Senate's bill.

For clarity, that is S. 3412: Middle Class Tax Cut Act of 2012

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/s3412

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 12:45 PM

52. I think

 

President Obama has learned by now and si has the Democrats how to deal with the rightwing Republicans and their media allies. That is where all that chatter is coming from, because they want a Deal. Frankly, they are the only ones scared about going over some Fiscal Cliff. I pay no attention to Pundits from sources like Politico, CNN, or even those from the Washington Post. These people act like the people that voted for this man or my representative's constituents in these Blue Districts don't even exist. It is the same mistakes they made about this Election. Hello, we exist, not just rightwingers in Tea party Red Districts. I don't give a dam about Wall Street. The bottomline is the President has a mandate, and if they don't think so, try us! People are mad as hell with their shit!

The President can go off the Cliff and we will support him! The President does not have to raise the elgibility age or even touch Social Security and we will support him. He has four years and the Congress has two years to face the music. He can raise the Debt level and take that responsibility from a few obstructionists in Congress, and get the support from the people that elected him. And if they dare try to impeach him, it will go no where, because they don't own the Senate, pure and simple. Little Lindsy can proceed at every turn, but guess where this power struggle will end up? All the President has to do is stand his ground! They are not just opposing the President, they are opposing us!

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 01:12 PM

58. I am so glad Obama is the President and you are just a hater. Everything in its proper place.

 

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Response to MjolnirTime (Reply #58)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:22 PM

93. Do you think calling someone a "hater" is adding to the discussion?

If you have an argument, let's here it. Name calling is usually an act of desperation.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #93)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 06:23 PM

109. You mean like when the OP

called the President a "moron"?

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Response to DemocratsForProgress (Reply #109)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 07:12 PM

110. The OP was wrong to use the term "moron." And he should be called out for it.

However, that doesnt justify calling a DU member a "hater" or any other name. "He started it", isnt justification.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #110)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 07:25 PM

111. No disagreement there.

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 01:32 PM

59. Thank you for your concern... n/t

Have a nice day.

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:03 PM

65. Bwahahaha! Yeah, I'd say I am that guy.

I am the guy who believes that President Obama is going to hold out for a good deal.

I am the guy who correctly guessed a good chunk of the outline of the Democratic game plan for two full years, starting here:

http://journals.democraticunderground.com/sofa%20king/95

The idea being fleshed out here:

http://journals.democraticunderground.com/sofa%20king/96

And pounded into the dirt here at DU ever since.

http://journals.democraticunderground.com/sofa%20king/106
http://journals.democraticunderground.com/sofa%20king/107
http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=356650

It is true that my predictions of the effect of the Tax Cut Massacre were wildly optimistic:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1014&pid=161917

I failed to guess that the entirety of television media and the press would fail to note the importance of the Republican vote against extending the middle class tax cut--though I should have noted it. The results may be more easily seen on the Senate side of the elections, where a few percent of disaffected Republicans translated directly into a 3-to-1 rout.

But this is what I know, for sure, and what all of you need to know, for sure, so that you can watch your Christmas present unwrap itself: The Democrats are not going to cave in on the tax cut expiration because they have already won that fight. They won it, and the final decision was placed in the hands of the President, not Congress, and this President has hung a huge proportion of his focus and direction on these cuts for the rich expiring.

The only way Republicans can save their asses now is by caving in to the demands of their own rabid constituents, and extend the middle class tax cuts as everyone else wants. Honestly, I don't think they have it together enough to even do that.

Whatever is being said in public right now is simply the sort of political theater that wounded Republicans in Washington trundle out when they have nothing else.

What the President has already is considerably more than any of the talking heads on the news expected him to get, ever. He has the termination of the Bush Tax cuts, and he oh-so-carefully helped to craft the legislation so that he would have seen its end even if he were not reelected. That's how damned serious he was about ending them.

So the Republicans may or may not know it yet, but what they're really negotiating for is what additional concessions they will make in exchange for the President and the Senate throwing them a bone of some sort that will give some of them a fighting chance in the next election. Extending the middle class cuts is the obvious compromise, but the people in front of and behind the cameras don't want you to see that--because that's not how they win.

