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Obama Calls on Citizens to Ask Congress to Slit Their Throats

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If this weren’t so terrible, it would be funny.

The Administration is worried that there won’t be a fiscal cliff deal by year end. Per Bloomberg:

The co-chairman of President Barack Obama’s 2010 fiscal commission said it’s unlikely the president and Congress will reach a deal by the end of this year to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.

Erskine Bowles, also a former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, estimated there is a one-third probability the sides will strike a deal by the end of this year. Speaking today at a breakfast in Washington sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, he said there’s another one-third chance that all sides will reach a deal early in 2013.

“I’m really worried,” Bowles told reporters. “I believe the probability is we’re going over the cliff.”

Bowles isn’t involved in the budget negotiations, though he said he met with Obama yesterday.

Yves here. Given the Bowles visit with Obama, this means (as we’ve indicated from the get go) that Obama really has his ego invested in getting a deal done by year end.

In fact, NOT getting a deal done is far better for everyone except the uber rich. As Paul Krugman has stressed, going into 2013 with no deal in place is not a dramatic event, and would substantially weaken the Republican’s bargaining position as far as preserving tax breaks for the wealthy are concerned. And if the Administration wanted to preserve middle cut tax relief, like lower payroll taxes, it can make that retroactive to the start of 2013.

Letting the negotiations go into 2013 also increases the odds of preserving Social Security and Medicare in their current form, since they will not be affected at all by the automatic budget cuts that would kick in in the absence of a deal.

But Obama, through folks like Bowles who have media access, is putting out panic signals to pressure Congresscritters to get a deal, any deal, done by December 31. And he’s also trying to rally the middle class to petition Congress to implement austerity, when the experiments in Ireland, Latvia, Portugal, Spain, and Greece all have shown that it makes debt to GDP worse and increases unemployment while shredding social safety nets. In other words, as Lambert has put it, we are all supposed to demand Congress to have one kidney removed.

From the Financial Times:

Mr Obama sought to increase pressure on Republicans to give ground by launching a new social media campaign.

The move by Mr Obama heightened the political theatre surrounding the US budgetary stand-off, with little more than a month left before the American economy is hit by a mix of spending cuts and tax increases that could tip it back into recession.

“I’m asking Americans all across the country to make your voice heard,” Mr Obama said, suggesting emails, phone calls and the use of social media such as Facebook and a new Twitter hashtag called #My2k, a reference to the $2,000 tax increase per family that would occur if the US plunged over the fiscal cliff.

“I want to make sure everybody understands this debate is not just about numbers. It’s a set of major decisions that are going to affect millions of families all across this country in very significant ways,” Mr Obama said.

No kidding, except the options that Obama is allowing to be considered range from utterly dreadful to merely awful. And the part the officialdom is failing to acknowledge is that the immediate hazard of hitting the fiscal cliff tripwire is on the impact on confidence. Obama’s scaremongering to sell the deal is damaging confidence now, while telling the truth, that any impact of the fiscal cliff would be gradual and in any event could be reversed (for instance, via making tax changes retroactive to the beginning of 2013, or catch-up payments) would alleviate the increasing nervousness among businessmen (also flagged in the FT article cited above, based on the latest Fed beige book).

So I urge all NC readers to go mess with Obama’s messaging:

Use #My2k and Facebook to tell everyone that we need to run deficits when the economy is slack and unemployment is high, and the deficit hysteria is being promoted by Wall Street and big businesses to get their tax levels lowered at the expense of the middle class, particularly by cutting Medicare and Social Security

Call your senators and representative and give them a piece of your mind

Obama won’t change course, but Congrescritters are a different story. If the powers that be insist on engaging in economic malpractice, they need to be reminded that the public is overwhelmingly opposed to cutting Social Security and Medicare.

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145 comments

  1. mac

    Obama is a Rabble Rouser(Community Organizer) like the Cadres of the Communist party in the early part of last century. He is doing all he has been trained to do.

      1. wbgonne

        You sure that comment wasn’t camp? I mean, at this point only morons actually believe nonsense like that.

        1. rotter

          im sure it was a facetious comment because, of course, anyone who believed such a comment to be true, even figuratively, would be a mental defective.

    1. different clue

      Perhaps Obama learned the mechanisms and methods of Community Organizing to be able to organize communities against their own survival . . . and pre-emptively organize them against efforts to self-organize themselves for survival.

      The Obama Youth will certainly not benefit from the Bonfire of the Social Insurance Benefits which they have been organized into supporting.

      Perhaps Obama could be called a Community Roach Motel Organizer.

    2. mac

      I think I said Obama was a Rabble rouser LIKE Communist cadres, as in a Comparison. i don’t know that Obama is anything as in Socialist, Communist, vegetarian or other, he is just a Rabble Rouser I detect no core beliefs in him.

      1. Andrew

        Good point, and one I wish I heard made more often. This man doesn’t believe in anything other than being Prez. I don’t think he has even a shred of principle.

        (That said, when you use the word “communist” in a description of Obama, you have to expect some people are going to assume you’re one of the “Obama is a red” types.)

  2. briansays

    meanwhile
    no public option
    a mandate to buy a crappy product from a private cabal
    and the la times say anthem blue cross to increase costs 18-25 percent in 2013 in cali
    tell me again how serious you are about controlling medical care costs

    1. wbgonne

      Lambert: Mea culpa. I was over at Plum Line mixing it up and I used your “kidney-yacht” line without attribution.

      As for the substance, I saw Matt Yglesias throwing in the towel on the Great Betrayal:

      http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2012/11/against_grand_bargains_a_long_term_deficit_deal_is_impossible_and_the_quest.html

      As Yglesias has his head deeply up Obama’s rear, I take this to mean Team Obama is giving up. Moreover, Obama’s hail-mary attempt to decouple the high-end tax cuts also signifies — to me, anyway — that Obama knows the Great Betrayal looks DOA. So I am cautiously optimistic that we will dodge this RPG. At least until after the holidays. Cautiously optimistic. Must have been my nasty letters and phone calls to Congresscritters near and far. Uh-huh.

