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Inuca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 11:48 AM
Original message
Not really OT - Super Committee Democrats Unveil Budget Proposal
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/26/super-committe... Not much info, and what there is I cannot digest right now. Picture of JK heads the article. I am sure more on this will come out soon.
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ObamaKerryDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
1. Now normally, I'd be thrilled with a picture of JK as the header for an article..
Edited on Wed Oct-26-11 12:02 PM by ObamaKerryDem
..but I don't trust Huffington Post's motives here (not one of my favorites for a few reasons though I do read it). I don't think it's fair because it makes it look like any proposed Medicare cuts and the like are solely or primarily his idea (or his idea at all..I mean if he were the chairman or something I'd understand, but it seems like they are signaling him out here. I don't mean to generalize, but Huffington Post and a lot of its readers have never been very Kerry friendly, from what I have seen..) when NONE of this has been fleshed out yet or put in any kind of proportion or context. We don't yet know what this is, yet alone how the Senator feels about it or will go on it. And of course folks in the comment section are already all on him and the President...*sigh*

Not the first or last time on there things like this have happened, I know-but it's no less frustrating.

I will wait for the facts, to see what this is all about in context..will be interesting to see how this plays out.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I agree with you on all your comments
Edited on Wed Oct-26-11 12:39 PM by karynnj
This all is based on leaks - and even then, they qualify it saying:

"An aide to a Democrat on the committee told HuffPost that the Medicare cuts included in the offer are derived from markers the president had laid out in previous negotiations, and don't necessarily represent the position of the Democrats on the committee,] who question whether there is any proposal at all that Republicans would accept."


This suggests that this is a proposal put together by the Democratic staff which the 6 Democrats have not yet bought in to.

An earlier NYT article, had staff complaining that Kerry was speaking too much (?!) in the committee and was not down to earth (which I assume to mean he was speaking principles and they wanted to speak cut. Given where the Republicans are, I don't know that giving them stuff helps. )

I bolded what I consider the key sentence - the Democrats on the committee do not back clearly back this and they feel there is no possible deal the Republicans will take.

Edited to add that I went there, commented, but have left because the IQ or the reading comprehension score of the average poster is likely approaching zero.
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wisteria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #1
8. I agree with both of you on this. n/t
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
3. First, they should never make announcements like that,
Edited on Wed Oct-26-11 12:28 PM by Mass
particularly by unnamed congressional aides (from what side?). They announced cuts, but don't say which ones. In addition, who wrote the proposal? Staff? Committee members? Who supports it or not?

Now, I know committee members are bound to silence, but if this is what it seems, it is not acceptable.

Here is a more complete article

http://wtaq.com/news/articles/2011/oct/26/exclusive-dem... /

Nice to know that Clyburn thought necessary to make known he has reservations with the Medicare cuts. It would be nice if others said so as well.

This said, it seems the proposal will go nowhere.

http://www.boston.com/Boston/politicalintelligence/2011...

Members of the so-called ``super committee emerged in public today after weeks of closed-door meetings but did little to address growing doubts in the Capitol about their ability to agree on a major deficit-reduction plan.

Some Democrats on the panel including Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts appeared to be arguing during todays hearing to recommend a grand plan to impose major cuts combined with tax increases on the wealthy. Republicans argued generally about the need to reduce entitlement spending.
...


It is weird as the public hearing report by the Globe does not talk about Medicare cuts.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. It doesn't sound like they "announced" anything - this is mostly from leaks
Apparently this proposal was the first time anything with numbers was put on the table - and it was done in the CLOSED meeting yesterday. There was an open one today. (I forgot to look when or if CSPAN was covering it)

Here is another source that comes closes (but doesn't completely) say it was Max Baucus' proposal and that it was similar to what Obama/Boehner came close to negotiating. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/report-senate-democrat...
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Inuca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 01:56 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Sounds indeed like Baucus (WP)
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 02:04 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Here's another HP article - with a misleading title
The title says they are increasing the Medicare age, but then - if you read the article, it says"


Sources tell The Huffington Post that the party has also staked out another position that the base will likely applaud. The presentation produced by Baucus does not call for a raising of the Medicare eligibility age. The idea of increasing that age from 65 to 67 had been a controversial component of talks that President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner had held in late August when negotiating legislation to raise the nation's debt ceiling.

