• Satorist commented on the blog post Democrats Aren’t Doomed to Lose the Senate in 2012

    2011-01-07 08:13:35View | Delete

    Here’s an easy test: Say you had to bet your life savings on the outcome. (Okay, say you had savings and had to bet it.) Would you bet for or against Democrats retaining control? Would you ask for odds? If the answers are “yes” and “5-1″ or less, please let me know how to contact you.

  • Satorist commented on the diary post New Progressive Alliance: Our Manifesto by themalcontent.

    2010-12-17 15:59:27View | Delete

    themalcontent: It seems to me an important first step is to make people aware of what the situation actually is, how few effective options there actually are and how difficult it will be to employ them. That is what I’m doing. So collective energy is not squandered on futile gestures inevitably doomed to fail. A [...]

  • Satorist commented on the diary post New Progressive Alliance: Our Manifesto by themalcontent.

    2010-12-17 11:23:05View | Delete

    Looking at the scorched earth of American Democracy over the past two years, I’ve often thought, If the Left won’t mobilize now, it never will. Reading this initiative, I see there is a third alternative: Make-believe. This isn’t an agenda, it’s political masturbation assistance tool; a callow wish list of the comfortably angry that has [...]

  • Well put. It is a litmus test. We should be skeptical without becoming overly cynical. Harkin is a good, decent man — one of the best. But Ds know their days in the majority are numbered and it will be tempting to preserve the filibuster simply for their own future benefit — not that they’d use it (or any other procedure) as effectively as Rs have. The possibility of gutting the proposal through “compromise” is the biggest threat. Harkin’s earlier attempt at reform reduced the number of votes for cloture from 60 the first week, to 57 the next week, and by increments of 3 thereafter, until reaching 51. That, too is an unusually long process for a procedure established largely by accident and, of course, completely obsolete.

    We’ll see how sincere are the 53 Senate Democrats when the procedural votes begin. But we’ll understand the sincerity of the leadership when we see how the proposal is drafted, because I don’t think there will be opportunity to amend it.

  • Why is this treacherous, backstabbing, McCain-endorsing weasel still chairman of a Senate committee? It made some kind of perverse sense when Democrats needed a 60th vote (not that it did any good) but it makes no sense at all when they only have 53 (including this dick). Strip this little autocrat of his committee assignments and kick him out of the caucus.

    What Democrats couldn’t do with 60 votes they can not do just as well with 52.

  • People should also keep in mind that one of the “concessions” Obama got was a temporary reduction in payroll taxes. That’s another name for payments to fund Social Security and a sure way to make that program more vulnerable and less solvent would be to make those the reduction permanent.

  • Schumer is, as ever, grandstanding with other people’s ideas — in this case Robert Reich’s, posted months ago on HuffPo. Even so, it’s pure symbolism — which is all Democrats know. Obama probably is trying to curry favor with Republicans who’d rather not vote against it but will if forced to. That mighty blow Democrats are so eager to throw wouldn’t sting for a week, whereas, tax cuts for all the wealthy will benefit them for years.

    An full extension of tax cuts was always going to pass. Every reason Democrats give for wanting a vote now on limiting the extension to $250,000 was more valid before the election, when it may have been used against Republicans. Democrats postponed the vote because they didn’t want to offend their contributors. They still don’t, but they need this performance to convince us, the witless believers, that it’s not the Republican’s fault.

    This is just the first manifestation of the monetization of the election process. From now on the first commandment for ever politician is: Follow the Money.

    It’d take a constitutional amendment to change that but everyone thinks that’s too hard and would take too long. Easier to fulminate.

  • Satorist commented on the blog post The Unpalatable Options on the Bush Tax Cuts

    2010-12-01 11:46:48View | Delete

    and bmull @2:

    Leonhard actually is saying letting all the tax cuts expire is not an option. Both he and his sources are correct: Rs would just come back in January and pass full extension (possibly adding draconian domestic budget cuts as well) that no D (including our DINO president) could afford to oppose. If they are too gutless to vote for anything, where would they get the balls to vote against something beneficial to all of their constituents?

    So, they are screwed — but those were the terms of the Faustian deal they accepted back in early September when they decided to not vote on it before the election. Back then, they could have forced Rs to either yield or explain to voters why they voted against tax cuts.

    It would have been smart politics except for this: Ds were (as ever) afraid it would offend their own Deep Pocket contributors and campaign funds would dry up just as were headed into the home stretch, when they feared a deluge of corporate millions would sweep them off the airwaves. Knowing they would be in a weaker position after the election, they postponed the vote anyway. Because, since Citzens United, every pol is completely beholden to rich sugar daddies. It is better for D office holders that millionaires ride free, as long as they can still posture otherwise.

    Senator Jim Webb (D VA) discovered this earlier in the year when he wanted to propose a windfall tax on bankster bonuses and was told the leadership it would hurt fund raising. These guys are soulless liquid — mindlessly seeking the path of least resistance. Kick over a can of piss and the contents will behave exactly like almost any elected official.

    If all this seems familiar, it is. They used the same tactic to kill the public health option. It has been theater, at least since September.