    2. Waking Up

      I truly appreciate and have respect for those who blog at Naked Capitalism. It has been one of the few websites which consistently showed concern for the great majority of the population and “populist” values. Thank you.

      The vast majority of people at “progressive” websites proclaim to have certain values, then voted for a “neo-liberal” corporate president. Chris Hedges stated it best: “Liberals, by voting for Barack Obama, betrayed the core values they use to define themselves—the rule of law, the safeguarding of civil liberties, the protection of unions, the preservation of social welfare programs, environmental accords, financial regulation, a defiance of unjust war and torture, and the abolition of drone wars.”

  3. Hypothetical_Taxpayer

    I would recommend that everyone check with their health insurer and verify if kidney removal is covered or not.

  4. Gee

    Just when you think this failure of a President can’t let you down any more. Just when you think he can’t be more of a sell out. Just when you think he can’t be that unbelievably hypocritical. Yup. Truly amazing. He does it over and over. Can’t believe how he sold us out. Wow. This guy will make the history books, but not nearly in the way he’d like to. Chris Rock had it right. The guy is a phony. And he’s basically a white phony, and a Republican, despite the costume. Sick. He truly makes me sick.

    1. different clue

      Rock was not setting out to call Obama a phony. He was setting out to recruit white votes for Obama . . . reassuring them that Obama really was safe for them to vote for. His little schtick was a campaign ad for Obama.

      Chris . . Rock . . . is the One Percent.

    2. different clue

      This President isn’t a failure to his owners and sponsors. So far he is paying off very well for them.

      Now . . . can we poke a stick in the spokes of progress regarding the Catfood Obama plan? Yves Smith offers us something very worth doing, especially considering the trillions of survival dollars at stake.

  5. Lambert Strether

    Just hijacked #My2k over on the twitter.* It’s fun and easy. Everybody do it!

    Adding, Mother Jones must be rolling in her grave. First, career “progressive” Kevin Drum tries to shrink your grandma’s meager monthly check, and now as if on cue,** Mother Jones jumps into the White House PR campaign with a “10 Best Tweets” — where all the examples are either pro-Obama, stupid jokes, or winger spam. Nothing from the reality-based community at all.

    Readers, I know the competition on #My2k is super fierce — Paid Obama trolls, pro-tip wannabes, winger think tankers — but why not try to get something sane up on the twitter leader board, here?

    NOTE * Funny how Obama is all about “my” and not about “we.” #My2k

    NOTE ** New funding source? It would be irresponsible not to speculate!

    1. TK421

      That “My2000″ thing is hilariously idiotic. Each American family isn’t going to owe the government $2000 if nothing is done about the deficit! What a liar.

    2. James

      Here’s a tweet for everyone to recycle:

      Wall St craps giant pile of BS & names it FISCAL CLIFF. Obama begs STOP THE CLIFF! USA sez: GO F’ING JUMP! #GrandBetrayal #FiscalCliff #My2k

  6. 1,2,3, grovel

    Let’s see who eats the shit for Obama this time. Last time Kucinich ate it and went mmm-mmm, tastes like health care, and he got the shaft anyway. I bet Warren eats it and smacks her lips.

    1. Ms G

      Bernie Sanders is looking good for the role this time around. He’ll smack his lips thinking “mmm, a bunch more years to get my Senator pension even higher than it already is!!”

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Obama isn’t on the ballot, and AA turnout and female turnout isn’t going to appear in 2014 without liberal organizing. 2010 and the off year elections proved this. Despite professional Democrats being very stupid, even they have started to grasp the “swing voter” doesn’t exist.

      Supporting Obama might be a problem for them, especially as health care continues to suck.

      1. oblonsky

        Why not simply say “black”? Why keep that absurd charade going of continuing to propagate this inane term “African-American” which is not only silly but inaccurate, too. What is the point of using it really? Is anyone offended at being called black? Really. Just stop it. Anyone who uses that term is simply a fool.

  7. malingerer

    Get Rubin and Geithner the f*ck out of the door.. My GOD, the impact these men have had.. and NOT for the good.

    1. earnyermoney

      Only to be replaced by J. Dimon. LOL

      People think they had a choice this past November? Romney took one for the team.

    1. curlydan

      He offered this concession up a couple of weeks ago as well. I wrote at FDL that my prediction is the 35% marginal tax rate will increase to 36% in 2013, 37% in 2014, and then no further increases unless new legislation is offered.

      It’s idiotic that he’d offer this concession without a d@mn thing in return, but that just S.O.P. in this White House.

  8. abelenkpe

    WTF? Just go over the cliff. No cuts to ss, or medicare.
    Cut defense. Increase oversight on defense contractor spending. Raise the top marginal tax rate and capital gains. Ugh.

  9. Ms G

    Whoa, this Obama dude sure knows how to boogie after a re-election (even before Inauguration). The last votes are barely counted, but the Great Liar (Barack Obama) has wasted no time inviting Mitt Romney over to the White House to “bury the hatchet.”

    Something tells me the only item on the agenda for this little get-together is how to sharpen the Cat Food Commission (Simpson Bowles) Hatchet to Austeritize all of us faster than we can say “Liar.”

    http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/ad-lib/2012/nov/28/time-bury-hatchet-president-obama-invites-mitt-rom/

    I wonder how all those “progressive Democrdats” who voted for Obama-The-Lesser-Evil feel about this? Betrayed? Raped? Scared out of their wits that the “Monster” they voted against is now befriended by their Last-Defense-Against-Devil-dom? Nah, they’ve probably already twisted their brain into quintuple Rube-Goldberg-esque loops of denial resulting in some sort of conviction that “well, it’s really good that Obama is being conciliatory — that’s really the grown up thing to do.”

    I’m getting a little tired of the black-stares and self-righteous huffs I’ve been getting from friends and colleagues still drowning in the Kool-Aid as I try everything short of sign-language to alert them that they are about to be thrown into a meat-grinder by Obama and his Wall Street cronies. I’m ready to start saying things like: “Thanks for being Good Germans while we’re all being sent to fake showers.”