Though the shift would have been done in increments over many years, health policy analysts noted that it would have disproportionately hurt blue collar workers -- who can't afford to spend additional time in their late years in the work force -- without saving much money: Medicare spending is far heavier during life's later years.

<snip>
In addition to scrapping that specific policy provision, sources familiar with the Democratic proposal also argue that the party has minimized the amount of damage it is inflicting on the entitlement program. All cuts, said one source, were limited to those that Obama and Boehner had discussed and informally agreed to in their talks; though it should be noted, no specifics were offered as to what those cuts actually are.

The ration of revenue raisers to spending cuts included in the Baucus presentation is also something that lawmakers are hoping will go over well with the base. However, it's a bit unfair to call Baucus' presentation a 1:1 offer. When considering any proposal, the $1 trillion in discretionary spending cuts already passed into law as part of the debt ceiling deal must be considered -- meaning Baucus's presentation would produce a roughly 1.5 to 2.5 revenues-to-cuts ratio.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/26/medicare-eligi...

The title comes from the author's view that, with this as a starting point and the President's earlier inclusion of this, it will happen. This was not what I learned in a long ago high school journalism class!
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. They must have changed the tiitle since.
Now the title is : Medicare Eligibility Age Increase Not Part Of Dems' Super Committee Presentation
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-26-11 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. I probably misread it
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:13 AM
Response to Original message
10. Here's an article that speaks of the OWS interruption at their meeting
Edited on Thu Oct-27-11 07:13 AM by karynnj
The slant of the article is from the right, but it has a lot of detail. Apparently though, Kerry getting the OMB guy to verify that the stimulus was helpful - in terms of GNP and unemployment and his speaking against the Bush tax cuts is "partisan posturing" - yet I have seen no coverage suggesting that Republicans rigidly adhering to the Norquist pledge - when a large majority favor tax cuts for the top 1% - is "partisan posturing".

http://www.enterprisenews.com/breaking/x493117090/Prote...
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 07:22 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. I found it interestlingly positive coming from the Enterprise.
Of course, they may have seen Kerry's support for the protester a bad thing, but it is good to see him reaffirm his support for the movement.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 03:53 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. I thought it good that he reaffirmed the right to dissent as well
I thought the article was written to be negative, but like you I liked Kerry bringing up the stimulus working and the Bush taxes needing to be rolled back. Many of the less partisan articles didn't. Putting them altogether, it sounds like Kerry is trying to do what he told the BG in that early controversial article.
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Inuca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Interesting, thanks
I would have missed JK's comments otherwise.

This is an awful mess (the SC and what will or will not come out of it), and I do not see how anybody will come out of it looking good :-(. But miracles do happen, don't they? Please tell me they do....
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
13. Special interest at work
This is a sneaky letter. It looks like opposing Medicare cuts, but in fact it is about protecting drug companies from having to negotiate with the government for Medicare D.

http://bmgmedia.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/201...
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Oct-27-11 03:49 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. That was my thought too.
The letter is posted on Blue Mass, but I think the issue is the same one discussed in the Finance committee when they were working on the health care bill. Bill Nelson had an amendment which would give dual eligible Medicare recipients (ie they qualify for Medicaid too) the lower cost negotiated by Medicaid - rather than the higher Medicare cost. The amendment failed when Menendez and Carper voted with the Republicans. Here's a link on that - http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2009/09/24/senators-rejec... /


At the time, Kerry argued strongly in favor of - I think adding on as a cosponsor. The Republicans called the Democrats out saying the billions saved this way were paid by someone - and were answered that it would be from the drug companies. (Caveat this is from memory and this is not defined enough to be sure it is exactly the same thing.

It is good if this is part of the solution.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-28-11 09:38 AM
Response to Original message
16. I watched the Wednesday open meeting
http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/JointDef

The reason nothing was said on entitlements was it was not the topic of the hearing.

Kerry's questions are at about 1 hour 17 minutes. They are similar to what was reported in the various accounts. One thing not reported, is like others he did reference the huge growth in wealth of the 1%. His questions tried to get at the fact that the stimulus did indeed raise GDP and that not renewing the Bush tax cuts at the high end would hurt the economy less than would be gained by its impact in reducing the debt.

