Monday, August 01, 2011

The Deal Stinks - Must Read Links

"While the details of the debt ceiling deal remain fuzzy, this much is clear: Barack Obama may be president, but the Tea Party is now running Washington." --Peter Beinart, The Daily Beast: How the Tea Party Won the Deal

Paul Krugman:
If I Were In The House . . . I guess I have to be explicit at this point: yes, I would vote no. (More Krugman: The President Surrenders)

Jane Hamsher:
Whip the Super Congress: Call and Ask Your Member of Congress if They Like Their Job . . . The deal between President Obama and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell calls for the creation of a “Super Congress” to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits. You won’t find a Super Congress mentioned anywhere in the Constitution. It will be an elite body of 12 members of Congress who write legislation behind closed doors and then announce it to the public. Whatever they decide will then be fast-tracked through both chambers, where it can’t be amended by simple, regular lawmakers. This is the “Catfood Commission” on steroids.

New York Times Editorial:
To Escape Chaos, a Terrible Deal . . . a nearly complete capitulation to the hostage-taking demands of Republican extremists. It will hurt programs for the middle class and poor, and hinder an economic recovery.

Jonathan Chait, The New Republic:
Did Obama Get Rolled? . . . The debt ceiling agreement is a horrible piece of legislation. It ratchets down already too-low domestic discretionary spending caps and imposes painful sacrifice on the middle class with little asked of the rich. . . There’s a limit to how much faith one can place in a man who has so badly misjudged his political opponents time and time again.

Blue Texan, Firedoglake:
White House Believed Republicans Would Agree to Tax Increases, and Also, in Magic Unicorns . . . If this is true, the problem isn’t that the White House is filled with a bunch of crypto-Republicans. It’s filled with a bunch of idiots.

Jane Hamsher:
Shorter AARP: We’ll Analyze the Bill Until After It’s Passed . . . First AARP told the Wall Street Journal it would support cutting Social Security benefits. Then we launched our “Burn Your AARP Card” campaign, which backed them down and forced them to say they would oppose cuts to Social Security as part of a deal to cut the deficit. It was clearly an exercise in “weasel words 101, because AARP has a long history of support for Social Security benefit cuts

Glenn Greenwald:
The myth of Obama's "blunders" and "weakness" . . . The evidence is overwhelming that Obama has long wanted exactly what he got: these severe domestic budget cuts and even ones well beyond these, including Social Security and Medicare, which he is likely to get with the Super-Committee created by this bill (as Robert Reich described the bill: "No tax increases on rich yet almost certain cuts in Med[icare] and Social Security . . . . Ds can no longer campaign on R's desire to Medicare and Soc Security, now that O has agreed it"). . .

As I wrote back in April when progressive pundits in D.C. were so deeply baffled by Obama's supposed "tactical mistake" in not insisting on a clean debt ceiling increase, Obama's so-called "bad negotiating" or "weakness" is actually "shrewd negotiation" because he's getting what he actually wants (which, shockingly, is not always the same as what he publicly says he wants). In this case, what he wants -- and has long wanted, as he's said repeatedly in public -- are drastic spending cuts. In other words, he's willing -- eager -- to impose the "pain" Cohn describes on those who can least afford to bear it so that he can run for re-election as a compromise-brokering, trans-partisan deficit cutter willing to "take considerable heat from his own party."

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