    1. different clue

      You might want to add to that last sentence of yours . . . ” at least you’ll die with the rest of us.”

      . . . See how that grabs ‘em.

    2. TK421

      How they feel is probably so deep in denial they couldn’t see their way out with the Hubble telescope.

      “Obama is only offering cuts to Social Security so the Republicans will accept them, then he’ll pull them back thus making the Republicans look bad, then mumble mumble mumble allowing Obama to accomplish great liberal goals! It’s 98732-dimensional chess! You can tell he doesn’t want to cut social programs because the deficit cutting panel he created against the will of Congress with an executive order failed to come up with a plan!”

      1. Ms G

        Perfect rendering of the 987534-dimensional chess mental-contortions (and speech) afflicting the Deluded (and unfortunately also the rest of us who are their collateral damage and externalities).

        I like to think of these people as having their heads so far up their iPads and iPhones they can’t form an independent thought about anything except a new “application” or patch for whatever isn’t working in their Apple Crap at that particular moment. (No offense to iPads or iPhones.)

      2. Aquifer

        I wish it were that benign – in which case, when he doesn’t “pull back” – there is a possibility, just slight, perhaps, but real, that they might, finally, see the light …

        What i fear more is that folks are so convinced of “the deficit from hell” that they will be grateful that he cleverly figured out a way to avoid it while “only” cutting x amount, thus “saving” the programs … hurrah! our hero!

  10. OMF

    There is only one solution to the “Fiscal Cliff”. The parties involved need to be made to understand that their actions have consequences.

    The President should sign an executive order with two important clauses:

    i) If Congress fails to pass a yearly money bill, then the Congressmen shall recieve no remuneration until such a bill is passed.
    ii) If the President refuses to sign a yearly money bill into law, then the President(& Secretaries) shall recieve no remuneration until such a yearly bill is signed into law.

    After that, both parties can continue to stonewall, brinkman-sail, and grandstand on their principals as much as they like. They just don’t get to do so on the public’s dime.

    1. Ms G

      Great idea. Except Obama will never issue those Executive Orders because the grandstanding on our dime is what gives him cover to stab all of his constitutents in the back. Again.

    2. Aquifer

      “The parties involved need to be made to understand that their actions have consequences.”

      Well we just blew our chance to do that about 3 weeks ago …

  11. TK421

    “Obama really has his ego invested in getting a deal done by year end.”

    Good, I hope he feels shamed and humiliated if a deal isn’t done by then. He deserves to be impeached, but if an ego bruising is all I can ask for I’ll just have to be glad for that.

    1. different clue

      Who would impeach him? Republicans? They and he are on the same team. Why would they impeach one of their own?

      1. diptherio

        It makes good theatre. See comment above about distracting the masses. Billy Boy was the original Obama (NAFTA, Welfare Reform/dismantlement) and that didn’t stop the Repubs.

        An impeachment might play well on both sides of the aisle. The left will rally to the defense of their harried hero, while the right will get warm-fuzzies knowing they at least tried to lynch,…er, impeach…the bastard.

    1. TK421

      Well, you flood the market and the price goes down. The Lloyd Blankfeins and Jamie Dimons of the world can only use so many kidneys.

      1. skippy

        Organ futures and derivatives one could play with…

        Skippy… financial palette’s water… to not speculate is a crime!

        1. bob

          The tri-party repo market is already in action. CDS should be trading within the month, on exchange, of course.

          1. skippy

            Tranching body parts!

            Almost 9 billion individual unique opportunities, debt of a hole new meaning, its Full of WIN!!!

            Skippy… all excited now, better T-up some blow and hookers, BBL…

  12. jsmith

    Again, people have to start publicly mocking this idiocy so as to delegitmize it.

    Start laughing in their faces.

    Scream STFU or Jump! Jump! when they mention “fiscal cliff” anything until we get to the following point as a society:

    Remember when you had a substitute teacher in a class as a child?

    And remember how at first everyone would be kind of well-behaved just because – well – just because she was another teacher and an adult?

    But then the class clown would mutter something under this breath or some one in the back would throw a spitwad…

    The sub would turn around everyone would wait to see what the response would be…silence…waiting…

    And the sub would ask who did that and no one would answer and then another person under their breath “P@nis” and maybe a dropped textbook and soon enough…

    Guess what?

    THE WAS NO MORE F*CKING CONTROLLING THAT CLASS!!!

    Nope, power gone.

    Completely delegitimized.

    This is where we need to get.

    But it starts with these “substitute teachers” – i.e., Obama, Bowles, etc

    No more effing respect for this horsesh!t nonsense.

    All of it.

  13. Dan Kervick

    We definitely don’t need a grand bargain. But if the public pressure means that all they do is pass the extension of the middle class tax cuts for incomes under $250,000 and let the rest expire, without doing any spending cuts, that’s fine with me. Seems to me that the Republicans might be getting ready to cave on that.

    Bowles can just stick it.

  14. scraping_by

    There are two kinds of slogans these days. The first is the classic snappy phrase for the mass of voters to repeat that means nothing so TPTB can do anything.

    The modern slogan is a snappy phrase to repeat on cable news, interviews, opinion pieces, and other media to eat up time and keep reality off the table.

    Since the basic premise of The Great Betrayal is expert opinions trump common decency and the broader understanding, one can see the lies unchallenged flooding the American thought space from now until reality surrenders.

  15. freedomny

    This fiscal cliff bs has really gotten under my skin. We are so being set up with this “manufactured” crisis. Working long hours but really need to find a way to be a bigger loud mouth than I am.

  16. mrtmbrnmn

    fool me once shame on you. fool me twice (as w once said)… ya can’t be fooled again. heh. heh. heh. face it at last…president wuss is simply the towel boy for the wall street bordello. shame on him.