Given the leaked plan, it seems the first question was designed to back the inclusion of the stimulus piece. They will likely have the budget group estimate the impact that the higher GDP it creates. They will likely take credit for the expected deficit reduction as higher GDP means higher tax revenues.) Van Hollen (at about 1 hr 30 minutes) actually referenced Kerry's question and then asked about the impact on the deficit of not being at full employment and he then asked about impact of infrastructure spending. (Van Hollen did a great job expanding these points.)

- the latter question was I think to diminish the arguments of the Republicans that increasing taxes on the top hurt the economy. (Van Hollen backed this question as well.)


The protest was at 1:27 The woman was extremely focused, calm and her comments were far more detailed and intelligent than reports gave her credit for.
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 08:34 AM
Response to Original message
17. Unions urge Kerry to drive hard bargain on deficit
http://bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2011/11/04/unions-ur...

Sorry, but this is exactly what worries me, and the fact that the senate website promotes the Garret article is even more worrisome. The worry is even greater by the lack of transparency on the Democratic side.
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YvonneCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-05-11 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. That is a great article. Thank you for posting...
...it.

I was VERY glad that Senator Kerry was put on the committee. I trust his understanding of the issues, his integrity, and his history of being on the side of fairness. Some of the union leaders' comments sound like they feel that way, too.

Maybe I am naive, but I trust the Senator to be fair...to do what is right. I am glad the unions are marching, being loud and making the case for SS, etc....although I suspect JK already knows their concerns. Their being LOUD helps create the space for him to defend these programs (not that he isn't probably already doing so). But the final compromise...IMO...will be better if it seems people want it.

I voted for Jerry Brown for the same reasons. If reform of our economy is needed...and I beleive it is to be sustainable...I want a Dem with integrity to make those decisions. Brown is taking a lot of flack for his pensions proposals...but he VERY MUCH supports fairness, involvement of citizens, and is not dismantling collective bargaining in order to make change.

I'm pretty sure Senator Kerry is fighting a similar fight. I am grateful for that. :hi:
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ObamaKerryDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. Co-sign all of the above!
:hi: Except voting for Jerry Brown (but only because I'm not a CA voter, though I supported and was rooting for him all the way!) :) I am really mad at myself though that I somehow managed to MISS these past couple of SC hearings..and on one of the days, I was RIGHT in that House building (we use the cafeteria in there most days for lunch! :)), RIGHT at that time..*facepalm* There goes my record (of attending every one lol). I will be watching the cmte. site closely from now on though as my program advances, it's not a guarantee..but I hope to at least attend the ultimate one(s)! I remain, like you, VERY glad the Senator was chosen, though I know it's resulted in him getting (even more) heat from certain elements of the party/base, who I really, truly believe have never "forgiven" him for 04..and probably never will, though that's a whole new post right there! But those of us who are actually paying attention to the facts can be proud of him, I believe..I know I am! :)



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YvonneCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-09-11 04:49 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Great post, ObamaKerryDem! I hope you know...
...that you are in DC during a very historic time. How exciting to be a part of that. :)

As to Governor Brown...he is in a tough spot, too, working to put California back on track. There's no way he (or Senator Kerry, for that matter) will ever please everyone. I am sure they will make decisions, for the good of the country, that I may not always like. BUT, knowing they do so with all the facts and that both are people of integrity...that's all the country can ask of them.

We are lucky to have good leaders...and we are lucky they are still fighting the good fight. (And Brown is 72 :7 ) :hi:
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-07-11 08:30 AM
Response to Original message
19. Another article on the dynamics of the committee
Reading it, what is really clear is that the members and their staff really are not talking to the media - including this reporter. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/11/07/us-usa-superc...
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-09-11 05:04 PM
Response to Original message
22. A few news today
http://www.wwlp.com/dpp/news/local/hampden/seniors-prot...

Seniors protest possible benefit cuts
Boarded bus for rally in Boston

Updated: Wednesday, 09 Nov 2011, 3:50 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 09 Nov 2011, 3:50 PM EST

Jackie Brousseau
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - A bus full of senior citizens left for Boston early Wednesday morning to fight for senior benefits.

