You may only read this site if you've purchased Our Kampf from Amazon or Powell's or me
• • •
"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

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"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

August 01, 2011

It Turns Out What Was Obviously Going to Happen Will Happen

Mitch McConnell:

MCCONNELL: It set the template for the president — in the near future, maybe in the distant future — is going to be able to get the debt ceiling increased without a re-ignition of the same discussion of how do we cut spending and get America headed in the right direction. I expect the next president, whoever that is, is going to be asking us to raise the debt ceiling again in 2013, so we’ll be doing it all over.

So there will be an infinite number of chances for Democratic presidents to slash Social Security and Medicare—and sure normally they'd love to hold an extensive debate on such a momentous decision, but darn it, they're being held hostage by the dastardly insane Republicans so there's NO TIME WE MUST SLASH SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE OR WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE. Etc.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at August 1, 2011 10:59 PM

The precedent has been set. A weak president (or as I think, a duplicitous and complicit president) has shown that hostage taking works. The tax deal last year. Now this. I think that is why David Atkins' utterly misguided post at Hullabaloo (Obama isn't weak, he's Ghandi, or MLK, or Atticus Finch, or all of them rolled into one) in the wee hours last night was treated so brutally in the comments.

Posted by: Romberry at August 2, 2011 12:27 AM

The commenters are better than the posters.

Posted by: No One of Consequence at August 2, 2011 12:59 AM

For a silver-lining analysis coming from someone well to the left (as in, actually a leftist) of the average Dembot, and not Atkinsesque idiotic, you can try this piece by Guy Rundle. I withhold my endorsement of his crediting the result to Obama's good faith in pursuing politically viable ends within the parameters of America's bizarre constitutional arrangments, but it's interesting nevertheless.

Posted by: weaver at August 2, 2011 01:11 AM

Weaver _ I read the Rundle piece, but he lost me with this paragraph:

"For a Left whose interest in the minutaie and logic of the system is often close to nil, Obama fails because — well, because he takes the office seriously. What American liberals want is another FDR, whose most audacious attempt to take an end-run around the constitution was his scheme to double the size of the Supreme Court in the late 30s, the additional justices all being good Democrats."

In these sentences, Rundle misrepresents (or outright fibs!) regarding pertinent information about Roosevelt, and he also misrepresents most of the left leaning people that I know, by stating that we do not understand the "minuteia' of the political process. We lefties understand these processes very well, at least how they operate currently: It is called being bought and paid for. End of story..

For starters, Rundle fails to mention that Social Security came about under FDR's Administration!
Because of FDR.

Roosevelt used a communication medium, radio, that was a brand new way of reaching the masses. As a result, he was able to do an end run around the Uber Elite who had contributed to his campaign and who expected him to let them continue to use Financial Markets as casinos.
He ws to be the Uber Elite's PR man, and nothing more. But he put them in their place, and he ran the nation for the benefit of the many, and not the few.

Yes, instead of obliging those who would be his handlers, Roosevelt and his colleagues saw to it that Glass Steagall was put in place, restricting the ability of a bank to be a bank and a gambling institution both.

Obama deliberately choose Tim Geithner, who had no interest in helping our nation revise Glass Steagall. Obama overlooked the Bernanke slippage of some of the nine trillion bucks that Sen Sanders' audit of the Federal Reserve revealed as occurring. Those nine to thirty trillion showed up inside the coffers of the Bigger Financial Firms. At no point in time did FDR do anything like that - in fact, back in his day, he made the Geithner-types squirm.

Obama did an end run around the Mainstream Media while he was running for office. He had an entire website devoted to taking apart any misrepresentations that arose from his opposition.

But immediately upon his election, this website went down. Apparently, since he no longer cared to set the record straight, he abandoned the new medium of our time, the internet.

And once elected, he adopted a new philosophy, demonstrated with his new Obama's two favorite words: "bipartisanship" and "compromise." That new philosophy of his quickly decimated his old two favorite words "Hope" and "Change."

