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    • What Toronto’s Election Means for Progressive Viability
      As many have heard, John Tory, the mainstream right wing candidate, won convincingly in Toronto and Olivia Chow came in third place, even doing worse than Doug Ford (brother of the famous crack-smoking Rob Ford.)  Much hand wringing has ensued that progressive just can’t win elections in Toronto. While it’s true that Toronto is hard [...]
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An unusually busy lame-duck session

Somebody is getting screwed here


Politico:

A repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell?” Don’t bet on it.

The window for action on reversing the ban on gays in the military is quickly closing, and the path to undoing the 17-year-old law is riddled with roadblocks: a crowded lame-duck calendar, Democratic defectors, and emboldened Republican senators who have no desire to hand a legislative victory to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

If Democrats fail to pass the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” next month — before Republicans take control of the House in January — it could be years before they get another shot.

“Unless Democrats completely neglect the tax-hike issue and everything else they’ve been talking about lately, like the DREAM Act, the START treaty and controversial nominees, they won’t be able to finish it,” said one senior Senate GOP aide.

The repeal of “don’t ask” has been attached to the defense authorization bill, and Senate Republicans have already blocked the bill once before over this issue.

DADT, the DREAM Act (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors), the START treaty, the Paycheck Fairness act, retroactive immunity for mortgage fraud, the extension of Bush tax cuts for the rich and the Catfood Commission report are all on the table of the 111th Congress.

This Congress has been in session for almost two years and several of the items before them have been languishing the entire time. START has been waiting a Senate vote since last Spring and the only thing of recent development is the discovery of massive mortgage fraud.

So why with less than two months left to go are all these items suddenly urgent?

I can’t recall any prior lame-duck session with such a full agenda of important legislation. Some of these items might have helped the Democrats energize their base for the election earlier this month. Yeah, those bills might have helped some GOPers too, but it wasn’t like the Democrats were expecting to gain seats on November 2nd.

If they couldn’t pass them before, what makes them think they can pass them now?

Maybe it’s just my Reynold’s Wrap beanie, but I get the feeling the Democrats aren’t being fully honest with us. Either that or they’re not playing with a full deck.




Accountability before Austerity: Peter Orszag says, “Let’s turn Social Security into a Welfare Program!!”

Ok, he didn’t exactly say that because that would make people mad.  But what he writes in the NYTimes is essentially the same thing:

You know, I can’t even excerpt parts of this flaming piece of crap.  It’s so full of misdirection and propaganda that it would be obscene and irresponsible to repeat any of it.  If you want to poke holes in his argument, go read it yourself.  He must think we are incredibly stupid.  He reminds me of the Grinch who baldly lies about stealing the Christmas tree and we are the naive and gullible Cindy Lou Who who is no more than two.

He thinks the proposals from Simpson and Bowles last week were fine and dandy!  Peter Orszag was until recently Barack Obama’s Director of the Office of Management and Budget.  So, I think we can safely assume that Barack Obama is on-board with dismantling the most successful program the Democrats ever produced, that has served millions of Americans faithfully and at low cost for decades and decades.  Hey, don’t blame me or Conflucians or Correntians or Anglachelians.  We saw this coming and don’t want any blame for voting for this fraud.  We tried to warn people.  We did the responsible thing and for that we were called racists and losers.  Paul Krugman explains how the Obamacans got it wrong in his post today, The World as Obama Sees it. (I think he’s been reading Anglachel)  The signs have never been good about Barack Obama since he was a candidate, Paul.
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And we get?


Anglachel discusses the Catfood Commission’s “disingenuous calls for sacrifice.”

The general criticism of the class bias in how the commission weighted the sacrifices (most for the little people, few for the monied elite) has been done by other commenters, so I’d like to focus on the last, rather amazing sentence in the above quote. The work of the New Deal is delivering value and providing economic security almost a century after it was done. It is an investment that continues to pay out.

Consider that at least 30 of those 80 years have occurred while a political party explicitly opposed to the New Deal has been in power, and that it has been under fire from that same faction since the early 1960s, more than half its life. We’re talking some institutional resilience. When a program provides material benefits to large portions of the population with little overhead and minimal intrusiveness, it’s going to be a winner. This is deep strength of Social Security and Medicare – they deliver. [There's also the incredible infrastructure investments of the WPA that continue to deliver, but those are less easy to identify as a personal benefit.]

This is why the attacks on them have failed thus far. Main Street can see the benefit these programs deliver. Main Street in this case is not just families, but also small business. Cost efficiencies for business is also a reason why these programs persist. How many small business owners can provide a retiree pension or medical insurance system with the cost efficiency as SS and Medicare, for example? People also see that these New Deal programs are about the only thing still delivering to them in the face of 35 years of continual and deliberate economic degradation


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