The seniors joined hundreds of people at the Wang Theatre for a rally aimed at protecting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

The seniors want Senator John Kerry (D-Massachusetts) to hear their message. Kerry is a member of the so-called Super Committee, which was formed to make cuts to help reduce the deficit. The committee is considering slashing funds for these programs.

The cuts that they are proposing including raising the age to 67 are really not smart because in the long run, people will really suffer, and in fact we feel the age should be extended downward so more are covered rather than fewer, said Linda Stone of the Massachusetts Senior Action Council.

I dont know if this is a proposal. but given that this was repeated again and again by the media without being contradicted, I can see how it would worry people.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-09/democrats-said...

Nov. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Robert Shapiro, chairman of Sonecon LLC, and Kevin Hassett, director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, debate the tax options Congress's deficit supercommittee may consider. Bloomberg Government analyst Joann Weiner moderates this edition of Bloomberg Government's "BGOV Debate." (Source: Bloomberg)
Democrats criticized a Republican plan to cut the U.S. deficit by overhauling the tax code as a windfall for the wealthy even as the plan signaled a new willingness by Republicans to include tax revenue in any agreement to slash the deficit.
A Democratic staff analysis said the plan would lower rates for high-income Americans while raising taxes on the middle class. Republicans say the plan includes $300 billion in higher tax revenue to help cut the deficit, most of which would come from reducing tax breaks for the wealthy....
Senator John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat on the supercommittee, rejected the plan today, saying, We have a big gap with respect to where we are on revenues. The Republicans proposal will not work -- weve told them that very directly, he said.
This is not complicated: theyve got to put real revenue on the table in a way that helps us get the job done, said Kerry. Supercommittee Democrats want more than $1 trillion in additional revenue.
...
Senator Dick Durbin, the chambers second-ranking Democrat, said it is definitely encouraging that Republicans put tax increases on the table.
...


Not sure what game Durbin plays here, but the GOP did not put tax increases on the table.

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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-10-11 08:48 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. I watched CNN's Erin Burnett (sp ?) yesterday and she had a relatively long segment
on the supercommittee - and her bias was beyond blatant.

She set the subject up by speaking of Europe - and especially Italy's problems. Her contention is that their problem is mostly that world lacks confidence. Her argument was then that the US having confidence in the future was key to solving both our and Europe's problems.

Then after that idealist bit of putting everything down to market psychology, ignoring that there might be anything real unpinning, she transitioned into the supercommittee - first putting up the oft used CNN 12panel photo of the Senators, darkened to make them almost silhouettes with the super imposed label Senate Eunuchs. She then spoke of how they could become Senate superheroes by agreeing to a plan that gave the markets confidence in the US economy.

Then she moved to speak of the Republican plan - and to discuss it enthusiastistically - she has Senator Toomey, (Club for Growth, PA). There were a few questions that solicited information, but no real push back on the fact that the numbers simply do not add up - especially as he wanted to make the Bush tax cuts permanent as part of this. (She even let him get away with saying that some of the wealthy people may pay more because of the loopholes removed - but ignores that this can not be true if they make the Bush tax cuts permanent - as that includes eliminating estate taxes.)

To counter this from the Democratic side, she had .... nobody. Not any of the Democrats on the committee or even off the committee. Not even a pretense of fairness by having Harold Ford. Also, no financial expert, no economist, no activist - no one, but Toomey and Erin, formerly of the right leaning CNBC, who started her career in investment banking at Goldman Saks.

It is more dangerous to have biased reporting on CNN than on Fox, where it is expected.
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-10-11 09:03 AM
Response to Original message
24. Weasel Jon Keller tries to pit Warren against Kerry
Edited on Thu Nov-10-11 09:06 AM by Mass
http://boston.cbslocal.com/2011/11/09/keller-large-warr... /

Kerry, one of six Democrats on the so-called super-committee charged with finding a way out of our budget mess, has said those entitlements must be on the table for possible cuts.

At the business luncheon, Warren made it clear she does not agree with Kerry.