  17. Hugh

    Kleptocracy and Obama, but I repeat myself. American politics have become putrid. Obama is like the shiny sheen on a maggot filled carcass, or if you prefer biblical allusions, a whited sepulchre that is “within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” We still have a few pro forma gestures at pretense, but nothing can any longer cover up the smell. You may find such descriptions overly harsh, but I do not think they are harsh enough. Obama, our political classes, and the rich have manufactured a crisis for the sole purpose of looting our old. It will kill untold thousands, frighten and ruin the lives of millions. Their propaganda machine, the media, is going right along with all this, portraying it all as necessary and inevitable.

    Obama is not the lesser evil. Indeed he may well be the more effective evil, but more importantly he is the complementary evil. Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals, are not opposing evils. Their quarrels are fictions, political theater for us rubes. Beneath their surface conflicts, they work together. They need each other. They are like aqua regia, a mixture of a strong and weak acid, that separately have no effect on but together can dissolve even gold.

    What Obama is doing here is vile, as are our political classes and the rich who are abetting him. We need to rub their faces in the stench and corruption of it, expose their moral ugliness, cowardice, and hypocrisy. We need to stop kidding ourselves that just because they wear suits and live in nice houses, they are like us. They are monsters. They mean this. There are no mistakes, no misunderstandings. They will loot this country until there is nothing left to loot no matter how many of us die and are destroyed in the process.

    More than a financial crisis, or a legal or Constitutional crisis, we face a moral crisis. We have a ruling class that is completely and irredeemably evil. They are eating into us like acid. And where the strong acid can take no hold, the weaker acid opens the way. So the question is and only can be what do we as moral persons do in the presence of such evil.

    1. YankeeFrank

      Well put Hugh. I heard the voice of Pete Peterson on NPR the other day. He sounded like a ghoul. With the quiet voice of the funeral home director, he mocked humanity with the statement that “[his] greatest fear is that we have to cut benefits for recipients of social security and medicare”. Of course his “fear” is a lie as in his mind it has already come to pass: a terrible thing but one that must be done to save the nation. Crocodile tears and the lies of a bitter old bag of evil bones. That man is going to spend an eternity in hell for his greed and evil deeds.

    2. skippy

      “Their quarrels are fictions, political theater for us rubes.” – Hugh

      Skippy… Too damn right Hugh, too **bloody** right!

      1. Roland

        The factional rivalries within the ruling class are not fake. The factions do hate each other and it is conceivable, given the stakes, that at some point the rivalry will become violent.

        However, they share class interests, so they cooperate, amidst much bickering, to advance those interests.

        Think of it this way: the Roman elite was divided between Optimates and Populares. The factional rivalry eventually became as nasty as it can get. But if you were a Gaul or a Greek or some slave on a latifundium, what difference did it make whether Caesar or Pompey ruled in Rome?

    3. Doug Terpstra

      Yes, well said, Hugh. Acid bile now rises unbidden at the first sight of Obama, and the unmistakable reek of decomp triggers an involuntary retch reflex. Once it gets into your nostrils the gagging stench is very persistent.

      This is clearly choreographed: the familiar game of chicken brinksmanship, with the usual herd-panicking threats of martial law and mushroom clouds. The market will now take a dump right on cue as if on laxatives, Reid will swoon at the first sight of blood, and Obama will immediately capitulate on every point while claiming an epic victory.

      Despite Bowles fear-mongering, I’d be very surprised if Obama doesn’t commit his raw deal before year end. Actually, December 21, 2012 would be a very fitting date.

      1. Z

        The market is rigged … as you probably realize. Wall Street could etch and sketch FUCK YOU AMERICA in the stock market indices graph if they wanted they have so much control over it. Now, it’s being used as part of the theatrics to induce panic about the fiscal cliff that Obama and his Congressional allies created and now are scheming to “save” us from.

        This is some audacious shit they’re pulling. They’re really pushing it. I’m glad other people are as pissed off as I am about this. It’s a good sign that the Huffington Post crowd is waking up, but more importantly the AARP backed off supporting benefit cuts and the unions so far are holding strong. Teflon Obama’s smile might not be able to shine this one up enough for sale. Hence, the need to push this through as fast as possible on a lame duck Congress that has voted-out members that are anxious to ingratiate themselves to potential future employers who always have well-paying jobs available for the right kind of recently unemployed Congressman.

        Z

        1. Doug Terpstra

          Spot-on, Z! Obama’s fascist politburo and BS Bernanke’s Criminal Reserve Central Committee clearly have the “free” market on very tight strings as they orchestrate their Shock Doctrine austerity coup. Hugh’s adjectives — putrid, vile, and irredeemably evil just begin to describe this.

          And Lafayette, below, fails to apprehend the quantum breakthrough that Obama represents in their Great Game. To most apt Obama descriptors, add Different Clue’s “Roach Motel” community organizer to: Trojan horse, Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing, the beguiling Serpent in the Garden, the Father of Lies, Great Deceiver, anti-messiah, false prophet, and cult charlatan. Plus Pied Piper: as he now leads the entranced lemmings over the cliff, he makes his idol Reagan look like an amateur in perception management.

          I suspect those who voted for the supposedly lesser evil must now soothe their agonizing cognitive dissonance as they witness the Grand Betrayal unfold as Obama unravels the last vestiges of the New Deal. This necessarily entails blaming the sheeple victims of such concerted deception, while they continually remind themselves it could always have been worse. As a member of the Stein 0.5%, I say, check the mirror.

          1. different clue

            Whatever micropercent voted for Rocky Anderson, I was among that micropercent. All third parties combined got
            1.5 percent of casted ballots.

            We! Are! the One point Five per Cent!

            ( I have also seen Obama referred to as a Judas Horse . . . which is some kind of term of horse-roundup art from the Intermountain West. I have also seen Obama referred to as an Uncle Tom’s Mansion Republican in blackface disguise.)

        2. jrs

          Why does anyone even care about the stock market? Because their retirement funds are invested there. Oh very well, very few people’s retirement funds will surpass the benefits they will get from say Social Security.