There isn't going to be any cave-in. This is trap-building time for President Obama, Senator Reid, and Rep. Pelosi. Just like in December, 2010, this is the season in which we legislatively out-maneuver the lame-duck opposition by entangling them in their own greed and forcing them to give up some of their ability to inhibit future legislative moves.

Republicans are firmly on the leash of their own corruption, and we're holding the leash. We win, I guarantee it.

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Response to sofa king (Reply #65)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:15 PM

68. Then please set my mind at ease by telling me which of these

WILL NOT HAPPEN as a result of the deal Obama eventually negotiates

1) Something less than the return to the Clinton marginal rate on the top 2%

2) Something less than 20% rate on cap gains

3) Status quo on the inheritance tax

4) Some substantial concession on entitlements, either a raise in Medicare age or a cut in Social Security benefits through the "chained CPI"

5) No permanent solution to the ability of the GOP to take hostages on the debt limit. At best he will get an agreement that only last 4 years and he'll leave that problem for the next President, but the Medicare / Social Security cuts will be permanent.

6) Continued increases in military spending, more or less in line with what we were spending fighting Bush's wars.

7) No substantial stimulus funding.

My prediction is that at least 4 of these things will happen in Obama's deal, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him cave on 6 of them.

Or let me put it a different way, what would you consider a successful negotiation? Anything more than 2 of above, I would consider a very bad deal.


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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #68)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:23 PM

71. Short answer:

1) is already in the bag and there is no way that is going to be watered down in future negotiations.

It is by far the most important negotiating point of the seven you list. The worst-case scenario, then, is that the President keeps 1) and lets the rest alone.

I seriously doubt the Republicans will be able to get behind any subsequent negotiation that recognizes the above and goes beyond it. So that's the most likely outcome, I think: take our toys and leave.

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Response to sofa king (Reply #71)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:46 PM

79. Number 1 is NOT already in the bag. They are now talking about giving away half of that

-- in other words, giving the 1-percenters a 37% rate.

That is my point. He is taking things that were already in the bag and negotiating them away.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #79)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:50 AM

120. They can talk, vote, pass bills...

... but none of it will matter because the President will almost certainly veto any compromise that changes the simple expiration of those cuts.

Under no reasonable scenario would Congress be able to override that veto.

Raising those tax rates on the rich is the closest thing President Obama is going to get to a real stimulus package. The revenue it directly brings in probably doesn't matter as much as the economic activity it will generate as the one percent seeks to risk, tie up, and lose income in order to avoid paying taxes. That was the secret of the success of the Clinton tax hike--also passed without a Republican vote--and I don't expect it to change this time.

Or, if you're not going to buy my barely informed economic babble, think of it like this: once tax cuts for the rich are dead, Republicans aren't off the hook, because they already shot their hostage, the middle class tax cuts.

If the new Congress, particularly the Republican House, does not find a way to bring the middle class tax cuts back to life and pass them and have the President sign them into law, they will be staring down the barrel of another electoral rout in the mid-term elections.

Stalling out any negotiations now will produce an even more valuable bargaining chip in the next Congress, the expiration timetable was deliberately set up so that it will play out that way automatically, and Congress cannot stop it. Republicans have nothing left to bargain with, particularly if the President allows the cuts to expire. Once that happens, they will find themselves having to give us concessions in order to give us what we wanted in the first place.

Do you really think that John Boehner is competent enough to devise and pass a compromise that improves upon that state of affairs for the President and the Democrats? Of course they won't, and so it's going to play out automatically, just as the President knew it would two years ago when he and his people scripted the language of the law.

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Response to sofa king (Reply #120)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:51 PM

124. Obama doesn't care about taxing the rich. It is just posturing

Last edited Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:06 PM - Edit history (1)

You notice he almost never talks about the dividend treatment or the capital gains rate, both of which are huge factors in how the rich avoid paying their fair share. And other than some very vague rhetoric during the campaign, there is no serious talk of actually ending their most abusive tax evasion schemes. It just isn't Obama's priority. He put a stake in the ground that says "rates" have to go up. That isn't because he cares what the rate is. That is because he is trying to break Grover's stranglehold. He wants to force Republicans to vote for SOME clear-cut tax rate increase just to prove beyond any dounbt that there is no longer any pledge with Grover still in force. That's the ONLY reason he is even talking about the tax rate, and he'll give away 75% of the rate as long as the GOP is forced to vote for an actual rate increase on the rich.