This is a question of values. We dont start talking about repairing this country by saying were going to make those who are most vulnerable, making our seniors, making our working people take the biggest hit, said Warren. Its not where the conversation is supposed to start.

I want to see us moving on that jobs bill, version 1, version 2 and version 3 that have been proposed over the last month, to put people back to work here in the Commonwealth, to prevent layoffs of teachers, firefighters and police officers, Warren continued. Thats what I want to see here.


I dont disagree with Warren, but how does she disagree with Kerry in this? (and, once again, she ignore the poor, which was one of the point Kerry was making in the article).And she has to learn how to refuse faulty premises.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-10-11 10:17 AM
Response to Reply #24
25. From the article, Keller said they disagreed, not Warren
Edited on Thu Nov-10-11 10:55 AM by karynnj
It does not sound like she was asked if she and Kerry disagree, but that Keller inferred both their positions and saw a contradiction. Her comments actually nearly the same - note the word "biggest" That, in and of itself, means that like Kerry, she is not "taking cuts off the table". Not to mention, Kerry has always said this is a question of values.

I don't intend to make a similar comment in the main threads as Warren and Kerry are in different positions. As an elected Senator, on the committee, he has a responsibility to be doing pretty much what he is doing. He also seems to be speaking a bit more, but is clearly restraining himself, perhaps because if it becomes a public war of words, both sides will go to their far corners and whatever fragment of hope there is - ragged as it is - is gone. Warren is running for office and she can - as Kerry did in 2004 - take positions that are not what he hopes he can get out of the committee, but his personal view of what should be done if it were just up to him.

I also agree that Kerry is far more concerned about the programs that serve the poor being cut. Those automatic cuts are very likely why he is on the committee at all. I may be wrong, but I really do not see Congress preventing them if the supercommittee fails. I suspect that Keller etc are trying to position Warrens image far to the left and will try to push the perception of Kerry to agreeing with Brown - presumably to make Warren look like the one out of sync.


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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-10-11 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #25
26. In the video, she was asked if she sided with the protesters or the senators
Edited on Thu Nov-10-11 11:32 AM by Mass
(whatever this means).

I agree totally they are not in the same place and do not have the same latitude to speak out.
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MBS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-15-11 05:47 AM
Response to Original message
27. TPM on Super Committee Dems' tax strategy
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Inuca Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-15-11 07:02 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. Interesting & thanks
I was getting worried. Still am, but a bit less.

Photo: nice & funny, and all pictures of Kerry next to Murray :-).
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Mass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-15-11 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #27
29. Read that. I knew you should never believe the GOP on their word
This said, I am still worried, because it is less and less clear what will happen.

In addition, Exra Klein who, though a Washington insider, is not of the type that crucifies Kerry at the first occasion, has this in his post this morning.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/how-the-...

Sen. John F. Kerry: But if any Democrat is going to break from his colleagues, its Kerry. When Kerry was appointed to the 12-member supercommittee, the prevailing theory was that he was there to hold the line for liberals. As it turns out, hes the Democrat who seems most interested in cutting a deal and who is causing liberals the most heartburn.


No real clue where he bases this comment on, but it irritates me because I do not believe one minute Kerry would break with his side on a proposition so lopsided that Baucus would not sign on it. This said, this is obviously the impression the media have given.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-15-11 10:31 AM
Response to Reply #29
30. It might be that Kerry has always been the one willing to at least
talk through any alternative - even ones that he is completely unlikely to ultimately accept. That would lead to just these comments - even though Kerry's comments a week ago were stronger than some others that the Republicans had not really offered any real revenue.

I suspect that Kerry is more serious in being willing to not consider the politics - and very concerned that the real solution - creating a stronger economy with more jobs - be part of the package. He has actually said that they should expect that backing any solution will lead to political hits. But the Democratic proposals that have given a lot have all been Baucus' and he has taken heat for it. It could be that his staffers are pushing the idea that Kerry is speaking with the Republicans to take the heat off Baucus.

I suspect Kerry may be the person who is taking the automatic cuts the most seriously - though one would thing that Clayburn and Berraca should as well - as many they represent will suffer the most.
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wisteria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-18-11 08:23 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. I call his comments on Sen. Kerry as BS. And, today's vote seems to indicate that Dems are standing
together.
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