    4. psychohistorian

      Thanks Hugh.

      I think we are doing what we can at this time, given the brainwashing of the public. I don’t want to be a fear monger but as a old techie I know that all of us that contribute in comments here has a file somewhere in our government that can be used against us in some trumped up court of TREASON! Of course its BS but history is written by the winers and we are still inconvenient textual white noise to TPTB.

      I certainly give our esteemed host(s) credit for their efforts at calling BS on the moral wasteland facing us…..they may get picked up a few days before the rest of us……

    5. Lafayette

      Obama, our political classes, and the rich have manufactured a crisis for the sole purpose of looting our old.

      Talk about Putrid Nonsense.

      There’s a crisis going on and it started long before Obama came on the scene. Anyone who thinks otherwise is politically brain-dead, not having seen how the Koch Bros and their T-Party (T for Troglodyte) stonewalled any stimulus spending legislation in the HofR, just to obtain an electoral advantage that never manifested itself.

      So, if we must point the finger of blame, then Obama is the wrong target. In fact, ultimately, if you want to see someone blameworthy, look in a mirror.

      We, the sheeple, are to blame.

      Here’s a truth that most Americans will refuse to believe: We, the sheeple, that is, only 38% of voters elected the T-Party and the Replicants into control of the HofR. More recently, only 50% of us showed up to vote in a presidential election and 47% of them chose the Romney Guy!

      Can you imagine what SS would look like if Ryan ever got his hands on it? No, because we can’t think beyond a beer can.

      Because we are all great at bitching-in-a-blog, but when it comes to politics, we hunker down like couch-potatoes and spectate the Boob-Tube. Cuz them there politicians are call crooks, ain’t they?

      Well, who elected those crooks? Who failed to elect a better class of politicians? Who stayed away from the polls, which allowed the Plutocrats to get more bang-for-their-buck by financing key congressional campaigns? After all, they kept control of the HofR.

      And for that very reason, Obama will not be doing much of anything to reform either our system of politics or the way our money is wasted on DoD “toys for our boys”.

      People can be sooooo dumb they can’t tell the political forest from the trees. They must be educated in progressive values such as these:
      *Hike taxes on the rich and super-rich and their ill-gotten gains, putting them back at the pre-Reagan levels (above 60%) that had existed since 1917, four years after the Income Tax bill was passed by Congress.
      *Which disincentivizes the Banksters who game our financial system to earn their hallucinatory incomes.
      *Overturn centuries old gerrymandering that ensures that a two-party system remains ensconced upon our political landscape – perhaps thus allowing a third-party alternative.
      *Assures that all Americans pay a Value Added Tax (VAT) on goods/services that becomes the primary source of Tax Revenue and we close all the loopholes that make our Income Tax Code look like Swiss Cheese. That VAT will be shared with states and Income Taxes maintained, but reduced at the lower income levels.
      *Offers a national Public Health Service that is almost free and presents an alternative to the high-cost of Private Health Care insurance that costing jobs since it prices American labor out of markets.
      *Etc., etc., etc.

      I could go on, but the above conveys the idea of what Progressive Politics could do to reform an America that needs changing badly.

      1. drb48

        You nailed it Laf. But I’ve been watching this show for 50 years and I see no chance that the Sheeple are going to change in what’s left of MY lifetime. The dream that was America – such as it was – died with the 60′s IMHO. The shambling corpse that remains just hasn’t fallen down quite yet. A “Progressive Politics” as you put it simply isn’t going to be allowed to happen. The 2 parties are both hopelessly corrupt and wholly-owned subsidiaries of the kleptocracy. Absent a healthy and active organized labor movement there’s simply no organizational structure around which to build an opposition. Which is why the plutocrats are throwing everything at crushing labor’s last remnants in the public sector. By the time the Sheeple realize what they’ve done to themselves the looting of America’s economic corpse will likely be complete. Leaving the survivors too busy scambling for the scraps to focus their ire on the perpetrators. Who will doubtless be safe behind whatever security the state and their billions can provide in any case.

      2. Hugh

        Putting the blame for history’s injustices on its victims. What a novel concept. I realize you are frustrated by the lack of public awareness and action, but responsibility for our current crop of crimes and disasters rests, as it always has, upon their perpetrators.

        1. Waking Up

          I agree that the citizens of our country ARE victims of history’s injustices and those who perpetuate, promote and establish our laws and policies are responsible for those actions. However, “we the people” either need to start accepting some responsiblity for endlessly re-electing politicians who don’t represent the interests of 99% of the population, or just acknowledge that democracy is dead in this country.

          In spite of being the greatest “victims” of our economic system and specifically Obama administration policies, 93% of the African American community voted to re-elect Obama. They didn’t turn to a third party or someone who truly cares about the conditions in many of our poverty stricken cities. They voted in the same man who bailed out the banks with no criminal prosecutions and the same man who has an “assassination list” (which alone should have turned them away from Obama or any other president who thinks that is somehow “okay”). Then we had 71% of the Latino community voting for Obama, not a third party, in spite of more deportations by the Obama administration than even under former President Bush. How about all of the women who voted for Obama based on the abortion issue…this in spite of the fact that President Obama readily signed the Stupak amendment.

          If we arent’t going to be informed citizens and just endlessly put the same corruption into office to “represent us”, then aren’t we at least partially responsible for maintaining the status quo and said corruption?

          1. Doug Terpstra

            Agreed, the O.J. Simpson syndrome still infects the Black Community which clearly put identity politics well above overwhelming evidence. Ditto for white ‘liberals’. But curses on the veal-pen journalists, on Obama and the leadership of this national suicide cult! It does not entirely absolve the victims, but in this brave new age of sophisticated disinformation, 98.5% of the condemnation falls squarely on the MOTU and their affirmative electioneering propaganda.

            Please let me edit one of your lines: “’we the people’ … need to … just acknowledge that democracy is dead in this country.” We have to face this stark reality. A pathetic and abysmal 0.5% vote tally for Stein, among the few opposed to aggressive wars and supporting the Constitution, the rule of law and rational economics, is irrefutable proof of this.