Cynical? Yeah, but that's the way it is.

If you dig into his budget, there are other things he cares more about and we'll see how much of that he gets. The key one is the stimulus package. Even though he foolishly gave away 40% of the original stimulus to the GOP demands for tax cuts -- and still got ZERO REPUBLICAN VOTES in the House and only THREE REPUBLICAN VOTES in the Senate -- the other 60% of the stimulus was the basis for a very large amount of progressive economic development. He needs another stash of money to continue that progress.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #124)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:22 PM

133. You spell it out very well.

But I still think you are missing the most basic point: President Obama's negotiating position improves if negotiations fail now. He gets to decide whether a compromise works better for him or not before he approves it. The President holds all the cards in this matter and I believe his oft-stated intentions are still valid.

He has no reason whatsoever to approve anything at all before January. But the President can keep them divided among themselves by pretending to negotiate now, heh heh, just so that he can reject it later. Making the conservatives discuss the matter is a minor victory in itself.

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Response to sofa king (Reply #133)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 03:09 PM

135. I agree 100%, and I think I have been saying that all along.

The best course is for all the defaults to kick in Jan 1 and then to get out the whip. There is no doubt about that. I hope Obama understands this, and I hope all this stuff we're seeing daily is just posturing to be ready to go in for the kill come the new year.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #68)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:57 PM

89. If we go off the cliff, what will your view be?

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #89)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:29 PM

95. We will be far better off. All the bush cuts shold be eliminated

We can't come close to balancing the budget with only getting 4% more out of the rich, especially considering most of them have teams of lawyers that are very good ad evading taxes altogether.

The best deal is to let everything expire and then do a little horse trading around the margins. TEMPORARILY lower rates for the 90%. Hold the Pentagon budget flat or lower, but reallocate budgets where agreeable. Etc.

Don't try to tell me that the "big win" from this election was that the top tax rates would only go up a percent or two and that would be paid for by cutting millions out of Medicare. Why did we even bother to try to win if that is the case?

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #95)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:50 PM

102. You build a sad little strawman don't ya.

I'll start with you last statement first. When exactly did I advocate for a tax rate increase of only 1 or 2% ... I did no such thing. Again, if you want to be taken seriously, you should be accurate on such statements.

I agree with your first statement. Raising the tax rates 4% on the rich will not balance the budget. Not that I ever suggested it would.

As for your second statement ... The same outcome occurs temporaly if the "deal" before year end, is to simply extend the middle class tax cuts for the 98% under 250k. That could happen prior to the end of year. Pentagon spending would stay flat, and little else would happen.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #102)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 08:49 PM

112. This isn't about you

You asked a question. I answered it. It is irrelevant what you might have advocated. Obama is pushing a program where he wants to make 98% id the Bush tax cuts permanent. This is his plan. That's what he campaigned on. That's (presumably) what he is negotiating for.

I disagree with Obama as a matter of policy, but that isn't the issue. He said was he was for and -- at least for that part of it -- that's what he is pushing. I won't criticize him for that. But I think it is bad policy.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #112)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:06 PM

130. You said ...

Don't try to tell me that the "big win" from this election was that the top tax rates would only go up a percent or two and that would be paid for by cutting millions out of Medicare.


I did not try to tell you "that the 'big win' from this election was that the top tax rates would only go up a percent or two and that would be paid for by cutting millions out of Medicare."

Who were you speaking to, if not to me?

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #130)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 02:14 PM

132. My mistake, then.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #68)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:02 PM

90. Please tell me

 

where you think President Obama has support for those type of spending cuts in the Senate, that you are claiming out of 55 Democratic votes? I listened to Senator McCaskill's position and she doesn't even advocate to the spending cuts that you claim. The only people has even claimed those types of spending cuts have came from Republicans, pundits or some Democrat, that don't even have votes in Congress. Even President Obama has not even advocated that, except some back room deal two years ago, leaked by Bob Woodard. This is not two years ago.

