Alan Simpson Acknowledges His Name Is “Too Volatile” in Debt Talks

By: Tuesday September 17, 2013 8:36 am

I consider this to be one of the more significant wins for progressives in the past few years. While Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles are still trying to push for a deficit deal, even Simpson now acknowledges that attaching their names to any proposal would likely hurt it. On Morning Joe Simpson said during his [...]

Can We Please Stop Pretending Obama is “Capitulating” on Social Security?

By: Wednesday December 19, 2012 6:58 am

The President has been very forthcoming about the fact that cutting Social Security benefits is something he wants to do. When he said during the debate that he didn’t differ from Mitt Romney on entitlement reform, he meant it. It’s time for people to remove the rose-colored glasses and stop projecting their own feelings on to the man. It’s time to take him at his word.

AARP Listens to Members; Drops Falsely-Limited Survey on Future of Social Security & Medicare Benefits

By: Friday June 8, 2012 9:27 am

After pressure from activists from Firedoglake, the National Organization for Women, CREDO Action and Social Security Works, the AARP has listened to its membership and dropped its narrow survey on the future of Social Security and Medicare. In April, I wrote about how AARP’s “You’ve Earned a Say” survey seemed like nothing more than a [...]

Standard and Poor’s US Downgrade Shock Doctrine; Lather, Rinse, Repeat

By: Friday September 16, 2011 8:51 am

The ratings agency Standard and Poor’s is threatening another downgrade of the United States credit rating if the Super Committee doesn’t get results. From Bloomberg: “If there were another downgrade, it would probably be because something has happened with the budget control act, that it has somehow been watered down” or “the fiscal committee doesn’t [...]

None of Sen. Reid’s Super Committee Picks Will Face the Voters in 2012

By: Wednesday August 10, 2011 7:17 am

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is the first congressional leader to pick his three members for Catfood Commission II. From Politico: In the first of what will be a closely watched selection process for a powerful new deficit panel, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced he will appoint Democratic Sens. Patty Murray (Wash.), Max Baucus [...]

Shorter AARP: We’ll Analyze the Bill Until After It’s Passed

By: Monday August 1, 2011 11:41 am

The vote is tonight and they’re “studying” it. Studying it until when? Until it’s too late?

If Congress splits town after they pass this bill, maybe we can all celebrate by reviving the “burn your AARP card” party.  We’re certainly going to keep it alive, so that when the cuts start coming or seniors don’t get their cost-of-living increases, they’ll know who to blame.

Text of Reid’s Catfood II Super Congress Motion

By: Saturday July 30, 2011 7:56 pm

The House voted today on the Reid bill.  It looks like the they substituted the text of a bill introduced by David Drier on the 28th with the text of the bill Reid filed cloture on last night in the Senate.

Reid, McConnell, Pelosi and Boehner each appoint 3 people to the commission, which requires a simple majority to approve legislative language.  Reid and Boehner each appoint a co-chair.

At this Point a “Victory” for Democrats Would Still be Devastating

By: Friday July 29, 2011 1:29 pm

With Speaker John Boehner’s plans in the House in disarray, it looks like the only legislative vehicle that still has a chance of passing before August 2nd is some form of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s plan. The most likely path for the Reid plan passing Congress is by getting most of its support form [...]

Rating Agencies, Catfood Commission II and the Next Stage of Shock Doctrine

By: Wednesday July 27, 2011 9:00 am

Although the debt ceiling fight isn’t over yet, it is now clear it won’t be the excuse President Obama wanted to justify quickly jamming through an austerity grand bargain. As much as Obama desperately tried to use this artificial crisis to justify cutting Social Security and Medicare in a secret deal, that opportunity slipped through [...]

Why Aren’t the Banks Lobbying Over the Debt Ceiling?

By: Thursday July 21, 2011 7:33 am

he lack of any lobbying effort by the banks perhaps explains why things have gotten so chaotic. What Congress and the White House are accustomed to doing is taking their policy directions from corporate lobbyists, and then arranging the stagecraft so that they give the appearance we are operating in a democracy while working towards a predetermined end. Playing “pass the hot potato,” so to speak. Without that direction, all they know how to do is play out a crude game of brute force politics.

It may well be that the banks just stayed out of it for too long thinking everything would be fine, and now the game has taken on a life of its own, and intercession is impossible.