          2. oblonsky

            Can you please stop using that astonishingly ridiculous term “African-American.” My God it really is the most inane descriptive phrase that ever existed. For what reason does anyone use it? Is anyone offended by the term “black”? Please. Stop promoting its use. It’s quite an absurd term. Just give it up.

        2. cripes

          Hugh:

          Exactly. Fucking. Right.

          Only fools believe that voting is the source of power.

          I’m sick of hearing how powerless people are the first to blame for the crimes of the plutocracy.

          Have a relative that works at BOFA; always saying how the irresponsible home buyers are to blame for crashing the economy. I told him how the hell did they create the Collateralized Debt Obligations that flooded the world with 56 trillion in toxic debt? He shut the hell up, but still believes his delusions. Loves Obama. Blames poor people for everything. What an idiot.

      3. DiamondJammies

        Is the hatred for the people that you express here an accurate reflection of who and what your represent or is it just a product of temporary frustration? Let’s hope the latter.

        By the way, the people aren’t given a genuine choice when it comes to politicians. That’s why half the people don’t vote. They understand it’s a rigged game. Most of the other half only vote grudingly because they’re sold the snake oil of lesser-evilism by those who are incentivized to abandon reality and morality in exchange for a bit of gold.

        In the fall of 2011 a great awakening started, but your hero, Barry, ordered his goons to assault truth-tellers. Barry and his bankster buds are terrified of the truth because they know their entire power-edifice is built on lies.

        Despite all this, the awakening is still ongoing and the people, in this country, decisively, by a 2 to 1 margin, reject Barry’s banksters plans to cut the safety net despite a sophisticated, decades-long propaganda campaign.

        So no, I’m not blaming the people. I’m thanking the people and asking them to be on watch for enemies presenting themselves as friends.

        1. Waking Up

          I can only speak for myself, but, it isn’t “hatred” for the people in this country. I feel disappointment and have faced reality that most people do not believe what they proclaim are their “core” beliefs.

          How can you claim to believe in justice, then vote for a President who fought against bringing justice to the people by not indicting bank fraud? How can you claim to believe in environmentally sound policies, then vote for the President who approves of fracking and drilling in the Arctic along with approval of parts of the Keystone pipeline? How can you claim to believe in the rights of workers, then vote for a President who ignores unions and those rights outright? How can you claim to believe in equality for the people then vote for the President whose policies have directly increased inequality? How can you claim to believe in our social safety net programs (a core populist belief), then vote for the President who said he wants to cut those programs. And how in their right mind can anyone claim to care about humanity and the people around the world, then vote for a President with a “kill list” who can deem anyone in the world a “terrorist” and killed without any due process. ALL of the excuses made by people as to “the lesser evil” can’t justify those policies. Maybe Mitt Romney would have been worse, but, all of the excuses in the world can’t justify the lack of morality shown by either candidate. People could have said, no more, I’m voting outside the box…they didn’t.

    6. Lafayette

      Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals, are not opposing evils.

      Yeah, right – so go say that to the blacks and Hispanics who assured Obama’s second term.

      Whilst the whites preferred the Romney Guy. What is is that the lower-classes of this nation knew/felt/hoped that the white middle-class could not in the choice between the two?

      Did the lower- and middle-class whites think that Obama was really to blame for the continuing recession that he inherited from Dubya? Was it Obama who convinced the Dems to stop all stimulus spending legislation in the HofR that would have put Americans back to work – or was it the Replicants seeking an electoral advantage in the November election?

      Maybe a brain was collectively lacking in lower and middle-class whites? That would surprise no one.

  18. bhikshuni

    Watching the relevant Huffpo boards these days, the public response there is definitely completely disillusioned by the fiscal cliff/Buffet/Obama/Bowles circus performance.

    Usually those boards are light years behind the NC sentiments; it is consoling that more of the mainstream can see the man behind the Wizard’s curtain.

    As Ms. Yves said, it’s a good time to be vocal; there is a resonating mood in at least a part of the public that appears to be getting less ignorant.

  19. Cynthia

    Obama needs all the Medicare dollars he can get his hands on to fund his crowning achievement, ObamaCare. This is why he’ll make damn certain that Medicare is spared while Social Security gets the axe.

    1. Aquifer

      Gotta disagree – Medicare needs to be whacked so it’s recipients will become more and more dissatisfied with this “gov’t” program and be more easily persuaded to “privatize” it ….

      1. Cynthia

        But ObamaCare won’t be able to get fully up and running without Medicare dollars flowing its way. This is why Obama can’t afford to make steep cuts to Medicare.

        1. Aquifer

          Those cuts to Medicare will serve both purposes – feeding Obamacare while weakening Medicare to the consternation of its beneficiaries ….

          But not to worry – the “budget deficit” will prevent Obamacare from being fed well enough to actually provide widespread, decent coverage (“shucks, we really wanted to help, but, sigh, we just can’t afford to …”)

          Remember, this whole fiasco was never ABOUT healthcare …

          1. Cynthia

            I get what you’re saying, Aquifer. There’s nothing like a glass illusion being shattered by a concrete wall of reality.

  20. expat

    The tragedy is not the debate over the “fiscal cliff”. The tragedy is that people align themselves with a political party and swallow propaganda wholesale. Obama is a freedom-hating, communist, Kenya-born Muslim. Romney is a capitalist who will sell poor Americans to Chinese factories to balance the budget.

    As long as the American people are too stupid and ignorant to overcome this type of thought, we are probably better off welcoming the Fiscal Cliff and the Zombie Apocalypse.

    1. Stratos

      I disagree, Expat. Obama was born in Hawaii (you can fake birth certificates, but not decades old public birth announcements in newspapers).

      He hates, (really hates!) Africans and African descent people, especially Muslims because they represent the father that abandoned him and his Mom. His disdain for those groups is on display every day through his murderous drone policies, invasion of Africa and Great Depression levels of unemployment in the African-American (AA) community.