The President has already laid out his plan of spending cuts to Boehner, even though the Republicans and Pundits try to down play it. Democrats like Erskine Bowles and Ed Rendell, do not have a vote. The closest Democrat coming to your suggestions was a Democrat named Kent Conrad, out of North Dakota, and even he wouldm't touch raising age elgibility when pressed on it. His vote is not enough in the Senate though. It is quite revealing how the media pundits keep asking him on. Why don't they ask Bernie Sanders or Murray on?

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Response to John2 (Reply #90)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:33 PM

98. Please go back and read my list. Myybe it isn't clear enough.

Everything that is on my list are things Obama campaigned on, and they are all in his budget. And most of them happen by default if he does nothing.

My point is that if he gives on more than one or two of these things, we are much worse off than simply doing nothing and taking the defaults.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #98)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:04 PM

103. That all depends on ...

what is gained. Doesn't it?

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #103)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 08:50 PM

113. Yes, if there are major gains that I didn't mention on that list.

What do you think those never-mentioned gains might be?

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #113)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:26 AM

117. I don't know ...

I'm not at the table.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #117)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 10:51 AM

118. I'm thinking that if Obama is pushing for additional things not already in his budget

Boehner would be crying very publicly about that.

So if you don't mind, I will just go ahead and assume that there are no other potential wins that we don't know about.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #68)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:12 PM

92. My less than rose colored glasses

FWIW, from someone who doesn't exactly wear rose colored glasses with this administration:

1) Something less than the return to the Clinton marginal rate on the top 2%

This may come to pass, althought they'll try to dress it up as a simultaneous change to deductions. The AMT is going to give them problems here.

2) Something less than 20% rate on cap gains

I don't think this one is even in "real space". No one is going after this. Geithner probably has it solidly block FROM the administration side.

3) Status quo on the inheritance tax

Again, I don't think there is any real momentum to do this. Not much cash here anyway unless you seriously change things.

4) Some substantial concession on entitlements, either a raise in Medicare age or a cut in Social Security benefits through the "chained CPI"

50/50. There's real resistence to this in the Senate. I think it'd take ALOT of GOP concessions to get much here. More likely "simpson bowels 2.0" commission, AFTER the tax changes are passed.

5) No permanent solution to the ability of the GOP to take hostages on the debt limit. At best he will get an agreement that only last 4 years and he'll leave that problem for the next President, but the Medicare / Social Security cuts will be permanent.

Again 50/50. He wants something permanent, but will probably sell this off for something merely "long term" as long as he gets other concessions.

6) Continued increases in military spending, more or less in line with what we were spending fighting Bush's wars.

Pretty much a given. This will be put off one way or another right now.

7) No substantial stimulus funding.

A given. Back door at best. More tax cuts of some sort will be about all.

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Response to zipplewrath (Reply #92)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:37 PM

100. You are 100% correct, IMHO

But let me point out that #2 and #3 happen automatically if we go over the cliff. I think you are absolutely right that Obama plans to give those away because nobody is watching. Those are actually a lot more money than the top marginal tax rate.

I have been saying this for some time that Obama was very carefully only drawing a soft line in the sand on the top marginal rate and he never ever brings up the main elements of the Bush cuts that really favor the wealthiest. That stuff is as good as gone. Obama already gave that stuff away for nothing. I hope to be proven wrong about that, but I don't think so.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #68)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 05:49 PM

108. More BS or "Baseless Speculation"...

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:05 PM

66. That's the community organizer in him

He believes in trying to bring everyone together in a consensus, but Washington ain't like that. Especially when your adversaries will NOT work with you come hell or high water.

Put your foot down, Mr. President. You tried for two years to work with these assholes (2009-10) and all they did was undermine you every chance they got. You have the people's support in this...KICK THE RETHUGS' ASSES!!

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:29 PM

96. I don't know but I think you need to send him your thread. Truly good stuff!!

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 11:12 AM

119. One point:

After the 2011 negotions, Boehner claimed he got 98 percent of what he wanted. Some people made the same claim about President Obama being "the worst negotiator ever."

For much of this year, the looming defense cuts have been pushed by those who want to see the bloated defense budget cut. Yes, that was the deal the President made. Fast forward to the fight he said he was willing to have, and look where we stand: A lot of Democrats are demanding that the President go over the cliff, and Republicans are dreading it.