So here we are, some 17 months since George W left office, and we have the same odious oligarchy out in force, subverting the safety net that Roosevelt installed, and obliterating any chances of regulating the big Financial people.

I am not the only one saying this. Go to the OP Ed Pages of the NY times, and read not only Mr Krugman's latest column, but the many responses to it. People are fed up with the Selling Out of Middle Class America, by Elected Democratic Weaklings Pelsoi, Reid and Obama, a Selling Out that no historian I have ever read has ever accused Mr Roosevelt of doing.

Posted by: Elise Mattu at August 2, 2011 04:00 AM

What has happened is Grover Norquist's "Starve The Beast" scenario; years ago Norquist wrote that he wanted to force the elimination of entitlements by starving the government of money and here we are today. I hope Mr. Norquist gets all the credit he deserves.

Posted by: Edward at August 2, 2011 05:49 AM

Do u know whats the Hardest Riddle in the world ?

Posted by: ReinnynubyRom at August 2, 2011 08:28 AM

Unfortunately, it will take cuts in SS and medicare, deep cuts. (Congress won't completely destroy SS. It's their piggybank.) The unemployment rate will have to double. Homelessness will have to triple. It will take widespread dire poverty..soup lines several blocks long all across America. All of this will have to occur before economic reform takes place. Only then will the wealthy class be forced to reform just to protect themselves from revolution.

Posted by: Paul Avery at August 2, 2011 08:48 AM

Join the Dick Armey of the Tea Party Terrorists!

You, too, can feel powerful as you threaten serious harm to the elderly, the sick and the poor.

Get up off that couch, drag your knuckles across the floor and surround yourself with Tea Party Terrorists today!

Posted by: Joe Gould at August 2, 2011 09:28 AM

Do u know whats the Hardest Riddle in the world ?

Finding the right question to ask.

Posted by: Freddy el Desfibradddor at August 2, 2011 10:04 AM

". . .Obama fails because — well, because he takes the office seriously."

Yes, Obama was never more serious than when he completely annihilated habeas corpus and ordered the state-sponsored murder of someone he didn't like, then proceeded to shred the constitution as a matter of policy in dozens of other areas.

So Rundle decides to a) kiss Obama's ass while b) denigrating a President who actually helped the poor? And this asshole is different from a Constitution-hating Republican how. . .?

Posted by: No One of Consequence at August 2, 2011 10:57 AM

Jon's post is dead on. The most appalling thing about Obama, the Harvard Law graduate, is that he gave away presidential veto power to a group of radicals in Congress. Any President who does not understand the basic principle of veto is too incompetent to be President.

Posted by: Paul Avery at August 2, 2011 12:01 PM

I suppose it's worth noting that no one is competent to be President. The office is best served by never being occupied.

Posted by: Jack Crow at August 2, 2011 12:54 PM

Mr. Crow:

So the office of the Presidency is like the office of the Pope as interpreted by the Hare Club for Men.

As such, our next president should be an eagle, or, for the people who thought Franklin was right, a turkey.

Or, even more awesome, a freakn' rattlesnake.

Posted by: No One of Consequence at August 2, 2011 04:31 PM

Any one of those works for me, OoC, since as it is we have a ventriloquist's dummy operated by Wall Street.

Posted by: Paul Avery at August 2, 2011 04:50 PM

we are not 17 months post W being in office - W left in Jan 2009. That is 30 months ago.

but, yes, the Democrats are selling us out.

Posted by: Susan at August 2, 2011 08:09 PM

It will be interesting to see how many Dem congresspeople will invite Obama to campaign for them in their districts.

Posted by: Paul Avery at August 2, 2011 10:31 PM

That pretty much is what Lieberman says

Posted by: The Heretik at August 3, 2011 12:24 AM

And this asshole is different from a Constitution-hating Republican how. . .?

Well, by being an actual socialist. Which doesn't make him any less wrong on this.

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