      Obama is a quintessential outsider. He was born between cultures and ethnicities, in the most remote state in the Union. He spent his formative years overseas and had no meaningful contact with his father’s family or any African descent people until college. He has no emotional stake in any American community save the One Percent minority that he currently serves. The rest of us are just lab rats to him (and the rest of the political class). Come to think of it, what is their excuse….?

      1. expat

        I don’t think Obama has any firm or deep commitments to anything but Obama. Of course the same can be said about most, if not all, politicians. To rise to such an level requires selflessness and complete lack of character.

        Obama is the product of his support group (the 1%) and his political handlers (both parties and the various professionals who manage campaigns and image). He is hardly an outsider; I think you are letting the color of his skin confuse you. He is as white as OJ before he slaughtered his wife and her lover.

        I don’t believe he hates Muslims. Your analysis is just too Freudian for me. Instead, I see Obama, like Bush, Clinton, and Reagan, as a sociopath. It is probable that he would not slit a child’s throat with his own hands, but he has no problem rationalizing that child’s death from a drone strike or from embargo-induced starvation.

        Obama is a war criminal, a liar, a murderer, a serial thief of epic proportions, and an all-around scumbag. Unfortunately, this is what the American political system offers up to the voting public.

        Romney is probably not a mass murderer simply because he has not had presidential power, but I bet it would take one week for him to get at least 100 notches on his belt.

        1. Stratos

          “…He is hardly an outsider; I think you are letting the color of his skin confuse you. He is as white as OJ….”

          Good point, Expat. He is currently an insider with the One Percent minority.

      2. oblonsky

        Just say “black.” I just hope one day it dawns on you how incredibly irrational and ludicrous use of the term “African-American” truly is. I mean, honestly. GIve me a break.

        1. Stratos

          African American is perfectly appropriate and descriptive. Color designations, like “black”, “negro” or “colored” are holdovers from slavery. They were attempts of the ignorant to rename groups who already had names like Ashanti, Yoroba and Dogon.

    2. Lafayette

      Obama is a freedom-hating, communist, Kenya-born Muslim.

      You are sooooo lucky that this sort of Internet public defamation is not punishable.

      Jerk.

  21. Andrew P

    Obama wants to go over the “tax cliff”. He wants tax rates to go up and stay up, and may even want the budget cuts to be implemented. He just doesn’t want to get the blame.

    There could be a deal on the budget cuts, Omnibus appropriations, and debt ceiling, though. Just not on taxes.

  22. Andrew Watts

    The rapid expansion of the American economy obscured the cruelty behind class warfare. With the economy in an anemic state that cruelty is becoming harder to conceal. Hence the Catfood Commission plans to “fix” Social Security when most people know it’s not in any serious trouble.

    “Those who benefit from social injustice are naturally less capable of understanding it’s real character than those who suffer from it.” Reinhold Niebuhr

  23. bobw

    I can’t believe all the moaning and groaning here. It’s only ONE kidney. And cat food is good. Still waiting for my pony.

  24. Klassy!

    Well, Obama met with his CEOs yesterday. Here is what one had to say about this productive meeting:
    The president and his team were resoundingly reasonable in what they had to say. They came into the meeting wanting to communicate that revenue increases are a significant part of a deal, but not the only part of a deal, and that they were also committed to an entitlement reform and spending focus,” said Marriott Chief Executive Arne Sorenson.

    So, I guess this is what they went down. Obama to CEO’s– how about something we can spin as “sacrifice” and later we’ll get around to “sharing” it. Also, tell me what “entitlement reforms” you want so that we can make that the compromise position. Anything else you want? How about corporate tax rates? Please let me know what the “compromise” position should be there.
    Okay, lets get this done. Forward!

    1. Ms G

      That is a superb little fact, Brooklin Bridge. Thank you. I’m adding it to my short list which includes the one about how 93 cents of every dollar since 2007 have gone to the 1%.

    2. Ms G

      Great article at FDL. There’s another fact in there which bears offering up into the greater light of day. Whilst trotting around getting paid $40K for 1-hour speeches to business groups, banks, etc., rallying the elites to throw us all into destitution and steal the money we’ve paid into various “entitlement” programs, Alan Simpson:

      “gets a fat government pension in honor of his service in the Senate, as well as government-provided health care.”

      Wow. Just Wow. How hard would it be for an representative Congress to declare “Simpson’s Bennys For All” and just get on with clawing back the trillions stolen from us and reorganizing the political economy to serve us and send “them” off to whatever island they chose.

    1. Klassy!

      …because that is for later– He has stated that he wants entitlement reform to be tackled later. This is the plan. Plutocrats play along with some nominal “sacrifice” and later it’s our turn. Hey– It has to be shared!

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      To be fair to Obama, the big O did say he and Mitt Romney held similar views on Social Security. Pay attention to what the guy says, and he sounds like any random dolt who considers themselves to be a pro-business Democrat who attends local Chamber events. People just like him because he makes him feel good about themselves. Look how post-racial and hip we are as a country. He listens to Jay-Z and Beyonce!

      The average 0bot just makes up what they think the President says. The reason the 0bots get mad when confronted about the President’s conservative views isn’t because they are being betrayed, but they don’t like to acknowledge how shallow they really are because deep down they know they should be aware of this but they don’t do it.

  25. mk

    OCCUPY OFA! Go to their meetings and give them hell! Let them know they are not OBAMA for America, they are Organizing for America – join them and change them! Remind them that the President needs pressure from OFA & social media to make him keep his 2008 campaign promises!

    barackobama.com

  26. pws (@pws4)

    The election is over.

    Lesser evil arguments no longer apply, whether they ever did or not.

    Obama is evil.

    Obama must be thwarted.

  27. Martin

    I agree with the spirit of this post, and making no concessions on Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid benefits. But don’t the Republicans have a hostage in the form of millions of people who will suddenly lose extended unemployment benefits absent a deal?