Republicans have a problem.

No, Dems don't need to compromise up front

By Greg Sargent

Yesterday, Republicans reacted with outrage when the White House offered an opening bid loaded with Democratic priorities -- $1.6 trillion in new tax revenues, an extension of unemployment insurance, and more stimulus spending. Though Dems offered $400 billion in Medicare cuts, what angered Republicans was that Dems didn't suggest greater spending cuts -- they didn't volunteer big concessions up front -- leading Republicans to dismiss the offer as "unserious."

The basic problem for Republicans here is that Democrats don't have to offer big concessions up front. This is true because of basic common sense -- if Republicans say no deal is possible without "serious" spending cuts, they need to tell us what spending cuts they consider "serious," or the talks can't go anywhere. (It's striking that some pundits are ignoring this basic reality and playing along with GOP claims.) But it's also true because of the uniqueness of this set of negotiations -- specifically, if we do nothing, Democrats will get their way. All the tax cuts will expire, and Dems can come back and push a new tax cut just for the middle class -- a circumstance that will only increase the Dems' leverage further.

This has created a fundamentally unbalanced situation. If we do nothing, the fate of the tax rates for the middle class will automatically become "decoupled" from the fate of tax rates for the rich. Dems want that to happen. Republicans, by contrast, want the fate of the two sets of tax rates to remain bound together as one. This has created an awkward situation that some conservatives will cop to and others won't. Some, like GOP Rep. Tom Cole and a growing number of Republicans, willingly admit that the current situation is lost and that Dems have much of the leverage here. Others are in denial about this -- as Matt Lewis writes, conservatives who think Republicans have the leverage are guilty of "the same kind of happy thinking that led some to boldly predict a Romney victory."

Worse for Republicans, Obama has a simple way to exacerbate the fundamental imbalance of the situation. He can continue to call on Republicans to extend just the middle class tax cuts, since everyone agrees on extending those -- and claim we can resolve the point of disagreement over the tax rates on the rich later. This forces Republicans to say No to this (because they need the two to remain tied together), further unmasking just how a high priority they place on keeping taxes low on the rich -- they are willing to create uncertainty for millions of middle class families to achieve it.

- more -

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/post/no-dems-dont-need-to-compromise-up-front/2012/11/30/7b06096a-3b1e-11e2-9258-ac7c78d5c680_blog.html

Republicans have no leverage, and Democrats' hand will be strengthened on January 1.

Poll: Public Will Blame Congressional GOP For ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Failures
http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/poll-public-will-blame-congressional-gop-for-fiscal

Pic Of The Moment: Why Congressional Republicans Are Screwed, In One Chart
http://www.democraticunderground.com/101785802

Besides polls showing that Americans would blame Republicans, the President made a very high-profile and sensible proposal (http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021914963). He also supports the already passed Senate bill.

Boehner has three choices:

1) Accept the President's proposal with "dividends to be taxed as ordinary income" and the "estate tax to be levied at 45 percent on inheritances over $3.5 million."

2) Pass the Senate bill, "which currently taxes inheritances over $5 million at 35 percent," but excludes Obama's dividend proposal.

3) Go over the cliff when "the estate tax is scheduled to rise to 55 percent beginning with inheritances exceeding $1 million."

In each case, the tax cuts for the rich end.

Are talks between Obama and Boehner already breaking down?
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10021956768

Data Visualizations

Josh Marshall

There’s no way to understand the jousting and positioning over the ‘fiscal cliff’ without understanding the following facts: Both President Obama and congressional Republicans are moving right along to the edge of the cliff. Both say they’re ready to go over the edge. Only President Obama is gliding along in a hot air balloon and John Boehner and co. are on foot. So the repercussions over going over the edge are quite different. And both sides know it.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2012/11/data_visualizations.php

Keep laughing, losers, but know that most Americans are laughing at you, not with you.

Pic Of The Moment: As Fiscal Cliff Deadline Approaches, Obama's Position Strengthens
http://www.democraticunderground.com/101783228

Now that's a negotiator, and he won!






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Response to ProSense (Reply #119)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:18 PM

121. Well, you're arguing different points

You're basically saying that Obama set this fight up, and has the upper hand. I don't think anyone here, including the OP disagrees with you. In a short list of negotiations in which Obama had demonstrated that he was "strong", I listed last years debt limit fight. He didn't "win" but he didn't roll, and he set up a series of events (Simpson Bowles, the automatic cuts, the extension expiration) which all played out in a way the put him back into the game he wanted to be in, not one of the GOP's making.

The OP however is bringing in several issues that weren' discussed last year, and weren't particularly part of the "Grand Bargin". Capital Gains is probably the biggest of those. Neither side is discussing it AT ALL. It is 15% and is going to stay 15% near as I can tell. The OP is right about most of the issues he raises. Obama probably isn't going to do much NOW (i.e. as part of these negotiations) on military spending, capital gains, or inherentence taxes. If anything happens on those, it will probably be later this year. On the debt ceiling, we'll see.

And going "over the cliff" does do some things that Obama is after, it will raise ALL taxes, and it will cut military spending. But I'd hardly call that "floating on a Balloon". It will also cut some domestic spending. It will also "raise" taxes on the middle class, something he promised not to do. And although the initial blame will probably go to the GOP, in the long run, if it leads to a recession, regardless of how shallow or short, it will be the "Obama recession".

He hasn't "won", but he has gotten here mostly by his own efforts, not by getting pushed here. He's seemed to learn alot about defense, we'll see if he has gotten good on offense.

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Response to zipplewrath (Reply #121)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:31 PM

122. I agree, and add that the Senate bill represents unnecessary capitulation

I assume that part of this can be put on the Senate as opposed to Obama's negotiating. Obama wanted a high ground position during the election where he could say "Look all you have to do is pass the same bill that is already through the Senate and I will sign it."

I don't like that idea, but I would not argue it is bad negotiating on the scale of the other things I have brought up. It was a political choice -- presumably the best he could get out of the Senate at the time.

But a good negotiator would find a way to pull that back because going over the "cliff" gives Obama a lot more leverage. It actually is a great deal for Republicans to pass the Senate bill. That essentially gets rid of all of Obama's leverage, and they lock in a great tax rate for 98% of the public and also lock in a great deal for the uber-rich on inheritance -- and don't touch cap gains and dividends. That is a horrible deal for Obama -- defaulting is a much better deal. But as I said, political positioning during an election requires certain sub-optimal choices. If Obama didn't win the election, he wouldn't be in a position to do anything now.

But Obama really should stop taunting the GOP to "just sign the Senate bill". We can do much, much better than that. Let that damn thing expire at the end of the month along with everything else. Fortunately, I think Grover is the ally here. The teabaggers probably won't vote for the Senate bill, but some of them could vote for a tax cut AFTER the bush cuts expire. And by then, the Senate bill will have expired along with the current Congress.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #122)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:45 PM

123. Cliff ain't all good

Going over the cliff does have large down sides for the 98%, especially if it results in a recession. It also ends unemployment assistance for many. It also will cut into domestic spending. And, if the GOP holds out, the whole mess will then bump up against the debt ceiling as well. Now, the GOP would have to hold out for literally MONTHS.

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Response to zipplewrath (Reply #123)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 12:57 PM

125. There are downsides, but they are practically the same if the House just passes the Senate's bill

All the downsides you mention remain except practically all of the Bush tax cuts remain in force. including 2/3 of the tax cuts enjoyed by the wealthiest 2% (the cap gains rate and the 15% rate for dividends). And this leaves Obama with absolutely no leverage to do anything else.

He is far better off arranging events so that we must go "over the cliff". He can get a much broader, better deal in January.

Now, it is possible that everything we have been seeing is actually a highly elaborate mind game that Obama has been doing to accomplish EXACTLY that (i.e. force the GOP over the cliff to maximize Obama's leverage). And if so, I will certainly have a different view of Obama's negotiating skills. I don't believe that is what he has been doing.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #125)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 05:13 PM

136. Capital Gains?

Do capital gains go back up to 20% if we go over the cliff?

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Response to zipplewrath (Reply #136)

Wed Dec 12, 2012, 06:12 PM

138. Here's the bill

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/s3412
You can find the full text there. I've quoted the summary below. The whole thing is only about 4 pages

You are correct. The Senate bill does have the effect of reverting to Clinton rates for Cap Gains and dividends for those incomes above $250,000. It is also noteworthy that this is a temporary extension of only one year. That is another reason why Republicans will not sign it.