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The extended unemployment benefits ran out this summer. The Democrats made a deal for an 18 month extension for a two year extension of the unpopular and wreckless Bush tax cuts when they held the White House and both Houses of Congress, and because of the flawed methodology of U-3, many beneficiaries didn’t even get the full extension.

      The Democrats are weasels or intellectual misfits, but lets stop trying to rationalize their behavior.

      And as far as unemployment benefits go, until we deal with wealth inequality there aren’t going to be new jobs for the unemployed and young people. Waiting around for the invention of magic to save the economy is stupid especially since the tech boom was relatively recent.

      1. Strangely Enough

        Yep. Democratic concerns for the unemployed seem to be about the same as their concern for ending the Bush/Obama tax cuts.

        1. Malmo

          The Democrats are exactly what Ralph Nader said they were–workerist, corporate toadies. Any suffering soul waiting on them to deliver a better life will be sorely disappointed. Start your emancipation from this mess by enlightening yourself with a good dose of Lewis Mumford.

          1. jrs

            It’s why the people obey isn’t it? Let the rulers detain people and have them rot in a cell forever, murder people outright, trash the planet to the point that threatens it’s life system support function, steal decades of wealth. But but we’ve all been trained for the megamachine. To play tiny little parts in the death machine that noone dares stop, no matter what it’s ends are (and by now we know those ends aren’t good). We dont’ know how to stop playing our parts or do anything else, just ants on the march.

  28. Ms G

    Whoa, Obama’s lunch with Romney went really well. Obama’s P.R. Boy, Mr. Carney, confirms that Obomney HEART Robama’s skillz and ideaz for running the Fed Gov — hear, hear:

    “The president noted that Gov. Romney did a terrific job running the Olympics and that that skills set lends itself to ideas that could make the federal government work better, which is a passion of the president’s,” Carney said.

    Keeping up with Obama’s post-victory U-TURNS back to serving his Friends and Funders (the Looters of the 99%) is like trying to take a still picture of Road Runner in mid-race. And there’s apparently nobody sticking their foot out to trip him and at least slow him the hell down.

    I remember classmates in high school and college wondering how on earth it came to pass that, with Mein Kampf published and widely circulated well in advance of implementation, Europeans somehow failed to trip up the Fuhrer when there was still time. It’s also like the Kitty Genovese affair. It’s putrid and horrendous.

  29. Ernesto Lion

    Here’s my tweet, if anyone wants to copy or modify feel free.

    #my2k – Grand bargain? No thanks. Obama and Dem position only improved by going over the cliff. Not to mention the USA. What gives Obama?

  30. casino implosion

    I made my voice heard.

    I’ve called my 2 Democratic Senators and one Democratic Congresswoman last week and informed them (via factotums) that despite being a lifelong straight ticket Dem vote,r I voted Green this election because of Obama’s threats to cut the social safety net…and that any vote by them to cut, means-test or raise the retirement age for SS will cost them my vote next election.

    Probably not what Obama had in mind, but…

  31. skippy

    From their 1989 album Oranges & Lemons XTC

    Lyrics:

    Here comes President Kill again,
    Surrounded by all of his killing men.
    Telling us who, why, where and when,
    President Kill wants killing again.

    Hooray, ring out the bells,
    King Conscience is dead.
    Hooray, now back in your cells,
    We’ve President Kill instead.

    Here comes President Kill again.
    Broadcasting from his killing den.
    Dressed in pounds and dollars and yen,
    President Kill wants killing again.

    Hooray, hang out the flags,
    Queen Caring is dead.
    Hooray, we’ll stack body bags,
    For President Kill instead.

    Ain’t democracy wonderful?
    Them Russians can’t win!
    Ain’t democracy wonderful?
    Lets us vote someone like that in.

    Here comes President Kill again,
    from pure White House to Number 10.
    Taking lives with a smoking pen,
    President Kill wants killing again.

    Hooray, everything’s great,
    Now President Kill is dead.
    Hooray, I’ll bet you can’t wait,
    To vote for President Kill instead…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQ4SspdkPuc&playnext=1&list=PLFA0B5026FBF0B907

    Skippy… Oh boy [sigh]… you just can’t escape the entropic cascade failure irony ~~~

    1. Brooklin Bridge

      Hooray, judicial review is dead,
      Now we got President Kill instead,
      Hooray, he’s just taken a sh*t,
      and used the constitution to wipe up a bit.

  32. Charles Yaker

    I suspect tthe answer to this question may not be know for 50 years or more.

    Obama is either the most naive, even more evil then Gearge Bush or the most clever President we ever had.

    What if he is trying to create austerity to crush the Republican bubble – become a realy transformative President and say we tried that way but it doesn’t work now let’s try another like deficit spending including a job Guarentee.

    Well I can dream can’t I?

  33. A Real Black Person

    I’m curious. If the deficit is a figment of the imagination of the 1% and Wall Street, how exactly is the U.S. going to grow its way out of its debt with high unemployment?

    People on the left blame the increase in government debt on the George W. Bush issued tax cuts , deficit spending by the Bush administration, lost revenue due to the recession, and the bail-outs. According the data I’ve seen presented by those who don’t think the deficit will ever be a problem, the deficit will stop growing and actually begin shrinking once the Bush tax cuts expire, and normal economic growth resumes.
    There’s only one problem with that theory–where is that normal economic growth going to come from? The underlying trend that has been present for over forty years is capital flight from developed countries, like the United States, to undeveloped countries. With less investment and presumably less jobs, where is the tax revenue to pay down the deficit going to come from?

      1. A Real Black Person

        Not only do I have to pay to see this “research paper”, judging by the commments on it, it seens to be as empirical and objective as a Cato Institute essay.

  34. Ep3

    Yves, 2k ain’t a lot, is it? If its a family, and most families have both parents working, that’s only $20 a week. And the 2k he’s referring to is probably the 1k per child tax credit.
    And I thought we were all loaded anyway. What with our highly successful wal mart jobs.

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