Title I - Temporary Extension of Tax Relief
Section 101 -
Extends through 2013 for an individual taxpayer whose adjusted gross income is less than the applicable threshold amount (i.e., $200,000 for individual taxpayers, $225,000 for heads of household, and $250,000 for married couples filing a joint tax return) the tax rate reductions and other tax benefits of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001.
Modifies individual income tax brackets for 2013 to reduce income tax for taxpayers whose adjusted gross income is less than the applicable threshold amount and to increase the income tax rate for taxpayers above such threshold amount.
Provides for an inflation adjustment to the applicable threshold amounts for calendar years beginning after 2012.
Exempts taxpayers whose adjusted gross income is less than the applicable threshold amount from the phase-out of personal exemptions and itemized deductions.
Section 102 -
Extends through 2013 for an individual taxpayer whose adjusted gross income is less than the applicable threshold amount the reduction in the tax rate for dividend and capital gain income enacted by the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003. Increases to 20% the tax rate for capital gains income for taxpayers whose adjusted gross income exceeds the applicable threshold amount.
Section 103 -
Extends through 2013: (1) the increased American Opportunity tax credit, (2) the increase in the refundable portion of the child tax credit, (3) the increased earned income tax credit percentage for three or more qualifying children, and (4) the disregard of tax credits and refunds in determining eligibility for federal and federally-assisted programs (i.e., means tested programs).
Section 104 -
Extends to taxable years beginning in 2013 a $250,000 expensing allowance for depreciable business assets, including computer software. Increases to $800,000 the threshold for a phase-out of the amount of such expensing allowance.
Title II - Alternative Minimum Tax Relief
Section 201 -
Extends to taxable years beginning in 2012 the increased exemption from the alternative minimum tax (AMT) for individual taxpayers.
Section 202 -
Extends to taxable years beginning in 2012 the offset against the AMT for certain nonrefundable personal tax credits.
Title III - Budgetary Effects
Provides that the budgetary effects of this Act shall not be entered on either PAYGO scorecard maintained pursuant to the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010 or any Senate PAYGO scorecard.

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:07 AM

140. He gets the job done. He just doesn't commandeer a warship to dance on.

Or would that make a thrill run up your leg?

Look. at. his. record. It's real easy to look up online.

The whole time that some in the liberal community were wringing their hands and howling that they, personally, were being thrown under a bus, the whole time the same people were in sackcloth and ashes because the pony hadn't arrived yet -- President Barack Obama was getting the job done. He was doing what he said he'd do. In spite of the traitorous oaths of GOPers who swore their first and foremost job in Congress was to thwart each and every thing he wanted to get done.

If you want to know what he's going to do in the next four years, look at what he's done in the last four. And look what he says he's going to do. 'Cause he does what he says.

Hekate

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Response to Hekate (Reply #140)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 06:57 AM

141. + billions and billions

You said that so very well.

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Response to BlueStreak (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 09:43 PM

142. Obama's capitulation on Rice is not going to help his negotiating cred

I am trying to think of any single thing Obama could have done to hurt his negotiating position more. With this meltdown on Rice it reminds the GOP that Obama just won't go to battle for anything. If ever there was a righteous case that needed to be fought, it was the outrageous personal attack by McCain and company. Rewarding McCain's outrageous behavior is the worst possible thing Obama could do.

Do any of you want to reconsider your opinion about Obama as a negotiator in light of him collapsing on the Rice issue?

I'll certainly concede that if Obama really didn't intend to nominate Rice, then this was a conundrum. But once McCain with into batshit crazy mode, there really was no choice. Obama had to push her through or else lose all credibility.

The second term is imploding before it even gets started.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #142)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 10:53 PM

143. You're just having too much fun rolling around in this, aren't you?

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Response to Hekate (Reply #143)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 11:05 PM

144. It is a monumental lost opportunity. I don't enjoy it all.

Too bad we couldn't have a tag team where Obama, the world's greatest candidate, could go to the corner and tag his partner who could actually deal with the job.

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